Steve Mosby accepts his Dagger

Photo: © Fiona Davies

Steve Mosby wins The CWA Dagger in the Library

Sponsor: The Random House Group

Prize: £1500

5 July 2012: Steve Mosby has won the 2012 CWA Dagger in the Library. The announcement was made this evening at the awards ceremony held at One Birdcage Walk in London. Our photo shows him accepting his award.

He was chosen from a shortlist of six arrived at by debate (and dispute!) among the judges, and drawn from around 60 authors nominated by Libraries right across the UK.

The judges said “Steve’s plots can be dark, but we found the ingenuity of the stories and the humanity of his characters quite uplifting. We enjoyed the variety in his work and relished his ability to spin really good yarns which creeped us out in no small measure. It would be a mistake to start one of his books late in the evening because your chances of getting to sleep at a reasonable time are slight – the books are too involving, and the characters too interesting to enable you to easily shut the book and come back tomorrow. We were delighted to discover this author that none of us had been familiar with before – this is the joy of the nominations that come in from Libraries, where so much avid crime reading gets done.”

Steve Mosby lives and works in Leeds. He is the author of The Third Person, The Cutting Crew, The 50/50 Killer, Cry For Help, Still Bleeding, Black Flowers and, forthcoming in July, Dark Room. His novels have been translated widely and longlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Steve Mosby is published by Orion and his website is the left room.

There is more information about the award over on the Dagger in the Library page. There were five other authors who made the shortlist. They are Belinda Bauer, S.J. Bolton, Susan Hill, Peter May and Imogen Robertson. Here is more information about them, and why they have earned their place in the shortlist:

Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer

Judges’ comments: “Her work is clever and thought-provoking, and she has great ability in toying with the emotions of the reader.”

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters. Her debut novel Blacklands earned her the CWA Gold Dagger in 2010. She lives in Wales and is currently working on her next novel.

She is published by Transworld and her website is

The photograph of Belinda Bauer is by Johnny Ring

S.J. Bolton

S.J. Bolton

Judges’ comments: “Her work is dark and brooding, vivid and exciting. Imaginative page-turners with original settings and very varied backgrounds.”

S.J. Bolton was born in Lancashire and lives near Oxford with her husband and young son. Blood Harvest was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA Gold Dagger and Awakening won the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award in 2010.

She has five books to her name: Dead Scared, Now You See Me, Awakening, Sacrifice and, most recently, You’re Not Alone.

She is published by Bantam Press, Transworld and her website is

Susan Hill

Susan Hill

Judges’ comments: “An intelligent, thought-provoking author, a modern day successor to the golden age of crime writers.”

Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She is the author of over fifty books, including six Serrailler crime novels, most recently Betrayal of Trust.

Susan Hill was born in Scarborough and educated at King’s College London. She is married to the Shakespeare scholar, Stanley Wells, and they have two daughters. She lives in Gloucestershire, where she runs her own small publishing firm, Long Barn Books.

Susan Hill is published by Vintage and her website is

The photograph of Susan Hill is by Ben Graville.

Peter May

Peter May

Judges’ comments: “An accomplished author, at the height of his powers with this latest trilogy. He manages to vary his settings while always creating completely believable characters.”

Peter May was an award-winning journalist at the age of just twenty-one. He left newspapers for television and screenwriting, creating three prime-time British drama series and accruing more than 1,000 television credits. Peter now lives in France where he focuses on writing novels.

He is published by Quercus and his website is

Imogen Robertson

Imogen Robertson

Judges’ comments: “Atmospheric writing, fascinating characters, beautifully interwoven in original and well-authenticated historical settings.”

Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge, and now lives in London. She directed for TV, film and radio before becoming a full-time author, and also writes and reviews poetry. Imogen won the Telegraph‘s “First thousand words of a novel competition” in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel.

She is published by Headline and her website is


Karen Fraser Chair) is Executive Manager of Shetland Library, Britain's most northerly library service. She likes to spend the long dark winters immersed in the foulest depths of the crime writers' art.

Cheney Gardner (Past Chair) is the Reader and Community Services Manager at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. She has worked in public libraries for about 9 years, many of them spent happily supporting reading groups and promoting reading. She is an avid reader herself and loves a good mystery.

Mobeena Khan is a Stock and Reader Development Librarian for Hertfordshire Libraries.  The first crime book she remembers reading was 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' when she was eight.  She hasn't stopped reading crime fiction since.  And still loves Sherlock Holmes.

John Martin is a veteran librarian, patrolling the mean streets of Leicestershire upholding the good name of crime fiction against literary gangsters, saga writers and the hidden underworld of The Booker Prize.

Helen McNabb is the stock manager for the Vale of Glamorgan libraries. She has been working in public libraries for 19 years, and is a keen reader enjoying crime, science fiction and non fiction, and enjoys having new writers suggested by the nominations for the Dagger in the Library.

Deborah Ryan currently works at RNIB's National Library Service where she manages a team who help blind and partially sighted readers to get the best out of the meagre 5% of books published in accessible formats. She enjoys a good old-fashioned whodunnit but has discovered new and exciting crime genres while being a Dagger judge.

Sue Wilkinson has worked in public libraries for 36 years and is Reader Development Officer for Birmingham Libraries. Before taking up this post, she was a prison librarian for many years. Having spent a lot of time with the real thing, she finds crime fiction much more entertaining, and is looking forward to discovering new writers and crime genres.