Three winners with Margaret Murphy

Photo: Fiona Davies  

Left-to-right: Colin Cotterill, Catherine O’Keefe, Margaret Murphy and Sean Chercover.

The CWA Dagger Awards 2009

For the first time in its history, three major CWA Daggers were presented in a televised ceremony as part of the first Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2009. ITV3 viewers saw William Brodrick named as winner of the CWA Gold Dagger for A Whispered Name, along with John Hart, who won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger and Johan Theorin, who picked up the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards is an exciting new partnership between the CWA, Cactus TV and ITV3. The initiative has the support of leading publishers and high street retailers and with posters and stickered books in shops and supermarkets and coverage in the press, reinforcing its status as a major industry event.

Crime Writers’ Association Chair Margaret Murphy commented: “The Crime Writers’ Association Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over fifty years. This exciting partnership will enable us to create a mass media platform for the Crime Writers’ Association’s proud heritage in recognising great crime writing talent. We are delighted that the Daggers will benefit from this increased exposure and we look forward to reaching a new audience for what is already publishing’s most popular genre.”

Earlier in the summer, at a drinks reception held at the Tiger Tiger nightspot in London, the Crime Writers’ Association announced the winners of the Dagger in the Library (Colin Cotterill), International (Fred Vargas), Short Story (Sean Chercover) and Debut Daggers (Catherine O’Keefe). CWA Chair Margaret Murphy said: “Yet again, the Daggers have shown the depth of talent that exists within the world of crime writing. All our winning and shortlisted authors have exhibited a terrific talent which augurs well for the continued success of the genre.”

The 2009 Cartier Diamond Dagger, awarded not for a single book but for sustained excellence in crime writing, went to Andrew Taylor. His long list of awards demonstrates how he won this honour: Andrew Taylor's first novel Caroline Minuscule won the CWA's John Creasey Award in 1982. He is the only author to have won the Ellis Peters Historical Award twice, in 2001 for The Office of the Dead and in 2003 for The American Boy (about the English boyhood of Edgar Allan Poe), which also won the US Audie in the literary fiction category. He has been shortlisted for the Gold Dagger, the Edgar, and many other awards in the UK and abroad.

Philip Kerr, the author of the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award winning If The Dead Rise Not, learned of his success at a presentation ceremony held at Six Fitzroy Square, London on 29 October 2009. He is the author of five other acclaimed Bernie Gunther novels and is acknowledged as one of today’s finest thriller writers. If the Dead Rise Not had previously won the €125,000 RBA international prize for crime writing.