Stella Duffy

Photo: Mathew Keller Design & Photography for the CWA

Stella Duffy wins the CWA Short Story Dagger 2013

Come Away with Me by Stella Duffy has won the 2013 CWA Short Story Dagger. She was presented with her Dagger by Ayo Onatade at the CWA Gala Awards Dinner held in London on 15th July. The judges said that her story of a surprise trip to Venice that turned into a complex game of cat and mouse was “haunting and memorable”.

Stella Duffy was born in London and grew up in New Zealand. She has written thirteen novels including five crime novels featuring Private Investigator Saz Martin, over fifty short stories, and ten plays. In addition to her writing work, she is also a theatre director and performer. She lives in London. This is the second CWA Short Story Dagger that she has won: in 2002 Martha Grace carried off the prize.

Come Away with Me appeared in The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10. The full judges’ comments were “Against the dark and moody background of canals and churches, unrequited and unforgotten love rears its deadly head. The gradual increase in tension is skilfully controlled, leading to a horrifying conclusion. Excellent depiction of both character and place. Haunting and memorable.”

The other five stories on the shortlist were:
Method Murder by Simon Brett
Stairway C by Piero Colaprico
The Case of Death and Honey by Neil Gaiman
Ferengi by Carlo Lucarelli
Lost and Found by Zoë Sharp

These stories, and the winner, appeared in just three books:

The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Constable).
Maxim Jakubowski is a London-based novelist and editor. He was born in the UK and educated in France. Following a career in book publishing, he opened the world-famous Murder One bookshop in London in 1988 and has since combined running it, now online, with his writing and editing career. The earlier volumes in this series have been awarded six CWA Short Story Daggers.

Order The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10 from Amazon UK

Outsiders, edited by Ben Faccini (MacLehose Press)
A powerful collection of stories and crime fiction by Italy’s most innovative contemporary writers. Editor Ben Faccini was born in England and brought up in rural France and Italy. He worked for many years at UNESCO in Paris. He is the author of two books, The Water-Breather and The Incomplete Husband. As well as novels, he has written extensively on issues in the developing world.

Order Outsiders from Amazon UK

Vengeance, edited by Lee Child (Corvus)
Edited and with an introduction by Lee Child, this new collection of stories reveals the shocking consequences when men and women take the law into their own hands. Lee Child is the internationally bestselling author of fourteen Jack Reacher thrillers and is the winner of the 2013 CWA Diamond Dagger.

Order Vengeance from Amazon UK

More about the other books on the shortlist

Method Murder by Simon Brett – The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10
An actor who wants to advance himself becomes involved with a mercurial and pompous director who persuades him to immerse himself in his craft, where he makes some unusual fiends.

Judges’ Comments – Method acting is taken to a new level with surprising results. This well crafted story successfully treads the narrow line between comic and serious, displaying a rare intelligence.

Stairway C by Piero Colaprico – Outsiders
A sinister account of drug dealing and murder set in a Milanese tenement.

Judges’ Comments – A literary take on the police procedural story, with strong characterisation, convincing dialogue and an interesting structure. Packs a great deal into a short space.

The Case of Death and Honey by Neil Gaiman - The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10
Sherlock Holmes travels to China after his brother Mycroft’s death, searching for bees and honey with amazing powers.

Judges’ Comments – A highly unusual and moving take on the great detective and his hobby, with a well-drawn exotic backdrop.

Ferengi by Carlo Lucarelli – Outsiders
The actions of a maid become pivotal to the fate of an exploitative Italian colonial family based in a trading settlement in Eritrea over several generations.

Judges’ comments – A dark, scheming tale of greed, manipulation and murder. An exceptionally well-told story structured around three photographs and a drawing.

Lost and Found by Zoë Sharp – Vengeance
What seems to be a sordid murder in an alley turns into something much more chilling.

Judges’ Comments – A tale of revenge with religious and sexual undertones. The challenging interplay between second and third person narrators gives this story an extra dimension.



Ayo Onatade Chairperson – does interviews, writes and reviews on all things crime fiction for a number of crime fiction websites including and Crimespree Magazine. She is also a judge for the HWA (Historical Writers Association) Goldsboro Crown. Ayo can also be found blogging at Shotsmag Confidential.

Paul Johnston was born in Edinburgh and educated there and at Oxford. He has won the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger (in 1997 with Body Politic) and the Sherlock Award. The Green Lady (Crème de la Crime) is his fourteenth novel. He is completing a PhD in Creative Writing.

LC Tyler is the author of the Ethelred and Elsie series, which has been nominated for two Edgar Allan Poe awards in the US and which won the 2011 Last Laugh Award with The Herring in the Library. He is Vice Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association. A former cultural attaché, he has lived (at various times) in London, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Copenhagen, Khartoum and West Wittering.