The Crime Writers’ Association

CWA Margery Allingham Short Mystery Competition – Winner Announced

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) has announced the winner of its Margery Allingham Short Mystery Prize.

Camilla Macpherson beat strong competition with her short story, ‘Heartbridge Homicides’.

Camilla lives in The Hague in the Netherlands. Her debut novel, Pictures at an Exhibition, which revolves around the National Gallery during the Second World War, was published by Random House in 2012 and translated into Dutch, German and Polish. Camilla is currently working on a detective story set in the Netherlands in 1940. She has won a number of awards for her short stories and travel writing.

The competition celebrates the classic mystery story, and entries had to adhere to Allingham’s definition of a mystery. The great Golden Age author summed it up as: “The Mystery remains box-shaped, at once a prison and a refuge. Its four walls are, roughly, a Crime, a Mystery, an Enquiry and a Conclusion with an Element of Satisfaction in it.”

The Margery Allingham Society, set up to honour and promote the writings of the great Golden Age author whose most well-known hero is Albert Campion, works with the CWA to operate and fund the writing competition. One of the UK’s most prominent organisations for the support and promotion of crime writing, the CWA was founded in 1953. Each year the competition attracts many entries from the UK and overseas.

Dea Parkin, Secretary of the CWA, said: “We are in awe of the quality and number of entries we received this year. We’ve witnessed a huge resurrection in the popularity of mystery stories in the pandemic, thanks in part to the popularity of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club and authors like Elly Griffith’s with The Postscript Murders and Robert Thorogood who created the popular BBC murder mystery series, Death in Paradise and wrote The Marlow Murder Club. This short story competition is a fantastic way of building a writer’s craft, and profile, in the mystery genre.”

Camilla will receive £500 and two passes for the international crime writing convention CrimeFest in 2022.

The announcement has come during National Crime Reading Month, an initiative promoted and supported by the CRA. Online events as well as blog posts and videos on the 2021 theme of emergence and escape are featured on the website throughout June.




The competition is read by authorities appointed by the Margery Allingham Society and the CWA, and is judged by an expert panel from the Society.

Margery Allingham’s best known crime novels include The Tiger in the Smoke and The Crime at Black Dudley, which first introduced Albert Campion (later winningly played by actor Peter Davison in the TV series) to readers.

The Margery Allingham Society was founded in 1988 to celebrate the life and works of Margery Allingham, one of the four great Queens of Crime from the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction, largely viewed as the period in the twentieth century between the world wars.

National Crime Reading Month: Join in #NCRM on Facebook and Twitter @The_CWA.

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