CWA Dagger longlists revealed featuring Rowling, Rankin and Banville

CWA Dagger longlists revealed featuring Rowling, Rankin and Banville

The 2021 Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Dagger awards longlists have been revealed (see below for full listings) with J K Rowling, Ian Rankin, John Banville and Stuart Turton among the authors chosen.

Honouring the very best in crime writing, the annual awards are the oldest in the genre with previous winners including Ian Rankin, John le Carré, Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell.

For the Gold Dagger, which is awarded for the crime novel of the year, 2019 winner M W Craven, returns with The Curator (Constable). The former probation officer credited the CWA Debut Dagger competition in 2013 for opening the door to his career as an author. Amer Anwar, who won the Debut Dagger competition in 2008, makes the list with Stone Cold Trouble (Dialogue). Anwar is up against J K Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, alongside multi-award-winning authors including Nicci French, Elly Griffiths and Antonia Hodgson.

The Ian Fleming Steel Daggerfor blockbuster thrillers sees Galbraith once more in the running, along with Ian Rankin, Stuart Turton, Catherine Ryan Howard, Ruth Ware and Michael Robotham, last year’s Gold winner.

Holly Watt, who won the Fleming Dagger in 2019, also returns to the longlists with The Dead Line (Raven). Elsewhere on the longlists, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels. Booker prize winner John Banville is a heavyweight contender on the Sapere Books Historical Dagger longlist.

Linda Stratmann, chair of the CWA, said: “The CWA Dagger awards are unparalleled for their reputation and longevity. The longlists showcase authors—established and new—at the top of their game. It’s not surprising that sales of crime fiction have been so strong during Covid-19. Both fiction and non-fiction have proven to be a great escape for many as we have been stuck at home. As our longlists show, these stories and insights take readers all over the world and through time, from Bombay of the 1950s to ancient Athens to modern-day California and many points between.

“Crime books can be thrilling mysteries, but they can also provide social commentary, insights into true crime, or explore big questions in life. The vast and diverse talent in these longlists show why it’s the UK’s most popular and enduring genre. We are proud to provide a platform for debut, emerging and established authors, and to honour the very best in crime writing.”

The CWA Dagger shortlists will be announced in May with the awards ceremony taking place at the start of July. The 2021 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing, has already been announced, awarded to Martina Cole.

The longlists in full:

Gold Dagger

Amer Anwar: Stone Cold Trouble (Dialogue)

S A Cosby: Blacktop Wasteland (Headline)

M W Craven: The Curator (Constable)

Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Fiction)

Garry Disher: Peace (Viper)

Mick Finlay: Arrowood and the Thames Corpses (HQ)

Nicci French: House of Correction (Simon & Schuster)

Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere)

Elly Griffiths: The Postscript Murders (Quercus)

Antonia Hodgson: The Silver Collar (Hodder & Stoughton)

S G Maclean: The House of Lamentations (Quercus Fiction)

C D Major: The Other Girl (Thomas & Mercer)

Thomas Mullen: Midnight Atlanta (Little, Brown)

S J Parris: Execution (Harper Fiction)

Tade Thompson: Making Wolf (Constable)

Nicola Upson: The Dead of Winter (Faber)

Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre,)

Rebecca Whitney: The Hidden Girls (Mantle)


Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Charles Cumming: Box 88 (HarperFiction)

Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere)

Ryan Gattis: The System (Picador)

Ian Rankin: Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction)

Rod Reynolds: Blood Red City (Orenda Books)

Craig Robertson: Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster)

Michael Robotham: When She Was Good (Sphere)

Catherine Ryan Howard: The Nothing Man (Atlantic Books)

Stuart Turton: The Devil and the Dark Water (Raven Books)

Ruth Ware: One by One (Harvill Secker)

Holly Watt: The Dead Line (Raven Books)

Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre)


John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

Eva Björg Ægisdóttir: The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda)

Susan Allott: The Silence (Borough)

Emma Christie: The Silent Daughter (Welbeck Publishing )

Catherine Cooper: The Chalet (HarperFiction)

Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Publishing)

Judi Daykin: Under Violent Skies (Joffe Books)

Egan Hughes: The One That Got Away (Sphere)

S W Kane: The Bone Jar (Thomas & Mercer)

Rob McInroy: Cuddies Strip (Ringwood Press)

Stephanie Scott: What's Left of Me Is Yours (W&N)

Stephen Spotswood: Fortune Favours the Dead (Wildfire)

John Vercher: Three Fifths (Pushkin Press)

S R White: Hermit (Headline)


Sapere Books Historical Dagger

J M Alvey: Justice for Athena (Canelo)

John Banville: Snow (Faber)

Vaseem Khan: Midnight at Malabar House (Hodder & Stoughton)

Laurie King: Riviera Gold (Allison & Busby)

Chris Lloyd: The Unwanted Dead (Orion Fiction)

S J Parris: Execution (HarperFiction)

Ben Pastor: The Night of Shooting Stars (Bitter Lemon Press)

Michael Russell: The City Under Siege (Constable)

David S. Stafford: Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons (Allison & Busby)

A D Swanston: Chaos (Bantam Press)

Nicola Upson: The Dead of Winter (Faber)

Ovidia Yu: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (Constable)


Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger

Fredrik Backman: Anxious People, translated by Neil Smith (Michael Joseph,)

Roxanne Bouchard: The Coral Bride, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)

Marc Elsberg: Greed, translated by Simon Pare (Black Swan)

Yun Ko-eun: The Disaster Tourist, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent's Tail)

Volker Kutscher: The March Fallen, translated by Niall Sellar (Sandstone Press)

D A Mishani: Three, translated by Jessica Cohen (Riverrun)

Jo Nesbo: The Kingdom, translated by Robert Ferguson (Harvill Secker)

Håkan Nesser: The Secret Life of Mr Roos, translated by Sarah Death (Mantle)

Mikael Niemi: To Cook a Bear, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (Maclehose Press)

Agnes Ravatn: The Seven Doors, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books)

Maike Wetzel: Elly, translated by Lyn Marven (Scribe UK)


Short Story Dagger

Robert Scragg: "A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas" in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg

Elle Croft: "Deathbed" in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg 

Dominic Nolan: "Daddy Dearest" in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg

Adam Southward: "Especially at Christmas" in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg

Christopher Fowler: "Head Count" in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)

Victoria Selman: "Hunted" in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg

Clare Mackintosh: "Monsters" in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)

Stuart Turton: "Murder Most Vial" in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)

Livia Llewelyn: "One of These Nights" in Cutting Edge: Noir Stories by Women, edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Pushkin Press)

James Delargy: "Planting Nan" in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg

Simpson Grears: "The Foot of the Walk Murders" in The Foot of the Walk Murders, edited by Simpson Grears (Rymour Books)


ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

Sue Black: Written in Bone (Doubleday)

Amanda Brown: The Prison Doctor; Women Inside (HQ)

Becky Cooper: We Keep the Dead Close (William Heinemann)

Martin Edwards: Howdunit (Collins Crime Club)

Andrew Harding: These Are Not Gentle People (MacLehose)

Debora Harding: Dancing with the Octopus (Profile Books)

Nick Hayes: The Book of Trespass (Bloomsbury Circus)

Ben MacIntyre: Agent Sonya (Viking)

Jax Miller: Hell in the Heartland (HarperCollins)

Daniel Smith: The Peer and the Gangster (The History Press)

Ravi Somaiya: Operation Morthor (Viking)

Kate Summerscale: The Haunting of Alma Fielding (Bloomsbury Circus)

Mark Townsend: No Return (Guardian, Faber & Faber)


Dagger in the Library

Lin Anderson

Nicci French

Lisa Jewell

Erin Kelly

Peter May

Denise Mina

Margaret Murphy

James Oswald

L J Ross

C L Taylor


Publishers' Dagger

Bitter Lemon Press

Faber & Faber

Harper Fiction

Head of Zeus

Michael Joseph

No Exit Press

Orenda Books

Pushkin Vertigo