The CWA Dagger Awards 2007
Peter Temple wins the Duncan Lawrie Dagger
JULY 5 2007:
The Crime Writers’ Association are delighted to announce the winners of this year’s Daggers - the prestigious awards that celebrate the very best in crime and thriller writing. This year, the CWA and Duncan Lawrie Dagger Awards were presented at a black tie dinner at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane in London, in the presence of the guest of honour Bob Marshall-Andrews, QC, MP. The event began with a drinks reception at 6:30pm, followed by dinner in the ballroom at 7:45pm, before the winners were announced.
This is the second year of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger - formerly the CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction - with a prize of £20,000. This is now the largest award for crime fiction in the world. The winner is Peter Temple for his novel The Broken Shore, published by Quercus. He said: “It's a huge thrill to win the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for The Broken Shore. You're up against some of the world's best crime writers in English. I was proud enough just to be the first Aussie to make the shortlist, let alone win.”
The Duncan Lawrie Private Bank also sponsor the Duncan Lawrie International Dagger for the best crime novel translated into English, with £5000 going to the author and £1000 to the translator. For the second year running this prize has been won by the writer/translator team of Fred Vargas and Sîan Reynolds, this time with Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand, published by Harvill Secker.
Newcomer Gillian Flynn achieved a remarkable success, with Sharp Objects (published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson) winning both the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger and the New Blood Dagger. She was also shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger. It is a tribute to the broad appeal of her book that it was singled out by three separate panels of judges, acting independently.
For the fourth year, the CWA has continued its partnership with the National Library for the Blind to promote their activities and help to raise funds. Once again, the Foyle Foundation has provided finance which will enable all the winning books in the Dagger Awards to be converted into Braille. As was proved by the last couple of years’ Public Lending Right figures, crime writing is now the most popular fiction genre in the UK, and the CWA is particularly pleased to be a part of bringing it to a wider audience in this manner.
In all, six daggers were awarded on the night. Here's a full list, with the judges' comments about each. The name of each dagger is linked to a page with more details about that award.
For the best crime novel of the year, carrying a prize of £20,000 sponsored by Duncan Lawrie Private Bank.
Peter Temple - The Broken Shore (Quercus)
“This is a well written crime novel with excellent characterisation mingled with a subtle exploration of contemporary Australian landscape and mores. This is a first class read with a sympathetic engrossing police protagonist.”
For the best crime novel translated into English, with £5000 going to the author and £1000 to the translator.
Fred Vargas - Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand (Harvill Secker), translated by Siân Reynolds
“A stylish return to the shortlist for last year’s inventive winner with another unconventional police procedural.”
The dagger and £2000 prize money are awarded for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond. Sponsored by by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.
Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
“A very good debut, atmospheric and creepy, with a complex and convincingly drawn female protagonist. The claustrophobia of small-town America in the south is portrayed exceptionally well in this dark psychological thriller.”
Awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey, this dagger for first books by previously unpublished writers is sponsored by BBC Audiobooks and carries a prize of £1000.
Gillian Flynn - Sharp Objects (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
“This was a novel characterized by its vivid and poetic writing. A superb sense of character with an imaginative treatment of the reasons for and the problems of self-harm.”
Any UK publisher could enter books for the above awards provided that the book is relevant to the appropriate award and was published between June 1 2006 and May 31 2007.
This Dagger, sponsored by Random House and worth £1500, is awarded to "the author of crime fiction whose work is currently giving the greatest enjoyment to readers"; authors are nominated by UK libraries and Readers' Groups and judged by a panel of librarians.
“His books tell of life in all its grim reality, but this only adds to the appeal of this truly impressive new author...the grimmest of subjects, but leavened (thankfully) with dashes of humour. He’s bad news for the Aberdeen tourist industry, but great news for crime readers.”
C.J. Sansom was very highly commended in this category.
The Debut Dagger, sponsored by Orion, is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially. The winner receives a £500 cash prize.
Alan Bradley – from British Columbia in Canada – is this year's winner with The Sweetness At the Bottom of the Pie.
“Flavia is barely eleven, but her passion for poisons would make Lucrezia Borgia cringe”
David Jackson, from the Wirral on Merseyside was Highly Commended with Pariah: “Where do you turn when your very presence is the kiss of death to those around you? Detective Cal Doyle is about to discover just how low he is prepared to sink.”
The Cartier Diamond Dagger is awarded by the CWA committee, chosen from those writers nominated by the CWA's membership. This year's winner, announced earlier this year, was John Harvey.
Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death, published by Bantam Press, has been announced as the winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Award for 2007. In announcing Ms Franklin’s success, Chair of judges, Janet Laurence praised the exceptional high standard of this year’s entry. The shortlist contained a wide-ranging selection, from Henry II’s England to post-war Munich and Tuscany, via the Victorian railways, and nineteenth century Istanbul and Canada.
The £1500 Short Story Award - formerly the Short Story Dagger - has been won by Peter Lovesey for his story, Needle Match in the Best British Mysteries IV anthology edited by Maxim Jakubowski and published by Allison & Busby.
The non-fiction dagger is now awarded every other year and will next be in contention in 2008. To qualify for entry books must have been published between 1 June 2006 and 31 May 2008.
Peter N Walker has been given the John Creasey Award for his outstanding contribution to the Crime Writers' Association. He was presented with the award – a red herring mounted on a plinth – by CWA Chairman Philip Gooden at the September 2007 meeting of the Northern Chapter of the CWA.