CWA Dagger Awards Shortlists Announced

The 2024 shortlists for the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime-writing genre, have been announced. Created in 1955, the world-famous CWA…

The 2024 shortlists for the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger awards, which honour the very best in the crime-writing genre, have been announced.

Created in 1955, the world-famous CWA Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The shortlist for the Gold Dagger, which is awarded for the best crime novel of the year, includes the debut novel Black River from Nilanjana Roy. She is up against stalwarts of the genre, Mick Herron for The Secret Hours, and Dennis Lehane, with Small Mercies.

The bestselling children’s author Maz Evans also makes the list with her debut adult novel, Over My Dead Body. As does the Irish-American author Una Mannion, with her haunting second novel, Tell Me What I Am, and the Chinese-Indonesian author, Jesse Sutanto, with Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers.

Past winners of the prestigious Gold Dagger, include Ian Rankin, John le Carré, Reginald Hill, and Ruth Rendell.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, sponsored by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd, showcases the thriller of the year.

The shortlist sees relative newcomer Jordan Harper, with his second thriller, Everybody Knows, up against TJ Newman, the former flight attendant who became a Hollywood sensation with her latest thriller, Drowning, and Japanese author Kotaro Isaka for The Mantis; Kotaro is best-known for Bullet Train, which was adapted into a Brad Pitt movie.

They’re joined on the Fleming shortlist by SA Crosby, Eli Cranor, and Femi Kayode.

The much-anticipated John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger highlights the best debut novels.

Among the rising stars of 2024 is Jo Callaghan with her BBC Between the Covers Book Club pick, The Blink of an Eye; and the Victorian gothic, The Tumbling Girl from Bridget Walsh. The shortlist also includes Amy Chua’s The Golden Gate, Kate Foster with The Maiden, Dan McDorman’s West Heart Kill and Go Seek by Michelle Teahan.

The Historical Dagger shortlist sees Voices of the Dead by Ambrose Parry in contention with A Bitter Remedy by Alis Hawkins.

They’re joined by Lucy Ashe with Clara & Olivia, Louise Hare’s Harlem After Midnight, Jake Lamar’s Viper’s Dream, and Scarlet Town by Lenora Nattrass.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction shortlist sees Nicholas Shakespeare’s Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, up against The Art Thief by Michael Finkel, the true story of the world’s most prolific art thief who accumulated a collection worth over $1.4 billion.

Also in the Non-Fiction category are Matt Johnson and John Murray for No Ordinary Day, Jennifer McAdam with Douglas Thompson for Devil’s Coin, Alex Mar’s Seventy Times Seven and How Many More Women? by Jennifer Robinson and Keina Yoshida.

The shortlist for the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger includes The Prey from the Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s, translated by Victoria Cribb, and Maud Ventura’s My Husband, translated by Emma Ramadan, which was a sensation in France, likened to Patricia Highsmith and Gone Girl.

They’re joined by the Spanish journalist and author, Juan Gómez-Jurado, Sweden’s Âsa Larsson, French author Cloé Mehdi, and Korea’s Im Seong-sun.

Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the CWA Daggers’ committee, said: “Once again, our independent judges across all the Dagger categories have come up trumps. Their selections feature well-established authors and new faces, a refreshingly diverse palette highlighting the talent of writers from all origins and publishers large and small, and a steadfast affirmation of how healthy the crime and mystery field is right now. We at the CWA couldn’t be prouder.”

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

This year sees the bestselling juggernaut Lee Child with his story Safe Enough. He’s up against Mia Dalia, J Benedict Jones, Sanjida Kay, Ambrose Parry, and FD Quinn.

The Dagger in the Library nominees are voted by librarians and library users, chosen for the author’s body of work and support of libraries. This year sees firm favourites from the genre on the shortlist: Louise Candlish, MW Craven, Anthony Horowitz, Cara Hunter, and LJ Ross.

The Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year Dagger, which celebrates publishers and imprints demonstrating excellence and diversity in crime writing, pits big publishing houses Headline (Hachette), Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House), Simon & Schuster, and Pushkin Vertigo (Pushkin Press) against independent publishers Joffe Books and Canelo Crime.

The CWA Diamond Dagger, awarded to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, is announced in early spring and in 2024 it was jointly awarded to Lynda La Plante and James Lee Burke.

The CWA Dagger shortlists were announced on 10 May at the UK’s largest crime fiction convention, CrimeFest, hosted in Bristol.

The winners will be announced at the award ceremony at the CWA gala dinner on July 4.

The Shortlists in Full:


Maz Evans Over My Dead Body, Headline

Mick Herron The Secret Hours, Baskerville (John Murray)

Dennis Lehane Small Mercies, Abacus (Little Brown)

Una Mannion Tell me What I Am, Faber & Faber

Nilanjana Roy Black River, Pushkin (Vertigo)

Jesse Sutanto Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, HQ (Harper Collins)


S A Cosby All the Sinners Bleed, Headline (Hachette)

Eli Cranor Ozark Dogs, Headline (Hachette)

Jordan Harper Everybody Knows, Faber & Faber

Kotaro Isaka The Mantis, Harvill Secker (PRH)

Femi Kayode Gaslight, Raven Books (Bloomsbury)

T J Newman Drowning, Simon & Schuster


Jo Callaghan In The Blink of An Eye, Simon & Schuster UK

Amy Chua The Golden Gate, Corvus (Atlantic Books)

Kate Foster The Maiden, Mantle (Pan Macmillan)

Dann McDorman West Heart Kill, Raven Books

Michelle Teahan Go Seek, Headline Publishing Group

Bridget Walsh The Tumbling Gir, Gallic Books


Lucy Ashe Clara & Olivia, Magpie (Oneworld Publications)

Louise Hare Harlem After Midnight, HQ (HarperCollins)

Alis Hawkins A Bitter Remedy, Canelo

Jake Lamar Viper’s Dream, No Exit Press

Leonora Nattrass Scarlet Town, Viper (Profile Books)

Ambrose Parry Voices of the Dead, Canongate Books


Juan Gómez-Jurado Red Queen, translated by Nick Caistor, Macmillan

Âsa Larsson The Sins Of Our Fathers, translated by Frank Perry, Maclehose Press

Cloé Mehdi Nothing Is Lost, translated by Howard Curtis, Europa Editions UK

Im Seong-sun The Consultant, translated by An Seong Jae, Raven Books

Yrsa Sigurdardottir The Prey, translated by Victoria Cribb, Hodder & Stoughton

Maud Ventura My Husband, translated by Emma Ramadan, Hutchinson Heinemann


Michael Finkel The Art Thief, Simon & Schuster

Matt Johnson with John Murray No Ordinary Day, Ad Lib Publishers

Jennifer McAdam with Douglas Thompson Devil’s Coin, Ad Lib Publishers Ltd

Alex Mar Seventy Times Seven, Bedford Square Publishers

Jennifer Robinson & Keina Yoshida How Many More Women? Endeavour

Nicholas Shakespeare Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, Vintage


Lee Child Safe Enough from An Unnecessary Assassin, edited by Lorraine Stevens, Rivertree

Mia Dalia The Last Best Thing from Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction, edited by Andrew Hook, Head Shot Press

Benedict J Jones The Also-Rans from Bang!:An Anthology of Modern Noir Fiction edited by Andrew Hook, Head Shot Press

Sanjida Kay The Divide from The Book of Bristol edited by Joe Melia and Heather Marks, Comma Press

Ambrose Parry The Spendthrift and the Swallow, Canongate Books

FD Quinn Best Served Cold from An Unnecessary Assassin edited by Lorraine Stevens, Rivertree


Louise Candlish

MW Craven

Cara Hunter

Anthony Horowitz

LJ Ross



Headline (Hachette)

Joffe Books

Michael Joseph (PenguinRandomHouse)

Pushkin Press

Simon & Schuster


For further media info please contact Ann Chadwick, M: 07534 892715.

Notes to Editors

For logos/Dagger images of shortlisted titles for media use, go to:

The longlists are available on the CWA website as well as via its FacebookTwitter #CWADaggers and YouTube channel.

CWA Dagger Judging Panels

The judges, who have been deliberating on the submissions from publishers include leading authors, bloggers, newspaper reviewers, academics, and media professionals.

You can view the judging panel for each category on the CWA website: The Daggers — The Crime Writers’ Association (

Dagger Sponsors

ALCS – Sponsors of the Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) is a not-for-profit organisation started by writers for the benefit of all types of writers. Owned by its members, ALCS collects money due for secondary uses of writers’ work. It is designed to support authors and their creativity; ensure they receive fair payment and see their rights are respected. It promotes and teaches the principles of copyright and campaigns for a fair deal. It represents over 100,000 members, and since 1977 has paid around £500 million to writers.

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd – Sponsors of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger

Ian Fleming Publications Ltd is the Fleming family-owned company that looks after the James Bond literary brand, by promoting and making available all of Ian Fleming’s 007 books across the world.  They also keep the brand alive through the publication of new stories by authors such as Anthony Horowitz, William Boyd, Jeffery Deaver, Sebastian Faulks, Raymond Benson, John Gardner, Kingsley Amis, Samantha Weinberg, Steve Cole and Charlie Higson.  Alongside James Bond publishing, the company also manages the rights for Fleming’s two non-fiction books and his only children’s book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

International Literary Properties (ILP) – Sponsors of the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

International Literary Properties works with authors, playwrights, managers of literary estates, and individual heirs to help realize the value from book and play-based intellectual property. ILP acquire all or partial rights to literary intellectual property, including books, plays and books of musicals. ILP own, nurture and champion a substantial number of properties, many authored by household names, in genres as diverse as mystery, crime, classic literature, non-fiction, and children’s. Its experienced team works closely with award-winning TV, film, and stage producers across the world.

ProWritingAid – Sponsors of the Debut Dagger

ProWritingAid was created by writers, for writers. Our primary goal is to help new writers get their stories and ideas across in the clearest and most effective way possible. We are passionate about language and believe good stories are intrinsically entwined with the words and phrases used to express them. ProWritingAid will never replace a human editor (our software can’t spot your plot holes!) Rather, our software helps you self-edit to a deeper level so that when you send your manuscript off to a human editor, they can focus on the content of your writing and not spend their time fixing basic writing issues like passive voice or emotion tells.

We are thrilled to sponsor the Debut Dagger competition. ProWritingAid’s primary goal is to help more writers get their stories out into the world, and the Debut Dagger is such an amazing opportunity for new crime writers to get their work in front of people that matter.

Maxim Jakubowski – Sponsor of the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger

The Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger is sponsored by former CWA Chair, Maxim Jakubowski, in honour of his wife Dolores Jakubowski, who was a translator and university lecturer but now suffers from Alzheimer’s.

Maxim said: “Dolores is well-known to the crime writing community as she’s been at my side for decades at book launches, parties, Dagger Award dinners and festivals worldwide, where she was always popular and a good friend to many involved in the genre.”

Maxim will sponsor the Crime Fiction in Translation Dagger in her honour in perpetuity, beginning this year and continuing after his tenure in the Chair.

About the CWA

The CWA was founded over 70 years ago by John Creasey. Its aim is to support, promote and celebrate this most durable, adaptable, and successful of genres and the authors who write within it. It runs the prestigious CWA Dagger awards, which celebrate the best in crime writing.

A thriving, growing community with a membership encompassing authors of all ages and at all stages of their careers, the CWA is UK-based, yet attracts many members from overseas.

It supports author members (plus literary agents, publishers, bloggers, and editors) with a monthly magazine; a digital monthly newsletter showcasing CWA authors and their books and events that goes to over 12,000 subscribers; and Case Files, a bimonthly ezine highlighting new books by CWA members.

The CWA also supports the Debuts; as yet unpublished writers, many of whom enter the Debut Dagger competition and the Margery Allingham Short Mystery competition.

The CWA run an annual conference and hold chapter meetings throughout the UK and internationally so members can access face-to-face networking and socialising.

It supports libraries and booksellers, with three Library Champions and Booksellers Champions. It has links with various festivals and many other writers’ organisations such as the Society of Authors.


To view past winners, or find out more, please visit