***Winner of the National Crime Short Story Prize***

Robert Barnard's contribution 'Sins of Scarlet' won the National Crime Short Story Prize.

A woman contemplating suicide on Beachy Head finds a bench dedicated to the memory of herself.

An art lover in Venice conducts a spree of mutilations as a response to the Surrealist Movement.

At Heathrow Airport, armed police take up positions to apprehend the wrong man...

The latest showcase of shorts from the CWA celebrates the ‘who’ in the whodunnit, the psyche behind the psychological profile. Husbands lead double lives, psychologists confuse perpetrators with ex-partners, neighbours reassess the people they thought they knew. It seems if there’s one thing you can’t classify or slap an ID card on, it’s the id.

The collection includes stories by two recipients of the Crime Writers’ Association ‘Diamond Dagger’ lifetime achievement award (Peter Lovesey and Robert Barnard), and an American Grand Master awardee (Edward D Hoch, who has published more crime short stories than anyone else, ever!).

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About the author

Prolific crime writer and practicing lawyer Martin Edwards (editor) has twice been nominated for CWA Daggers. In addition to his seven books about Liverpool lawyer Harry Devlin, he has edited 14 crime anthologies and published eight non-fiction books, including Urge to Kill, an account of homicide investigation. His latest novel, The Coffin Trail has just been nominated for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award.

In 2001, Edward D Hoch was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, the first time a Grand Master was known primarily for short fiction rather than novels. A skilled exponent of the classic detective story, he emphasizes mystery and deduction rather than suspense and fast action. Hoch (pronounced hoke) began writing in the 1950s. In 1962 he kicked off his most successful collaboration, with the appearance of his first story in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; in the years since EQMM has published over 450 of Hoch's stories, roughly half of his total output. 

Peter Lovesey remains one our finest English mystery writers, whose novels encompass the historical mystery, psychological thriller and police procedural genres. His books have been translated into 22 languages, with 10 now under TV and film options. Lovesey has won the CWA Silver and Gold Dagger awards, the French Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere and the Prix du Roman d'Adventures. He is also a former chairman of the Crime Writers Association.

Tonino Benacquista has been, in turn, a museum night watchman, a train guard, a professional parasite on the Paris cocktail circuit, and one of the most successful authors of fiction, graphic novels, and film scripts in France today. Recent screenplays include De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté (The Beat My Heart Skipped) and Sur mes lèvres (Read My Lips), both directed by Jacques Audiard. His novel Morsures de l'aube (Love Bites) was adapated for the cinema by Antoine de Caunes. His novels have previously won the Trophee 813 and the Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle, and two are currently available in English from Bitter Lemon Press: Holy Smoke and Someone Else. His story here, 'La Boîte noire', taken from the collection Tout l’ego, was converted into a film by Richard Berry in 2005.

In 2003, Robert Barnard received the Cartier Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement in crime writing award. He has also won the prestigious Nero Wolfe Award as well as the Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards. An eight-time Edgar nominee and a member of the Detection Club, Barnard is the author of The Mistress of Alderley, The Bones in the Attic, Unholy Dying, A Scandal in Belgravia, and many other distinguished mysteries.

Danuta Reah, writing here as Carla Banks, became chair of the Crime Writers’ Association in 2005. She has published five crime mystery novels and two non-fiction books. Ireland on Sunday says of her novel, Bleak Water: ‘[Reah] brings new depth to a resolutely populist genre and will reward anyone looking for a bit more substance than usual in crime fiction.’

Natasha Cooper worked in publishing for ten years before leaving to write full time. Her first crime novel was Festering Lilies, was published in 1990, the year she joined the Crime Writers' Association. In 2000 she took the chair of the CWA, and published Prey to All, her tenth crime novel. Cooper also reviews for a variety of newspapers and journals, including Crime Time and The Times Literary Supplement. 

Mat Coward leads a double life as a crime writer. In the UK, he is well known as a specialist in the short story; his extremely diverse work has been published in many anthologies and magazines and has earned Dagger and Edgar nominations. 

Kate Ellis was born and brought up in Liverpool. Crime and mystery stories have always fascinated her, as have medieval history and archaeology, which she likes to incorporate in her books. Kate's novels feature archaeology graduate Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson who fights crime in the ‘mean lanes’ of South Devon.

Paul A. Freeman was born in London. He is the author of Rumours of Ophir, a crime thriller set in Zimbabwe. Presently Paul Freeman works as a teacher in Saudi Arabia and writes a weekly short story for the Saudi Gazette newspaper. He is married with three children.

Michael Jecks is the author of seventeen acclaimed novels featuring Sir Baldwin Furnshill and Bailiff Simon Puttock. His first novel in the series, The Last Templar, was published by Headline in March 1994. 

Bill Kirton has been a university lecturer, actor, director, television presenter and RLF Writing Fellow. He’s published two crime novels, Material Evidence and Rough Justice, and many short stories. His radio and stage plays have been produced in the UK, Australia, and the USA and he wrote a prize-winning verse translation of Molière’s Sganarelle. Kirton is currently co-authoring a book on writing at university.

After a career as a mining electrical engineer Stuart Pawson worked part-time for the probation service for five years, mediating between offenders and their victims. This gave him a valuable insight into the criminal justice system, and it was during this period that he started to write his first book, The Picasso Scam. 

Christine Poulson had a career as an art historian before she turned to crime. She has written three novels set in Cambridge, featuring academic turned amateur detective, Cassandra James, the most recent being Footfall. She has also written widely on nineteenth century art and literature and is a research fellow in the Department of Nineteenth Century Studies at the University of Sheffield.

Zoe Sharp has worked as a freelance photo-journalist in the automotive industry since 1988. She is also the author of five crime thrillers in the Charlotte 'Charlie' Fox series. The sixth title, Second Shot, is to be published shortly in the US by St Martin's Minotaur. Sharp is currently working on the first of a new series, to feature CSI Grace McColl.

Frank Tallis is both a writer and practicing clinical psychologist. He has published seven non-fiction works (including Changing Minds: The History of Psychotherapy as an Answer to Human Suffering; and Hidden Minds: A History of the Unconscious.) His new novel, Lovesick, is published by Century.

Yvonne Eve Walus lives and writes in Aukland, New Zealand. She’s a Doctor of Mathematics, wife, mother, and full member of Crime Writers' Association. Her books include Murder Work, Nowhen, Neverwhen, and Southern Skies.

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Additional Information

Comma Press
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Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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