Murder mystery puzzle collection named book of the year

A murder mystery puzzle book has become the first puzzle collection to be named book of the year at the British Book Awards.

Murdle by GT Karber was announced as overall book of the year at a ceremony at Grosvenor House in London, where Rory Stewart’s Politics On The Edge pipped memoirs by the Duke of Sussex and Britney Spears to win in the non-fiction category.


Murdle is the first puzzle book to win the award, with previous winners including EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, David Nicholls’ One Day, and Sally Rooney’s acclaimed romantic novel, Normal People.

The go-to gift for armchair detectives everywhere, Karber’s non-fiction book is described as “100 simple to impossible mysteries to solve using logic, skill, and the power of deduction” and smashed sales expectations last year when it topped the UK charts in December, taking the Christmas number one spot.

The American author and computer programmer created a website, also called Murdle, which featured daily murder-mystery games after being inspired by Wordle, the web-based word game.

Murdle (Macmillan)
Murdle (Macmillan)

He went on to publish the first volume of Murdle in book form in 2023. It also won the non-fiction: lifestyle and illustrated book of the year prize at the ceremony.

Former MP Stewart won the non fiction: narrative book of the year prize for his tell-all insider account of UK Parliament, defeating Prince Harry’s Spare and Spears’s The Woman In Me.

It was a good night for children’s publishing as Katherine Rundell was named author of the year, making her the first children’s writer to be awarded the title since Philip Pullman in 2018.

She joins fellow winners from previous years: Marian Keyes, Richard Osman, Bernardine Evaristo and Bonnie Garmus.

Rundell’s Impossible Creatures won the award for children’s fiction book of the year and was nominated for a further four awards.


Rebecca F Kuang won the fiction book of the year prize for the second year in a row, this time taking the gong for Yellowface, a story of a failed writer who, after witnessing her rival die in a freak accident, uses her death to engineer her own success.

Last year, her speculative fiction Babel was awarded the prize.

Another female winner was comedian Fern Brady, whose Strong Female Character, beat offerings by Alan Partridge and David Mitchell to win the audiobook non-fiction award.

The memoir charts the comedian’s life through the lens of her autism diagnosis.