Fred Vargas receives the first Duncan Lawrie International Dagger

The CWA International Dagger

Before 2006, novels in translation were eligible for the CWA Gold Dagger on the same footing as any other works published in English in the qualifying period. With the growing popularity (and therefore publication) of crime fiction in translation, the judges became uneasily aware that they could be awarding prizes to authors of whose writing they had read literally not a single word, while overlooking the contribution of the translator to the book on whose merits they were pronouncing.

In 2006, therefore, a new Dagger award was introduced for the year’s best crime novel translated into English from another language, and translated works became ineligible for the Gold Dagger. From 2006 to 2008 the International Dagger was named for its sponsor, the Duncan Lawrie Private Bank. The Dagger rewards both the original author and the translator, since the book for which it is given is the work of both parties.

Remarkably, in three of the first four years of the International Dagger, it was won by the same team, French writer Fred Vargas and translator Siân Reynolds. They returned in 2013 as joint winners. The full list of winners so far (click the date for more information) is:

2013: sharded between Ghost Riders of Ordebec (Harvill Secker) - Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds and
Alex (Maclehose Press/Quercus) by Pierre Lemaitre, translated by Frank Wynne.

2012: The Potter’s Field (Mantle) - Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli

2011: Three Seconds (Quercus) - Anders Roslund & Börge Hellström, translated by Kari Dickson

2010: The Darkest Room (Doubleday) - Johan Theorin, translated by Marlaine Delargy

2009: The Chalk Circle Man (Harvill Secker) - Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds

2008: Lorraine Connection (EuroCrime imprint of Arcadia Books) - Dominique Manotti, translated by Amanda Hopkinson and Ros Schwartz

2007: Wash this Blood Clean from my Hand (Harvill Secker) - Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds

2006: The Three Evangelists (The Harvill Press) - Fred Vargas, translated by Siân Reynolds