RJ Ellory, award-winning author of crime novels such as A Simple Act of Violence and A Quiet Belief in Angels was blasted by fellow crime writer Jeremy Duns for posting glowing reviews of his own work on Amazon under the pseudonym "Nicodemus Jones."

After Duns exposed Ellory on Twitter, the author had no choice but to fess up to calling A Quiet Belief in Angels "a modern masterpiece" that "will touch your soul."

"The recent reviews... are my responsibility and my responsibility alone," Ellory said in a statement. "I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community."

The 2010 Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel of the year prize winner didn't just heap praise on himself — he also used him Amazon nom de plume to negatively review the novels of his competitors.

The Crime Writers Association issued its own statement to decry the practice, which Duns called "very widespread."

"We are concerned that they are being misleading to readers and we feel this practice is unfair to authors," the association said in its statement. "It does not fit with our ethos." With that in mind, the group said it was considering codifying its ethos for the benefit of members.

[screengrab via YouTube]