Month: May 2019

The 2019 CWA Daggers – longlists announced

As has become traditional the CWA Dagger longlists were announced at Crimefest in Bristol earlier this month. The Diamond Dagger has already been confirmed and the shortlists for the remainder will be announced in July. The winners of all the CWA Daggers will be announced at the Dagger Awards Dinner to be held on 24 October.

The Diamond Dagger – selected from nominations provided by CWA members – 2019 winner is Robert Goddard and the award will be presented at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner in October.

The longlists for the following daggers were announced during Crimefest and the shortlists will be announced in July.

Gold Dagger

All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

Snap by Belinda Bauer

The Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin

The Puppet Show by M W Craven

Body and Soul by John Harvey

What We Did by Christobel Kent

Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon

Fade to Grey by  John Lincoln

Cold Bones by David Mark

American By Day by Derek B. Miller

Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

Salt Lane by William Shaw

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

The Fire Court by Andrew Taylor

A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better by Benjamin Wood



Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Give Me Your Handby Megan Abbott

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Safe Houses by  Dan Fesperman

The Stranger Diaries by  Elly Griffiths

No Tomorrow by Luke Jennings

Lives Laid Away by Stephen Mack Jones

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

Homegrown Hero by Khurrum Rahman

To The Lions by Holly Watt

Memo From Turner by Tim Willocks


 John Creasey (New Blood)

Motherland by G D Abson

All the Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

When Darkness Calls by Mark Griffin

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

Turn A Blind Eye by Vicky Newham

Blood and Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Overkill by Vanda Symon


International Dagger

A Long Night in Paris by Dov Alfon, translator Daniella Zamir

Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard, translators Maya Fowler & Isobel Dixon

The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio, translator Howard Curtis

Newcomer by Keigo Higashino, translator Giles Murray

The Root of Evil by Håkan Nesser, translator Sarah Death

The Forger by Cay Rademacher, translator Peter Millar

The Overnight Kidnapper by Andrea Camilleri, translator Stephen Sartarelli

The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl, translator Don Bartlett

Slugger by Martin Holmén, translator A A Prime

The Katherina Code by Jørn Lier Horst, translator Anne Bruce


Non-Fiction Dagger

All That Remains by Sue Black

An Unexplained Death by Mikita Brottman

Trace by Rachael Brown

Murder by the Book by Claire Harman

The Feather Thief by Kirk Johnson

Eve Was Shamed by Helena Kennedy

In Your Defence by Sarah Langford

The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

My Life with Murderers by David Wilson


CWA Short Story Dagger

Room Number Two by Andrea Camilleri in ‘Death at Sea’ by Andrea Camilleri

Strangers in a Pub by Martin Edwards in ‘Ten Year Stretch’, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller

How Many Cats Have You Killed? by Mick Herron in ‘Ten Year Stretch’, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller

Death Becomes Her by Syd Moore in ‘The Strange Casebook’ by Syd Moore,

The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing by Danuta Reah in ‘The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables’

I Detest Mozart by Teresa Solana in ‘The First Historic Serial Killers’ by Teresa Solana

Paradise Gained by TeresaSolana in ‘The First Historic Serial Killers’ by Teresa Solana

Bag Man by Lavie Tidhar in ‘The Outcast Hours’, edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin

Debut Dagger (unpublished writers)

Shelley Burr – Wake

Mairi Campbell-Jack  – Self-Help for Serial Killers: Let Your Creativity Bloom

Jerry Krause – The Mourning Light

Michael Fleming – The Fruits of Rashness

Carol Glaser – Down the Well

Catherine Hendricks – Hardways

Anna Maloney – The Right Man

David Smith – The Firefly

Fran Smith – A Thin Sharp Blade

Matthew Smith – InWolf’s Clothing

Historical Dagger

Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Destroying Angel by S G Maclean

Gallows Court by Martin Edwards

Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

Tombland by C J Sansom

The Angel’s Mark by S W Perry

The House on Half Moon Street by Alex Reeve

The Mathematical Bridge by Jim Kelly

The Mobster’s Lament by Ray Celestin

The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney



Dagger in the Library longlist

M C Beaton

Simon Beckett

Mark Billingham

Christopher Brookmyre

John Connolly

Kate Ellis

Sophie Hannah

Graham Masterton

Denise Mina

C J Sansom

Cath Staincliffe

Jacqueline Winspear


So how’s your reading going – will you have read enough to judge a category for yourself?


Dark Vineyard – Martin Walker

71h0Mf4nPQLTitle – Dark Vineyard

Author – Martin Walker

Published – 2009

Genre – Crime fiction

I’m starting this review with a bit of an unrelated moan, but WordPress has been driving me mad of late. I use a Mac and haven’t been able to open WordPress via Safari for weeks. Having established that’s the issue I’ve had to install a different browser and although I have access again I now can’t persuade the browser or WordPress to do any spellchecks. I seem to be spending a lot of time trying to fix things that a few weeks ago weren’t broken and my ‘to review’ pile is just getting bigger & bigger!

But back to the point of this post – my review of the second book in the ‘Bruno, Chief of Police’ series ‘Dark Vineyard’. While I felt that the first book (Death in the Dordogne) wasn’t quite as good as the later books I’ve read, I thought this one was up to the standard I’ve come to expect.

There is only really one mystery that gets this book started and that’s who has set fire to a field of GMO crops – could it be a disgrunted local or an environmental activist? As the investigation into the fire begins a Californian wine producer, Bondino, meets with the Mayor to make a business proposition, one that will change life in St Denis, however he won’t pursue the deal if there is a hint of any futher trouble. The proposal adds a political dimension to the plot, pitting tradition against progress, and Bruno is under some pressure from the Mayor to reach the right conclusion speedily.

As ever, Bruno draws on his local knowledge to take the investigation in the right direction and that puts one of the young men from the rugby club, Max, in the spotlight.   He has strong environmental credentials and plans a future in wine production, he also seems to be a rival for the affections of Jacqueline, a young, Canadian student of wine who has been linked romantically with Bondino.

As the investigation into the fire progresses and the day-to-day life of the town carries on there are two further deaths which while odd aren’t necessarily anything more than accidents, although their timing could suit Bondino who, as an outsider, would make the perfect suspect for Bruno.

Bruno’s love life continues to feature – his ‘on/off’ relationship with Isabelle, as she pressures him to follow her to Paris and a new romance sparks on his doorstep. One of the disadvantages of reading the series out of order is knowing how these things will pan out.

Wine production features heavily in this book – adding to my knowledge from Proof by Dick Francis and more recently All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo (which was excellent & I must write up my review). The book, as with the others in the series, evokes the location – if I ever visit the Périgord Martin Walker will be have to take some responsibility. Bruno also conjours up more of his remarkable meals, the notable one featuring ‘bécasses’ which I had to Google afterwards and are woodcocks (not a dish I plan to order!).

An engaging read with a charming yet fallible lead character, an idyllic setting (despite the increasing bodycount) and some aspirational lifestyles, I do enjoy this series. I note that, jumping ahead, the twelfth book in the series, The Body in the Castle Well, is due out in June.