CWA votes on best crime novel ever

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Will historical crime fiction author Josephine Tey lose her crown?

Remember, remember the fifth of November. In the UK it’s the day when we recall Guy Fawkes, and the Gunpowder Plot, and reanact the anti-Catholic pogroms that followed by chucking ‘The Guy’ on the bonfire. The Crime Writers’ Association has something even more incendiary planned for crime fiction fans. This year on 5 November it will be announcing the Best Ever Crime Writer, Best Crime Novel and Best Series as voted on by the CWA membership.

This will supersede the organisation’s 1990 listing of The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time which saw Josephine Tey’s 1951 book The Daughter of Time in first place, followed by Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep (1939) and John le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963).

The announcement will be made at a special evening event held at Foyles on Charing Cross Road in London starting at 6pm. For CWA members, entrance is free, however everyday crime fiction lovers can also order tickets for £5 – to book contact the shop here. A panel of experts will be discussing the results of the poll live, including crime fiction commentator Barry Forshaw, and authors Zoe Sharp, Belinda Bauer and David Stuart Davies.

Who do you think will head the list? James Lee Burke? Val McDermid? Jo Nesbo? Or will old school authors like Josephine Tey, Raymond Chandler and John le Carre retain their top rankings? “Personally I think it will be close-run thing,” says CWA chair Alison Joseph. “A great work of fiction, in whatever genre, whenever it was written, is a rare thing, and it may well be that Sayers, Chandler et al, still merit their place at the top. Watch this space.”

This vote part of the CWA‘s 60th anniversary celebrations, and according to the Association’s press release it was indeed founded on Guy Fawkes Day. All will be revealed on 5 November.

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