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The Crime Writers' Association 'Dagger' Awards

The Crime Writers’ Association works to promote the crime genre and support professional crime writers, as well as encouraging writing groups, festivals and literary events. The CWA awards numerous annual prizes to a variety of sub-genres of crime fiction:

CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year
CWA Silver Dagger for runner-up to best crime novel of the year
CWA International Dagger for the best translated crime novel of the year
CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best adventure/thriller novel in the vein of James Bond
CWA Historical Dagger for a fictional work with ‘a crime theme and a historical background of any period up to 35 years before the current year’
CWA New Blood Dagger for the best first book by a previously unpublished writer
CWA Dagger in the Library, awarded by a panel of librarians to ‘a living author who has given the most pleasure to readers’
CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, awarded to authors who have made an outstanding lifetime's contribution to the genre


CWA Categories

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  • Dodgers: A Novel Audiobook by Bill Beverly Narrated by J. D. Jackson

    Dodgers: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Bill Beverly
    • Narrated By J. D. Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Dodgers is the story of a young man named East who works for an LA drug gang, sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys - including East's hotheaded younger brother - to kill a witness connected to a major case, who is hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he's never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, and over the course of his journey the book brings in elements from a diverse array of genres, ranging from crime fiction to road narrative to coming-of-age novel.

    2016 winner
  • Life or Death Audiobook by Michael Robotham Narrated by John Chancer

    Life or Death

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By John Chancer
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    Why would a man escape from prison the day before he's due to be released? Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For 10 years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by prison guards, inmates and criminal gangs, who all want to answer this same question, but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released.

    Pamela says: "Excellent"
    2015 winner
  • This Dark Road to Mercy Audiobook by Wiley Cash Narrated by Laurence Bouvard, Eric Meyers, Peter Brooke

    This Dark Road to Mercy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Wiley Cash
    • Narrated By Laurence Bouvard, Eric Meyers, Peter Brooke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Wade disappeared on us when I was six, and I never saw him again until I turned twelve, after Mom was buried. She always said he was a loser, even if he was our dad, but it turns out he was much more than that. He was also a thief. Like he was on the day he stole me and my little sister.

    2014 winner
  • Dead Lions Audiobook by Mick Herron Narrated by Seán Barrett

    Dead Lions

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Mick Herron
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    London’s Slough House is where disgraced MI5 spies go to while away what’s left of their washed-up careers. Now they have a chance at redemption. An old Cold War-era spy is found dead on a bus outside Oxford, far from his usual haunts. Slough House’s head honcho, the despicable, irascible Jackson Lamb is convinced Dickie Bow was murdered.

    Janette Gorman says: "Awesome read"
    2013 winner
  • The Rage Audiobook by Gene Kerrigan Narrated by John Cormack

    The Rage

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Gene Kerrigan
    • Narrated By John Cormack
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Vincent Naylor is a professional thief; just 10 days out of jail and he's preparing his next robbery. But his plan is already unraveling. Maura Coady, a retired nun, calls Detective Sergeant Bob Tidey believing there's something suspicious happening in her Dublin backstreet. Maura's call inadvertently unleashes a storm of violence that will engulf Naylor and force Tidey to make a deadly choice.

    2012 winner
  • Blacklands Audiobook by Belinda Bauer Narrated by Colleen Prendergast

    Blacklands

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Belinda Bauer
    • Narrated By Colleen Prendergast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Steven Lamb digs holes on Exmoor, hoping to lay to rest the ghost of his uncle, who disappeared aged 11 and is assumed to have fallen victim to the serial killer Arnold Avery. Only Steven's Nan is not convinced her son is dead. Steven is determined to heal the widening cracks in his family before it's too late. And if that means presenting his grandmother with the bones of her murdered son, he'll do it. So the boy takes the next logical step, carefully crafting a letter to Arnold Avery in prison.

    2010 winner
  • Cruel and Unusual: The Scarpetta Series, Book 4 Audiobook by Patricia Cornwell Narrated by Lorelei King

    Cruel and Unusual: The Scarpetta Series, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    When convicted killer Ronnie Joe Waddell is executed in Virginia’s electric chair, he becomes what should be a routine postmortem case for Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta. But after Waddell’s execution the murders continue, as everyone connected to him begins to die – including members of Scarpetta’s staff. Then, when crucial records disappear from her files, Scarpetta comes under fire for incompetence. Caught in a web of political intrigue, Scarpetta must fight for her good name and her life.

    BigEars says: "Thoroughly enjoyable"
    1993 winner
  • King Solomon's Carpet Audiobook by Barbara Vine Narrated by Michael Pennington

    King Solomon's Carpet

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By Michael Pennington
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Eccentric Jarvis lives in a crumbling schoolhouse overlooking the tube line, compiling his obsessive history of the Underground. A group of misfits are also drawn towards his strange house: Alice, who has run away from her husband and baby; Tom, the busker who rescues her; truant Jasper who finds his terrifying thrills on the tube; and enigmatic Axel, whose deadly secret casts a shadow over all their lives.

    1991 winner
  • Bones and Silence Audiobook by Reginald Hill Narrated by Brian Glover

    Bones and Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Reginald Hill
    • Narrated By Brian Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Andy Dalziel of the Mid-Yorks CID has witnessed a murder, but it was though dark glass and he was being sick at the time. Now he finds the case shrouded in uncertainty and a string of contradictory statements. And who is his anonymous letter writer threatening suicide? Meanwhile Dalziel's colleague, Peter Pascoe, has returned from a long convalescence uncertain about his job, his marriage, or his motivations whilst having to act as a moderator to the strong-willed Dalziel.

    1990 winner
  • Ratking: Aurelio Zen, Book 1 Audiobook by Michael Dibdin Narrated by Michael Kitchen

    Ratking: Aurelio Zen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Michael Dibdin
    • Narrated By Michael Kitchen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A powerful industrialist, Ruggiero Miletti, is kidnapped. Inspector Zen is transferred to Perugia to take over the case - but finds that there are many obstacles in his way. The local authorities see him as an interloper, and the victim’s family, one of the most powerful in Italy, seem content to let Miletti languish in the hands of his abductors. Zen has crossed swords with the establishment before - and lost. Can he succeed this time?

    1988 winner
  • A Fatal Inversion Audiobook by Barbara Vine Narrated by William Gaminara

    A Fatal Inversion

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Barbara Vine
    • Narrated By William Gaminara
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    In the long, hot summer of 1976 Adam, Rufus, Shiva, Vivien and Zosie are camping at Wyvis Hall. They don’t ask why they are there or how they are to live; they simply scavenge, steal and sell the family heirlooms. Ten years later, the bodies of a woman and child are discovered in the Hall’s animal cemetery. But which woman? And whose child?

    1987 winner
  • Live Flesh Audiobook by Ruth Rendell Narrated by Ian Holm

    Live Flesh

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By Ian Holm
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    All his life, for almost as far back as he could remember, Victor had had a phobia. In prison, inevitably, he reflected on the grotesque way it had begun, about the panics and violent anger. He asked himself, too, why the child of happily married, middle-class parents should have needed to make motiveless and unreasoning attacks on women. Holed up in that house with the girl, he had not meant to pull the trigger. It was panic.

    1986 winner
  • Whip Hand Audiobook by Dick Francis Narrated by Tony Britton

    Whip Hand

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Tony Britton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (2)

    Sid Halley had one good hand and another made of metal. Five hundred pounds of horse had landed on him, directly ending his career as a brilliant jockey - and indirectly ending his marriage to the woman he loved. He had become a private investigator, quite a good one, though his new life could never erase the haunting memories of his past glories.

    1979 winner
  • The Honourable Schoolboy: The Karla Trilogy, Book 2 Audiobook by John le Carré Narrated by Michael Jayston

    The Honourable Schoolboy: The Karla Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    George Smiley has become chief of the battered British Secret Service. The betrayals of a Soviet double agent have riddled the spy network, and Smiley wants revenge. He chooses his weapon: Jerry Westerby, "The Honourable Schoolboy", a passionate lover, and a seasoned, reckless secret agent. Westerby is pointed east, to Hong Kong. So begins the terrifying game.

    David Lazzari says: "The honourable schoolboy"
    1977 winner
  • A Demon in My View Audiobook by Ruth Rendell Narrated by George Baker

    A Demon in My View

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ruth Rendell
    • Narrated By George Baker
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In A Demon in My View, Ruth Rendell creates a character as frightening as he is fascinating. Mild-mannered Arthur Johnson has never known how to talk to women. And his loneliness has perverted his desire for love and respect into a carefully controlled penchant for violence. One floor below him, a scholar finishing his thesis on psychopathic personalities is about to stumble - quite literally - upon one of Arthur's many secrets.

    1976 winner
  • Other Paths to Glory Audiobook by Anthony Price Narrated by Simon Schatzberger

    Other Paths to Glory

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Anthony Price
    • Narrated By Simon Schatzberger
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Paul Mitchell spends his days researching WWI; his quiet life in the library can hardly be in greater contrast to the carnage he studies. Until, that is, the present catches up with him in the shape of Dr Audley of the MOD. Why does Audley want to know what really happened during the battle for Hameau Ridge on the Somme in 1916? The answer is complex and dangerous…

    1974 winner
  • The Levanter Audiobook by Eric Ambler Narrated by Tim Bentinck

    The Levanter

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Eric Ambler
    • Narrated By Tim Bentinck
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
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    (0)

    Syria, 1970. Three years after the Six-Day War. Michael Howell is utterly apolitical and genetically programmed for survival, a Levantine of mixed origin with an Italian mistress and profitable business enterprises throughout the Middle East. Life is sweet for Howell until, one night in Damascus, he discovers that his factories have become the clandestine operations base for a fanatical terrorist organization dead set on destroying Israel. Suddenly, Howell is caught in the middle, with nowhere to run.

    1972 winner
  • Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenet and the City of Boulder Audiobook by Lawrence Schiller Narrated by Ron McLarty

    Perfect Murder, Perfect Town: JonBenet and the City of Boulder

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Lawrence Schiller
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    If you are eager to read John and Patsy Ramsey's new release about the mysterious death of their daughter JonBenet, you won't want to miss Perfect Murder, Perfect Town. Schiller creates a portrait of an inscrutable family thrust under the spotlight of public suspicion and an affluent, tranquil city torn apart by a crime it was unprepared to deal with.

    1964 winner
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold Audiobook by John le Carré Narrated by Michael Jayston

    The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    Alec Leamas has ended his time in Berlin. Or his time has ended him. The last of his Eastern agents has been killed, like the others, by the Abteilung. Back at the Circus, Leamas is put on the shelf. He turns to drunkenness and dishonesty and finally disappears from view, a seemingly broken man. But unknown to anyone except George Smiley and his master, Control, Leamas has been given his toughest mission ever. He will have to be himself but more so.

    david x kelly says: "Third reading and listening ....still most brilliant."
    1963 winner
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