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CWA Daggers – Shortlists Announced

The Crime Writers’ Association announced the shortlists for this year’s Dagger awards for crime writing at an at an evening drinks reception held at Waterstones Piccadilly on Wednesday 26 July.

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 in 2017 has already been announced as best-selling author Ann Cleeves, for a career’s outstanding contribution to crime fiction, and the Dagger in the Library winner has been announced as the very popular author Mari Hannah.

The shortlists are proudly sponsored by are kindly sponsored by Hazchem Network Ltd, the UK’s only palletised distribution network for Dangerous Goods, and by CrimeFest, the international crime writing convention, which will be held 17-20 May in Bristol in 2018.

Here are the Dagger shortlists for 2017. For brief descriptions of each book, please visit the website:

The CWA Gold Dagger

  • The Beautiful Dead (Bantam Press) by Belinda Bauer
  • Dead Man’s Blues (Mantle) by Ray Celestin
  • The Dry (Little, Brown) by Jane Harper
  • Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
  • A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee
  • The Girl in Green (Faber & Faber) by Derek B. Miller

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

  • You Will Know Me (Picador) by Megan Abbott
  • The Killing Game (Bookouture) by J S Carol
  • We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire (Myriad Editions) by Jules Grant
  • Redemption Road (Hodder & Stoughton) by John Hart
  • Spook Street (John Murray) by Mick Herron
  • The Constant Soldier (Mantle) by William Ryan


  • The Pictures (Point Blank) by Guy Bolton
  • Ragdoll (Trapeze) by Daniel Cole
  • Distress Signals (Corvus) by Catherine Ryan Howard
  • Sirens (Doubleday) by Joseph Knox
  • Good Me, Bad Me (Michael Joseph) by Ali Land
  • Tall Oaks (Twenty 7) by Chris Whitaker


  • A Dangerous Place (The History Press) by Simon Farquhar
  • Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Stephen Purvis
  • The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage (Text Publishing) by Anja Reich-Osang
  • The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer (Bloomsbury Publishing) by Kate Summerscale
  •  A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II (Jonathan Cape) by A. T. Williams
  • Another Day in the Death of America (Guardian Faber Publishing) by Gary Younge

The CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger

  • The Devil’s Feast (Fig Tree) by M. J. Carter
  • The Ashes of Berlin (No Exit Press) by Luke McCallin
  • The Long Drop (Harvill Secker) by Denise Mina
  • A Rising Man (Harvill Secker) by Abir Mukherjee
  • By Gaslight (Point Blank) by Steven Price
  • The City in Darkness (Constable) by Michael Russell

The CWA International Dagger

  • A Cold Death (4th Estate) by Antonio Manzini, Tr Antony Shugaar
  • A Fine Line (Bitter Lemon Press) by Gianrico Carofiglio, Tr Howard Curtis
  • Blood Wedding (MacLehose Press) by Pierre Lemaître, Tr Frank Wynne
  • Climate of Fear (Harvill Secker) by Fred Vargas, Tr Siân Reynolds
  • The Dying Detective  (Doubleday) by Leif G W Persson, Tr Neil Smith
  • The Legacy of the Bones (HarperCollins) by Delores Redondo, Tr Nick Casiter & Lorenza Garcia

The CWA Short Story Dagger

  •  The Assassination by Leye Adenle in Sunshine Noir  (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley
  • Murder and its Motives by Martin Edwards in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
  • The Super Recogniser of Vik by Michael Ridpath in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
  • What You Were Fighting For by James Sallis in The Highway Kind (Mulholland Books) Edited by Patrick Millikin
  • The Trials of Margaret by LC Tyler in Motives for Murder (Sphere) Edited by Martin Edwards
  • Snakeskin by Ovidia Yu in Sunshine Noir (White Sun Books) Edited by AnnaMaria Alfieri & Michael Stanley

DEBUT DAGGER sponsored by Orion Publishing Group

For the opening of a crime novel from a writer with no publishing contract.

  • Strange Fire by Sherry Rankin
  • The Reincarnation of Himmat Gupte by Neeraj Shah
  • Lost Boys by Spike Dawkins
  • Red Haven by Mette McLeod
  • Broken by Victoria Slotover

The winners of all the above CWA Daggers will be announced at the glittering Dagger Awards Gala Dinner to be held at the Grange City Hotel, London on 26 October. Ann Cleeves will be awarded the Diamond Dagger at the same occasion and Mari Hannah will be presented with the Dagger in the Library award. The after-dinner speaker will be Robert Thorogood, creator and writer of Death in Paradise, and master of ceremonies will be Barry Forshaw, the acclaimed crime fiction expert. Everyone is welcome to attend. For details and a booking form, please visit or email