Val Mc Dermid and Arnaud Bamberger

Photo: Tim Griffiths for Cartier

Val McDermid wins the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger 2010

Bestselling author VAL McDERMID is this year's recipient of the prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, which honours outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing. Arnaud Bamberger, the Managing Director of Cartier UK, presented her with the Cartier Diamond Dagger at a champagne reception at the Gore Hotel, Queens Gate, London SW7 on the evening of Thursday 6th May.

M Bamberger reminded us of the great names who had received the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in its 25 year history. Pointing to Val’s commercial, critical and international success since 1984, he said she was a worthy recipient, adding that even as a young journalist, her nickname was 'killer', which might have hinted at her career to come. In her acceptance speech, Val McDermid paid tribute to the people who had helped her achieve her dreams. She said that when she began writing, she felt as if she was standing on the shoulders of giants. Now she stood shoulder to shoulder with them.

The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger is given in recognition of Val’s work over more than 20 years. It is the latest accolade in a highly successful career which last year saw Val inducted into the Hall of Fame at the ITV3 Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards, whose partners include the CWA.

Val, who was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and divides her time between Northumberland and Cheshire, said of the CWA Carter Diamond Dagger award: “'I'm delighted to be admitted to this very select group of crime writers. To be awarded the CWA Carter Diamond Dagger is a distinction every writer dreams of. It's been an amazing twelve months - inducted into the Hall of Fame, elected to an Honorary Fellowship at St Hilda's College, Oxford and now the Diamond Dagger. But my readers can be reassured about one thing - I'm not going to rest on my laurels. There are still plenty of mountains for me to climb.”

Margaret Murphy, immediate past chair of the CWA, said: “The CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award acknowledges the work of an author who has made an outstanding contribution to the genre.

“Val McDermid is a worthy winner whose work has entertained and thrilled millions of readers as well as many more who have enjoyed the TV adaptations her books have inspired.”

“The recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award is chosen by the members and committee of the CWA and is very much an honour awarded by the author’s peers and this makes it special.”

A prize-winning career

In 1995 Val McDermid won the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year for The Mermaids Singing, which first introduced her readership to Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, and went on to become an international bestseller. Fever of the Boneis the sixth novel of this series which inspired Wire in the Blood.

She has won many awards internationally, including the LA Times Book of the Year Award. In 2007, she won The Stonewall Writer of the Year Award.

Val is a top 10 bestseller who has been translated into 40 languages, with more than two million copies sold in the UK and 10 million worldwide. She has written 23 bestselling novels and the popular ITV series Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green, was based on her books and ran for six series. A three-part ITV drama of Val’s A Place of Execution was broadcast in the autumn of 2007.

Val is also a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 4.

Val McDermid's website is at

The Cartier Diamond Dagger

The Cartier Diamond Dagger

As the name suggests, this coveted award is sponsored by Cartier, who have done so since its inception in 1986. The CWA committee selects writers nominated by the membership. Nominees have to meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality.

Earlier winners are listed above right: the names are linked to the appropriate page on this web site.