There’s a veritable slew of awards for crime writers of excellence, from the Edgars and the Agathas to the Neros and the Hammetts.
But the latest prize to be offered to a notable mystery writer will require a little more space than a bookshelf or trophy case will allow: It’s a new morgue. (Note: You have to imagine this in Bob Barkers’s voice, i.e. “It’s a newwwwww morgue!”)
Dundee University has come up with a revolutionary way to raise funds for the new addition to its Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification. Ten crime writers are competing in the Million for a Morgue competition for the chance to have the morgue named for them, with fans contributing a pound (or more) to vote.
The mystery mavens competing for the eponym are: Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Jeffrey Deaver, Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Peter James and Val McDermid.
Tess Gerritsen is in the lead as of this writing, so fans of Val McDermid’s likeable weirdo Tony Hill or Jeffrey Deaver’s quadriplegic Lincoln Rhyme should think about coughing up some coin.
The method of fundraising isn’t the only revolutionary thing about the project. The BBC reports that the newly built morgue “will adopt a "revolutionary" way of embalming - called the Thiel method - which keeps bodies flexible for longer.”
Which mystery writer are you pulling for? Or what would you like to see named for your favorite writer? (My answers are a. McDermid, and b. Martin Amis BBQ sauce, for no reason other than a larf.)