CrimeFest, one of Europe’s leading crime writing conventions, has announced the shortlists for its annual awards.

Now in its 16th year, the awards honour the best crime books released in 2022 in the UK.

The awards feature the hotly-contended Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award which offers a £1,000 cash prize.

This year sees former detective turned advisor, Graham Bartlett, on the debut shortlist. Bartlett is known for advising some of the biggest authors in the crime genre, including Peter James, Mark Billingham, and Elly Griffiths, to help inject reality into their plots involving a crime or police officer. Now, Bartlett has put himself on the line with his debut, Bad for Good.

He's not the only former member of the police on the shortlist. John Sutherland served in a variety of ranks for the Met Police before he retired in 2018, and is shortlisted for his debut, The Siege. This debut was awarded a Star Book by our very own Liz Robinson who gushed: "A full-on, dynamic debut thriller featuring a hostage situation, it quite simply smacks of authenticity."

Other LoveReading Star Books include The Botanist by M.W. Craven which Liz Robinson celebrated: "An addictively perfect example of a locked room mystery (or two) awaits in this latest addition to one of the best crime series around." And Kalmann: "This affectionately comical yet beautiful and unique Icelandic mystery ensures the reader sits on the edge of a precipice before understanding strikes."

All category winners will receive a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

The Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award is for debut authors first published in the United Kingdom in 2022. The winning author receives a £1,000 prize. Shortlist:

- A Good Day to Die by Amen Alonge 

- Bad for Good by Graham Bartlett

- The Maid by Nita Prose

- Ashes in the Snow by Oriana Rammuno and translated by Katherine Gregor

- Kalmann by Joachim B. Schmidt and translated by Jamie Lee Searle

- Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor 

- The Siege by John Sutherland

- A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

The eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the United Kingdom in 2022. Shortlist:

- The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre 

- Desert Star by Michael Connelly 

- The Botanist by M.W. Craven 

- The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran 

- A Heart Full of Headstones by Ian Rankin 

- Nine Lives by Peter Swanson 

The Last Laugh Award for the best humorous crime novel first published in the United Kingdom in 2022, shortlist:

- Bryant & May's Peculiar London by Christopher Fowler 

- The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths 

- Bad Actors by Mick Herron 

- Hope to Die by Cara Hunter  

- Mr Campion's Mosaic by Mike Ripley  

- The Moose Paradox by Antti Tuomainen

The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biographical or critical book related to crime fiction first published in the United Kingdom in 2022. The award is named after H.R.F. ‘Harry’ Keating, one of Britain’s most esteemed crime novelists, crime reviewers and writer of books about crime fiction. Shortlist:

Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman by Lucy Worsley 

- A Private Spy: The Letters of John le Carré 1945-2020 by John le Carré (edited by Tim Cornwell) 

- The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators by Martin Edwards 

- Simenon: The Man, The Books, The Films by Barry Forshaw 

- Gender Roles and Political Contexts in Cold War Spy Fiction by Sian MacArthur 

The Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie by J.C. Bernthal & Mary Anna Evans 

The best crime novel for children (aged 8-12) first published in the United Kingdom in 2022, shortlist:

- A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window by Elly Griffiths

- Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond Brothers Case by Anthony Horowitz

- The Good Turn by Sharna Jackson 

- Spark by M.G. Leonard 

- The Ministry of Unladylike Activity by Robin Stevens 

Alice Éclair, Spy Extraordinaire! A Recipe for Trouble by Sarah Todd Taylor 

The best crime novel for young adults first published in the United Kingdom in 2022, shortlist:

- Five Survive by Holly Jackson  

- Needle by Patrice Lawrence 

- The Butterfly Assassin by Finn Longman

- Truth or Dare by Sophie McKenzie 

- I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

- The Notorious Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud 

Hosted in Bristol, CrimeFest is one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe, and one of the most popular dates in the international crime fiction calendar, with circa 60 panel events and 150 authors attending over four days. Featured Guests at the convention this May are Mark Billingham and Elly Griffiths.

CrimeFest runs at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel from 11-14 May, 2023. For details and to book, go to: