Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Down Come the Daggers

During a “gala event” held tonight at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, the last of the 2009 Dagger Awards and Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards were handed out. And the winners are ...

CWA Gold Dagger 2009, for the best crime novel of the year:
A Whispered Name, by William Brodrick (Little, Brown)

Also nominated: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan/Transworld); In the Dark, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown); Hit and Run, by Lawrence Block (Orion); The Coroner, by M.R. Hall (Pan Macmillan); and Dark Times in the City, by Gene Kerrigan (Harvill Secker)

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2009, for the year’s best thriller: The Last Child, by John Hart (John Murray)

Also nominated: The Brass Verdict, by Michael Connelly (Orion); Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); Calumet City, by Charlie Newton (Bantam Press); Moscow Rules, by Daniel Silva (Michael Joseph); The Tourist, by Olen Steinhauer (HarperCollins); and The Interrogator, by Andrew Williams (John Murray)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2009, for first books by previously unpublished writers: Echoes from the Dead, by
Johan Theorin (Doubleday)

Also nominated: Sweetsmoke, by David Fuller (Abacus); Bad Catholics, by James Green (Luath Press); No Way to Say Goodbye, by Rod Madocks (Five Leaves); Old City Hall, by Robert Rotenberg (John Murray); and The Blood Detective, by Dan Waddell (Penguin)

The Film Dagger 2009, for the best big-screen crime thriller story: Gran Torino (Warner Bros.)

Also nominated: Quantum of Solace (Sony Pictures); Changeling (Universal); Public Enemies (Universal); and State of Play (Universal)

The TV Dagger 2009, for the best small-screen crime thriller drama: Red Riding (Channel 4 Films; Channel 4)

Also nominated: Wallander (Left Bank Pictures; BBC One); Spooks (Kudos; BBC One); Place of Execution (Coastal Productions; ITV1); and Ashes to Ashes (Kudos; BBC One)

The International TV Dagger, for the best TV crime thriller drama from around the world: The Wire (HBO; BBC Two)

Also nominated: Dexter (Clyde Phillips Production; FX); Wallander, Swedish version (Yellow Bird Films; BBC Four); and The Mentalist (Warner Bros.; FIVE)

The Best Actress Dagger, for the female star of a crime thriller drama: Juliet Stevenson for Place of Execution (Coastal
Productions; ITV1)

Also nominated: Keeley Hawes for Ashes to Ashes (Kudos; BBC One); Hermione Norris for Spooks (Kudos; BBC One); and Emilia Fox for Silent Witness (BBC; BBC One)

The Best Actor Dagger, for the male star of a crime thriller drama: Dominic West for The Wire (HBO; BBC Two)

Also nominated: Kenneth Branagh for Wallander (Left Bank Pictures; BBC One); Tom Hardy for The Take (Company; SKY1); Philip
Glenister for Ashes to Ashes (Kudos; BBC One); and Paddy Considine for Red Riding (Channel 4 Films; Channel 4)

Bestseller Dagger: Harlan Coben

Also nominated: Dick Francis, Alexander McCall Smith, Nicci
French, and Martina Cole

In addition, Colin Dexter, Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin, and Val McDermid received trophies commemorating their induction into the Hall of Fame, “which honors the achievements of the genre’s greatest exponents, past and present.” In the course of her acceptance speech, La Plante made an unexpected plea to book publishers in the room to stop bringing out “all this dross” by and about today’s trendy celebrities. She apparently sees such works as damaging to the sales of more thoughtful literary works.

Rap Sheet correspondent Ali Karim, who had flown back to Britain from Bouchercon in Indianapolis just in time for this ceremony, reports that a number of delicious and humorous speeches were made during the evening, particularly by authors Colin Dexter and Johan Theorin. His personal highlight of the event, however, was meeting Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber, who was among the night’s award presenters. (“I was totally starstruck,” Karim recalls.) He would also like to thank Harrogate Crime Writing Festival organizers Sharon Canaver, Erica Morris, and Fleur Bremner for inviting him to join their table (#29), which already featured guests Mark Billingham, Natasha Cooper, Martyn Waites, David Shelly of Little, Brown, and Billingham’s agent, Sarah Lutyens (Lutyens & Rubinstein). They, and all the other attendees, received complimentary reading glasses--a reminder that Specsavers, along with Cactus TV, ITV3, and the British Crime Writers’ Association, sponsored tonight’s festivities.

This evening’s awards presentation is set to be broadcast in the UK on ITV3 on Tuesday, October 27, at 9 p.m.

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