Friday, May 19, 2017

Daggers at the Ready

Following many hours of panel presentations on this, the second day of the latest CrimeFest (being held through the weekend in Bristol, England), attendees gathered together to hear the announcement of longlisted nominees for several 2017 Dagger awards. The Daggers are presented annually by the British Crime Writers’ Association. Herewith, the rundown of contenders:

CWA Gold Dagger:
The Beautiful Dead, by Belinda Bauer (Bantam Press)
Dead Man’s Blues, by Ray Celestin (Mantle)
The Girl Before, by J.P. Delaney (Quercus)
Desperation Road, by Michael Farris Smith (No Exit Press)
Little Deaths, by Emma Flint (Picador)
The Dry, by Jane Harper (Little, Brown)
Spook Street, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
Sirens, by Joseph Knox (Doubleday)
Ashes of Berlin, by Luke McCallin (No Exit Press)
The Girl in Green, by Derek B. Miller (Faber and Faber)
A Rising Man, by Abir Muckerjee (Harvil Secker)
Darktown, by Thomas Mullen (Little, Brown)

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:
You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott (Picador)
Kill the Next One, by Frederico Axat (Text)
The Twenty-Three, by Linwood Barclay (Orion)
The Killing Game, by J.S. Carol (Bookouture)
The Heat, by Gary Disher (Text)
A Hero in France, by Alan Furst (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
We Go Around in the Night Consumed by Fire, by Jules Grant
(Myriad Editions)
Moskva, by Jack Grimwood (Michael Joseph)
The One Man, by Andrew Gross (Macmillan)
Redemption Road, by John Hart (Hodder & Stoughton)
Spook Street, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
Dark Asset, by Adrian Magson (Severn House)
Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly, by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail)
The Constant Soldier, by William Ryan (Mantle)
The Rules of Backyard Cricket, by Jack Serong (Text)
Jericho’s War, by Gerald Seymour (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Kept Woman, by Karin Slaughter (Century)
Broken Heart, by Tim Weaver (Penguin)

CWA International Dagger:
A Cold Death, by Antonio Manzini;
translated by Anthony Shugaar (4th Estate)
A Fine Line, by Gianrico Carofiglio;
translated by Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
A Voice in the Dark, by Andrea Camilleri;
translated by Stephen Sartarelli (Mantle)
Blackout, by Marc Elsberg;
translated by Marshall Yarborough (Black Swan)
Blood Wedding, by Pierre Lemaitre;
translated by Frank Wynne (MacLehose Press)
Climate of Fear, by Fred Vargas;
translated by Sian Reynolds (Harvill Secker)
Death in the Tuscan Hills, by Marco Vichi;
translated by Stephen Sartarelli (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Bastards of Pizzofalcone, by Maurizio De Giovanni;
translated by Anthony Shugaar (Europa Editions)
The Dying Detective, by Leif G.W. Persson;
translated by Neil Smith (Doubleday)
The Legacy of the Bones, by Dolores Redondo;
translated by Nick Caister and Lorenza Garcia (Harper)
When It Grows Dark, by Jørn Lier Horst;
translated by Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press)

CWA Non-fiction Dagger:
A Dangerous Place, by Simon Farquhar (History Press)
Close But No Cigar: A True Story of Prison Life in Castro’s Cuba,
by Stephen Purvis (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
The Scholl Case: The Deadly End of a Marriage, by Anja
Reich-Osang (Text)
Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes,
by Michael Sims (Bloomsbury)
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer,
by Kate Summerscale (Bloomsbury)
A Passing Fury: Searching for Justice at the End of World War II,
by A.T. Williams (Jonathan Cape)
The Ice Age: A Journey into Crystal-Meth Addiction, by Luke
Williams (Scribe)
Another Day in the Death of America, by Gary Younge
(Guardian Faber)

CWA Short Story Dagger:
“The Assassination,” by Leye Adenle (from Sunshine Noir, edited by Anna Maria Alfieri and Michael Stanley; White Sun)
• “Murder and Its Motives,” by Martin Edwards (from Motives for Murder, edited by Martin Edwards; Sphere)
• “Alive or Dead,” by Michael Jecks (from Motives for Murder)
• “The Super Recogniser of Vik,” by Michael Ridpath (from Motives
for Murder)
• “What You Were Fighting For,” by James Sallis (from The Highway Kind, edited by Patrick Millikin; Mulholland)
• “The Trials of Margaret,” by L.C. Tyler (from Motives for Murder)
• “Snakeskin,” by Ovidia Yu (from Sunshine Noir)

CWA Debut Dagger (for unpublished writers):
Camera Obscura, by Richard McDowell
Strange Fire, by Sherry Larkin
The Reincarnation of Himmat Gupte, by Neeraj Shah
The Swankeeper’s Wife, by Augusta Dwyer
Lost Boys, by Spike Dawkins
Victorianoir, by Kat Clay
Hardways, by Catherine Hendricks
Red Haven, by Mette McLeod
In the Shadow of the Tower, by Clive Edwards
Broken, by Victoria Slotover

CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger:
The Devil’s Feast, by M.J. Carter
(Fig Tree)
The Coroner’s Daughter, by Andrew Hughes (Doubleday Ireland)
The Black Friar, by S.G. MacLean (Quercus)
The Ashes of Berlin, by Luke McCallin (No Exit Press)
The Long Drop, by Denise Mina (Harvil Secker)
A Rising Man, by Abir Muckerjee (Harvil Secker)
Darktown, by Thomas Mullen (Little, Brown)
By Gaslight, by Steven Price (Point Blank)
The City in Darkness, by Michael Russell (Constable)
Dark Asylum, by E.S. Thomson (Constable)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger:
The Watcher, by Ross Armstrong (Mira)
The Pictures, by Guy Bolton (Point Blank)
What You Don’t Know, by JoAnn Chaney (Mantle)
Ragdoll, by Daniel Cole (Trapeze)
Sunset City, by Melissa Ginsburg (Faber and Faber)
Epiphany Jones, by Michael Grothaus (Orenda)
Distress Signals, by Catherine Ryan Howard (Corvus)
Himself, by Jess Kidd (Canongate)
Sirens, by Joseph Knox (Doubleday)
Good Me, Bad Me, by Ali Land (Michael Joseph)
The Possession, by Sara Flannery Murphy (Scribe)
Tall Oaks, by Chris Whitaker (Twenty 7)

CWA Dagger in the Library (previously declared shortlist):
Andrew Taylor
C.J. Sansom
James Oswald
Kate Ellis
Mari Hannah
Tana French

The Daggers are expertly juried awards, so the books and authors making this cut are predictably top-drawer. I don’t customarily inject my opinions into write-ups about such competitions. However, I’m particularly impressed by the lineup of rivals for this year’s Endeavour Historical Dagger. I have read and enjoyed most of the novels longlisted for that honor, but am hoping that the prize ultimately goes to Steven Price’s By Gaslight, which I described in a Rap Sheet post late last year as “an all-consuming adventure with romantic undertones, establishing a new and very high bar against which other historical whodunits will be judged.”

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

We should expect an announcement of the shortlist contenders for all of these commendations, well, shortly. And if past experience is any guide, the winners ought to be broadcast this coming fall.

FOLLOW-UP: There was another prize presented during last night’s CrimeFest merriment. It was announced that Sam Hepburn has won the 2017 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with her not-yet-published tale, “Box Clever.” Also shortlisted for this honor were Bruce Gaston (“The Case of the Unrepentant Killer”), Ryan Bruce (“Division”), Sam Cunningham (“The Silenced Witness”), and Chris Curran (“The Thought of You”).

1 comment:

Kiwicraig said...

Good post Jeff. I was there last night in Bristol, and it was an interesting, mixed reaction from the audience to the announcement of the Dagger listings (some very long long-lists, in some cases). Lots of pleasure and congratulations to many of those longlisted, but also bewilderment at some excellent, overlooked books that readers thought would be potential shortlists/winners, but didn't even make the long longlists.

My gut reaction last night was the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger was the standout longlist, with several really terrific books on there - could be a real battle for the shortlist and winner decisions. My best read of 2016 is on that list, along with several other real crackers. I don't know as much about the historical crime novels. The international list was an interesting one, and the Creasey (debut) and Gold, in terms of which books weren't on the lists as much as who were.

The judges have certainly given us all plenty to talk about, and some lesser-known books to dive into. Great stuff all around.