The 2023 CWA Dagger Awards

The 2023 Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards were presented on July 6, 2023, in London at the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers Awards Dinner. The dinner was held at the Leonardo Royal London City Hotel on Cooper’s Row in London.

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) was founded in 1953. From their website, their “aim is to support, promote, and celebrate this most durable, adaptable, and successful of genres”. The Daggers have been called “UKs top crime writing awards” by the Guardian.


The Gold Dagger:

Given to the overall best crime novel of the year, from thrillers to mysteries, procedurals to psychological suspense. The nominees were:

The Kingdoms of Savannah by George Dawes Green (winner)

The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan

A Killing in November by Simon Mason

The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola

The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan

The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde


The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger:

Sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications, is for the best espionage, psychological, or adventure thriller novel. The nominees were:

Agent Seventeen by John Brownlow (winner)

Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay

The Botanist by M.V. Craven

The Ink Black Heart by Robert Galbraith

Alias Emma by Ava Glass

May God Forgive by Alan Parks

The ILP John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger:

Awarded to the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality, first traditionally published in the UK in English. The nominees were:

Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor (winner)

A Good Day to Die by Amen Alonge

The Local by Joey Hartstone

London in Black by Jack Lutz

No Country for Girls by Emma Styles

Outback by Patricia Wolf


The Historical Dagger:

Awarded to the best historical crime novel set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the novel will be made. The nominees were:

The Darkest Sin by D.V. Bishop (winner)

The Clockwork Girl by Anna Mazzola

The Homes by J.B. Mylet

The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra

Blue Water by Leonora Nattress

Hear No Evil by Sarah Smith


The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger:

Awarded to a crime novel not originally written in English, and translated into English for UK publication during the judging period The nominees were:

Even the Darkest Night by Javier Cercas  Translator Anne McLean (winner)

Good Reasons to Die by Morgan Audic

The Red Notebook by Michel Bussi

Bad Kids by Zijin Chen

The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier


The Short Story Dagger:

Awarded to the best crime-focused short story of the year published or broadcasted in the UK. The nominees were:

“Cast a Long Shadow” by Hazell Ward, in Cast a Long Shadow (winner)

“The Disappearance” by Leigh Bardugo, in Marple: Twelve New Mysteries

“The Tears of Venus” by Victoria Dowd and Delilah Dowd, in Unlocked: The D20 Authors

“The Beautiful Game” by Sanjida Kay, in The Perfect Crime

“Paradise Lost” by Abir Mukherjee, in The Perfect Crime

“Runaway Bliss” by C.J. Tudor, in A Sliver of Darkness: Stories

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction:

Awarded to the best book in non-fiction from true crime and biography to critical studies and literature. The nominees were:

Unlawful Killings: Life, Love, and Murder: Trials of the Old Bailey by Wendy Joseph (winner)

The Poisonous Solicitor: The True Story of a 1920s Murder Mystery by Stephen Bates

The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators by Martin Edwards

Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession and the Birth of the Lie Detector by Amit Katwala

To Hunt a Killer: How I Brought Melanie Road’s Murderer to Justice by Julie Mackay & Robert Murphy

About A Son: A Murder and A Father’s Search for Truth by David Whitehouse


The Best Crime & Mystery Publisher Dagger:

Awarded to the best crime and mystery publisher of the year. The nominees were:

Viper (Profile Books) (winner)

Harper Fiction (HarperCollins)

Mantle (PanMacmillan)

Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House)

Pushkin Vertigo (Pushkin Press)

Quercus (Hatchette)

The Dagger in the Library:

Awarded for a body of work by an established writer in crime fiction or non-fiction who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries The nominees were:

Sophie Hannah (winner)

Ben Aaronvitch

Mick Herron


The Diamond Dagger:

Is the most prestigious Dagger and is handed out for a lifetime contribution to crime writing in English. The 2023 Winner was:

Walter Mosley

Every Man A King - A King Oliver Novel, by Walter Molsey


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