Shortlists for the CWA Dagger Awards


25 July 2019
Daggers-30542.JPG CWA Dagger Award shortlists
Daggers incoming for some of the sharpest minds in crime (writing)
Shortlists for the CWA Dagger Awards Images

The author behind one of the biggest shows on TV, a world renowned forensic anthropologist and the son of ‘the godfather of tartan noir’ are among the shortlisted authors for the prestigious CWA Dagger awards.

The ten Daggers awarded annually by the CWA are the foremost British awards for crime-writing.

Luke Jennings is shortlisted for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Killing Eve: No Tomorrow, a Sunday Times thriller of the month and the basis for the major BBC America TV series Killing Eve.

Professor Sue Black, who was awarded an OBE for her international human identification work on mass graves, makes the CWA ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for All That Remains. Sue is also the expert forensics adviser to Val McDermid.

The CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger sees Liam McIlvanney in the running for The Quaker, which has already won the 2018 McIlvanney Prize, named in honour of his father the godfather of tartan noir, William McIllvanney. He’s up against CJ Sansom with his acclaimed Shardlake series and the award-winning Abir Mukherjee for Smoke and Ashes, the third novel in his historical crime series set in Calcutta.

The award-winning poet, Claire Askew, has been shortlisted for two Daggers for her debut novel All the Hidden Truths, the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger – given to the best crime novel by a first-time author – and the CWA Gold Dagger – for the overall best crime novel. Also in the running for that award is MW Craven with The Puppet Show. Craven credits the CWA Debut Dagger competition, for unpublished crimewriters, in 2013 for giving him a career as an author. He said: “I can draw a direct evolutionary line from being shortlisted in 2013 to the two book deal I signed with Little, Brown in January 2017. Being on the shortlist opened a door.”

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers, which honour the very best in crime writing, are the oldest awards in the genre, created in 1955. 

The winners will be announced at the Dagger Award ceremony at the Grange City Hotel, London, on 24 October. At the ceremony, Robert Goddard will be presented with the 2019 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing. His 28th novel, One False Move, was published in February.

He said: “I’m greatly honoured to be this year’s CWA Diamond Dagger recipient, particularly since it’s an award conferred by my fellow writers, who know about the challenges of the craft from the inside.”

Scroll down to see the full shortlists



Claire Askew: All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
M W Craven: The Puppet Show (Constable)
Christobel Kent: What We Did (Sphere)
Donna Leon: Unto Us a Son is Given (William Heinemann)
Derek B Miller: American by Day (Doubleday)
Benjamin Wood: A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (Scribner)



Claire Askew: All the Hidden Truths (Hodder & Stoughton)
Alex Dahl: The Boy at the Door (Head Of Zeus)
Chris Hammer: Scrublands (Wildfire)
Vicky Newham: Turn a Blind Eye (HQ)
Laura Shepherd-Robinson: Blood & Sugar (Mantle)
Vanda Symon: Overkill (Orenda)



Sue Black: All That Remains (Doubleday)
Mikita Brottman: An Unexplained Death (Canongate)
Claire Harman: Murder by the Book (Viking)
Kirk Wallace Johnson: The Feather Thief (Hutchinson)
Ben Macintyre: The Spy and the Traitor (Viking)
Hallie Rubenhold: The Five (Doubleday)



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Megan Abbott: Give Me Your Hand (Picador)
Dan Fesperman: Safe Houses (Head of Zeus)
Luke Jennings: Killing Eve: No Tomorrow (John Murray)
Stephen Mack Jones: Lives Laid Away (Soho Crime)
Holly Watt: To the Lions (Bloomsbury)
Tim Willocks: Memo from Turner (Jonathan Cape)



Liam McIlvanney: The Quaker (Harper Fiction)
S G MacLean: Destroying Angel (Quercus Fiction)
Abir Mukherjee: Smoke and Ashes (Harvill Secker)
Alex Reeve:  The House on Half Moon Street (Raven Books)
C J Sansom: Tombland (Mantle)
Laura Shepherd-Robinson: Blood & Sugar (Mantle)



Dov Alfon: A Long Night in Paris, tr Daniella Zamir (Maclehose Press)
Karin Brynard: Weeping Waters, tr Maya Fowler & Isobel Dixon (World Noir)
Gianrico Carofiglio: The Cold Summer, tr Howard Curtis (Bitter Lemon Press)
Keigo Higashino: Newcomer, tr Giles Murray (Little, Brown)
Håkan Nesser: The Root of Evil, tr Sarah Death (Mantle)
Cay Rademacher: The Forger, tr Peter Millar (Arcadia Books)



Martin Edwards: Strangers in a Pub in Ten Year Stretch, edited by Martin Edwards and Adrian Muller (No Exit Press)
Syd Moore: Death Becomes Her in The Strange Casebook by Syd Moore (Point Blank Books)
Danuta Reah: The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing in The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables (Fantastic Books)
Teresa Solana: I Detest Mozart in The First Prehistoric Serial Killers and Other Stories by Teresa Solana (Bitter Lemon Press)
Lavie Tidhar: Bag Man in The Outcast Hours edited by Mahvesh Murad and Jared Shurin (Solaris)



M C Beaton
Mark Billingham
John Connolly
Kate Ellis
C J Sansom
Cath Staincliffe


DEBUT DAGGER - (For the opening of a crime novel by an uncontracted writer)

Shelley Burr: Wake
Jerry Crause: The Mourning Light
Catherine Hendricks: Hardways
David Smith: The Firefly
Fran Smith: A Thin Sharp Blade 


To view past winners, or find out more, see the website


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