Ngaio Marsh Award finalists to appear at writers’ festival

The finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2012 were announced this week and The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival will offer the chance for avid fans and readers to get close to some of them.

Paul Cleave, Ben Sanders, Neil Cross and Vanda Symon (left) were all named as finalists for the award, which is made annually for the best crime, mystery or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident.

The winner will be announced at the festival, following ‘The Great New Zealand Crime Debate’, in which Vanda Symon is taking part, alongside debaters who include Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch MP and lawyer, QC and writer Chris McVeigh and Michael Robotham,  Australian crime author and two times winner of the Ned Kelly Award.

Ben Sanders (right) will join internationally successful Christchurch crime writer Paul Cleave, talented New Zealand novelist Julian Novitz and Michael Robotham to talk about the attraction of evil and the literary world’s attitude to thrillers and detective fiction in ‘Fatal Attraction’.
Unfortunately Neil Cross will be unavailable for this session owing to the filming of the third series of his multi-award winning BBC psychological crime drama, Luther

The festival’s crime focus continues with Joanne Drayton talking about her remarkable new biography, The Search for Anne Perry, for which she gained unprecedented access to the woman better known in New Zealand as teenage killer Juliet Hulme.

Festival director Marianne Hargreaves said, ‘We’re very excited to be hosting writers of this calibre and confident that these events will be extremely well attended.’

The festival will run for four days from 30 August to 2 September based in the Geo Dome at Hagley Park and tickets are priced at just $16. Tickets are on sale now. For the full programme and details, visit