Louise Penny

Louise Penny wins 2006 New Blood Dagger

The Canadian author Louise Penny has won the 2006 CWA New Blood Dagger with her novel Still Life. The New Blood Dagger is awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey, for first books by previously unpublished writers. This dagger carries a prize of £1000 and is sponsored by BBC Audiobooks. It was presented by their Editorial Manager, Sara Keane.

Still Life is published by Hodder Headline. The judges described the book as ‘An old-fashioned mystery featuring well-rounded appealing characters and a gentle pace with unexpected savagery.’

Still Life As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life – all except one . . . To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident – a hunter’s arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead? In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets . . .

Author Louise Penny (seen above accepting her dagger) was born and raised in Toronto and was an award-winning radio journalist, hosting hard news and current affairs broadcasts for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She now lives south of Montreal with her husband Michael and three smelly dogs.

In 2004, the opening chapter of Still Life was very highly commended in that year's Debut Dagger Competition. Published in Canada last autumn, it rapidly climbed to number five in the best-seller list and won an Arthur Ellis award for the best first novel from the Crime Writers of Canada. It will be published by St. Martin’s Minotaur in the US this July. Headline is publishing her second novel, Dead Cold, this October.

Louise Penny's website is

This Year's Judging Panel

Marion Arnott - short story writer, winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger, 2001 and shortlisted twice
Jonathan Gash - author of the Lovejoy series
Laura Wilson - author of psychological stand-alones, shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger in 2005, shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger in 2006

The other shortlisted books were:
Brian Freeman Immoral (Headline)
Kitty Sewell Ice Trap (Honno Welsh Women’s Press)