Christchurch City Libraries lists literary prize winners and links to catalogue searches, but we may not hold copies of all titles mentioned.
2010 was the inaugural year of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. The Ngaio Marsh Award for First Novel was first awarded in 2016, and in 2017 the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Non Fiction was introduced. Ngaio Marsh Award for Younger Readers began in 2021.
The award is made for the best crime, mystery, or thriller novel written by a New Zealand citizen or resident, published in New Zealand during the previous year. Decided by a panel of local and international judges, it is named after New Zealand’s most successful crime writer, Dame Ngaio Marsh.
The longlist for the 2023 award was announced on 20 June.
See the other Ngaio Marsh Awards:
- Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel
- Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Non Fiction (biennial award)
- Ngaio Marsh Award for Younger Readers
See more literary prize winners.
2023 Best Crime Novel shortlist
- Exit .45 Ben Sanders
- Blue hotel Chad Taylor
- Remember me Charity Norman
- The doctor's wife Fiona Sussman
- Better the blood Michael Bennett
- Blood matters Renée
- The slow roll Simon Lendrum
2022 Best Crime Novel
- Before you knew my name Jacqueline Bublitz Winner
- The quiet people Paul Cleave
- Nancy business R. W. R. McDonald
- She's a killer Kirsten McDougall
- The devils you know Ben Sanders
- Quiet in her bones Nalini Singh
2021 Best Crime Novel
- Sprigs Brannavan Gnanalingam Winner
- The Murder Club Nikki Crutchley
- The Tally Stick Carl Nixon
- The Secrets of Strangers Charity Norman
- Tell me lies J. P. Pomare
2020 Best Crime Novel
- Auē Becky Manawatu (Makaro Press) Winner
- Whatever it takes Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)
- Girl from the tree house Gudrun Frerichs
- The Nancys R. W. R. McDonald (Allen & Unwin)
- In the clearing J. P. Pomare (Hachette)
- The wild card Renée (Cuba Press)
Find out more:
Read our October 2017 interview with Ngaio Marsh Awards founder and judging convenor Craig Sisterson.
Fee reports back from The Great Ngaio Marsh Game Show and Awards - Saturday 14 September 2019.
2019 Best Crime Novel
- This mortal boy Fiona Kidman Winner
- Money in the morgue Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy
- The Quaker Liam McIlvanney
- Call me Evie J. P. Pomare
- The vanishing act Jen Shieff
Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2018
- Marlborough Man Alan Carter (Fremantle Press) Winner
- See You In September Charity Norman (Allen & Unwin)
- Tess Kirsten McDougall (Victoria University Press)
- The Sound of Her Voice Nathan Blackell (Mary Egan Publishing)
- A Killer Harvest Paul Cleave (Upstart Press)
- The Hidden Room Stella Duffy (Virago)
The winners were announced at the WORD Christchurch Festival, held from 29 August to 2 September.
Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2017
- The Last Time We Spoke Fiona Sussman (Allison & Busby) Winner
- Pancake Money Finn Bell
- Spare Me The Truth CJ Carver (Bonnie Zaffre)
- Red Herring Jonothan Cullinane (HarperCollins)
- Marshall’s Law Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)
The winners will be announced at a WORD Christchurch event in October. Read more about the finalists in The Spinoff.
Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2016
- Trust no one Paul Cleave (Upstart Press) Winner
- Inside the black horse Ray Berard (Mary Egan Publishing)
- Made to kill Adam Christopher (Titan Books)
- The legend of Winstone Blackhat Tanya Moir (Vintage)
- American Blood Ben Sanders (Allen & Unwin)
- Five minutes alone Paul Cleave Winner
- The Petticoat Men Barbara Ewing
- Swimming in the dark Paddy Richardson
- The children's pond Tina Shaw
- Fallout Paul Thomas
Paul Cleave was announced as the 2015 winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel at a ceremony held on 4 October at the Court Theatre in Christchurch. The WORD event Murder in the Court featured an improvised murder mystery with the Court Jesters.
- Where the dead men go Liam McIlvanney Winner
- Joe Victim Paul Cleave
- Frederick’s coat Alan Duff
- My brother’s keeper Donna Malane
Read the blog post The fantastic four emerge from an excellent eight.
Liam McIlvanney was announced as the 2014 winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel at a ceremony at the conclusion of the Great New Zealand Crime Debate which took place on Saturday 30 August 2014 during the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival.
- Death on demand Paul Thomas Winner
- The laughterhouse Paul Cleave
- Little sister Julian Novitz
- Faceless Vanda Symon
- Luther: the calling Neil Cross Winner
- Collecting Cooper Paul Cleave
- By any means Ben Sanders
- Bound Vanda Symon
Neil Cross was announced as the 2012 winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel at a ceremony at the conclusion of the Great New Zealand Crime Debate which took place on Saturday 1 September 2012 during The Press Christchurch Writers Festival.
- Blood men Paul Cleave Winner
- Captured Neil Cross
- Hunting blind Paddy Richardson
- Slaughter Falls Alix Bosco
2011’s winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel was announced at a ceremony at the conclusion of the Setting the Stage for Murder event, on Sunday, 21 August 2011. New York Times bestselling international crime writers Tess Gerritsen and John Hart also appeared at the event. The winner received a distinctive handcrafted trophy designed and created by New Zealand sculptor and Unitec art lecturer Gina Ferguson, a set of Ngaio Marsh novels courtesy of HarperCollins, and a cheque for $1,000 provided by the Christchurch Writers Festival Trust.
The winner of the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel was announced at a ceremony at the conclusion of the “Setting the Stage for Murder” event at The Press Christchurch Writers Festival on Friday, 10 September 2010.