“I Spy” Annual 2
Paul Thomas has been a full-time writer since 1992. He is the author of eight novels and a collection of short stories and has been described as “the Godfather of New Zealand crime fiction” for his ground breaking series featuring Māori detective Tito Ihaka. The late Nigel Cox said the first Ihaka novel, Old School Tie, was a debut as significant as Keri Hulme’s Booker prize-winning The Bone People – but “with jokes”.
The early Ihaka novels were a major catalyst of the subsequent flowering of New Zealand crime fiction. The second, Inside Dope, won the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia’s inaugural Ned Kelly award for crime novel of the year. Death on Demand won the Ngaio Marsh award and was UK crime fiction guru Mike Ripley’s 2013 crime novel of the year. The Ihaka novels have been translated into several languages and published in a number of countries, including the UK and the USA. Paul also wrote the screenplay for the tele-movie Ihaka: Blunt Instrument.
Paul’s eight books on sport include collaborations with All Black greats John Kirwan and Tana Umaga. He writes a weekly sports column and fortnightly current affairs essay for the New Zealand Listener.
“My mother was a fan of Agatha Christie’s crime novels, so I got into them at an early age. But the fiction that made the biggest impression on me was Ronald Welch’s Carey family series, twelve novels following the adventures of successive generations of Welsh aristocratic military men from the Crusades to the First World War. By coincidence, the Carey family seat was in Llansteffan, a village in West Wales where my father grew up. I also devoured anything and everything – comics, stories, and history – all related to the Wild West.”