Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Prize With a Past

Although most winners of this year’s Dagger Awards, given out by the British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), were announced months ago, only now has the shortlist of nominees for the 2007 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger been released. It shows six contenders this year:

Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin (Bantam Press)
The Snake Stone, by Jason Goodwin (Faber and Faber)
The One from the Other, by Philip Kerr (Quercus)
Murder at Deviation Junction, by Andrew Martin (Faber and Faber)
The Savage Garden, by Mark Mills (HarperCollins)
The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney (Quercus)

A winner will be announced on the evening of November 7, during a party at Six Fitzroy Square, London.

All of these novels are worthy contenders. Penney’s Wolves already picked up the 2007 Costa Book Award, and Goodwin won this year’s Edgar Award for Best Novel for his previous novel, The Janissary Tree. If “buzz” helps you capture commendations such as these, then those two authors might be at an advantage. But Kerr’s The One from the Other definitely earned its place on January Magazine’s 2006 Best Books of the Year list, and Franklin’s historical thriller has scored a number of favorable reviews in prominent places. It’ll be interesting to see which of these heavyweight works winds up on top.

This historical fiction prize is of course named after author Ellis Peters (née Edith Pargeter), who wrote the immensely popular Brother Cadfael medieval mysteries.

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