Ninety-year-old crime novelist P.D. James is to be honoured for her "outstanding" contribution to the genre at this year’s Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.
The baroness, who was born in 1920, began writing in the 1950s and is best known for her Adam Dalgleish detective novels and the TV series "An Unsuitable job for a Woman", adapted from her books.
She said that the Theakston's Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award "coming in my 91st year, means a great deal to me".
Simon Theakston, Theakstons executive director, said: "Few are as prolific as she, dominating the genre for over 50 years. This award acknowledges that immense achievement."
James said: "It is always a satisfaction and an encouragement for a writer to win a prize, but I am particularly proud to be honoured by the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award because it comes from Harrogate, a town which it is always a delight to visit and which is the home of one of the most distinguished and pleasurable English literary festivals.
"I look forward very much to being in this beautiful town again and to receiving an award which, coming in my 91st year, means a great deal to me."
The £3,000 Crime Novel of the Year prize will be awarded on the same night, the 21st July, by radio broadcaster Mark Lawson. The shortlist, voted for by the public, comprises: From the Dead by Mark Billingham; Blood Harvest by S J Bolton; 61 Hours by Lee Child; Dark Blood by Stuart MacBride (Harper Fiction); The Holy Thief by William Ryan; and The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor.