Friday, July 01, 2022

Bagging Daggers

Wouldn’t you know it? Just yesterday, while visiting a bookshop in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, I picked up and thought about buying a copy of British author Ray Celestin’s Sunset Swing—the fourth entry in his “City Blues Quartet”—but ultimately passed, because I haven’t yet read his third novel, The Mobster’s Lament (2019). Now I discover that Sunset Swing has won not just one, but two 2022 Gold Dagger awards from the UK Crime Writers’ Association. Drat, I should’ve bought that copy after all!

Anyway, the CWA announced its latest Dagger award recipients this last Wednesday, in 10 different categories.

Gold Dagger: Sunset Swing, by Ray Celestin (Mantle)

Also nominated: Before You Knew My Name, by Jacqueline Bublitz (Little, Brown); Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby (Headline); The Unwilling, by John Hart (Zaffre); The Shadows of Men, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker); and The Trawlerman, by William Shaw (Riverrun)

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger: Dead Ground, by M.W. Craven (Constable)

Also nominated: Find You First, by Linwood Barclay (HQ); The Pact, by Sharon Bolton (Orion); The Devil’s Advocate, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion); Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby (Headline); and Dream Girl, by Laura Lippman (Faber and Faber)

John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger: The Appeal, by Janice Hallett (Viper)

Also nominated: Welcome to Cooper, by Tariq Ashkanani (Thomas & Mercer); Repentance, by Eloísa Díaz (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); The Mash House, by Alan Gillespie (Unbound); Where Ravens Roost, by Karin Nordin (HQ); How to Kidnap the Rich, by Rahul Raina (Little, Brown); and Waking the Tiger, by Mark Wightman (Hobeck)

Historical Dagger: Sunset Swing, by Ray Celestin (Mantle)

Also nominated: April in Spain, by John Banville (Faber and Faber); Crow Court, by Andy Charman (Unbound); Not One of Us, by Alis Hawkins (Canelo); Edge of the Grave, by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan); and A Corruption of Blood, by Ambrose Parry (Canongate)

Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger: Hotel Cartagena, by Simone Buchholz, translated by Rachel Ward (Orenda)

Also nominated: Bullet Train, by Kōtarō Isaka, translated by Sam Malissa (Harvill Secker); Oxygen, by Sacha Naspini, translated by Clarissa Botsford (Europa Editions); People Like Them, by Samira Sedira, translated by Lara Vergnaud (Raven); and The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston (Orenda)

Short Story Dagger: “Flesh of a Fancy Woman,” by Paul Magrs (from Criminal Pursuits: Crime Through Time, edited by Samantha Lee Howe; Telos)

Also nominated: “Blindsided,” by Caroline England (from Criminal Pursuits); “London,” by Jo Nesbø (from The Jealousy Man and Other Stories, by Jo Nesbø; Harvill Secker); “With the Others,” by T.M. Logan (from Afraid of the Shadows, edited by Miranda Jewess; Criminal Minds); “Changeling,” by Bryony Pearce (from Criminal Pursuits); and “When I Grow Up,” by Robert Scragg (from Afraid of the Shadows)

ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-fiction: The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice, by Julia Laite (Profile)

Also nominated: The Devil You Know: Stories of Human Cruelty and Compassion, by Gwen Adshead and Eileen Horne (Faber and Faber); The Dublin Railway Murder, by Thomas Morris (Harvill Secker); The Unusual Suspect, by Ben Machell (Canongate); Empire of Pain, by Patrick Radden Keefe (Picador); and The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Murders That Stunned an Empire, by Julie Kavanagh (Grove Press)

Dagger in the Library (“for a body of work by an established crime writer that has long been popular with borrowers from libraries”): Mark Billingham

Also nominated: Cath Staincliffe, Edward Marston, Lin Anderson, and Susan Hill

Publishers’ Dagger (“awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year”): Faber and Faber

Also nominated: HarperCollins, Harper Fiction; Penguin Random House, Michael Joseph; Pushkin Press, Pushkin Vertigo; Titan; and Profile Books, Viper

Debut Dagger: The 10-12, by Anna Maloney

Also nominated: Henry’s Bomb, by Kevin Bartlett; Holloway Candle, by Laura Ashton Hill; The Dead of Egypt, by David Smith; and The Dieppe Letters, by Liz Rachel Walker

In addition, the CWA presented Edinburgh-born historical crime novelist C.J. Sansom with its 2022 Diamond Dagger “for a lifetime contribution to crime writing in the English language.” And its Red Herring award (“for services to crime writing and the CWA”) went posthumously to Thalia Proctor, who passed away in April.

READ MORE:Diamonds Are Forever …,” by Martin Edwards (‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’).

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