The Crime Writers’ Association Awards 2012

Last night, the CWA awards for 2012 were announced in London.

Two of the categories were of particular interest to me as a fan of international crime fiction. Firstly (and most obviously), the CWA International Dagger, whose shortlist included three novels from Italy, and one from Norway, Sweden and South Africa respectively. Secondly the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, whose shortlist featured the Italian crime novel I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni (Hersilia Press) and Philip Kerr’s Prague Fatale (Quercus), set in Nazi Germany.

The Historical Dagger shortlist was also interesting in terms of highlighting a shift away from  ‘historical crime fiction’ set in the distant historical past (such as Ellis Peters’ famous ‘Brother Cadfael’ series) to crime fiction engaging with twentieth-century history (all but two of the shortlisted novels are set following 1930).

And the winners are…..*drumroll*

CWA International Dagger: The Potter’s Field by Andrea Camilleri               (trans. by Stephen Sartarelli and published by Mantle)

The judges said ‘Camilleri’s Montalbano novels show just how much can be achieved with familiar materials when a writer conveys the sense of life in a recognizable place. He combines characters, plots, and reflections on Italy’s particular social and political problems with wry—but never bitter—satire. In this novel the late-afternoon shadows lengthen; Montalbano is feeling his age.’

Further information about the winner and the other shortlisted novels can be found on the CWA website here.

CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger: Icelight by Aly Monroe                              (published by John Murray)

The judges were unanimous in their decision to award Icelight the Historical Dagger, commenting that “this tale of British post-war malaise, the third of Monroe’s Peter Cotton thrillers, is authentically downbeat yet absolutely gripping. Monroe has the young le Carré’s ability to conjure atmosphere and a poetic style worthy of Len Deighton.”

Further information about the winner and the other shortlisted novels can be found on the CWA website here.

Many congratulations to all the CWA winners and I hope everyone had a great night!

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5 thoughts on “The Crime Writers’ Association Awards 2012

  1. I haven’t read the Aly Monroe book (I read her first novel) but unusually for me I had read two others on the historical shortlist. I didn’t think either of them was an out-and-out winner type of book. Several of the shortlisted books (and non-shortlisted eligbile ones) could easily have won the International Dagger and it is certainly about time that the CWA recognised Andrea Camilleri’s magnificient contribution to the genre, with 13 translated titles so far.

  2. I’d assumed that Camilleri had won every prize going, but see from the list of previous winners that it’s the first time an Italian has won since the establishment of the award in 2006. The French bagged the first four (Fred Vargas three of those four!), so it’s good to see some wider representation. I have to confess that I still need to read the Larsson, Meyer and Nesbo – I’ve made a grand detour recently to all of the le Carré / Smiley novels, which means I’ve been falling behind! It looks like Icelight might be a natural progression from le Carré – I’ll need to be disciplined, especially as this forms part of a series…

  3. Being Italian and loving Camilleri and Scandinavian crime writers, I’m not that surprised I ended up on your blog, Mrs Peabody 😉 What a fountain of information!! 😀

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