Tuesday, December 29, 2020

New Releases - November and December 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in November and December 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). 

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.  
Anthology - Afraid Of The Christmas Lights
Anthology - The Book of Extraordinary New Sherlock Holmes Stories (ed. Maxim Jakubowski)  
Jane Adams - Old Sins #6 Detective Chief Inspector Henry Johnstone, 1928
Margaret Addison - Murder on the Cornish Coast #10 Rose Simpson
Tim Adler - Dead Already
Rachel Amphlett - Blood on Snow #1 Detective Kay Hunter Novella
Lawrence Anholt - Festival of Death #2 DI Shanti Joyce & Vince Caine, the Mindful Detective
Tessa Arlen - Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers #2 Air Warden Mystery
Isabel Ashdown - 33 Women
Rob Aspinall - Chosen Girls (apa Homecoming)
Heather Atkinson - Blood Brothers #1 Gallowburn
Lisa Ballantyne - Once Upon a Lie
James Barrington - Cyberstrike: London (with professor Richard Benham) #1 Ben Morgan
Tom Benjamin - The Hunting Season #2 Daniel Leicester, Bologna
Simon Berthon - A Time to Lie
Helen Black - Hard as Nails #4 Liberty Chapman
Hilary Bonner - Cry Darkness
Roxanne Bouchard - The Coral Bride #2 Detective Moralès, Quebec
Graham Brack - The Noose's Shadow #4 Master Mercurius
Rebecca Bradley - See No Evil #7 DI Hannah Robbins
Gerard Brennan - Shot #1 DS Shannon McNulty
Simon Brett - Guilt at the Garage #20 Carole and Jude, Fethering, Southern coast of England
Vivien Brown - Be Careful What You Wish For
Sheryl Browne - Trust Me
Robert Bryndza - Shadow Sands #2 Kate Marshall
Susanna Calkins - The Sign of the Gallows #5 Lucy Campion, Chambermaid, 17thC
Sam Carrington - The Open House
John Carson - Starvation Lake #1 DCI Sean Bracken
Meg Carter - The Day She Can't Forget
Karen Clarke - Your Life for Mine
M A Comley - Cold Mercy #10 DI Sarah Ramsey
Catherine Cooper - The Chalet
Judith Cranswick - Blood Follows Jane Austen #7 Fiona Mason
Judith Cutler - Legacy of Death #2 Matthew Rowsley, Steward &  Mrs Faulkner, Housekeeper, Victorian Era
Michelle Davies - Shadow of a Doubt
Diane M Dickson - Body on the Shore #1 DI Jordan Carr, Liverpool
Keith Dixon - The Two Fathers #11 Private Investigator Sam Dyke
Margaret Duffy - Gillard's Sting #22 Major Patrick Gillard, MI5 & Ingrid Langley, author (ex MI5)
Bella Ellis - The Diabolical Bones #2 The Brontë Mysteries
Kate Ellis - The House of the Hanged Woman #3 Inspector Albert Lincoln, 1919
Joy Ellis - They Disappeared #7 DI Rowan Jackman & DS Maria Evans, Lincolnshire
Caroline England - Truth Games
Kjell Eriksson - The Night of the Fire #11 Detective Ann Lindell, Uppsala, Sweden
Jessica Fellowes - The Mitford Trial #4 Louisa Cannon, Maid to the Mitfords, 1919
Keith Finney - A Yuletide Mystery #6 Norfolk Cozy Mysteries
Sebastian Fitzek - The Package
Ariana Franklin (with Samantha Norman) - Death and the Maiden #5 Adelia, 'doctor to the dead', C12th
Ashley Gardner - The Custom House Murders #15 Captain Lacey, Regency Era
Jack Gatland - Letter From The Dead #1 DI Declan Walsh
D J Gatward - Best Served Cold #2 DCI Harry Grimm
Anne Glenconner - Murder on Mustique
Lisa Gray - Dark Highway #3 Jessica Shaw
Morgan Greene - Fresh Meat #2 DS Jamie Johansson
Ross Greenwood - The Ice Killer #3 DI Barton
Heath Gunn - Khan
Liam Hanson - Lies People Tell #1 Murder Squad, Cardiff
Liam Hanson - Dead People Sleep #2 Murder Squad, Cardiff
Zhou Haohui - Fate #2 Chengdu Police Department
Cora Harrison - Summer of Secrets #3 Gaslight Mystery
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles - Cruel as the Grave #22 Bill Slider, Shepherd's Bush CID
Beverley Harvey - The Perfect Liar
Sarah Hawkswood -  River of Sins #7 Bradecote and Catchpoll, Worcestershire, C12
Matt Hilton - The Fourth Option #13 Joe Hunter
Susi Holliday- The Last Resort
Anne Holt - A Necessary Death #2 Selma Falck
Noelle Holton - Dead Perfect #3 DC Maggie Jamieson
Jorn Lier Horst - The Inner Darkness #14 Chief Inspector William Wisting, Larvik
M A Hunter - Ransomed #1 The Missing Children Case Files
Sam Hurcom - Letters from the Dead #2 Thomas Bexley, Forensic Photographer, 1904
Daniel Hurst - Til Death Do Us Part
Alison James - Her Sister's Child
Quintin Jardine - The Roots of Evil #32 Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Skinner, Edinburgh
Maureen Jennings - November Rain #2 Paradise Cafe, Toronto, 1936
Stuart Johnstone - Out in the Cold #1 Sergeant Don Colyear
Ragnar Jonasson - Winterkill #6 Ari Thor, Policeman
Conrad Jones - Good, Bad and Pure Evil #1 Anglesey Mysteries
Will Jordan - Something to Die For #9 Ryan Drake, British CIA Agent
Jessie Keane - The Manor
Simon Kernick - Kill A Stranger
Karen King - The Stranger in My Bed
Mariah Kingdom - Death Benefit #4 Rose Bennett
T E Kinsey - The Fatal Flying Affair #7 Lady Emily Hardcastle, 1908
Bill Kitson - The Bleeding Heart Killer #11 Detective Mike Nash, Yorkshire
Roberta Kray - Betrayed
Martin Kruger - Don't Wake Me
Zoe Lea - If He Wakes
Frances Lloyd - The Kings Market Killer #6 Detective Inspector Jack Dawes
Andrew Lowe - Chase The Devil #5 DI Jake Sawyer
H B Lyle - The Year of the Gun #3 Wiggins, 1909
Simon McCleave - The Solace Farm Killings #7 DI Ruth Hunter
Jo McCready - The Festival Killer #2 RJ Rox
Val McDermid - Christmas is Murder, Short Stories
Chris McDonald - The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello #1 Stonebridge Mysteries
Claire McGowan - The Push
Rachel McLean - Deadly Desires #3 DI Zoe Finch, West Midlands
Catriona McPherson - Scot on the Rocks #3 Last Ditch Mysteries
Barry Maitland - The Promised Land #13 Sergeant Kathy Kolla and Detective Chief Inspector David Brock, London
Tom Marcus - Defend or Die #2 Matt Logan, MI5 Agent
Angela Marsons - Deadly Cry #13 DI Kim Stone
Andy Maslen - Shallow Ground #1 DI Ford
Deborah Masson - Out For Blood #2 DI Eve Hunter, Aberdeen
John Mayhew - Cruelty Has A Human Heart #4 DCI Will Blake
Simon Michael - Force of Evil #6 Charles Holborne, 1960s
Dreda Say Mitchell - Dirty Tricks #1 Mo Watson
Catherine Moloney - Crime in the Book Club #10 DI Gilbert Markham
Ada Moncrieff - Murder Most Festive #1 Hugh Gaveston, 1938
Anna-Marie Morgan - The Edinburgh Murders #14 DI Yvonne Giles
M S Morris - A Darkly Shining Star #5 DI Bridget Hart, Oxford
Antoinette Moses - A Public Murder #1 DI Pam Gregory
Margaret Murphy - Don't Scream #3 DCI Rickman, Liverpool
Peter Murphy - Verbal #7 Ben Schroeder, Lawyer, 1960s
Chris Nickson - To the Dark #3 Simon Westow, Thief-taker, Regency Leeds
Olivier Norek - The Lost and the Damned #1 Banlieues Trilogy
Jim Ody - Little Miss Evil #1 Tall Trees
Ollie Ollerton - Scar Tissue #1 Alex Abbott
S J Parris - A Christmas Requiem (ebook only) #3 Giordano Bruno Novella
S J Parris - The Dead of Winter, Giordano Bruno Novella Collection
C J Parsons -The Good Samaritan
Nell Pattison - Silent Night #2 Paige Northwood, sign language interpreter
N V Peacock - Little Bones
David Penny - A Tear for the Dead #9 Thomas Berrington, 1490s
Helen Phifer - The Killer's Girl #2 Detective Morgan Brookes
Ava Pierce - Stay Home
E M Powell - The Canterbury Murders #3 Stanton and Barling
Anthony J Quinn - Turncoat
Sarah Rayne - The Devil's Harmony #5 Phineas Fox
Alex Reeve - The Butcher of Berner Street #3 Leo Stanhope, Victorian era
Sara Rosett - Murder on a Midnight Clear #6 High Society Lady Detective, 1920s England
L J Ross - Cuthbert's Way #17 DCI Ryan
Priscilla Royal - Elegy to Murder #16 Eleanor, Prioress of Tyndal, 13thC, East Anglia
Chris Ryan - Zero 22 #8 Danny Black
Jess Ryder - The Night Away
Emma Salisbury - When Darkness Falls #7 DS Coupland
Alex Shaw - Total Blackout #1 Jack Tate, ex-SAS
Bilinda P Sheehan - Splinter the Bone #3 Harriet Quinn
Alex Smith - Run Rabbit Run #5 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
Gunnar Staalesen - Fallen Angels #22 Varg Veum, PI in Bergen, Norway
Paul J Teague - Trust Me Once #1 Morecambe Bay Trilogy 2
Paul J Teague - Fall From Grace #2 Morecambe Bay Trilogy 2
Paul J Teague - Bound By Blood #3 Morecambe Bay Trilogy 2
M J Trow - Last Nocturne #7 A Grand & Batchelor Victorian Mystery
Helene Tursten - Snowdrift #3 Detective Inspector Embla Nystrom
Luca Veste - The Game
Debbie Viggiano - The Watchful Neighbour
Alex Walters - Lost Hours #2 DI Annie Delamere, Derbyshire
Ruth Ware - One by One
Jeri Westerson - Spiteful Bones #13 Crispin Guest, ex Knight, Medieval times
J D Weston - The Silent Man #1 Harvey Stone
J D Weston - The Spider's Web #2 Harvey Stone
D E White - The Ice Daughters #2 Detective Dove Milson
Rebecca Whitney - The Hidden Girl
Paul Williams - Don't Tell
Michael Wood - Stolen Children #6 DCI Matilda Darke
Sarah Woodbury - Chevalier #2 Welsh Guard Mysteries
Adam J Wright - Silence of the Bones #2 Murder Force
Dylan Young - Trauma
David Young - The Stasi Game #6 Oberleutnant Karin Müller

Saturday, December 26, 2020

New Releases - September and October 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in September and October 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). [Apologies for the continuing delay with these posts. I'm working my way up to date. We've had a couple of busy months with the Petrona.]

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Eva Björg Ægisdóttir - The Creak on the Stairs #1 Forbidden Iceland
Rachel Amphlett - Her Final Hour #2 Detective Mark Turpin
Heine Bakkeid - Scatter Her Ashes #2 Thorkild Aske
John Banville - Snow #1  Detective Inspector St John Strafford
M C Beaton - Agatha Raisin: Hot to Trot  #31 Agatha Raisin, Retired PR person, Cotswolds
S J Bennett - The Windsor Knot #1 The Queen
Graham Brack - Dishonour and Obey #3 Master Mercurius
Frances Brody - Death and the Brewery Queen #12 Kate Shackleton, Bradford, 1920s
Andrea Camilleri - The Sicilian Method #26 Inspector Montalbano, Sicily, Italy
Lee Child with Andrew Child - The Sentinel  #25 Jack Reacher, ex MP, USA
Alys Clare  - The Outcast Girls #2 World's End Bureau Victorian Mystery series
Ann Cleeves - The Darkest Evening #9 Inspector Vera Stanhope, East Yorkshire
Oliver Clements - The Eyes of the Queen #1 Agents of the Crown series
Karen Cole - Deceive Me
Martina Cole - Loyalty
Linda Coles - The Silent Ones  #3 Chrissy Livingstone
Julie Corbin - A Lie For A Lie
Ben Creed - City of Ghosts
Charles Cumming - Box 88
Emma Dakin - Crime in Cornwall #2 British Book Tour Mysteries
Anja de Jager - Death at the Orange Locks #5 Lotte Meerman, a Cold Case Detective, Amsterdam
Leona Deakin - Lost #2 Dr Bloom
Sarah A Denzil - You Are Invited (ebook only)
Sarah A Denzil - They Are Liars
Caroline Dunford - A Death in the Hospital #15 Euphemia Martins
Colin Falconer - Angels Weep #3 Detectives Charlie George and Clare Reeves
Caz Finlay - Head of the Firm #3 Bad Blood
Trish Finnegan - Blue Bird
Keith Finney - Dead... Again  #5 Norfolk Cozy Mysteries
Tana French - The Searcher
Robert Galbraith - Troubled Blood  #5 Cormoran Strike
Elly Griffiths - The Postscript Murders #2 Harbinder Kaur
Rona Halsall - The Ex-Boyfriend
S M Hardy - Evil Never Dies #2 Dark Devon Mysteries
Matt Hilton - Collision Course #7 Grey and Villere, Louisiana
Debbie Howells - The Vow
Anna Lee Huber - A Pretty Deceit #4 Verity Kent, England, 1919
Graham Hurley - Limelight #4  Enora Andresson
Peter James - I Follow
Stuart James - Stranded
Michael Jecks - Death Comes Hot #5 Jack Blackjack, Tudor Era
Louise Jensen - The Stolen Sisters
Carys Jones - The List
Mariah  Kingdom - Death Duties #3 Rose Bennett
Danuta Kot - Someone Who Isn't Me
Volker Kutscher - The March Fallen #5 Detective Inspector Rath, Berlin, 1929/30s
Anna Legat - A Conspiracy of Silence #5 DI Gillian Marsh
Nick Louth - The Body on the Island #6 DCI Craig Gillard
Nina Manning - The House Mate
David Mark - Suspicious Minds
Allan Martin - Death in Tallinn
Priscilla Masters - A Game of Minds #3 Dr Claire Roget, Forensic Psychiatrist
Jo McCready - The Hunted #1 RJ Rox
Chris McGeorge - Inside Out
Jack McSporran - Payback #3 Maggie
Zoe Miller - The Perfect Sister
Liz Mistry - Unbound Ties #7DI Gus McGuire
Vera Morris - The Ship of Death #4 Anglian Detective Agency series
Gretta Mulrooney - Never Came Home #2 DI Siv Drummond
Amy Myers - Death and the Singing Birds #3 Nell Drury, chef-sleuth, 1920s
Jo Nesbo - The Kingdom
Hakan Nesser - The Secret Life of Mr Roos  #3 Inspector Barbarotti
Stuart Neville - The Traveller and Other Stories #1Short Stories
Carlene O'Connor - Murder at an Irish Christmas #6 Siobhan O'Sullivan, Kilbane, County Cork
Nick Oldham - Bad Timing #25 DCI Christie
Sólveig Pálsdóttir - The Fox (ebook only)
Jill Paterson - Murder At The Beaufort #1 Phoebe Chadwick
Vikki Patis - The Wake
David Pearson  - Murder in a Safe Haven #10 Detectives Lyons and Hays, Galway
Andrea Penrose - Murder at Queen's Landing #4 Wrexford & Sloane
Anne Perry - A Christmas Resolution
Christoffer Petersen - Arctic Rebel #2 Guerrilla Greenland
Alex Pine - The Christmas Killer #1 DI James Walker, Cumbria
Jack Probyn - The Community: Episode 2 #8 CID Case
Melanie Raabe - The Shadow
Ian Rankin - A Song For The Dark Times #23 Inspector Rebus, Edinburgh
Agnes Ravatn - The Seven Doors
Nicola Rayner - You and Me
Heather Redmond - A Christmas Carol Murder
Kate Rhodes - Pulpit Rock #4 DI Ben Kitto
Imogen Robertson with Tom Watson - The House
Peter Robinson - Not Dark Yet #27 Insp. Alan Banks, Yorkshire
Pauline Rowson - Death In The Harbour  #2 Inspector Alun Ryga, Dorset
Caro Savage - Villain
Max Seeck - The Witch Hunter
Lilja Sigurdardottir - Betrayal
K L Slater - The Girl She Wanted
Alexander McCall Smith - How to Raise an Elephant #21 Mma Ramotswe, PI, Botswana
Fiona Veitch Smith - The Art Fiasco #5 Poppy Denby, 1920s Reporter
Emma Tallon - Ruthless Girl #7 Anna Davis
Stuart Turton - The Devil and the Dark Water
Rosie Walker - Secrets of a Serial Killer
Sue Watson - First Date
S R White - Hermit
Claire Whitfield - People of Abandoned Character
Edward Wilson - The Portrait of a Spy as a Young Man #7 Catesby
Robert Wilton - Poison in Paris #2 Harry Delamere

Thursday, December 03, 2020

The Petrona Award 2020 - Winner


Winner of 2020 Petrona Award announced – a first for Finnish crime

The winner of the 2020 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year is:

LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, translated from the Finnish by David Hackston and published by Orenda Books.

As well as a trophy, Antti Tuomainen receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022. Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston will also receive a cash prize.

The judges’ statement on LITTLE SIBERIA:

Antti Tuomainen’s LITTLE SIBERIA stood out on the shortlist for all of the judges. From its arresting opening, in which a meteorite unexpectedly lands on a speeding car, to its very human depiction of a pastor grappling with private and theological crises, this is a pitch-perfect comic crime novel with considerable depth and heart.

The first Finnish crime novel to receive the Petrona Award, LITTLE SIBERIA is a particularly fitting winner for 2020 – a year in which life was turned upside down. A celebration of resilience, fortitude and simply muddling through, it is a novel for our times.

David Hackston’s fine translation captures LITTLE SIBERIA’S depictions of an icy northern Finland and its darkly comic tone, skilfully showcasing the writing of one of Scandinavia’s most versatile and original crime authors. LITTLE SIBERIA is published by Orenda Books, one of the UK’s foremost independent publishers, which consistently champions international and translated crime fiction.

Comments from the winning author, translator and publisher:

Antti Tuomainen (author):

To make a long story short, I have to make it long first. A few years ago, after publishing five very dark and very noir books, I felt there was an element within me I had to bring into my writing: humour. Before my first darkly funny book The Man Who Died was published I was very nervous. Was I making a big mistake? One of those career choices you read about in artists' biographies under the chapter title 'The Fall'? Not that anyone would write about me, as I would be forgotten, found much later in a basement room, alone, perished in the middle of a last 'humorous' sentence … Happily, I was wrong, and not for the first time. Which seems to bring us to Little Siberia. It is my eighth book and now the recipient of the prestigious Petrona Award. When I set out to write a darkly comical crime novel with a priest as main character, I knew I was taking a leap – again. Alas, here we are. I want to thank David Hackston and Karen Sullivan, both incomparable and indispensable, as without them all the jury would have had was a book in Finnish with no idea who sent it. I send my warmest thank you to the ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Oh, and that shorter story: after fifteen years of writing and nine books, it seems I'm finally an overnight success.

David Hackston (translator):

I'm extremely honoured to receive the Petrona Award 2020, not least because of the illustrious, formidable company on the shortlist. Many congratulations to all the authors and especially to my fellow translators – my co-conspirators in bringing Nordic writing to English-speaking readers. My thanks to the panel and a huge, heartfelt thank you to Orenda Books, without whom none of this would be possible. Of course, behind every good translation is an excellent original text, and in this respect Antti Tuomainen is the gift that keeps on giving. Kiitos, Antti; thanks for the laughs thus far. Long may it continue.

Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books):

We are honoured and absolutely thrilled by the news that Little Siberia has won this prestigious award – quite possibly the only designated award for Scandinavian crime fiction in English – and it feels fitting that in such a difficult year, Antti's beautifully written, funny, philosophical and exquisitely plotted thriller has been chosen. Antti has pushed the crime genre in so many exciting directions, and I applaud the judges for making such a bold and perfect choice. It can be no easy feat to translate Finnish and yet David Hackston has once again produced an elegant, pitch-perfect translation, and we are so delighted that his work has been rewarded in this way.

The judges would also like to highly commend THE SILVER ROAD by Stina Jackson, translated from the Swedish by Susan Beard and published by Corvus (Atlantic Books).

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous and continued support of the 2020 Petrona Award.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Petrona Award 2020 - Shortlist

From the press release which was embargoed until 8.00am today:

Outstanding crime fiction from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden shortlisted for the 2020 Petrona Award

Six outstanding crime novels from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have been shortlisted for the 2020 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. The shortlist is announced today, Tuesday 24 November.

THE COURIER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway) 

INBORN by Thomas Enger, tr. Kari Dickson (Orenda Books; Norway) 

THE CABIN by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)

THE SILVER ROAD by Stina Jackson, tr. Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden)

THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland) 

LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

The winning title, usually announced at the international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, will now be announced on Thursday 3 December 2020. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2022.

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his continued generous support of the Petrona Award. We would also like to thank Sarah Ward, who has now stood down from the judging panel, for her valuable contributions over many years. We wish her every success with her new Gothic thriller, The Quickening, published under the name Rhiannon Ward. We are delighted to have Jake Kerridge, The Daily Telegraph’s crime fiction critic, join the Petrona team as a guest judge for this year’s Award. 

The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

There were 37 entries for the 2020 Petrona Award from six countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). The novels were translated by 24 translators and submitted by 21 publishers/imprints. There were 13 female and 24 male authors. 

This year’s Petrona Award shortlist sees Norway strongly represented with three novels; Finland, Iceland and Sweden each have one. The crime genres represented include the police procedural, historical crime, literary crime, comedy crime and thriller.

The Petrona Award judges selected the shortlist from a rich field. The six novels stand out for their writing, characterisation, plotting, and overall quality. They are original and inventive, often pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, and tackle highly complex subjects such as legacies of the past, mental health issues and the effects of grief. Three of the shortlisted titles explore the subject of criminality from an adolescent perspective.

We are extremely grateful to the six translators whose expertise and skill have allowed readers to access these gems of Scandinavian crime fiction, and to the publishers who continue to champion and support translated fiction.


The judges’ comments on each of the shortlisted titles:

THE COURIER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway) 

Kjell Ola Dahl made his debut in 1993, and has since published seventeen novels, most notably those in the ‘Gunnarstranda and Frølich’ police procedural series. In 2000, he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix, and the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. In much the same way as Icelandic author Arnaldur Indriðason, Dahl explores the experience of the Second World War by moving away from the linear murder mystery to something far more searching and emotionally driven. The Courier is an intelligent and absorbing standalone that offers a perceptive and highly moving exploration of Scandinavian history. It traverses changing times and cultural norms, and traces the growing self-awareness of a truly memorable female protagonist.

INBORN by Thomas Enger, tr. Kari Dickson (Orenda Books; Norway) 

Thomas Enger worked for many years for Norway’s first online newspaper, Nettavisen, and as an author is best-known for his five novels featuring the journalist-sleuth Henning Juul, one of which – Pierced – was shortlisted for the Petrona Award in 2013. He has also won prizes for his thrillers for young adults. Inborn, his first standalone novel to be translated into English, tells the story of a murder trial from the perspective of the seventeen-year-old defendant, and combines a gripping courtroom drama with a tender and intriguing portrait of Norwegian small-town life, and the secrets bubbling away beneath its surface.

THE CABIN by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)

Having previously worked as a police officer, Jørn Lier Horst has established himself as one of the most successful Scandinavian authors of the last twenty years. Horst’s previous ‘William Wisting’ novel, The Katharina Code, won the 2019 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel, as well as the Nordic Noir Thriller of the Year in 2018. The Cabin sees Chief Inspector Wisting juggling the demands of two testing cases, leading him into the path of an old adversary and plunging him into the criminal underworld. Horst has once again produced an impeccably crafted police procedural with a deft control of pace and tension.

THE SILVER ROAD by Stina Jackson, tr. Susan Beard (Corvus; Sweden)

The Silver Road is Stina Jackson’s highly accomplished debut. It has achieved remarkable success, winning the 2018 Award for Best Swedish Crime Novel, the 2019 Glass Key Award, and the 2019 Swedish Book of the Year Award. Set in northern Sweden, where Jackson herself grew up, the novel explores the aftermath of teenager Lina’s disappearance, and her father Lelle’s quest to find her by driving the length of the Silver Road under the midnight sun. Three years on, young Meja arrives in town: her navigation of adolescence and first-time love will lead her and Lelle’s paths to cross. The Silver Road is a haunting depiction of grief, longing and obsession, with lots of heart and a tremendous sense of place.

THE ABSOLUTION by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland) 

A full-time civil engineer as well as a prolific writer for both adults and children, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir is one of Iceland’s best-selling and most garlanded crime novelists, and the winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for The Silence of the Sea. The Absolution is the third entry in her ‘Children’s House’ series, and features a very modern killer who targets teenagers with an MO involving Snapchat. This artfully plotted and thought-provoking book continues the series’ focus on the long-lasting impact of childhood trauma, with welcome light relief provided by the mismatched investigators, detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja.

LITTLE SIBERIA by Antti Tuomainen, tr. David Hackston (Orenda Books; Finland)

Antti Tuomainen is a versatile crime writer, whose works draw on genres as varied as the dystopian thriller and comedy crime caper. His third novel, The Healer, won the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel in 2011 and he has been shortlisted for the Glass Key, Petrona and Last Laugh Awards, as well as the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger. Little Siberia, set in an icy northern Finland, opens with a bang when a meteorite unexpectedly lands on a speeding car. Transferred to the local museum for safe keeping, the valuable object is guarded from thieves by local priest Joel, who is grappling with both a marital crisis and a crisis of faith. Absurdist black humour is expertly combined with a warm, perceptive exploration of what it means to be human.

 The judges

Jackie Farrant – Crime fiction expert and creator of RAVEN CRIME READS; bookseller for eighteen years and a Regional Commercial Manager for a major book chain in the UK.

Dr. Kat Hall – Translator and editor; Honorary Research Associate at Swansea University; international crime fiction reviewer at MRS. PEABODY INVESTIGATES.

Jake Kerridge Journalist and literary critic. He has been the crime fiction reviewer of the Daily Telegraph since 2005 and has judged many crime and thriller prizes.


Award administrator

Karen Meek
owner of the EURO CRIME website, reviewer, former CWA judge for the International Dagger, and Library Assistant.

Further information can be found on the Petrona Award website: http://www.petronaaward.co.uk.

Images of the Petrona Award logo and the shortlisted titles are available (from 8.00am) at:


(copy & paste link into browser)

Monday, November 23, 2020

CWA Daggers 2020 - Winners

Apologies for the delay in posting this and many congratulations to all the winners and translators.

CWA Dagger Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Michael Robotham, Lou Berney, Casey Cep, and Abir Mukherjee win 2020 CWA Dagger awards.

The winners of the 2020 CWA Daggers, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The winners were announced during a live virtual ceremony (on evening of 22 October), hosted by one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction, the writer and reviewer Barry Forshaw.  The evening also featured guest speaker, Richard Osman.

The 2020 CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel went to Michael Robotham for Good Girl, Bad Girl, featuring forensic psychologist, Cyrus Haven. Born in Australia, Michael worked as a journalist in Australia, America and the UK as senior feature writer for the Mail on Sunday before becoming a ghost writer collaborating with politicians and show business personalities to write their autobiographies. Since his first psychological thriller, The Suspect caused a bidding war at the London Book Fair in 2002, his novels have won numerous awards and have been translated into 25 languages. He was previously awarded the Gold Dagger for Life or Death in 2015.

Lou Berney has won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller for November Road, a poignant crime novel set against the assassination of JF Kennedy. The novel attracted widespread acclaim from reviewers and fellow authors alike, with Stephen King declaring it ‘exceptional’. The American author has previously won the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, Barry, and Oklahoma Book awards. Berney was also Highly Commended in the CWA Gold Dagger category.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. This year the accolade goes to Trevor Wood for The Man on the Street, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’. Wood, a journalist and playwright, has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He served in the Royal Navy for 16 years.

Abir Mukherjee wins the Sapere Books Historical Dagger for his fourth novel featuring Sam Wyndham, Death in the East. The accountant turned crime writer was inspired to become an author after watching Lee Child on breakfast TV say he started writing age 40. Abir’s debut, A Rising Man, won the Dagger for best historical crime novel in 2017. Death in the East explores the legacy of colonialism in India.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger goes to Hannelore Cayre for The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee. Hannelore Cayre is an award-winning French novelist, screenwriter and director, as well as a practising criminal lawyer. The Godmother has been made into a feature film starring Isabelle Huppert. Stephanie Smee, who lives in Sydney, worked as a lawyer in Sydney and London before becoming a translator, specialising in French to English.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction is awarded to Casey Cep, a staff writer at the New York Times whose first book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, has received acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. An instant New York Times bestseller, Furious Hours was a Barack Obama Book of the Year.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story. Lauren Henderson receives the Short Story Dagger for #Me Too which features in the anthology Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “The winners, and all those who were in contention for a Dagger are, as always, to be commended. One thing the pandemic and lockdown has taught us is the value and importance of books and storytelling – for escapism and comfort and for our well-being. Books have always been the conduit to other worlds and into other lives. They let us know we are not alone, so our 2020 virtual awards feel even more significant as many vulnerable people are in enforced isolation and we are all socially distancing. We’re proud to celebrate the crime genre.”

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year it goes to Scottish novelist Christopher Brookmyre, whose books mix comedy, politics and social comment. The journalist turned award-winning novelist is widely considered as one of Britain’s leading crime authors, selling more than two million copies of his novels in the UK alone.

One of the anticipated highlights of the annual Daggers is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. The competition for unpublished writers can lead to them securing representation and a publishing contract. This year the winner is Josephine Moulds for Revolution Never Lies. Anna Caig was Highly Commended for The Spae-Wife.

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, goes to Orenda Books. The London-based publisher was established in 2014 by Karen Sullivan.

Writer Barry Forshaw, MC for the Dagger Awards evening, said: “The CWA Dagger Awards are the most prestigious prizes in crime fiction, and this year has furnished a particularly strong set of books and authors. Nothing dampens the excitement of the Daggers – not even pandemics!”

One of the UK’s most prominent societies for the promotion and promulgation of crime writing, the CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasy; the awards started in 1955 with its first award going to Winston Graham, best known for Poldark. They are regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing.

The Winners:


Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction) – Highly Commended


Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)


Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)


Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)


Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)


Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)


Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)


Christopher Brookmyre


Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife - Highly Commended


Orenda Books


Awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel.

This Dagger is announced in early spring each year and in 2020 goes to celebrated Golden Age specialist, anthology editor, reviewer and fiction writer Martin Edwards.

Monday, August 31, 2020

New Releases - August 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in August 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). Apologies for the continuing delay with these posts.

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Anthology - Vintage Crime (ed. Martin Edwards)
Stefan Ahnhem - X Ways to Die #5 Fabian Risk
Lin Anderson - The Innocent Dead #16 Rhona MacLeod, forensic scientist, Glasgow
Jennifer Ashley - Murder in the East End #4 Kat Holloway, Victorian Era
Claire Askew - Cover Your Tracks #3 DI Helen Birch
Kerry Barnes - Voice Of Reason
James Brabazon - Arkhangel #2 Max McLean
Graham Brack - Untrue Till Death #2 Master Mercurius
Lisa Bradley - Paper Dolls
Ros Carne - The Pupil
Will Carver - Hinton Hollow Death Trip #3 DS Pace
John Connolly - The Dirty South #18 Charlie Parker, PI, Maine
J M Dalgliesh - Kill Our Sins #3 Tom Janssen
Louisa de Lange - Nowhere to be Found # 2 DS Kate Munro
Oscar de Muriel - The Dance of the Serpents #6 Frey & McGray, Edinburgh, 1880s
Gary Donnelly - Killing in Your Name #2 DI Owen Sheen, Northern Ireland
Claire Douglas - Just Like the Other Girls
Jim Eldridge - Murder at the Natural History Museum #5 Former Detective Inspector Daniel Wilson
T P Fielden - Stealing the Crown #1 Guy Harford
Paul Finch - One Eye Open
Helen FitzGerald - Ash Mountain
Ann Marti Friedman - A Fine Tapestry of Murder
Paul Gitsham - A Price to Pay #7 DCI Warren Jones
Susanna Gregory - The Clerkenwell Affair #14 Thomas Chaloner, Restoration London
Araminta Hall - Imperfect Women
Sophie Hannah - The Killings at Kingfisher Hill #4 Hercule Poirot
Carol Hedges - Fame & Fortune #8 Victorian Detectives
Mandasue Heller - Witness
Antonia Hodgson - The Silver Collar #4 Tom Hawkins, London, 1727
Anthony Horowitz - Moonflower Murders #2 Susan Ryland
Catherine Ryan Howard - The Nothing Man
Naomi Joy - Do Her No Harm
Christobel Kent - The Viper #6 Sandro Cellini, ex-cop and private detective, Florence
Vaseem Khan - Midnight at Malabar House #1 Inspector Persis Wadia
Erin Kinsley - Innocent
JD Kirk - The Big Man Upstairs #7 DCI Logan
Lynda La Plante - Blunt Force #6 WPC Tennison
Simon Lelic - The Search Party
Simon Mayo - Knife Edge
Val McDermid - Still Life #6 Karen Pirie
Chris Merritt - Who's Next? #2 Detectives Lockhart and Green
Denise Mina - The Less Dead
Richard Osman - The Thursday Murder Club
Ben Pastor - The Night of Shooting Stars #7 Wehrmacht Captain Martin Bora, 1939
Alex Pavesi - Eight Detectives
C S Quinn - The Scarlet Code #2 Attica Morgan, English Spy, French Revoultion
Kate Riordan - The Heatwave
Jacqui Rose - Rival
Kate Simants - A Ruined Girl
Sally Spedding - Blood At Beltane #3 Delphine Rougier
A D Swanston - Chaos #2 Dr Christopher Radcliff, Elizabethan Era
Ilaria Tuti - Painted in Blood #2 Teresa Battaglia
Harriet Tyce - The Lies You Told
Paul Walker - The Queen's Devil #3 William Constable, C16
Rhiannon Ward - The Quickening
S J Watson - Final Cut
Andrew Wilson - I Saw Him Die #4 Agatha Christie

Friday, August 28, 2020

New Releases - July 2020

Here's a snapshot of what I think was published for the first time in paperback or hardback, in July 2020 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). Apologies for the continuing delay with these posts.

If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment. There's been a lot of moving of dates.
Sarah Alderson - The Weekend Away
Ingrid Alexandra - Across the Water
Rachel Amphlett - Turn to Dust #9 Detective Kay Hunter
Ross Armstrong - The Falling Men
Andrew Barrettt - This Side of Death #6 CSI Eddie Collins
B Baskerville - Roll The Dice # 3 DCI Erica Cooper
Mark Billingham - Cry Baby #17 DI Tom Thorne, London
Rebecca Bradley - Perfect Murder
Rebecca Bradley - Kill For Me #5 DI Hannah Robbins
Rebecca Bradley - A Deeper Song #6 DI Hannah Robbins
David Bradwell - The Blood Of Angels #1 Clare Woodbrook
J C Briggs - The Redemption Murders #6 Charles Dickens and Superintendent Jones
Matt Brolly - The Descent #2 Detective Louise Blackwell
Michel Bussi - Never Forget
John Carson - Devil to Pay #6 DCI Harry McNeil
Chris Carter - Written in Blood #11 Homicide Detective Robert Hunter, LA
Karen Cole - Deny Me
Adam Croft - What Lies Beneath #1 Rutland crime series
Morgan Cry - Thirty-One Bones
P C Doherty - Hymn to Murder #21 Hugh Corbett
Sabine Durrant - Finders, Keepers
T W Ellis - A Knock at the Door
M J Ford - Watch Over You #3 DS Josie Masters
Christopher Fowler - Bryant & May - Oranges and Lemons #17 Inspectors Bryant and May, London
Michelle Frances - Sisters
Caz Frear - Shed No Tears #3 DC Cat Kinsella, London
Dianne Freeman - A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Murder #3 Countess of Harleigh, Victorian England
Charlie Gallagher - The Deadly Houses #6 Detective Maddie Ives
D J Gatwood - Grimm Up North #1 DCI Harry Grimm
David Gilman - The Englishman
G R Halliday - Dark Waters #2 DI Monica Kennedy, Inverness
David Jackson - The Resident
Ed James -Flesh and Blood #2 DS Vicky Dodds
P D James - The Part-Time Job (Novella)
Peter James - Find Them Dead #16 Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Brighton
Amanda Jennings - The Storm
Olivia Kiernan - If Looks Could Kill #3 DCS Frankie Sheehan
Dorothy Koomson - All My Lies Are True #2 The Ice Cream Girls
Stephen Leather - Slow Burn #17 Dan Shepherd, SAS trooper turned undercover cop
M J Lee - Where the Innocent Die #4 DI Ridpath
Charlotte Levin - If I Can't Have You
Peter Lovesey - The Finisher #19 Peter Diamond, Bath
Shona MacLean - The House of Lamentations #5 Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector, 1654
Gillian McAllister - How to Disappear
Simon McCleave - The Berwyn River Killings #5 DI Ruth Hunter
Louise McCreesh - Cracked
Andy McDermott - Operative 66
Kathleen McGurl - The Secret of the Chateau
Kate McQuaile - Broken Flowers
G J Minett - The Syndicate
Caroline Mitchell - Left For Dead #3 Detective Amy Winter
Lottie Moggach - Brixton Hill
Catherine Moloney - Crime in the Ballroom #9 DI Gilbert Markham
Allison Montclair - A Royal Affair #2 Sparks and Bainbridge, London, Post WW2
Margaret Murphy - Before He Kills Again #1 DC Cassie Rowan, Liverpool
Barbara Nadel - A Time to Die #7 PI Lee Arnold and his assistant, Mumtaz Hakim. East End London
Chris Nickson - The Anchoress of Chesterfield #4 John the Carpenter, 1361
Alex North - The Shadow Friend
David Pearson - Lethal in Small Doses #4 The Dublin Homicides
Christoffer Petersen - The Bolivian Girl
Charlotte Philby - A Double Life
Brian L Porter - A Liverpool Lullaby #8 Mersey Murder Mysteries
Suzy K Quinn - Not My Daughter
Khurrum Rahman - Ride or Die #3 Jay Qasim
Rod Reynolds - Island of Secrets
Michael Robotham - When She Was Good #2 Cyrus Haven
Michael Russell - The City Under Siege #6 Garda Detective Stefan Gillespie
Leigh Russell - Deadly Revenge #14 DI Geraldine Steel
Eva García Sáenz - The Silence of the White City #1 Inspector Unai Lopez de Ayala
Nicholas Shakespeare - The Sandpit
William Shaw - Grave's End #3 DS Alexandra Cupidi
Yrsa Sigurdardottir - Gallows Rock #4 Children's House series
Rob Sinclair - Imposter 13 #3 Sleeper 13 series
Alex Smith - Whip Crack #4 DCI Robert Kett, Norfolk
Cath Staincliffe - Quiet Acts of Violence
Lisa Stone - Taken
Linda Stratmann - His Father's Ghost #5 Mina Scarletti, Brighton, 1871
Oliver Tidy - The Harm Farm
Marion Todd - See Them Run #1 DI Clare Mackay
Marion Todd - In Plain Sight #2 DI Clare Mackay
Peter Tremayne - The Shapeshifter's Lair #29 Sister Fidelma
Camilla Trinchieri - Murder in Chianti #1 Nico Doyle, Chianti, Italy
Harriet Walker - The New Girl
Jemma Wayne - To Dare

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Royalty in crime (the Windsors)

I've written a couple of brief posts on The Queen's involvement in fictional crime and I've recently come across a couple more recent and upcoming crime and non-crime novels set in Royalty-land, two involving The Queen and Prince Philip.

This series by Allison Montclair, featuring Iris Sparks and Gwendolyn Bainbridge of The Right Sort Marriage Bureau, had completely passed me by but the second book A Royal Affair which has just been published (in the US), caught my eye:

Blurb from amazon:
In London 1946, The Right Sort Marriage Bureau is just beginning to take off and the proprietors, Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, are in need of a bigger office and a secretary to handle the growing demand. Unfortunately, they don't yet have the necessary means. So when a woman arrives - a cousin of Gwen's - with an interesting and quite remunerative proposition, they two of them are all ears. The cousin, one Lady Matheson, works for the Queen in 'some capacity' and is in need of some discreet investigation. It seems that the Princess Elizabeth has developed feelings for a dashing Greek prince and a blackmail note has arrived, alluding to some potentially damaging information about said prince. Wanting to keep this out of the palace gossip circles, but also needing to find out what skeletons might lurk in the prince's closet, the palace has quietly turned to Gwen and Iris. Without causing a stir, the two of them must now find out what secrets lurk in the prince's past, before his engagement to the future Queen of England is announced. And there's more at stake than the future of the Empire - there is their potential new office that lies in the balance.

Flora Harding's Before The Crown comes out in ebook next month and paperback in December. I received a review copy via Netgalley. It's not a crime novel but is an enjoyable, easy read fictionalising the courtship of Elizabeth and Philip. It's full of short chapters, initially alternating between the two leads and then stays with each character for a few chapters at a time when they are separated. It's the sort of book where you don't know how much is true so sends you scurrying off to google:

Blurb from amazon:
Before the crown there was a love story…
Windsor Castle, 1943

As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.

One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.

He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…

Back to crime and earlier than the two novels above, is TP Fielden's Stealing the Crown, which was published this month:

Blurb from amazon:
Britain is at war—but the greatest threat to the Crown might be within the Palace walls.

London, 1941: Major Edgar Brampton is found shot dead in his office in Buckingham Palace. All signs point towards a self-inflicted tragedy, but when Palace authorities hurry his body away and order staff to stay silent, fellow courtier Guy Harford’s suspicions are raised.

While the outside world faces the onslaught of war, within the Palace walls a curious mystery unfolds. Rumours swirl about Brampton’s relationship with the Queen, and there’s talk of other plots involving those closest to the King.

To get to the bottom of what really happened, Guy joins forces with some unlikely allies—Rodie Carr, a beautiful East End burglar, and Rupert Hardacre, a postman with a past—but time may be running out…for him, for the King, and for Britain. Someone has their eye on the crown, and they’ll do anything to get it.

Can Guy solve the case before more blood is spilled on the royal carpets? Or will he be the next victim?

S J Bennett's The Windsor Knot, which I mentioned in an earlier post, now has cover, blurb and release date of 29 October 2020.

Blurb from amazon:
On a perfect Spring morning at Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II will enjoy a cup of tea, carry out all her royal duties . . . and solve a murder.

The morning after a dinner party at Windsor Castle, eighty-nine-year-old Queen Elizabeth is shocked to discover that one of her guests has been found murdered in his room, with a rope around his neck.

When the police begin to suspect her loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they are looking in the wrong place.

For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her coronation. Away from the public eye, she has a brilliant knack for solving crimes.

With her household's happiness on the line, her secret must not get out. Can the Queen and her trusted secretary Rozie catch the killer, without getting caught themselves?

Miss Marple meets The Crown in The Windsor Knot, the first book in the 'Her Majesty The Queen Investigates' mystery series by SJ Bennett - for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin.

Monday, August 10, 2020

CWA Daggers 2020 - Shortlists

Here is the press release announcing the CWA Dagger 2020 Shortlists. The winners will be announced on 22 October.


The 2020 shortlists for the prestigious CWA Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced.

The world-famous Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

Mick Herron’s Joe Country, Claire Askew’s What You Pay For and Lou Berney’s November Road are all in contention for the CWA Gold Dagger, awarded to the best crime novel. November Road is also on the shortlist for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller, up against One Way Out by AA Dhand, Between Two Evils by Eva Dolan and the Richard and Judy pick The Whisper Man by Alex North.

Linda Stratmann, Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, said: “As the CWA Daggers are unmatched for their reputation and longevity, these shortlists offer a showcase of the finest writing in crime fiction and non-fiction. They reveal the remarkable variety and huge relevance of the genre, which continues to dominate book sales and to shape our cultural landscape.”

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. Among the six shortlisted debuts are Little White Lies by Philippa East, acclaimed as ‘unputdownable’, and Trevor Wood, who served in the Royal Navy for 16 years, makes the list with The Man on the Street, featuring a homeless veteran grappling with PTSD, dubbed by Lee Child as ‘an instant classic’.

Abir Mukherjee’s Death in the East is not only shortlisted for the Gold Dagger but also the Sapere Books Historical Dagger. He contends with Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death and SG Maclean, who won the Dagger last year for Destroying Angel; she returns with The Bear Pit.

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger shortlist features Finland’s acclaimed and award-winning writer, Antti Tuomainen, with Little Siberia translated by David Hackston. The king of Helsinki noir is up against Marion Brunet, the winner of the prestigious Grand Prix de Littérature policière in 2018, whose novel Summer of Reckoning is translated by Katherine Gregor.

The CWA Daggers are one of the few high-profile awards that honour the short story.

Syd Moore, who was shortlisted in the category in 2019, returns with her short story ‘Easily Made’ in 12 Strange Days of Christmas. Paul Finch, a former cop and journalist turned bestselling crime writer, sees his short story ‘The New Lad’ (published in the anthology Exit Wounds) make the shortlist. They are up against established authors including Christopher Fowler, author of over fifty novels and short-story collections, and the blockbuster American mystery writer Jeffery Deaver, who won the Short Story Dagger in 2004.

The shortlist for the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction includes Casey Cep, a staff writer at the New York Times whose first book Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, has received acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Also on the shortlist is Caroline Goode for Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod. It’s the heart-breaking true story of Banaz Mahmod, the young Londoner murdered by her own family for falling in love with the wrong man, adapted for TV starring Keeley Hawes as Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode.

The Dagger in the Library is voted on exclusively by librarians, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year’s shortlisted nominees are Christopher Brookmyre, Jane Casey, Alex Gray and Quintin Jardine.

One of the anticipated highlights of the awards is the Debut Dagger competition, open to unknown and uncontracted writers. Settings for the shortlisted novels are varied and range from modern-day America, rural Australia, an organic farm near Bern, 2011 Cuba, a contemporary offshore oil platform and sixteenth century Orkney.

This year also features the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, launched in 2019, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing.

The winners of the 2020 Daggers will be announced at an awards ceremony, due to take place on 22 October.

The Shortlists in Full:


Claire Askew: What You Pay For (Hodder & Stoughton)

Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

John Fairfax: Forced Confessions (Little, Brown)

Mick Herron: Joe Country (John Murray)

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)


Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)

Tom Chatfield: This is Gomorrah (Hodder & Stoughton)

AA Dhand: One Way Out (Bantam Press)

Eva Dolan: Between Two Evils (Raven Books)

David Koepp: Cold Storage (HQ)

Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)


Steph Cha: Your House Will Pay (Faber & Faber)

Samantha Downing: My Lovely Wife (Michael Joseph)

Philippa East: Little White Lies (HQ)

Robin Morgan-Bentley: The Wreckage (Trapeze)

Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)


Alis Hawkins: In Two Minds (The Dome Press)

Philip Kerr: Metropolis (Quercus Fiction)

SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction)

Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)

Alex Reeve: The Anarchists’ Club (Raven Books)

Ovidia Yu: The Paper Bark Tree Mystery (Constable)


Marion Brunet: Summer of Reckoning, translated by Katherine Gregor (Bitter Lemon Press)

Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)

K Ferrari: Like Flies from Afar, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Canongate Books)

Jorge Galán: November, translated by Jason Wilson (Constable)

Sergio Olguín: The Fragility of Bodies, translated by Miranda France (Bitter Lemon Press)

Antti Tuomainen: Little Siberia, translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books)


Jeffery Deaver: The Bully in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Paul Finch: The New Lad in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Christopher Fowler: The Washing in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)

Louise Jensen: The Recipe in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)

Syd Moore: Easily Made in 12 Strange Days of Christmas (Point Blank Press)


Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)

Peter Everett: Corrupt Bodies (Icon Books)

Caroline Goode: Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod (Oneworld Publications)

Sean O’Connor: The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury (Simon & Schuster)

Adam Sisman: The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Profile Books)

Susannah Stapleton: The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective (Picador)


Christopher Brookmyre

Jane Casey

Alex Gray

Quintin Jardine


Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife

Leanne Fry: Whipstick

Kim Hays: Pesticide

Nicholas Morrish: Emergency Drill

Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies

Michael Munro: Bitter Lake


Bitter Lemon Press

Harvill Secker

Head of Zeus


Michael Joseph


Raven Books

Severn House