The Crime Readers' Association

Countdown to Daggers Live!

18th June 2021

Book lovers and crime fiction fans have a unique opportunity to watch the famed Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers awards, live.

Tickets are free, but limited. To book a place, visit:

The oldest awards in the genre, the CWA Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century.

The annual glittering award ceremony is normally held at an exclusive event in London. This year, due to COVID-19, it will be hosted virtually. The online awards ceremony Daggers Live! will be broadcast on 1 July, from 7.30pm.

The evening will be compered by book reviewer, author and journalist Barry Forshaw, who is one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction.

Guest speaker is Abir Mukherjee, The Times bestselling author of the Sam Wyndham series of crime novels set in Raj era India. Abir won last year’s CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger for his novel Death in the East, as well as the 2017 Historical Dagger for his debut, A Rising Man.

Queen of crime Martina Cole will also feature in the Daggers Live! Event as the recipient of the 2021 Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement, the highest honour in British crime writing.

Barry Forshaw said: “Crime books have provided escapism, solace, entertainment and enlightenment throughout the pandemic. As such, we are delighted to honour the talented and diverse authors at work in this enduring genre. The Daggers are an annual highlight in the literary world, and although virtual, we still promise an entertaining evening for these Oscars of the crime genre.”

Hotly contended shortlisted authors include Robert Galbraith, Elly Griffiths and Chris Whitaker for the CWA Gold Dagger, awarded to the best crime novel of the year.

Michael Robotham, Ruth Ware, and Stuart Turton are among the shortlist for the best thriller, the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, which is supported by the family-owned Ian Fleming Publications Ltd that looks after the James Bond literary brand.

Other award highlights include the Sapere Books Historical Dagger, which features Booker prize winner John Banville on its shortlist, the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction, and the Dagger in the Library, which is awarded to an author for their body of work and support of libraries. Shortlisted authors this year include Peter May, Lisa Jewell and L J Ross  – the winner is voted for exclusively by librarians.

The awards take place at the end of National Crime Reading Month (NCRM) this June, a unique festival promoting the crime genre that’s held throughout the UK, promoted by the CWA. Readers and authors can follow #NCRM on Facebook and Twitter @The_CWA or find out more on the Crime Reading Month website

One of the UK’s most prominent societies, the CWA was founded in 1953 by John Creasey; 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.

Don’t forget, tickets are free but limited. To book a place, visit:

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