Friday 10 May 2024

2024 CWA Dagger Short lists announced


The 2024 shortlists for the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime-writing genre, have been announced.

Created in 1955, the world-famous CWA Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

 The shortlist for the Gold Dagger, which is awarded for the best crime novel of the year, includes the debut novel Black River from Nilanjana Roy. She is up against stalwarts of the genre, Mick Herron for The Secret Hours, and Dennis Lehane, with Small Mercies. 

The bestselling children’s author Maz Evans also makes the list with her debut adult novel, Over My Dead Body. As does the Irish-American author Una Mannion, with her haunting second novel, Tell Me What I Amand the Chinese-Indonesian author, Jesse Sutanto, with Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers.

Past winners of the prestigious Gold Dagger, include Ian Rankin, John le Carré, Reginald Hill, and Ruth Rendell.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, showcases the thriller of the year.

The shortlist sees relative newcomer Jordan Harper, with his second thriller, Everybody Knows, up against TJ Newman, the former flight attendant who became a Hollywood sensation, with her latest thriller, Drowning, and Japanese author Kotaro Isaka for The Mantis; Kotaro is best-known for Bullet Train, which was adapted into a Brad Pitt movie. 

They’re joined on the Fleming shortlist by SA Crosby, Eli Cranor, and Femi Kayode.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels.

Among the rising stars of 2024 is Jo Callaghan with her BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick, The Blink of an Eye; and the Victorian gothic, The Tumbling Girl from Bridget Walsh. The shortlist also includes Amy Chua’s The Golden Gate, Kate Foster with The Maiden, Dan McDorman’s West Heart Kill and Go Seek by Michelle Teahan.

The Historical Dagger shortlist sees Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry in contention with A Bitter Remedy by Alis Hawkins. 

They’re joined by Lucy Ashe with Clara & Olivia, Louise Hare’s Harlem After Midnight, Jake Lamar’s Viper’s Dream, and Scarlet Town by Lenora Nattrass.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction shortlist sees Nicholas Shakespeare’s Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, up against The Art Thief by Michael Finkel, the true story of the world’s most prolific art thief who accumulated a collection worth over $1.4 billion. 

Also in the Non-Fiction category are Matt Johnson and John Murray for No Ordinary Day, Jennifer McAdam with Douglas Thompson for Devil’s Coin, Alex Mar’s Seventy Times Seven and How Many More Women? by Jennifer Robinson and Keina Yoshida.

The shortlist for the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger includes The Prey from the Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s, translated by Victoria Cribb, and Maud Ventura’s My Husband, translated by Emma Ramadan, which was a sensation in France, likened to Patricia Highsmith and Gone Girl

They’re joined by the Spanish journalist and author, Juan Gómez-Jurado, Sweden’s Âsa Larsson, French author Cloé Mehdi, and Korea’s Im Seong-sun. 

Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the CWA Daggers’ committee, said: “Once again, our independent judges across all the Dagger categories have come up trumps. Their selections feature well-established authors and new faces, a refreshingly diverse palette highlighting the talent of writers from all origins and publishers large and small, and a steadfast affirmation of how healthy the crime and mystery field is right now. We at the CWA couldn't be prouder.”

 The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story.

This year sees the bestselling juggernaut Lee Child with his story Safe Enough. He’s up against Mia Dalia, J Benedict Jones, Sanjida Kay, Ambrose Parry, and FD Quinn.

The Dagger in the Library nominees are voted by librarians and library users, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year sees firm favourites from the genre on the shortlist: Louise Candlish, MW Craven, Anthony Horowitz, Cara Hunter, and LJ Ross.

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, pits big publishing houses Headline (Hachette), Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House), Simon & Schuster, and Pushkin Vertigo (Pushkin Press) against independent publishers Joffe Books and Canelo Crime. 

The CWA Diamond Dagger, awarded to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, is announced in early spring and in 2024 it was jointly awarded to Lynda La Plante and James Lee Burke.

The CWA Dagger shortlists were announced on 10 May at the UK’s largest crime fiction convention, CrimeFest, hosted in Bristol.

The winners will be announced at the award ceremony at the CWA gala dinner on July 4.

The Shortlists in Full:


Over My Dead Body by Maz Evans, Headline

The Secret Hours by Mick Herron,  Baskerville (John Murray)

Small Mercies by Dennis LehaneAbacus (Little Brown)

Tell me What I Am by Una Mannion, Faber & Faber

Black River by Nilanjana Roy, Pushkin (Vertigo)

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Sutanto  HQ (Harper Collins)


All the Sinners Bleed by S A Cosby , Headline (Hachette)

Ozark Dogs, by Eli Cranor  Headline (Hachette)

Everybody Knows by Jordan Harper, Faber & Faber

The Mantis, by Kotaro Isaka Harvill Secker (PRH) 

Gaslight, by Femi Kayode Raven Books (Bloomsbury)

Drowning by T J NewmanSimon & Schuster



In The Blink of An Eye by Jo Callaghan Simon & Schuster UK

The Golden Gate by Amy ChuaCorvus (Atlantic Books)

The Maiden by Kate Foster, Mantle (Pan Macmillan)

West Heart Kill by Dann McDorman, Raven Books

Go Seek by Michelle Teahan, Headline Publishing Group

The Tumbling Girl by Bridget WalshGallic Books



Clara & Olivia by Lucy AsheMagpie (Oneworld Publications)

Harlem After Midnight by Louise Hare, HQ (HarperCollins)

A Bitter Remedy by Alis HawkinsCanelo

Viper's Dream by Jake Lamar, No Exit Press

Scarlet Town, by Leonora Nattrass Viper (Profile Books)

Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry, Canongate Books


 Red Queen by Juan Gómez-Jurado  (translated by Nick Caistor,) Macmillan

The Sins Of Our Fathers by Âsa Larsson, (translated by Frank Perry), Maclehose Press

Nothing Is Lost by Cloé Mehdi (translated by Howard Curtis), Europa Editions UK

The Consultant by Im Seong-Sun, (translated by An Seong Jae) Raven Books

The Prey by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (translated by Victoria Cribb), Hodder & Stoughton

My Husband by Maud Ventura, (translated by Emma Ramadan), Hutchinson Heinemann



The Art Thief by Michael Finkel, Simon & Schuster

No Ordinary Day by Matt Johnson with John Murray, Ad Lib Publishers

Devil’s Coin by Jennifer McAdam with Douglas Thompson  Ad Lib Publishers Ltd

 Seventy Times Seven, by Alex Mar Bedford Square Publishers

How Many More Women? by Jennifer Robinson & Keina Yoshida  Endeavour

Ian Fleming: The Complete Man by Nicholas Shakespeare  Vintage



Safe Enough by Lee Child from An Unnecessary Assassin, edited by Lorraine Stevens, Rivertree

The Last Best Thing by Mia Dalia from Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction, edited by Andrew Hook, Head Shot Press

The Also-Rans by Benedict J Jones from Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction edited by Andrew Hook, Head Shot Press

The Divide by Sanjida Kay from The Book of Bristol edited by Joe Melia and Heather Marks, Comma Press

The Spendthrift and the Swallow by Ambrose Parry, Canongate Books

Best Served Cold by FD Quinn  from An Unnecessary Assassin edited by Lorraine Stevens, Rivertree


Burnt Ranch by Katherine Ahlert

Unnatural Predators by Caroline Arnoul

Makoto Murders by Richard Jerram

Not a Good Mother by Karabi Mitra

Long Way Home by Lynn McCall

The Last Days of Forever by Jeremy Tinker

The Blond by Megan Toogood


 Louise Candlish 

MW Craven

Cara Hunter

Anthony Horowitz

LJ Ross 





Headline (Hachette)

Joffe Books

Michael Joseph (PenguinRandomHouse)

Pushkin Press

Simon & Schuster

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