Putting the mockers on (or thoughts on the CWA International Dagger Award 2011)

Friday night (well Saturday morning my time) at the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate the winner of the CWA International Dagger award for 2011 will be announced.

Of the seven shortlisted novels I have read six (but ran out of puff for the seventh) and definitely have my favourites though I am almost reluctant to speculate on a winner given my notoriously poor form with such matters. Though perhaps it is a smidgen narcissistic to believe that my actions could have a negative outcome on the results?

The six books I have read (in order) are

So….there are three books (marked with *) that I would be happy to see win the award and only one that I would genuinely grizzle about if it were to win (marked with ^). Until two days ago I was madly hoping for a win by Needle in a Haystack but having finished Death on a Galician Shore this week there’s now stiff competition in my heart. On balance though I think Needle offers a more well-rounded reading experience through tackling some weightier issues and being more tightly written. So I’m still crossing my fingers for a win by Mr Mallo and hope this hasn’t put the mockers on his chances. Of course Jean-François Parot’s The Saint-Florentin Murders, which I didn’t get around to reading, might be the best of them all and if it wins I’ll have to accept that the judges knew best, though it probably won’t stop me taking issue with them 😉

I am a little disappointed in this year’s shortlist as it doesn’t quite live up to the high quality of last year’s and I can think of a book or two that I’d have rather seen included (in particular Shuichi Yoshida’s Villain (Japan) and Liza Marklund’s Red Wolf (which even if it isn’t her best work is vastly superior to Three Seconds in my humble opinion). But I’m still genuinely thrilled that there is such a depth of translated crime fiction on offer to us pathetically monolingual readers and applaud the CWA for acknowledging this under-appreciated aspect of fiction which (hopefully) helps to ensure we will have more translations in the future.


This entry was posted in Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, Andrea Camilleri, Domingo Villar, Ernesto Mallo, Fred Vargas, musings, Valerio Varesi. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Putting the mockers on (or thoughts on the CWA International Dagger Award 2011)

  1. Bernadette – Thanks for your thoughts on this. I’m not sure which of these will win, either, but it would be nice if Mallo won…


  2. Norman says:

    Bernadette, I’m a Mallo man but would be happy if Vargas [sorry] Camilleri or Villar picked up the award. I do think that the fact that Vargas has won three times before should be taken into consideration, and the award given to another worthy book.


  3. Kathy D. says:

    This is a great post, giving me pause and chuckles.
    I’ve only read three: the Mallo, Vargas and Camilleri. I would be pleased if any of them won. And just because of your and other esteemed bloggers’ great reviews, I’d be fine if Villar’s book won, even though I haven’t yet read it. I’m ordering it tonight from the Book Depository, as it sounds way too good to put off reading, and I can loan it to several readers, too.
    So, I guess I’m saying I agree with your choices.
    I will also read the Perot, the Varisi (when it costs under $50 here), and Three Seconds, when my mystery reading colleagues return it to me.


  4. Jose Ignacio says:

    Fully agree with your choice Bernadette. Will love to see either Mallo or Villar winning.


  5. Kathy D. says:

    A very slight off-topic rant: I tried to order Outrage by Indridason, from Book Depository. It’s published by Random House Canada. I got an email back saying book sales are restricted to the U.S. — so, they won’t ship it. This is right here, next door to Canada. Don’t get it.


  6. Rob says:

    I suspect you are going to be mightly cheesed off with the result, which has just been announced.


  7. Pingback: On disappointment, perspective and looking forward | Reactions to Reading

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