.The Winner Of The 2022 Black Spring Press Crime Writing Prize is:
The Winter of Shadows by Clare Grant
Competition judge and crime author Martin Penny says:
This year’s prize winner reminded me of the meticulous settings of CJ Sansom or Arianna Franklin. The main protagonist, Ada Fawkes, is Britain’s first forensic photographer. She has some experience working alongside the police in Paris, and her skills are soon put to good use by a familiar Detective Inspector from Scotland Yard. The whole novel induces a genuine feel of the period and the plot is tight with a real threat of danger. The Winter of Shadows is a fantastic read. It has everything.
Described as ‘a fantastic read’, The Winter of Shadows is a tightly-plotted historical thriller set in York during the early 1860s. The heroine of the book is Ada Fawkes, Britain’s first forensic photographer. Her skill is a new science that arouses shock, hostility, and to some it’s witchcraft. The idea for the novel is inspired by the author’s research into women and policing in the nineteenth century.
As Clare Grant points out, ‘Women, throughout history, have taken part in criminal investigations. Though the law did not allow women to become police officers until 1919, detectives and policemen unofficially recruited women to seek those clues that men may not find. I explore this theme in the novel…’
Clare Grant grew up in Yorkshire. She has a BA in English Literature and French from Sussex University and an MA in Heritage Interpretation from Newcastle University. She is a journalist who has worked for local and national newspapers. Clare currently lives in Northumberland.
On her prize Clare Grant says:
‘I am absolutely thrilled to win the 2022 Black Spring Crime Writing Prize. Thanks to Todd Swift and his team at Black Spring I now have the chance to introduce Ada Fawkes to the world, a distinctive female crime investigator, shining a light on life, and of course death, in the entrancing city of York in the 1860s.'
The Winter of Shadows will be launched at The London Book Fair 2023.