This evening a number of shortlists for the CWA Dagger Awards were announced at a drinks reception.
The shortlists were for the following awards and are as follows:-
Debut Dagger (sponsored by Orion)
All the Precious Things by Jan Napiorkowski (UK)
A Murder in Mumbles by Rick DeMille (USA)
A Place of Dying by Patrick Eden (UK)
Case No 1 by Sandra Graham (Australia)
Chinese Whispers by Alan Carter (Australia)
In the Lion’s Throat by Bob Marriott (New Zealand)
Legacy by Rebecca Brodie (UK)
Lockdown by Danielle Ramsay (UK)
Pretty Preeti by Stephanie Light (India)
Safe Harbour by Rosemary McCracken (Canada)
The Beggar’s Opera by Peggy Blair (Canada)
The Chameleon Factor by Kathleen Stewart (Australia)
Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista Tr. Emily Read, (Bitter Lemon Press)
Hidden in the Norman countryside under the witness protection programme, an American Mafioso and his family each discover a new vocation. Crime fiction that makes you chuckle is rare and this is an exceptional example of the species.
August Heat by Andrea Camilleri Tr. Stephen Sartarelli, (Picador)
The bitter-sweet adventures of Inspector Montalbano have a nostalgic air in this fine short novel. Another summer holiday with his beloved Livia is interrupted by the discovery of a long-hidden murder. Camilleri brilliantly evokes small-town Sicily.
Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason Tr. Victoria Cribb, (Harvill Secker)
Erlendur’s tenacious investigations of old cases, as well as his own life, come together in this dark, moving mystery. Ghosts from his own past haunt his search for long missing persons.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, by Stieg Larsson Tr. Reg Keeland (MacLehose Press)
This exciting and much acclaimed end to what would have been the first of three trilogies maintains the suspense of a complex thriller, while expanding a fascinating cast of characters.
Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer, Tr K.L. Seegers Hodder and Stoughton (originally written in Afrikaans)
Benny Griessel has been put out to pasture, charged with mentoring a disparate group of new South African police officers. Suddenly, he has thirteen hours to save a life and solve a murder. Meyer turns the constraints of the clock into a tour de force of plotting.
The Darkest Room by Johan Theorin Tr Marlaine Delargy, (Black Swan)
Four plot strands whorl around the vortex of an unexplained death. It is impossible to reduce this mysterious novel to ghost story, a police procedural or a gothic tale.
The Judging panel consisted of
Ann Cleeves, non-voting chair, is an award-winning crime writer.
Karen Meek - Library assistant and founder of the Euro Crime website:
Ruth Morse - teaches English Literature at the University of Paris. She is a frequent contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.
John Murray-Browne is a bookseller.
Dagger in the Library
Simon Beckett (Bantam)
Exciting British addition to the forensic arena. Tackles different ground in each novel.
R J Ellory (Orion)
Beautifully crafted, matching lyrical prose with complex characters and taut storylines.
Ariana Franklin (Random House)
Wonderful cast of characters. Wears her research lightly and highlights new aspects of the era
Mo Hayder (Bantam)
Pacy writing. Seamlessly interweaves personal lives of police characters into the plots
Denise Mina (Transworld)
Good plots, strong female characters, excellent dialogue. Brings working class Glasgow to life.
Chris Simms (Orion)
Manchester set police procedural. Well researched and finely plotted.
The judging panel consisted of :-
Mark Benjamin - formerly Team Librarian, Northumberland County Libraries
Karen Fraser - Customer Service Librarian, Shetland Libraries
Cheney Gardner - Reader and Community Services Manager, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
Viki Lagus - Development Librarian, South Tyneside Borough Libraries
Helen McNabb - Stock Manager, Vale of Glamorgan Library Services
John Martin - Development Librarian, Leicestershire County Libraries
Deb Ryan - Senior Librarian, Reader Services, RNIB
Short Story Dagger Award
A Calculated Risk by Sean Chercover (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - In A Calculated Risk scuba diving takes on a new significance on the other side of the law. Subtly and deftly told with a menacing atmosphere.
The Weapon by Jeffrey Deaver (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - High stakes and lack of time are the order of the day in The Weapon. Shaped by today’s headlines it is intriguing, topical and thrilling.
Can You Help Me Out There by Robert Ferrigno (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler - In Can You Help Me Out There Robert Ferrigno has showcased an ability to mix humour with suspense along with having a knack for creating villains that make you smile even as they send chills down our spin.
Boldt's Broken Angel by Ridley Pearson (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler -
With one of the most opening memorable and compelling scenes Boldt's Broken Angel follows Detective Boldt as he tracks down a twisted serial killer. A model thriller.
Like a Virgin by Peter Robinson (Hodder and Stoughton) from The Price of Love - In Like a Virgin a cold case brings back memories of a number of brutal murders and its repercussions. Elegantly written containing many unforgettable images and karma that comes back to haunt you.
Killing Time by Jon Land (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler. - In a Killing Time, time is the enemy of a professional killer after a murder goes terribly wrong. Gruesome, but an intriguing and thoroughly credible story.
Protecting the Innocent by Simon Wood (Mira) from Thriller 2 edited by Clive Cussler.- A stubborn love struck protagonist is not averse to taking a little risk, but how far would you go for love? A tangled tale with horrific consequences for the love struck characters.
Ayo Onatade (Chairperson), crime fiction fan for over 30 years. When not content with running the lives of senior judges she writes for a number of crime fiction websites including Shotsmag.co.uk, Mystery Women and Crimespree Magazine.
Simon Brett is the author of over eighty books, many of which are crime novels, including the Charles Paris, Mrs Pargeter, Fethering and Blotto and Twinks series. He is also President of the Detection Club.
Adrian Magson is a freelance writer, crime author and reviewer, with over 300 short stories published in magazines and anthologies in the UK and overseas.
Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction
Major Farran’s Hat by David Cesarani. Heinemann - A scandalous case – long-forgotten in Britain, but memorialised in Jerusalem – of the abduction and disappearance of a young Israeli boy by a British security agent.
Killing Time by David Dow(Heinemann)- A haunting memoir, by an American defence lawyer, of his fight to save the lives of
possibly-innocent murderers condemned to death in Houston, Texas.
Aftermath: The Omagh Bombing & the Families’ Pursuit of Justice by Ruth Dudley Edwards (Harvill Secker). - The historian and crime-novelist‘s detailed account of her successful struggle, with the assistance of lawyers, to achieve recognition of those responsible.
Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie & Clyde by Jeff Guinn Simon & Schuster. - A meticulously detailed account, with previously unpublished family material, of the remarkably unglamorous career of the notorious pair’s two-year crime spree.
Defending the Guilty by Alex McBride. (Penguin/Viking) - A light-hearted but instructive description, by a criminal barrister, of the early career of a leading defence lawyer, and the problems that have to be overcome.
The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston, with Mario Spez. Virgin/Random House. - An investigation into one of the most infamous figures in recent Italian history, a serial killer who ritually murdered 14 young lovers, and has never been caught.
Congratulations to all the nominees. The winners will be announced later this year.