Hilary Mantel favourite to pick up Costa Book Award
CRITICS favourite Hilary Mantel is expected to pick up another prize tonight for her best-seller, Bring Up The Bodies, at the Costa Book Awards.
The writer, who won the Man Booker Prize last year for the same novel, is the bookmakers' favourite to win the prestigious literary award.
The book, the second in a planned trilogy about King Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell, is one of five titles shortlisted for the prize.
It is up against a comic-style graphic memoir about James Joyce's daughter, Dotter of her Father's Eyes, by husband and wife team Mary and Bryan Talbot, and children's book Maggot Moon by dyslexic writer Sally Gardner.
The shortlist is completed by poet Kathleen Jamie's collection The Overhaul and Francesca Segal's first novel, The Innocents.
Bookmakers William Hill have Mantel as 5-4 favourite followed by Segal at 3-1 and Dotter of her Father's Eyes at 4-1.
The Overhaul and Maggot Moon are 5-1 and 7-1 respectively.
All five shortlisted writers receive £5,000 each with the overall winner picking up a main prize of £30,000.
The judging panel, chaired by Dame Jenni Murray, includes actress Jenny Agutter, broadcaster Katie Derham and writer DJ Taylor, will announce the winner at a ceremony at Quaglino's restaurant in central London.
Costa managing director Christopher Rogers said: "Once again, our judges have selected five terrific books as Award winners from the various categories.
"We're very proud to be announcing such a diverse and excellent collection of books which we know people will enjoy reading."
Last year's winner was historical novel Pure by Andrew Miller.