Vernon author wins international award

Secret Shepherd by James Osborne won an award for best mystery novel

James Osborne’s Secret Shepherd has won an international mystery award. (Photo submitted)

A novel by a Vernon author has won an international mystery award: the author’s second in as many years.

Secret Shepherd was released last November and, two months later, was nominated for the Critique Writers Workshop Award for Best Mystery Novel of 2018. Voting in the competition is open to readers, writers and fans from around the world.

Secret Shepherd has also received praise from a number of other sources, including noted New York editor, Lois W. Stern, who called the book, “A magnificent story of love and hope prevailing in a world under siege.”

“I was floored when I learned my novel had won,” author James Osborne said. “It had some stiff competition among the 20 mystery novels nominated for that award. I’m told that voters scrutinize closely all nominations, so I’m deeply honoured by this award.”

Related: Vernon author’s fourth novel receives acclaim

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The Critique Writers Workshop, which its 15,000 members affectionately call the Critter’s Workshop, offers 39 categories of awards ranging from young children’s books to Best Publisher.

Secret Shepherd is Osborne’s fourth book, and the second in a three-book trilogy called The Maidstone Series. The series began with his award-winning mystery novel The Maidstone Conspiracy. It was awarded Best Mystery Novel of 2017 in a competition sponsored by McGrath House Agency in London, UK.

His debut novel, The Ultimate Threat, was also well received, becoming a No. 1 bestseller on Amazon shortly after its release in 2015. It reached the list a second time, in 2018, ranking in the No. 2 spot between two re-released novels by Tom Clancy, in No. 1 and No. 3.

“That’s awesome company,” Osborne said.

Asked what’s on his agenda now, he said that he’s writing the third book in his Maidstone Series and is developing a plot for a sequel to The Ultimate Threat.

“I’m also editing my second volume of short stories,” Osborne added. “Life is good.”


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