The shortlist for the 2019 Staunch Book Prize, also known as ‘the prize for thrillers that steer clear of violence against women,’ is here, and Transatlantic Agency is thrilled to see that HONEY by Brenda Books is in the running.

 The jury, composed of Bridget Lawless, Baroness Lola Young, Dr. Dominic Willmott, and Elaine Richard, had the following note for Brooks’ HONEY: 

“Brenda Brooks drops us straight into the life-on-hold of Nicole Hewitt, casino piano player trapped in smalltown Buckthorn. In an opening nod to Rebecca, Brooks takes the wheel with the smart style and knowing sass of Barbara Kingsolver or Gillian Flynn. With an atmosphere that David Lynch would be proud of, we’re in safe hands for gripping modern noir.”

When 24-year-old Nicole Hewett’s beloved childhood friend, Honey, returns to their small northern town after an unexplained six-year absence, Nicole realizes how her life had stalled without her. But the prodigal returns with troubling secrets, and before long Nicole is drawn into a high-stakes game. HONEY is a thrilling, sensuous modern noir novel with a classic refrain: nothing is more dangerous than love.

The winner is announced November 25th.

Brenda Brooks is represented by Samantha Haywood.