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Mark Billingham wins Crime Writer of the Year award

31st July 2009

Mark Billingham has picked up the Crime Writer of the Year award at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival for his book Death Message.

This is the second time Mr Billingham has landed the accolade, having picked up the same prize for his book Lazybones in 2005.

Commenting on his win, the writer said: 'To even be on the shortlist with such fantastic authors was amazing and then to win was absolutely amazing.'

Death Message was described as a 'very worthy winner' by chief executive of the Harrogate International Festival Sharon Canavar.

The shortlist for this year's award, sponsored by Theakston Old Peculiar, included the cream of Britain's crime writing heavyweights.

Notably, Tom Caine's The Accident Man and Lee Child's Bad Luck and Trouble books were pipped to the post by Death Message.

Mr Billingham has worked as an actor, TV writer and stand-up comedian. His first book, Sleepyhead, was published in 2001 and was a UK bestseller.

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