Friday, 18 October 2013


On the night of their 60th anniversary the Crime Writers’ Association will announce the hotly anticipated results of the CWA Best Ever Poll.

On a dark and stormy Guy Fawkes night, three-score years ago, a group of shadowy figures met in a candle-lit room, to sign in blood the document that would bind them together in a mysterious organisation known as... the Crime Writers' Association. Ok, so they probably had a pen, but what is true is that in 2013 the CWA are celebrating 60 years of supporting and promoting the work of crime writers, one of the most popular of literary genres, with a staggering capacity for reinventing itself. 

And on the night of their 60th anniversary the CWA will announce the results of a poll to determine the Best Ever Crime Writer, Crime Series and Crime Novel as voted for by members of their association.

A panel of experts, including Barry Forshaw (Nordic Noir), Zoë Sharp (Die Easy), Belinda Bauer (Rubbernecker) and David Stuart Davies (Brothers in Blood), discuss the poll's findings and reflect on the past, present and future of the genre.

It has been fifteen years since the CWA did a similar poll. On that occasion the Dead triumphed convincingly over the Living.

But a lot can change in fifteen years and Alison Joseph, Chair of the CWA, thinks many contemporary crime writers will give the Late Greats a run for their money.  She says:

‘Crime fiction has always had a deservedly huge readership, but, more than ever, readers expect a lot.  We see authors today stretching the limits of the genre, examining the truth of criminality, its causes, its effects, yet still telling page-turning stories.’

So, for example, could Val McDermid depose Agatha Christie as Queen of Crime?  Elmore Leonard take over Chandler’s Mean Streets?  P D James or Ruth Rendell ring the changes on Dorothy L Sayers?  Ian Rankin replace Arthur Conan Doyle as crime’s Top Scot? 

Or will the posthumously-famous Stieg Larsson leap over the lot of them? 

Joseph concludes: ‘Personally I think it will be close-run thing. A great work of fiction, in whatever genre, whenever it was written, is a rare thing, and it may well be that Sayers, Chandler et al, still merit their place at the top.  Watch this space.’

The results will be announced on the 5th November at The Gallery, Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London 6pm – 8.00pm. Tickets for this event are free to CWA members but must be booked in advance. Non-members prices are £5.00/£3.00 (concessions) and can be booked directly via Foyles.

This poll and CWA reception is kindly sponsored by HW Fisher, chartered accountants.

Notes To Editors:
Membership of The Crime Writers’ Association is open to an author with one crime novel produced (or about to be produced) by a bona fide publisher, with associate membership also offered to those in the publishing industry. 

John Creasey, founder of the CWA, wrote over seven hundred books under almost thirty names.
Alison Joseph is a crime novelist and radio dramatist.  A Violent Act, her latest novel, is out now.

HW Fisher are chartered accountants
For further information please contact Lucy Santos, Director of the CWA, at or on tel: 0792125291

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