Also, from the Guardian:
Speaking to the Guardian earlier today, the chairman of the judges, Val McDermid, was keen to claim Penny's novel for the crime fiction genre. "This is a book about a murder and its consequences," she said, "and that's a crime novel almost by definition."
According to McDermid, the distinction between crime and literary fiction is becoming increasingly blurred and irrelevant. She described the decision as a straightforward judgment on the quality of the books in front of the panel: "The consensus was that this was the outstanding book."
The judges had no intention to shift the public's perception of crime fiction, she said, adding that crime writers have been writing quality fiction for years. "If it changes people's attitude to crime fiction that's a bonus," she continued, "but it wasn't the judges' motivation."