Jenny Blackford: crime writer, poet and short story writer

Jenny Blackford, the winner of the 2020 Davitt (Best Children’s Crime Novel), was put through her paces for this week’s Murder Mondays interview by Sisters in Crime’s national co-convenor, Karina Kilmore.

(Click on the image below to go to the YouTube recording.)






Jenny, who hails from Newcastle, is a better known as poet and has published three wonderfully named collections: The Alpaca Cantos, The Loyalty of Chickens and The Duties of a Cat (hmmm bit of a theme there!) She also won the 2017 Thunderbolt crime award for poetry and was a judge this year.

Jenny has published a number of short stories and poems and won two prizes in the Sisters in Crime’s Scarlet Stiletto Awards in 2016 for a murder mystery set in classical Delphi, with water nymphs. But her Davitt winning book, The Girl in the Mirror  (Eagle Books, an imprint of Christmas Press), is your first foray into crime novel writing.

The Davitt Judges were enthusiastic. They said:

“Separated by more than a hundred years, and brought together through a mysterious mirror, Maddie and Clarissa provide comfort and wisdom at a time when they feel desperately alone. The girls band together to defeat a creeping evil that threatens the lives of their families.

“The Girl in the Mirror is a refreshingly contemporary time-slip mystery. Maddie and Clarissa are intensely relatable with their shared frustrations at the way in which they are dismissed by the adults in their lives. Jenny Blackford has captured the pains of early adolescence – loneliness, fear, uncertainty – in a gripping mystery that is perfectly pitched to the middle readers who will love it.”

Murders Mondays are available on Sisters in Crime YouTube channel at 6pm on Mondays. Previous guests include Susan Hurley, Emma Viskic, Meg Mundell, J. P. Powell, Kerry Greenwood, Lili Wilkinson, Petronella McGovern, Heather Rose, Malla Nunn, Sara Paretsky, Judith Rossell, Sulari Gentill, Sarah Epstein, Mirandi Riwoe, Kerry McGinnis, Kathy Reichs, Ellie Marney, Katherine Kovacic, Candice Fox, Anne Buist, Dervla McTiernan and Val McDermid.