The Crime Writers’ Association

Dagger in the Library 

The Dagger in the Library 2024 is closed. Thank you for voting!

The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established writer of crime fiction or non-fiction who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries. It also rewards authors who have supported libraries and their users through taking part in library events.

The Dagger in the Library is awarded to an author writing in Britain who is nominated by libraries and borrowers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland and voted on by libraries.

Announcements will also be made on this website shortly afterwards.

2024 shortlist

2024 longlist

The 2025 Dagger in the Library will open in autumn 2024.

Dagger in the Library 2024 criteria

For the winner, we are looking for a crime writer of fiction or non-fiction who has brought most pleasure to UK and Irish library users over a significant time, and who has actively supported libraries.

The Judges

Ian Anstice (Chair)
Ian Anstice is a Locality Librarian for Cheshire West and Chester Council and has worked for the same service of 26 years. However, he is more widely known outside of that service as being the editor of Public Libraries News. He is a keen walker of schnauzers but promises us he does fit in the time to read the occasional book as well.

Olivia Davies

For as long as she can remember, libraries have been a safe space for Olivia. From a young age, she would look forward to visiting her local library, where imagination and creativity could run free. The stories she could access there truly felt limitless. 

And now, working for Cardiff Council as the Heritage Development Librarian at Cathays, she engages with real life stories daily, and shares the fascinating lives of those connected to Cardiff. She feels incredibly blessed to preserve those memories and help keep the rich history of Cardiff alive.

Marleen Kennedy
Marleen Kennedy can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode. Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside she counts herself lucky to have worked as a branch librarian for the Cavan County Council Library Service for the past ten years. Marleen also writes romances under the name Helena Stone.

Donna Duff

Donna was aged 4 when she decided she was going to be a librarian and has been working in libraries for 35 years. She has worked in public and specialist libraries, and for the past 13 years she has been working for East Lothian Council Library Services as Senior Librarian for Digital and Adult Services.

East Lothian has had the pleasure of holding many events which welcomed crime writers from across the UK and beyond, not only within the libraries but also as part of the Fringe by the Sea Festival.

Donna’s family are seriously considering staging an intervention due her continued book buying which she can’t seem to resist despite her extensive borrowing from the library service.

Leanne McMahon 

Leanne McMahon works for Cavan County library service in Ireland, but her love for literature and writing began far too early to fully recall – roughly around the first time her mother brought her to the library at, evidently, a very young and impressionable age, instilling within her a fascination with storytelling. Since then, said mother has been begging her daughter to go outside and touch grass, but that’s the great thing about books, they’re our own mobile portals to different dimensions you can take with you anywhere.

Leanne’s love for libraries came full circle when she began working in the places she once visited. Consequently, she’s been writing stories since she could pick up a crayon and continues to write in her spare time in the hopes of one day churning out a book. In the meantime, she reads and seeks to supports any and all creative ambitions within her community and online.

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