The 2016 CWA Dagger Shortlists

daggers-iconThere are currently ten daggers awarded annually by the Crime Writer’s Association but the timings of the long and shortlists for the awards and the presentation have changed a little this year. The longlists were announced at Crimefest in Bristol in May, the shortlists announced at the end of July and, according to the Crime Readers Association:

And this year you can be present when the winners are announced! The event, which will take place on 11 October 2016 at the Grange City Hotel in London, will be open to everyone. A glittering do attended by publishers, agents and of course hopeful authors, all ten of the CWA’s prestigious Dagger Awards will in 2016 be awarded at the one must-attend event.

The speaker will be James Runcie, author of The Grantchester Mysteries, as seen on TV.

Tickets are £99 for non-CWA members. Apply to for more information and see details which will shortly be up on both the CRA and CWA websites.

The ten Daggers are:

The Diamond Dagger – selected from nominations provided by CWA members – 2016 winner is Peter James and the award was presented during Crimefest this May.

The longlists for the following daggers were announced during Crimefest and the shortlists published today (28 July).

Goldsboro Gold shortlist

Dodgers by Bill Beverly
Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre
Real Tigers by Mick Herron
Blood Salt Water by Denise Mina

Ian Fleming Steel shortlist

The Cartel by Don Winslow
The English Spy by Daniel Silva
Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
Real Tigers by Mick Herron
Make Me by Lee Child

 John Creasey (New Blood) shortlist

Fever City by Tim Baker
Dodgers by Bill Beverly
Freedom’s Child by Jax Miller
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle 

International shortlist

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango translated by Imogen Taylor
The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaître translated by Frank Wynne
Icarus by Deon Meyer translated by K L Seegers
The Murderer in Ruins by Cay Rademacher translated by Peter Millar
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama translated by Jonathan Lloyd-Davis

Non-Fiction shortlist

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
Sexy Beasts: The Hatton Garden Mob by Wensley Clarkson
You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat) by Andrew Hankinson
A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding
Jeremy Hutchinson’s Case Histories by Thomas Grant
John le Carré: The Biography by Adam Sisman

Short Story longlist

As Alice Did by Andrea Camilleri from Montalbano’s First Cases
On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier by John Connolly from Nocturnes 2: Night Music
Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository by John Connolly from Nocturnes 2: Night Music
Bryant & May and the Nameless Woman by Christopher Fowler from London’s Glory Bantam
Stray Bullets by Alberto Barrera from Tyszka Crimes
Rosenlaui by Conrad Williams  from The Adventures of Moriarty: The Secret Life of Sherlock Holmes’s Nemesis edited by Maxim Jakubowski 

Debut (unpublished writers) shortlist

Dark Valley by John Kennedy
The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins
A Reconstructed Man by Graham Brack
A State of Grace by Rita Catching
Wimmera by Mark Brandi 

Endeavour Historical shortlist

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby
The Other Side of Silence by Philip Kerr
A Book of Scars by William Shaw
The Jazz Files by Fiona Veitch Smith
Striking Murder by A. J. Wright
Stasi Child by David Young

Dagger in the Library shortlist

Tony Black
Alison Bruce
Elly Griffiths
Quintin Jardine

I had hoped that once the lists were whittled down to the shortlist, and with the final results not being announced until October, I might manage to read a whole category. Looking at the proportion of the shortlists that I have already read books in, however (just one title) I think it’s unlikely.

So how’s your reading going – will you have read enough to judge a category? I see both Dodgers and Real Tigers appear on two lists – I’m not sure if that points to potential winners. I’ve heard good things about Mick Herron’s book but nothing about Dodgers.

Do you think there are any surprises here?



  1. I must admit, I’m disappointed with the lack of range of the Historical category – two from the late Victorian era and the rest from the twnetieth century. I do hope they considered books set in earlier times, but this isn’t the first time…

    1. I agree – technically they might be historical but not quite what the word means to me. Logic suggests there should be a wider spread of periods if you took the whole sub-genre…

      1. I wonder how the shortlist is put together. There’s such a lot out there of historical crime fiction, from Ancient Egypt to 1969 (at least) and it can’t be all to one person’s taste…

      2. Perhaps it’s just down to the publishers & who they put forward… I agree that there’s great fiction across lots of periods.

  2. I’ve read some excellent reviews of Dodgers from notable reviewers – a bunch of corner boys – like those from the Wire, but from LA, and who’ve never left their area – head across country to assassinate a judge in rural Wisconsin. I’m actually surprised how many I’ve read – I’ll be cheering for Black Widow by Brookmyre; a very twisty book in which he fools you constantly, with a fabulously shocking ending. Mina’s Blood Salt Water is good, but by no means her best. And Quintin Jardine for Dagger In The Library? Please, no!
    Totally agree with the comments about historical fiction, too, much as I love some of the books on the shortlist. And I must look into The English Spy by Daniel Silva – I love a good spy novel, but haven’t come across this one. I’ll try and read some more after Bloody Scotland! And many thanks for all the details on the awards – much appreciated!

    1. Pleased to see someone has read more than I have. Appearing in two categories certainly suggests Dodgers should be worth a read – thanks for the tip.
      I quite enjoy Jardine’s books – if not him then Elly Griffiths?

      1. Definitely – no disrespect to the work of the other two – I haven’t read Alison Bruce yet, but she’s on my Kindle – but I thought it was for the winner’s body of work, and I’m not sure if I’d consider them to have written enough novels. Tony Black is a real talent though. Maybe it’s just as you get older you start thinking, “They’ve not been around very long!” Quintin does have a huge body of work, that’s for sure! I read a couple years ago and thought they were awful, but everyone deserves a second chance, so I requested his latest from NetGalley, and I’ll be as neutral as I can! (My friend did his PhD in Scottish Crime Fiction – it was published and is called, you guessed it, Tartan Noir – and he only tore two authors to bits, and Quintin was one of them!)

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