The Crime Readers' Association

Dagger Focus: CWA Dagger in the Library

19th July 2013

Belinda Bauer wins the CWA Dagger in the Library

Sponsor: Dead Good, The Random House Group

Belinda Bauer has won the 2013 CWA Dagger in the Library. Mobeena Khan, who chaired this year’s judges, made the announcement at the CWA Gala Awards Dinner held at Kings Place in London.

Bauer impressed the judges again this year with her fourth novel, Rubbernecker: “A consummate storyteller, she hooks the reader in right from the beginning and doesn’t let go.”

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and screenwriter and her script The Locker Room earned her the Carl Foreman/Bafta Award for Young British Screenwriters. With her first novel, Blacklands, Belinda won the CWA Gold Dagger in 2010. Her second and third novels, Darkside and Finders Keepers, were highly acclaimed, and she was shortlisted for the Dagger in the Library Award last year.

She lives in Wales and is published by Transworld. Her website is

The judges have been thrilled with the response and the nominations received from libraries up, down and across the country and were knee deep in books from January to May. They greatly enjoyed reading through the longlist, and after much heated discussion, arrived at the shortlist and then the eventual winner.

Thanks are due Random House/Dead Good and the Reading Agency for their support and sponsorship of this unique award and also a big thank you to all the public library staff and users who took the time to nominate their favourite authors for this award. It is no exaggeration to say that this award could not take place without them.

Many congratulations to the other five shortlisted authors:

  • Christopher Fowler
  • Alison Bruce
  • Gordon Ferris
  • Elly Griffiths
  • Michael Ridpath

Alison Bruce
was born in Surrey but moved to Cambridge in 1998 where she lives with her husband and two children. The first novel in the Gary Goodhew series, Cambridge Blue, was published in 2008, followed byThe Siren, The Calling and The Silence. She has also written two true crime books. The fifth Goodhew novel, The Backs, will be published in September 2013.

She is published by Constable & Robinson and her website is

Solid writing and interesting plots and characters have made Bruce a favourite amongst the reading public and the judges.

Gordon Ferris
is an ex-techy in the Ministry of Defence and an ex-partner in one of the Big Four accountancy firms. Maybe that’s where he gets his interest in spies and crooks. He writes about the important things in life: conflicted heroes and headstrong women embroiled in tangled tales of life, love and death. He is the author of the No. 1 bestselling eBook The Hanging Shed and the new novel Bitter Water in the Brodie series as well as Truth Dare Kill and The Unquiet Heart in the Danny McRae series.

His website is

A master of tartan noir, the Danny McRae and Douglas Brodie series combine thrills, violence and a hefty dose of black humour. Strong plots and believable characters delivered with a fast pace make these books a cut above the average historical crime novel.

Christopher Fowler
is the multi award-winning author of over thirty novels and twelve short story collections, including Roofworld, Spanky,Calabash, Hell Train and ten Bryant & May mystery novels. He currently writes a weekly column in the Independent on Sunday and reviews for theFinancial Times. He lives in King’s Cross in London.
He is published by Bantam and his website is

A real discovery for the judges this year, Fowler’s Bryant and May series has become a firm favourite with the judges who enjoyed reading about the irascible duo and the fascinating details Fowler uses about his locations.

Elly Griffiths
was born in London. She read English at King’s College, London and worked in publishing for many years. Her crime novels are based in Norfolk and feature Dr Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist. She lives near Brighton with her husband, an archaeologist and their two children.

She is published by Quercus and her website is

Her series featuring archaeologist Ruth Galloway is going from strength to strength. Griffiths beautifully developed characters and relationships are as much of a draw as her plots.

Michael Ridpath
spent eight years as a bond trader in the City before giving up his job to write full-time. He wrote eight thrillers set in the worlds of business and finance, before turning his hand to something slightly different. The result, Where The Shadows Lie, the first in a series featuring an Icelandic detective named Magnus, was published in June 2010. This was followed with 66° North and Meltwater. He lives in north London with his wife and three children.

He is published by the Corvus imprint of Atlantic Books and his website is

Michael’s Fire and Ice series, set in Iceland, achieves fascinating tensions and contrasts. His hero, policeman Magnus Jonson, a native Icelander who grew up in the USA, is both insider and outsider. Modern society and politics are the background for these crime thrillers, but so too is history and legend, and through each book runs the a historic family mystery that obsesses Magnus. Always, there is the astonishing volcanic landscape, vividly described as a background to the action.

For more information on the individual CWA Daggers please visit our website or see the weekends edition of the CRA newsletter

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