Greg Fleming looks at the top contenders for this year's Ngaio Marsh crime fiction award

In my three years as one of the judges for the Ngaio Marsh awards (two as long-list judge, this year as one of the international judges), I've seen first-hand the growing strength and vitality of New Zealand crime fiction.

Indeed the Ngaios' 10th season is shaping up to be one of the strongest fields yet. The award's namesake, Dame Ngaio Marsh, is even nominated thanks to Stella Duffy's ingenious collaboration, completing one of the late thriller queen's unfinished manuscripts.

But Dame Fiona Kidman's This Mortal

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