Lauren Beukes
Lauren Beukes

I recently mentioned that I had our favourite writer of weird mystery novels Lauren Beukes was up for the Strand Award for her 2013 novel The Shining Girls.

The Strand for the uninitiated is one of the mystery genre’s most revered publications having featured the works of folks like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie. So it’s kind of like a big deal.

Well on Wednesday the South African lass went home with the award of best novel. Or rather she was the winner of the award even though she couldn’t make it to the award ceremony, an invitation-only cocktail party, in Manhattan, New York.

She may have not been able to go through but she did have something to say about it. A delighted Beukes stated; “I’m stunned and grinning – like being hit with the Taser of happiness. Thanks so much to the judges and to the Strand Magazine. It’s a brilliant honor, especially up against such a killer shortlist.”

This year’s Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists including, Julia Keller (Chicago Tribune), Lev Grossman (Time), Chuck Leddy (Boston Globe), David Ulin (LA Times), Jack Batten (Toronto Star) and Christian DuChateau (CNN).

There were other award winners on the evening. Roger Hobbs won the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel. Peter Lovesey and R.L. went home with the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. But as you can expect we had only words for our Lauren. Well in Ms Beukes. Well in.