The CWA Dagger in the Library, 2002

Winner: Peter Robinson

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."

The other shortlisted authors were:

  • Stephen Booth (Publisher Harper Collins)
  • Natasha Cooper/Daphne Wright/Clare Layton (Publisher Simon & Schuster)
  • Liz Evans (Publisher Orion)
  • Quintin Jardine (Publisher Headline)
  • Stuart Pawson (Publisher Allison and Busby)

The Dagger in the Library is a newly re-instated annual award given to 'the author of crime fiction whose work has given most pleasure to readers', as nominated by UK libraries and judged by a panel of Librarians.

The competition, which is organised by the Crime Writers' Association, is intended to encourage practising authors at the 'up and coming' stage of their careers, so those nominated should be alive at the time of nomination and preferably working in Britain. The broadest definition of the crime novelist is used for nominations; it can include authors of thrillers, suspense novels, spy fiction and period fiction as well as more traditional forms like 'cosies' and police procedurals.

Previously awarded in the 1990s, the Dagger in the Library was won by Lindsey Davis and Marian Babson. It is now sponsored by publishers The Random House Group Inc. Judges for the 2002 were under the non-voting chairmanship of Lindsey Davis (who was therefore not eligible for nomination). The voting judges were all librarians who have regular direct contact with the public.