Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2023

The longlist for this prestigious award has just been announced… has your favourite novelist been included?

The search for the best crime novel of the past year gets underway as the longlist for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2023 has been announced today by Harrogate International Festivals.

Now it is over to the public to vote for their favourite, to bring this longlist down to six, with voting for the shortlist closing on May 18.

The winning author will receive £3,000 and a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by T&R Theakston Ltd.

Some of the staves for the Miniature casks

The unique handcrafted oak barrel prizes for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel

With thrilling stories that transport readers from a burnt-out Glasgow under threat, to the hidden backstreets of Paris, from the bustle of 1950s Bombay and a mail ship bound for Philadelphia, the longlist celebrates the very best of the crime genre.

A number of returning champions are hoping to take home the Award once again – Mick Herron defends his 2022 title with the latest Slough House instalment, Bad Actors, alongside Clare Mackintosh’s gripping New Year’s Day murder mystery The Last Party, two-time winner Mark Billingham’s electrifying thriller The Murder Book, and the scintillating 1989, the second in the new Allie Burns series from the doyenne of crime writing Val McDermid.

The full longlist:

Longlist books

  • The Murder Book by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown Book Group; Little Brown)
  • The Botanist by M.W. Craven (Little, Brown Book Group; Constable)
  • Into The Dark by Fiona Cummins (Pan Macmillan; Macmillan/Pan)
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins; HarperFiction)
  • The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
  • The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (Profile Books; Viper)
  • Bad Actors by Mick Herron (John Murray Press; Baskerville)
  • The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell (Cornerstone; Century Fiction)
  • Black Hearts by Doug Johnstone (Orenda Books)
  • The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh (Little, Brown Book Group; Sphere)
  • All I Said Was True by Imran Mahmood (Bloomsbury Publishing; Raven Books)
  • Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister (Penguin Random House; Michael Joseph)
  • 1989 by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group; Little Brown)
  • The Heretic by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins; HarperFiction)
  • Blue Water by Leonora Nattrass (Profile Books; Viper)
  • May God Forgive by Alan Parks (Canongate Books)
  • Truly Darkly Deeply by Victoria Selman (Quercus)
  • Reputation by Sarah Vaughan (Simon & Schuster)
  • The It Girl by Ruth Ware (Simon & Schuster)

Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, added:

Each year I eagerly await the long list announcement for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and every year I’m reminded of the phenomenal talent in the crime fiction writing world, whether a returning icon or a rising star. I’m looking forward to a celebratory toast of Old Peculier in July, but for now, we raise a glass to all the exceptional nominees as the shortlist vote is taken to the public.

Vote For Your Favourite

The public are now invited to vote to bring this longlist down to six books. Voting opens April 27 at 10am at, and closes on May 18, with the shortlist announced and winner voting opening on June 15. The winner will be revealed on the opening night of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival on July 20.

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Allison Hay

I joined the "My Weekly" team thirteen years ago and, more recently, "The People's Friend". I love the variety of topics we cover both online and in the magazines. I manage the digital content for the brands, sharing features and information on the website, social media and in our digital newsletters.