Saturday, 2 May 2009

Cartier Diamond Dagger Award 2009

Whilst New York was pre-occupied with Edgar week, on Tuesday 28 April The Crime Writers Association was bestowing its most prestigious award on one of its best known and respected crime writers. The 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger Award was presented to British author Andrew Taylor by Arnaud Bamberger the Managing Director of Cartier. The Award ceremony was held in the boutique hotel The Gore Hotel in Kensington.

Andrew Taylor is the best-selling author of the Richard-and-Judy choice The American Boy and the highly-acclaimed Bleeding Heart Square, which was shortlisted for the 2008 Ellis Peters Historical Award. He is also the only crime-writer to have won the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger twice. First for The Office of the Dead in 2001 and again in 2003 for The American Boy. His first novel Caroline Miniscule won the John Creasey Award in 1982. Andrew Taylor has been short-listed for numerous awards here in the UK and abroad including the Gold Dagger and the Edgar Award.

Amongst those present at the ceremony were a number of fellow Cartier Award Winners – Colin Dexter, H(arry )R.F Keating, Margaret Yorke and Peter Lovesey. It was a delight to see them especially Colin Dexter and Harry Keating both whom I hadn’t seen for some time. The ceremony was started by the out going Chair of the CWA Lesley Horton who introduced the incoming Chair Margaret Murphy. After handing over to Mr Bamberger who gave his usual speech about “super-sleuths” and the long-standing and continuing relationship that Cartier had with the CWA and the Diamond Dagger Award it was Andrew’s turn in the spotlight and after being toasted to celebrate the Award he delighted all of us present by starting his response to Mr Bamberger’s speech in French.

The recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award is chosen by the members and committee of the CWA and is very much an honour awarded by the author's peers and thus makes it special. It was widely acknowledged that Andrew Taylor was a worthy recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award this year. His books are widely read especially the Roth Trilogy, the Lydmouth Series and of course The American Boy which propelled him to a wider readership as a result of it being included in a Richard and Judy selection.

Also present at the ceremony were my fellow reviewers Ali Karim whose report can be found at the rapsheet, Mike Stotter, Editor of Shots, Adrian Muller and Myles Alfrey the co-hosts of Crimefest and a large number of fellow crime writers including Natasha Cooper, Philip Gooden, Robert Richardson, Lindsey Davies (former Chairs of the CWA), Priscilla Masters and Laura Wilson to name a few.

It was a delightful evening and it was a testament to the high regard that Andrew Taylor is held by his fellow crime writers that there were so many people in attendance. Huge congratulations to Andrew Taylor on his award. It was without a shadow of a doubt well deserved.

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