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?


Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award – 2019 longlist

I wasn’t particularly planning to keep up the series of posts I did last year for the various crime fiction awards but when the longest for this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award was published I was pleased to see that I’ve read a few of the book son the list. The full longest is:

Snap by Belinda Bauer (Transworld)

Our House by Louise Candlish (Simon & Schuster UK)

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh (Hachette)

Wild Fire by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan)

This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)

London Rules by Mick Herron (John Murray Press)

Broken Ground by Val McDermid (Little, Brown Book Group)

The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney (HarperCollins)

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry (Canongate Books)

East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman (HarperCollins)

Hell Bay by Kate Rhodes (Simon & Schuster UK)

Salt Lane by William Shaw (Quercus)

The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor (Penguin Random House)

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan (Simon & Schuster UK)

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski (Orenda Books)

It’s interesting to see Snap on the list as it was on the Man Booker longlist, The Quaker took The McIlvanney Prize (Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the best Scottish Crime book of the year) and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle won the 2018 Costa First Novel Award. Alongside these winners are some of the really big names writing crime fiction at the moment. I’ve not read enough from the list to feel I can make a call on the winner, or even the shortlist, but it’s definitely a great list of crime books from the last year, if you were looking for more books for your TBR pile.

Any omissions that you would have liked to have seen included?

The Ngaio Marsh Awards 2018

Update: And the winner is… announced on 1st September at WORD Christchurch, the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards winners are Jennifer Lane (Best First Novel) and Alan Carter (Best Novel).

This is a post I need to get in quickly before I’m too late and the winners of these awards are announced! The Ngaio Marsh Awards, as you might imagine, celebrate crime, mystery, thriller and suspense writing by New Zealand authors (citizens – wherever they live in world – and residents) and have been doing so since 2010.

There are two awards – Best Crime Novel and Best First Novel with submissions for the 2018 awards being from books published in New Zealand in 2017. In May the longlist for the Best Crime Novel was announced and in July the two shortlists were published.

Best Crime Novel (shortlisted novels in bold)

  • Marlborough Man (Alan Carter, Fremantle Press) winner
  • Baby (Annaleese Jochems, VUP)
  • See You In September (Charity Norman, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Lost Taonga (Edmund Bohan, Lucano)
  • The Easter Make Believers (Finn Bell, self-published)
  • The Only Secret Left To Keep (Katherine Hayton, self-published)
  • Tess (Kirsten Mcdougall, VUP)
  • The Sound of Her Voice (Nathan Blackell, Mary Egan Publishing)
  • A Killer Harvest (Paul Cleave, Upstart Press)
  • The Hidden Room (Stella Duffy, Virago)

Best First Novel

  • The Floating Basin (Carolyn Hawes, self-published)
  • Broken Silence (Helen Vivienne Fletcher, HVF Publishing)
  • All Our Secrets (Jennifer Lane, Rose Mira Books) winner
  • The Sound of Her Voice (Nathan Blackwell, Mary Egan Publishing)
  • Nothing Bad Happens Here (Nikki Crutchley, Oak House Press)

The finalists will be celebrated, and the winners announced as part of a special event at the WORD Christchurch Festival, due to be held from 29 August to 2 September.

Crime fiction and the Man Booker 2018

In my series of posts featuring awards for crime fiction I hadn’t particularly anticipated that I would also be including the Man Booker. In their own words “the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK”, it is perceived as being for ‘literary fiction’ and as such has been criticised for excluding books in more commercial genres.

In recent years there have been signs that this is changing. In 2015 A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James took the prize, and if not crime fiction it certainly shares some similarities with the genre. In 2016 His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet made it on to the shortlist – although historical and despite the author’s apparent argument against it being a crime novel – was as much a crime novel as many others. In the same year Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh was also shortlisted, with a thriller if not crime fiction (there is a fine line there somewhere) which was, according to the author, a deliberate exercise in playing with the format of commercial fiction to get the attention of a big publisher. The longlist for 2017 included Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, which had all the trappings of crime fiction but developed into something more ‘literary’.

So what of 2018? The first noteworthy change is the inclusion of crime writer Val McDermid on the judging panel. And the second is that the longlist includes a book that is definitely and unequivocally a crime novel (and which coincidentally includes a quote from Val McDermid on the cover) and that’s Snap by Belinda Bauer.  Why shouldn’t this be crime fiction’s year?

The full longlist is:

From the UK:

Snap by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press)

Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber)

In Our Mad And Furious City by Guy Gunaratne (Tinder Press)

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (Jonathan Cape)

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (Hamish Hamilton)

The Long Take Robin Robertson by (Picador)

From the USA

Sabrina by Nick Drnaso (Granta Books)

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner (Jonathan Cape)

The Overstory by Richard Powers  (William Heinemann)

From Canada

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail)

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape)

From Ireland

Normal People by Sally Rooney (Faber & Faber)

From A Low And Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)

The timeline for the award is longlist announced 24 July, shortlist announced 20 September and the announcement of winner takes place in London’s Guildhall at a black-tie dinner on 16 October.

2018 awards – round-up of winners

As I seem to have put together a few posts around awards this year I thought it may be worth have a single post where I consolidate the results for the year. I know I’ll find it useful come December!

The Edgars are the awards of Mystery Writers of America I’ve found that a number of the winners have been books and authors that have been popular on this side to the Atlantic too so although not dedicated to UK crime fiction the winners are worth a look.

Best NovelBluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke 

Best First Novel by an American Author – She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper 

Best Paperback OriginalThe Unseeing by Anna Mazzola – review

Best Fact Crime – Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann 

Best Critical / Biographical – Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson 

The Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award – The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman 

Best Short Story – “Spring Break”New Haven Noir by John Crowley 

Best Juvenile – Vanished! By James Ponti 

Best Young AdultLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

Robert L Fish Memorial Award – “The Queen of Secrets” – New Haven Noir by Lisa D. Gray (Akashic Books)

Ellery Queen Award – Robert Pépin

The awards presented during Crimefest:

Audible Sounds of Crime Award  –  The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney read by Emilia Fox, Finty Williams & Lise Aagaard Knudsen

eDunnit Award –  The Late Show by Michael Connelly 

H.R.F. Keating Award Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang by Mike Ripley 

Last Laugh Award –  Spook Street by Mick Herron 

Best Crime Novel for Children (aged 8-12) –  A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan 

Best Crime Novel for Young Adults (12-16)Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence 

The Petrona Award –  Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito,translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles 

Then we have the awards announcements from Theakston Old Peculier crime writing festival in Harrogate:

Crime Novel of the Year AwardThe Intrusions  by Stav Sherez (Faber & Faber)

Award for an outstanding contribution to crime fictionJohn Grisham

And also announced over the weekend were the winners of the Dead Good Reader Awards:

The Holmes and Watson Award for Best Detective Duo – Ruth Galloway and Harry Nelson, Elly Griffiths

The Whodunnit Award for the Book That Keeps You Guessing – Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh 

The Cabot Cove Award for Best Small Town Mystery – The Chalk Man by C J Tudor 

The Wringer Award for the Character Who’s Been Put Through It AllJack Reacher by Lee Child 

The House of Horrors Award for Most Dysfunctional FamilyThen She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 

The Dead Good Recommends Award for Most Recommended BookThe Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths 

On 1st September the winner of the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards were announced as:

Best First NovelAll Our Secrets by Jennifer Lane

Best Crime Novel Marlborough Man by Alan Carter

On 21St September, the first night of Bloody Scotland, the winner of the Bloody Scotland McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year was announced as:

The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

On 27th September the winner of Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award for Contemporary Fiction 2018 was announced as:

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

The winners of the CWA Daggers were announced on 25th October at a gala dinner:

Gold Dagger (best crime novel)The Liar by Steve Cavanagh

Ian Fleming Steel (best thriller) – Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

John Creasey (New Blood) Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

InternationalAfter the Fire by Henning Mankell tr Marlaine Delargy

Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction – Blood on The Page by Thomas Harding

Short StoryNemo Me Impune Lacessit, by Denise Mina from Bloody Scotland

Debut (unpublished writers) – Winner: The Eternal Life of Ezra Ben Simeon by Bill Crotty Highly Commended: Riverine Blood by Joseph James

Historical – Nucleus by Rory Clements

Dagger in the LibraryMartin Edwards

The HWA Crowns were announced in November with three categories of award.

The Sharpe Books HWA Gold Crown for historical fiction – To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothmann, translated by Shaun Whiteside

The Non-fiction Crown – White King: Charles I – Traitor, Martyr, Murderer by Leanda de Lisle

The HWA Debut Crown – Estoril by Dejan Tiago-Stankovic


Do you choose books because they’ve won awards? Are there any on this list that appeal to you?

The 2018 CWA Daggers – shortlists

Update: The winners were announced last night (25th October) and are in bold.

In addition an extra award was presented – Ali Karim, Mike Stotter, and Ayo Onatade of Shots Ezine and David Stuart Davies, editor of the CWA’s Red Herrings magazine all received a special Red Herring Award for services to the genre.

Following the announcement of the CWA Dagger longlists in May the shortlists have now been confirmed.

The only tips I can offer are for the Steel Dagger – Bluebird, Bluebird, it’s a book that featured on many reviewers’ ‘best of 2017’ lists and scooped ‘Best Novel’ at The Edgars earlier this year. Another book that was a winner at The Edgars was Killers of the Flower Moon which won in ‘Best Fact Crime’. Other than that I’m currently clueless!

The Diamond Dagger – selected from nominations provided by CWA members – 2018 winner is Michael Connelly and the award will be presented at the CWA Dagger Awards Dinner in October.

The shortlists for the following daggers were announced on 25 July with the winners being presented at the CWA dinner in October.

Gold Dagger

The Liar by Steve Cavanagh
London Rules by Mick Herron
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

London Rules by Mick Herron
If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth
The Chalk Man by C J Tudor
The Force by Don Winslow

 John Creasey (New Blood)

Gravesend by William Boyle
I.Q. by Joe Ide
Girl In Snow by Danya Kukafka
Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love
East Of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman
Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic

International Dagger

Zen and the Art of Murder by Oliver Bottini Tr. Jamie Bulloch
Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre Tr. Frank Wynne
After the Fire by Henning Mankell Tr. Marlaine Delargy
The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet Tr. Don Bartlett
Offering to the Storm by Dolores Redondo Tr. Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garzía
The Accordionist by Fred Vargas Tr. Sian Reynolds

Non-Fiction Dagger

Black Dahlia Red Rose by Piu Eatwell
Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann
Blood On The Page by Thomas Harding
The Fact Of A Body  by Alexandria Mariano-Lesnevich
A False Report by T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong
Rex v Edith Thompson by Laura Thompson

CWA Short Story Dagger

The Last Siege of Bothwell Castle by Chris Brookmyre
from Bloody Scotland ( Historic Environment Scotland)

Second Son by Lee Child
from No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories (Bantam Press)

Smoking Kills by Erin Kelly
from “The Body” Killer Women Crime Club Anthology 2 Edited by Susan Opie (Killer Women Ltd)

Nemo Me Impune Lacessit by Denise Mina
from Bloody Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland)

Accounting for Murder by Christine Poulson
from Mystery Tour: CWA Anthology of Short Stories Edited by Martin Edwards (Orenda Books)

Debut Dagger (unpublished writers)

Bill Crotty – The Eternal Life of Ezra Ben Simeon
Luke Melia – The Last Googling of Beth Bailly
Joseph James – Riverine Blood – highly commended
Linda McLaughlin – Original Sins
Sherryl Clark – Trust Me, I’m Dead

Historical Dagger

A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
Fire by L. C. Tyler
Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen
Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy
Nine Lessons by Nicola Upson
Nucleus by Rory Clements

Dagger in the Library longlist

Martin Edwards
Nicci French
Simon Kernick
Edward Marston
Peter May
Rebecca Tope

So how’s your reading going – have read enough to judge a category for yourself? Any tips for the winners?

Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award – winner 2018

At the opening night of Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival the winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award was announced and from the shortlist of 6 books Stav Sherez took the top spot with The Intrusions. This a book I’ve yet to read but I’ve been extremely impressed by Stav’s previous books (my review of Eleven Days here) which deliver beautifully written, thought-provoking, crime fiction.

In the absence of my own review you can read one from Vicky Newham, I like the tip on a potential award winner at the end of this review by Craig Sisterson, and finally one from Rob on The View from the Blue House.