The Crime Writers’ Association

CWA Dagger Shortlists 2018

The Crime Writers’ Association announced the shortlists for the prestigious annual Dagger awards for crime writing at an evening reception at Daunt Books, Cheapside, London, on Wednesday 25 May.

The shortlists provide some interesting duplications. Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic appears on the shortlist for the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, while A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee is on the Gold and the CWA Historical shortlists. Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke is on both the Gold and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger shortlists. London Rules by Mick Herron also appears on the Gold and the Ian Fleming Steel longlists. Also listed for the Historical Dagger is LC Tyler’s Fire and Stella Duffy’s completion of Ngaio Marsh’s Money in the Morgue.

For the CWA International Dagger, the names of Fred Vargas, Pierre Lemaître and Dolores Redondo appear alongside Henning Mankell.

Lee Child makes an appearance on the CWA Short Story Dagger shortlist, as does Christine Poulson with her story ‘Accounting for Murder’ from the CWA’s own anthology, Mystery Tour. Martin Edwards, Chair of the CWA and president of the Detection Club, features on the Dagger in the Library shortlist. The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction represents as an eclectic shortlist as ever, with Piu Marie Eatwell’s Black Dahlia Red Rose a notable title with its new take on an infamous murder case.

The CWA Daggers, which are the probably the awards crime authors and publishers alike most wish to win, are awarded every year in 10 categories. The Diamond Dagger, for a career’s outstanding contribution to crime fiction as nominated by CWA members, was announced earlier in the year and will be awarded to best-selling author Michael Connelly at the Dagger Awards event on October.


Here are the CWA Dagger shortlists for 2018.


The CWA Gold Dagger


Author Title Publisher


Steve Cavanagh The Liar (Orion)


Mick Herron London Rules (John Murray)


Dennis Lehane Since We Fell (Little, Brown)


Attica Locke Bluebird, Bluebird (Serpent’s Tail)


Abir Mukherjee A Necessary Evil (Harvill Secker)


Emma Viskic Resurrection Bay (Pushkin Vertigo)


The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger


Author Title Publisher


Mick Herron London Rules (John Murray Publishers)

Emily Koch If I Die Before I Wake (Harvill Secker)

Attica Locke Bluebird, Bluebird (Serpent’s Tail)

Colette McBeth An Act of Silence (Wildfire)

C J Tudor The Chalk Man (Michael Joseph)

Don Winslow The Force (HarperFiction)


The Steel Dagger sponsor, Ian Fleming Publications Ltd is the Fleming family-owned company that looks after the James Bond literary brand, by promoting and making available all of Ian Fleming’s 007 books across the world. They also keep the brand alive through the publication of new stories by other authors such as Anthony Horowitz.


The CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

Author Title Publisher


William Boyle Gravesend (No Exit Press)


Joe Ide I.Q. (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)


Danya Kukafka Girl in Snow (Picador)


Melissa Scrivner Love Lola (Point Blank)


Khurrum Rahman East of Hounslow (HQ)


Emma Viskic Resurrection Bay (Pushkin Vertigo)


The CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction


Author Title Publisher


Piu Eatwell Black Dahlia Red Rose (Coronet)

David Grann Killers of the Flower Moon (Simon & Schuster)

Thomas Harding Blood on the Page (Heinemann)

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich The Fact of a Body (Macmillan)

Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong A False Report (Hutchinson)

Laura Thompson Rex V Edith Thompson (Head of Zeus)


The Dagger’s sponsor The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation 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. Today it represents over 95,000 members, and since 1977 has paid over £450 million to writers.



The CWA Historical Dagger


Author Title Publisher


Abir Mukherjee A Necessary Evil (Harvill Secker)


L. C. Tyler Fire (Constable)

Thomas Mullen Lightning Men (Little, Brown)


Ngaio Marsh & Stella Duffy Money in the Morgue (HarperCollins)

Nicola Upson Nine Lessons (Faber & Faber)


Rory Clements Nucleus (Zaffre Publishing)


The CWA International Dagger


Author, Translator Title Publisher


Oliver Bottini, tr Jamie Bulloch Zen and the Art of Murder (MacLehose)


Pierre Lemaître tr Frank Wynne Three Days and a Life (MacLehose)


Henning Mankell, tr Marlaine Delargy After the Fire (Harvill Secker)


Jon Michelet, tr Don Bartlett The Frozen Woman (No Exit Press)


Dolores Redondo, tr Nick Caistor & Lorenza Garzía Offering to the Storm (HarperCollins)


Fred Vargas, tr Sian Reynolds The Accordionist (Harvill Secker)




The CWA Short Story Dagger

‘The Last Siege of Bothwell Castle’ by Chris Brookmyre

Bloody Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland)

‘Second Son’ by Lee Child

No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Stories (Bantam Press)

‘Smoking Kills’ by Erin Kelly

“The Body” Killer Women Crime Club Anthology 2, Edited by Susan Opie (Killer Women Ltd)


‘Nemo Me Impune Lacessit’ by Denise Mina

Bloody Scotland (Historic Environment Scotland)


‘Accounting for Murder’ by Christine Poulson

Mystery Tour: CWA Anthology of Short Stories, Edited by Martin Edwards

(Orenda Books)




The CWA Dagger in the Library

Nominated by libraries.


Martin Edwards

Nicci French

Edward Marston

Peter May

Rebecca Tope

Simon Kernick


The CWA Debut Dagger

For the opening of a crime novel from a writer without a traditional publishing contract.

The Eternal Life of Ezra Ben Simeon by Bill Crotty

The Last Googling of Beth Bailly by Luke Melia

Riverine Blood by Joseph James

Original Sins by Linda McLaughlin

Trust Me, I’m Dead by Sherryl Clark



The winners of the CWA Daggers will be announced at the Dagger Awards dinner in London on 25 October, for which tickets are now available. Visit for more information or email .



The Crime Writers Association was established in 1953 by crime writer John Creasey. The Daggers began with what was originally known as the Crossed Red Herring Award in 1955 and have grown from there, attracting sponsors such as Ian Fleming Publications and ALCS. The 10 Daggers are awarded every year. Except for the Diamond Dagger, Debut Dagger and the Dagger in the Library, authors’ books are nominated by their publishers.

The Debut Dagger attracts hundreds of entrants worldwide from would-be crime writers.

























Join the CWA

Become part of a thriving community of successful crime writers with invaluable support, expertise and marketing opportunities for all our members.

Advertise with us