The Crime Writers’ Association

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality as long as the book was first published in the UK in English during the judging period.

This Dagger encompasses, though is not limited to, non-fiction works relating to historical crime, crime-related biography, crime-fiction literature, true crime and critical studies.

Current holder

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-fiction 2021 Winner

Sue Black

Written in Bone

Doubleday, Penguin

Anatomist and forensic pathologist Sue Black takes us on a tour of the bony body, from head to toe (to tail). Informative and often grisly, records of significant cases, reflections on the author’s experience, and some autobiography, combine … More




Sue BlackWritten in BoneDoubleday, Penguin
Amanda BrownThe Prison Doctor; Women InsideHQ, HarperCollins
Becky CooperWe Keep the Dead CloseWilliam Heinemann, Penguin
Martin EdwardsHowdunitCollins Crime Club, HarperCollins
Andrew HardingThese Are Not Gentle PeopleMacLehose, Quercus
Debora HardingDancing with the OctopusProfile Books Limited
Nick HayesThe Book of TrespassBloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing
Ben MacIntyreAgent SonyaViking, Penguin
Jax MillerHell in the HeartlandHarperCollins
Daniel SmithThe Peer and the GangsterThe History Press
Ravi SomaiyaOperation MorthorViking, Penguin
Kate SummerscaleThe Haunting of Alma FieldingBloomsbury Circus, Bloomsbury Publishing
Mark TownsendNo ReturnGuardian, Faber & Faber

The Judges

Philip Gooden (Chair)
Philip writes both fiction and non-fiction. His historical novels include the Nick Revill series, set in Elizabethan London, and a Victorian sequence, the most recent title for which is The Durham Deception. Philip Gooden also writes books on language, including Who’s Whose? and Faux Pas?, which won the English Speaking Union award for the best English Language book of 2006. He was Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association 2007-8.

Duncan Campbell
Duncan Campbell was the crime correspondent of The Guardian and the chairman of the Crime Reporters’ Association. He previously worked for LBC Radio, Time Out and City Limits. His books include The Underworld, We’ll All Be Murdered in Our Beds, a history of crime reporting; That Was Business, This Is Personal; and two novels, If It Bleeds and The Paradise Trail.

Kate Godsmark
After a false start in academic publishing, Kate moved to Piatkus, initially as a subsidiary and international rights manager; she was then fortunate enough to indulge her lifelong passion for crime writing on a daily basis when she became Commissioning Editor for crime. In recent years she has worked as a freelance editor.

Jasmine Simeone
She also answers as many as possible of the questions which come in to the address, which, she says, has taught her a pretty good knowledge of Sayers and her works. She is also a member of the Margery Allingham Society, and a devotee of Golden Age detective fiction, but with fairly wide-ranging literary tastes.

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society – Sponsors of the Gold Dagger for Non-fiction

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity, ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid around £500 million to writers.

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