I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the French prize Le Prix Coeur Noir. Here’s some pics from the awards ceremony and the slighty cheeky press release!

French beaten on home turf for major literary prize by plucky Brit

Crime novelist Peter James wins prestigious Prix Coeur Noir

British Author Peter James has been awarded the coveted Prix Coeur Noir for his novel Dead Simple (Comme une Tombe). The prize-giving took place at 8pm on Thursday 1st February at Le Prisme in Saint-Quentin, to coincide with the opening of the Saint-Quentin Festival.

The win is the latest in a succession of foreign accolades for Peter’s writing, firmly rooting him as one of the UK’s most internationally successful crime writers. Last year, Peter received the 2005 Krimi-Blitz award for Crime Novelist of the Year in Germany, and he also won Le Prix Polar International 2006, France, for Best Crime Novel – Dead Simple.

On receiving the prize, Peter James said: “France is a country known for its patriotism; when I heard I was shortlisted against two French authors and the award is voted for by the public, I didn’t think I had a chance. I am very proud and very thrilled. To have won one French award was an incredible feeling. Now to have won two, I’m just amazed! And very, very honoured.”

Le Prix Coeur Noir is organized by librarians, readers of Les Amis des Mediatheques and booksellers of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The public were able to vote from October 2006 January 2007 from shortlist of three crime novels.

The shortlist comprised of: Le Chien Tchechene by Michel Maisonneuve, Comme une Tombe by Peter James and La Lune de Glace by Jan Costin Wagner. Peter James was the clear winner with more than 50 % of the votes.

Dead Simple was 9th biggest selling fiction title in the UK for the whole of spring 2006; it also reached No 9 on the French bestseller list in August, and the German paperback edition is going straight into the bestseller lists at No 16 next week, its first week of publication there.

Looking Good Dead, Peter’s most recent novel, reached No 2 on the Sunday Times Bestseller list in paperback and has remained in the Top 10 for seven consecutive weeks. It also was No 1 in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and in WH Smith for three weeks.

The Roy Grace novels have been sold to publishers in 26 languages.

Peter James’s new title, Not Dead Enough is out in June from Macmillan.