Vernon author wins international award

Jim Osborne’s novel, The Maidstone Conspiracy, chosen as winner of Indie Book award

  • Nov. 5, 2017 9:30 a.m.

A mystery novel written by a Vernon author has won an international award.

London-based McGrath House has announced that The Maidstone Conspiracy by James Osborne was chosen as Best Novel of 2017 in the contemporary fiction category.

“It caught me quite off guard,” Osborne said. “It’s a wonderful honour.”

The British firm said in a statement that Osborne’s novel was one of five from around the world selected by a panel of judges to be a finalist in that category. The winners in each of nine categories were chosen based on votes from readers and supporters.

McGrath House said, “the Indie Book Awards recognize books of exceptional merit published by traditional independent publishers,” which they define as companies not part of the five international publishing conglomerates.

This is the second major award for The Maidstone Conspiracy. The novel placed second last year for Best Mystery Novel of 2015 in an international readers’ poll conducted by the writers website, Preditors&Editors Inc.

Osborne said he believes his novel came to the attention of McGrath House as the result of two short stories he donated free this past spring for a fundraising book that the firm was spearheading.

“The book, called Limitless, is an anthology of uplifting and happy stories and poems to raise funds for the AMAR Foundation. The foundation helps families in the Middle East get re-established after the wars there,” he said. “Prince Charles is the foundation’s patron, so I guess we’re in good company.”

The anthology contains 39 short stories chosen from among hundreds donated by writers and poets in countries all around the world.

Osborne is also the author of The Ultimate Threat, a novel about ISIS that became a Number One bestseller on Amazon, and Encounters With Life, a collection of his short stories that an international readers’ poll chose as the Best Short Story Collection of 2015.

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