Stuart MacBride and Philip Gooden

The CWA Dagger in the Library 2007

Stuart MacBride wins

C.J. Sansom is Very Highly Commended

Stuart MacBride has won the 2007 Dagger in the Library, nominated and judged by librarians and awarded to an author for a body of work, not one single title. His Dagger and a cheque for the £1500 prize money were presented by Ben Wright of sponsor Random House.

C.J. Sansom, who was also shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, was Very Highly Commended.

This year, the CWA and Duncan Lawrie Dagger Awards were presented at a black tie dinner at the elegant Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane in London, in the presence of the guest of honour Bob Marshall-Andrews, QC, MP. The event began with a drinks reception at 6:30pm, followed by dinner in the ballroom at 7:45pm, before the winners were announced.

The other shortlisted authors were Kate Atkinson, Susan Hill, Barbara Nadel and Courttia Newland. See the shortlists page for more information about them.

Stuart MacBride

Judges’ comments:
‘His books tell of life in all its grim reality, but this only adds to the appeal of this truly impressive new author...the grimmest of subjects, but leavened (thankfully) with dashes of humour. He’s bad news for the Aberdeen tourist industry, but great news for crime readers.”

Stuart MacBride was born in Dumbarton, near Glasgow and moved to Aberdeen at the age of two. After dropping out of university to work offshore he went to work for himself as a graphic designer, eventually becoming studio manager for a nation-wide marketing company. He gave it all up to have a go at becoming and actor, until it became clear to him that he was never going to be good enough to make a decent living out of it.

While his career path continued to twist and turn, at this point Stuart took the plunge in his personal life and married a blonde from Fife named Fiona. Whilst progressing through a whole new career in the IT sector ending up as project manager for a global IT company, he also wrote in his spare time. Stuart’s first novel, Cold Granite, was published to acclaim in 2005. The author lives in North-east Scotland with his wife and their cat. His latest novels are Dying Light and Broken Skin.

C.J. SansomC.J. Sansom

Judges’ comments:
‘Brilliantly researched stories about turbulent Tudor England; we like his hero Matthew Shardlake – he’s an impressive sleuth and a good man, a thoroughly likeable character. Authentic settings, entertaining and enjoyable stories – they satisfy on so many levels.’

C. J. Sansom came to prominence with his series set in the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century, whose main character is the hunchbacked lawyer Matthew Shardlake. Shardlake works on commission initially from Thomas Cromwell in Dissolution and Dark Fire and then Thomas Cranmer in Sovereign. His most recent novel, Winter in Madrid, is a spy thriller set in Spain in 1940.

Sansom was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he took a BA and then a PhD in history. After working in a variety of jobs, he decided to retrain as a solicitor. He practised for a while in Sussex as a lawyer for the disadvantaged, then he quit in order to work full-time as a writer. Dark Fire won the 2005 CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger.

Judging Panel

Will Cooban (Chair) - Bexley Libraries

Mark Benjamin - Northumberland Libraries

Miriam Bennett - Liverpool Library

Jonathan Gibbs - City of London Libraries

Muriel Waldt - Bedfordshire Libraries

Kim Wallis - Leicestershire Libraries