The ICFA Book Prize is a prestigious award given to the book judged to have contributed most to the scholarly discussion of crime fiction during the year preceding the annual ICFA conference. The prize includes a stipend, promotion on the website and at the annual conference, and an announcement and review in the journal Crime Fiction Studies, published by Edinburgh University Press.
Citation for the 2020 winner: The introduction to The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction states that the volume wants to ‘approach the concept of the crime fiction companion in a different way’. Specifically, the aim was to couple the inevitable retrospective aspect of such a handbook with ‘an emphasis on the present’. This has been achieved admirably. While scholars and students can rely on the solid basis of crime fiction studies elucidated here, the whole volume feels fresh, relevant, and entirely up to date. Numerous and far reaching, the chapters in the book give great depth as well as breadth to the new and ongoing discussions about crime fiction. If you were to buy one crime fiction studies book this year, this should be it.