Monday, September 07, 2009

Dagger Shortlists Unsheathed

News about the final 2009 Dagger Awards shortlists has finally arrived. The British Crime Writers’ Association (CWA), in partnership with Specsavers, Cactus TV, and ITV3, has announced this year’s contenders for what are now being touted as the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, “celebrating the crème de la crème of crime and thriller fiction.” Winners will be declared on October 21 at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel, though the presentations won’t be televised by ITV3 until a later (as yet unannounced) date.

The nominees are ...

CWA Gold Dagger 2009, for the best crime novel of the year:
(Sponsored by Books Direct)

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)
A Whispered Name, by William Brodrick (Little, Brown)
The Coroner, by M.R. Hall (Pan Macmillan)
Dark Times in the City, by Gene Kerrigan (Harvill Secker)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2009, for first books by previously unpublished writers:
(Sponsored by Louise Penny and Michel Whitehead)

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)
Echoes from the Dead, by Johan Theorin (Doubleday)
The Blood Detective, by Dan Waddell (Penguin)

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2009,
for the year’s best thriller:

(Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.)

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

The Film Dagger 2009,
for the best big-screen crime thriller story:

Gran Torino (Warner Bros.)
Quantum of Solace (Sony Pictures)
Changeling (Universal)
Public Enemies (Universal)
State of Play (Universal)

The TV Dagger 2009,
for the best small-screen crime thriller drama:

Wallander (Left Bank Pictures; BBC One)
Red Riding (Channel 4 Films; Channel 4)
Spooks (Kudos; BBC One)
Place of Execution (Coastal Productions; ITV1)
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)
Dexter (Clyde Phillips Production; FX)
Wallander, Swedish version (Yellow Bird Films; BBC Four)
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)
Keeley Hawes for Ashes to Ashes (Kudos; BBC One)
Hermione Norris for Spooks (Kudos; BBC One)
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)
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)
Paddy Considine for Red Riding (Channel 4 Films; Channel 4)

In addition, ITV3 viewers will be invited to vote for a brand-new award, the ITV3 Bestseller Dagger, sponsored by Specsavers. Dick Francis, Alexander McCall Smith, Nicci French, Harlan Coben, and Martina Cole are in contention for that prize.

And Colin Dexter, Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, and Val McDermid will join P.D. James in the Hall of Fame, “which honors the achievements of the genre’s greatest exponents, past and present. Congratulations to all five.

After word spread that this year’s awards ceremony will be a glitzier event than usual, more along the lines of the 2008 ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards presentation, I’ve been waiting impatiently to hear what names would appear on these shortlists. I am also a tad concerned, because this event is scheduled for the day following my return from Bouchercon in Indianapolis. So I’ll be driving up the stats for public consumption of strong coffee as I make my way between the two. But at least my tuxedo will get another night on the town.

An announcement about this year’s recipients of the CWA International Dagger, Short Story Dagger, Dagger in the Library, and Debut Dagger was made in mid-July.

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