THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION®

Belinda Bauer

Belinda Bauer wins the CWA Dagger in the Library

Sponsor: Dead Good, The Random House Group

Prize: £1500

Monday July 15th: Belinda Bauer has won this year’s CWA Dagger in the Library. Mobeena Khan, who chaired this year’s judges, made the announcement at the CWA Gala Awards Dinner held at Kings Place in London.

Bauer impressed the judges again this year with her fourth novel, Rubbernecker: “A consummate storyteller, she hooks the reader in right from the beginning and doesn’t let go.”

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. With her first novel, Blacklands, Belinda won the CWA Gold Dagger in 2010. Her second and third novels, Darkside and Finders Keepers, were highly acclaimed, and she was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library Award last year.

She lives in Wales and is published by Transworld. Her website is www.belindabauer.co.uk.

Mobeena Khan

Photo: Mathew Keller Design & Photography for the CWA

Mobeena Khan

The judges have been thrilled with the response and the nominations received from libraries up, down and across the country and were knee deep in books from January to May. They greatly enjoyed reading through the longlist, and after much heated discussion, arrived at the shortlist and then the eventual winner.

Thanks are due Random House/Dead Good and the Reading Agency for their support and sponsorship of this unique award and also a big thank you to all the public library staff and users who took the time to nominate their favourite authors for this award. It is no exaggeration to say that this award could not take place without them.

Many congratulations to the other five shortlisted authors:

Christopher Fowler
Alison Bruce
Gordon Ferris

Elly Griffiths
Michael Ridpath

Alison Bruce

Alison Bruce

was born in Surrey but moved to Cambridge in 1998 where she lives with her husband and two children. The first novel in the Gary Goodhew series, Cambridge Blue, was published in 2008, followed by The Siren, The Calling and The Silence. She has also written two true crime books. The fifth Goodhew novel, The Backs, will be published in September 2013.

She is published by Constable & Robinson and her website is www.alisonbruce.com.

Solid writing and interesting plots and characters have made Bruce a favourite amongst the reading public and the judges.

Gordon Ferris

Gordon Ferris

is an ex-techy in the Ministry of Defence and an ex-partner in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. Maybe that's where he gets his interest in spies and crooks. He writes about the important things in life: conflicted heroes and headstrong women embroiled in tangled tales of life, love and death. He is the author of the No. 1 bestselling eBook The Hanging Shed and the new novel Bitter Water in the Brodie series as well as Truth Dare Kill and The Unquiet Heart in the Danny McRae series.

His website is www.gordonferris.com

A master of tartan noir, the Danny McRae and Douglas Brodie series combine thrills, violence and a hefty dose of black humour. Strong plots and believable characters delivered with a fast pace make these books a cut above the average historical crime novel.

Christopher Fowler

Christopher Fowler

is the multi award-winning author of over thirty novels and twelve short story collections, including Roofworld, Spanky, Calabash, Hell Train and ten Bryant & May mystery novels. He currently writes a weekly column in the Independent on Sunday and reviews for the Financial Times. He lives in King’s Cross in London.

He is published by Bantam and his website is www.christopherfowler.co.uk

A real discovery for the judges this year, Fowler's Bryant and May series has become a firm favourite with the judges who enjoyed reading about the irascible duo and the fascinating details Fowler uses about his locations.

Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths

was born in London. She read English at King's College, London and worked in publishing for many years. Her crime novels are based in Norfolk and feature Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist and their two children.

She is published by Quercus and her website is www.ellygriffiths.co.uk.

Her series featuring archaeologist Ruth Galloway is going from strength to strength. Griffiths beautifully developed characters and relationships are as much of a draw as her plots.

Michael Ridpath

Michael Ridpath

spent eight years as a bond trader in the City before giving up his job to write full-time. He wrote eight thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance, before turning his hand to something slightly different. The result, Where The Shadows Lie, the first in a series featuring an Icelandic detective named Magnus, was published in June 2010. This was followed with 66° North and Meltwater. He lives in north London with his wife and three children.

He is published by the Corvus imprint of Atlantic Books and his website is michaelridpath.com.

Michael’s Fire and Ice series, set in Iceland, achieves fascinating tensions and contrasts. His hero, policeman Magnus Jonson, a native Icelander who grew up in the USA, is both insider and outsider. Modern society and politics are the background for these crime thrillers, but so too is history and legend, and through each book runs the a historic family mystery that obsesses Magnus. Always, there is the astonishing volcanic landscape, vividly described as a background to the action.

This award is unique in that it is the only award that is nominated exclusively by library users, readers and librarians. You really do get to decide who gets onto the long list. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors Dead Good, this year for the first time people were able to nominate their favourite authors online, and have the chance of winning £200 worth of books from Random House Publishers.

The nominated authors must be alive, preferably working in Britain and cannot have won the award before. As the award is for a body of work, authors should have published at least three books. Entries from reading groups or individuals are submitted through libraries.

JUDGING PANEL

Mobeena Khan (chair) 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.

Stewart Bain has spent a decade working at Orkney Library & Archive, which has kept people in the isles reading since 1683. He does Reader Development at the library and is responsible for the award-winning @OrkneyLibrary Twitter feed. He helps run the Monday Night Murders crime reading group and is determined to stop procrastinating and finish his Open University Literature degree at some point in the not-too-distant future. Likes biscuits.

Karen Fraser (Past 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.

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.

Jennifer Stewart is a Service Development Librarian with Fife Cultural Trust, and has worked in public libraries for over twenty years, passing on her passion for reading to anyone who is willing to listen! She is regularly to be found mixing with all sorts of criminal types via the pages of a book, and loves discovering new crime writers.

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.