Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer has been shortlisted for the 2020 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

She is the only debut author on the shortlist of six and the only one making an appearance for the first time. The other shortlisted titles include Worse Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald; The Lost Man by Jane Harper; Joe Country by Mick Herron; The Chain by Adrian McKinty; and Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee.

The winner receives £3,000 and an engraved oak beer cask, hand-carved by one of Britain’s last coopers from Theakstons Brewery.

The shortlist, according to the judges, “showcase exceptional variety and originality, including spy espionage, historical crime, gallows humour, outback noir and serial killing siblings.”

Now in its 16th year, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel Award is run by Harrogate International Festivals and supported by T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith and the Express. The prize is open to full length crime novels published in paperback from 1 May to 30 April of the preceding year by UK and Irish authors.

The 2020 shortlist was selected by an academy of crime writing authors, agents, editors, reviewers, members of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Programming Committee, representatives from T&R Theakston Ltd, the Express, and WHSmith, alongside a public vote.

On Oyinkan Braithwaite, the administrators noted:

“Marking a meteoric rise since being selected by Val McDermid as a spotlight author in the 2019 Festival’s highly respected ‘New Blood’ panel, Oyinkan Braithwaite remains in pursuit of the coveted trophy with the Booker nominated My Sister, the Serial Killer. Based in Nigeria, Braithwaite is the only debut author remaining, and one of the youngest ever to be shortlisted. Inspired by the black widow spider, Braithwaite turns the crime genre on its head with a darkly comic exploration of sibling rivalry, exploring society’s feelings towards beauty and perfection.”

The winner will be revealed in a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 23 July.

For more information on how to vote, go HERE.

Congrats to Braithwaite!