The CWA Gold and Silver Daggers for Fiction 2003

Minette Walters wins Gold

and Morag Joss wins Silver

The 2003 winners of The Gold and Silver Daggers, the leading awards for literary crime fiction in the UK, were announced at the CWA 50th Jubilee Dagger Awards Lunch in London on Thursday 13 November 2003.

The Gold Dagger and £3000 goes to Minette Walters for Fox Evil (Macmillan)

Fox Evil When elderly Ailsa Lockyer-Fox is found dead in her garden, dressed only in nightclothes and with blood stains on the ground near her body, the finger of suspicion points at her wealthy, landowning husband, Colonel James Lockyer-Fox. A coroner's inquest gives a verdict of 'natural causes' but the gossip surrounding him refuses to go away. Why? Because he's guilty? Or because resentful women in the isolated Dorset village where he lives rule the roost?

Shenstead is a place of too few people and too many secrets. Friendless and alone, his reclusive behaviour begins to alarm his London-based solicitor, Mark Ankerton, whose alarm deepens when he discovers that James has become the victim of a relentless campaign which accuses him of far worse than the death of his wife. Allegations which he refuses to challenge . . . So begins a bitter war of resentment, and an unlikely alliance between strangers, whose clearer eyes and compassionate natures reveal evil for what it really is . . .

The runner-up, winning the Silver Dagger and £2000, is Morag Joss for Half-Broken Things (Hodder & Stoughton).

The other shortlisted titles were:

Boris Akunin - The Winter Queen - Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Robert Littell - The Company - Macmillan
Carlo Lucarelli - Almost Blue - Harvill
Robert Wilson - The Blind Man Of Seville - HarperCollins