The Crime Writers’ Association

Johnston’s cosy crime debut wins Barker Book Award

Congratulations to CWA member Antony Johnston, whose 2023 novel The Dog Sitter Detective has won the Barker Book Award for fiction.

Antony’s previous work includes the film Atomic Blonde and the Brigitte Sharp spy thrillers, which are being developed for TV.

The Dog Sitter Detective is the first in a series of mysteries starring semi-retired actress Guinevere ‘Gwinny’ Tuffel and a varied cast of dogs, with a different breed planned to feature in each book.

Now in their second year, the Barker Book Awards are billed as ‘The bark of excellence for dogs in literature’. This year’s head judge is the actor and animal advocate Peter Egan, famous for his roles in Downton Abbey and Ever Decreasing Circles. The fiction award includes prize money of £2,000 and encompasses all genres, not only crime.

Antony, who is a former vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The Dog Sitter Detective is already a hit with readers, and now this award goes to show you can’t keep good crime fiction down. It’s great to know that Gwinny’s adventures, and her canine co-stars, appeal even to those outside our beloved genre. My thanks to the judges.”

The Dog Sitter Detective is published by Allison & Busby and is available now in hardback, ebook, and audiobook. A paperback edition is due in January.

You can read more about  Antony and his books here.

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