The CWA Dagger Awards 2002

The winners of The CWA The Macallan Daggers were announced at the Crime Writers' Association The Macallan Awards Lunch, held at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London on Thursday 7 November 2002. Details of the winners are set out below, with links to further information including shortlists.

The Cartier Diamond Dagger

The Crime Writers' Association is delighted to announce that SARA PARETSKY is the winner of the 2002 Cartier Diamond Dagger. This annual award, sponsored by Cartier, is given to a writer in recognition for a lifetime’s achievement in the genre of crime writing.

The CWA The Macallan Gold and Silver Daggers for Fiction

The Gold Dagger and £3000 goes to Jose Carlos Samoza for The Athenian Murders (Abacus)
The judges commented: “Complex, intellectually intriguing Ancient Greek crime. Plays tricks with the rules of detection, time itself, and the reader's expectations. A virtuoso performance.”

The runner-up, winning the Silver Dagger and £2000, is James Crumley for The Final Country (HarperCollins)
The judges commented: “A wild, free-wheeling cocaine and bourbon fuelled ride through Texas and America's mid west. Labyrinthine plot never fails to grip.”

The CWA The Macallan Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

The judges were impressed by the range and quality of the submissions of this year’s CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger. This area of crime writing continues to attract authors of real excellence. The winner, receiving the Dagger plus £2000, is Lillian Pizzichini for Dead Man’s Wages (Picador)
The judges said: “As a first book, this promises well for the future career of the author, if she continues to write. It is a clever reconstruction of the life of her grandfather, Charlie Taylor: a conman who used the postwar building boom, and the proliferation of illegal gaming clubs, to penetrate High(er) society, as well as the Flying Squad. He lived life on the edge, making and losing fortunes, with an unrelenting desire to control everything, and everybody, around him. As Pizzichini writes: ‘I was lucky. I came in at the end, and the worst and the best were over... All that is left for me to do is to rob the secrets of his grave.’”

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

This is a new award introduced this year for best thriller, suggested and sponsored by Ian Fleming (Glidrose) Publications Ltd., to celebrate the best of contemporary thriller writing. The winner's prize is the Steel Dagger, plus £2000, and this goes to John Creed for The Sirius Crossing (Faber and Faber)
The Judges commented: “A literate and highly accessible thriller. You are hooked from the introduction.”

There were nearly 100 entries and the judges commented: “...nearly all of them were a great pleasure to read. The overall standard was very high and it's good to see that the thriller is in such good health and comes from many different voices. The judges' discussion was long and occasionally heated. Each book on the shortlist has a very passionate champion on the panel...”

The CWA The Macallan Short Story Dagger

This year’s winner of the Short Story Dagger and £1500 is Martha Grace by Stella Duffy, published in the Tart Noir anthology (Pan Macmillan):
Who is the victim in this imaginative meeting of polar opposites? This one gives heft to the esoteric and lingers in the memory after other stories have been forgotten.

The CWA Dagger in the Library

This award, sponsored by the Random House Group, goes to the author whose work has given most pleasure to readers. It is judged by librarians. The winner, who takes the dagger and £1500, is Peter Robinson, published by Macmillan. The judges commented: “The Inspector Banks novels are becoming grittier, darker and ever more popular. The hero is a maverick in the traditional style.”

Three other Daggers, whose winners were announced earlier, were also presented at the Awards Lunch.

The CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger

is the UK's leading literary award for first time novelists writing crime fiction. It is sponsored by Chivers Press. The 2002 winner, who receives the Dagger and £1000, is Louise Welsh for her novel The Cutting Room, published by Canongate. The announcement was made at Dead on Deansgate on 5 October.

The CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2002

Sarah Waters has won the Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Dagger for best historical crime novel for her book Fingersmith, published by Virago. The book was also short-listed for the Man Booker Award. The Ellis Peters judges described it as a dark and subtle novel. It is set in Victorian England and, the judges say, creates a stunning atmosphere of wickedness and fear. The prize is £3,000 and an ornamental dagger. The award is sponsored by publishers Headline and Little Brown and the estate of Ellis Peters.

The Debut Dagger

The Debut Dagger, and a cheque for £250, for a so-far unpublished crime writer, was awarded to Ilona van Mil for Sugarmilk Falls, with Carol Baier’s entry, Heaven's Door, being Highly Commended. The Debut Dagger 2002 contest attracted 350 entries from fifteen countries including the UK. The exceptionally high standard of entries this year produced a long-shortlist of twenty to go into the final judging round.

The Macallan Dagger

The Macallan Daggers are sponsored by The Macallan, distillers of the finest Single Highland Malt Whisky, in association with the Crime Writers' Association.
The Gold and Silver Daggers were founded by The Crime Writers' Association in 1956. The CWA continue to manage the awards today.

Since 1824, The Macallan single malt has flowed from the site close to an ancient crossing on the majestic River Spey, Scotland's premier salmon river. The only distillery that has remained true to the tradition of maturing all of its whisky in Spanish sherry oak casks, The Macallan is a consistent international award winner. It has deservedly won the reputation as "the single malt against which all others must be judged".

The Macallan Daggers are the UK's leading literary awards for crime writing. Previous winners of the awards have included Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Janet Evanovich, and Lady Antonia Fraser. The awards are sponsored by The Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and are managed by the Crime Writers' Association, originators of The Daggers.