2020 Dagger Awards Longlists

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of the United Kingdom today announced the longlist for the 2020 Dagger Awards.

The Daggers were first given in 1955, but for the first five years CWA called its top honor the Crossed Red Herring Award.

The award’s shortlist will come out this summer, and the winners will be revealed at a ceremony on October 22.


This award is for the best crime novel by an author of any nationality.

  • Claire Askew: What You Pay For (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Gary Bell: Beyond Reasonable Doubt (Raven Books)
  • Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)
  • MW Craven: Black Summer (Constable)
  • John Fairfax: Forced Confessions (Little, Brown)
  • Lucy Foley: The Guest List (Harper Fiction)
  • Elly Griffiths: The Lantern Men (Quercus Fiction)
  • Chris Hammer: Silver (Wildfire)
  • Mick Herron: Joe Country (John Murray)
  • SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction)
  • Patrick McGuinness: Throw Me to the Wolves (Jonathan Cape)
  • Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)
  • Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)
  • Scott Phillips: That Left Turn at Albuquerque (Soho Crime)
  • Michael Robotham: Good Girl, Bad Girl (Sphere)
  • Tim Weaver: No One Home (Michael Joseph)


Eligible books in this category are thrillers set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction, psychological thrillers and action/adventure stories.

  • Lou Berney: November Road (Harper Fiction)
  • Tom Chatfield: This is Gomorrah (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Karen Cleveland: Keep You Close (Bantam Press)
  • AA Dhand: One Way Out (Bantam Press)
  • Eva Dolan: Between Two Evils (Raven Books)
  • Helen Fields: Perfect Kill (Avon)
  • Oliver Harris: A Shadow Intelligence (Little, Brown)
  • Peter Heller: The River (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Greg Iles: Cemetery Road (Harper Fiction)
  • David Koepp: Cold Storage (HQ)
  • Adrian McKinty: The Chain (Orion Fiction)
  • Alex North: The Whisper Man (Michael Joseph)
  • Andrew Taylor: The King’s Evil (Harper Fiction)


This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality.

  • Steph Cha: Your House Will Pay (Faber & Faber)
  • Sherryl Clark: Trust Me, I’m Dead (Verve Books)
  • Samantha Downing: My Lovely Wife (Michael Joseph)
  • Philippa East: Little White Lies (HQ)
  • Andrew James Greig: Whirligig (Fledgling Press)
  • AS Hatch: This Dark Little Place (Serpent’s Tail)
  • James Von Leyden: A Death in the Medina (Constable)
  • Deborah Masson: Hold Your Tongue (Corgi)
  • Owen Matthews: Black Sun (Bantam Press)
  • Felicity McLean: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone (Point Blank)
  • Robin Morgan-Bentley: The Wreckage (Trapeze)
  • Trevor Wood: The Man on the Street (Quercus Fiction)


This award is for the best historical crime novel, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made.

  • Alis Hawkins: In Two Minds (The Dome Press)
  • Philip Kerr: Metropolis (Quercus Fiction)
  • SG MacLean: The Bear Pit (Quercus Fiction)
  • Abir Mukherjee: Death in the East (Harvill Secker)
  • SW Perry: The Serpent’s Mark (Corvus)
  • Alex Reeve: The Anarchists’ Club (Raven Books)
  • Gareth Rubin: Liberation Square (Michael Joseph)
  • SD Sykes: The Bone Fire (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Andrew Taylor: The King’s Evil (Harper Collins)
  • Lynne Truss: The Man That Got Away (Raven Books)
  • Nicola Upson: Sorry for the Dead (Faber & Faber)
  • Ovidia Yu: The Paper Bark Tree Mystery (Constable)


This award is for a crime novel not originally written in English and which has been translated into English for UK publication.

  • Edoardo Albinati: The Catholic School, translated by Anthony Shugaar (Picador)
  • Marion Brunet: Summer of Reckoning, translated by Katherine Gregor (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Hannelore Cayre: The Godmother, translated by Stephanie Smee (Old Street Publishing)
  • K Ferrari: Like Flies from Afar, translated by Adrian Nathan West (Canongate Books)
  • Jorge Galán: November, translated by Jason Wilson (Constable)
  • Johana Gustawsson: Blood Song, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)
  • Jørn Lier Horst: The Cabin, translated by Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph)
  • Sergio Olguin: The Fragility of Bodies, translated by Miranda France (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Leonardo Padura: Grab a Snake by the Tail, translated by Peter Bush (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Antti Tuomainen: Little Siberia, translated by David Hackston (Orenda Books)


This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment.

  • Fiona Cummins: Dead Weight in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Jeffery Deaver: Connecting the Dots in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Jeffery Deaver: The Bully in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Paul Finch: The New Lad in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Christopher Fowler: The Washing in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Christopher Fowler: Bryant and May and The Devil’s Triangle in Bryant and May: England’s Finest (Doubleday)
  • Lauren Henderson: #Me Too in Invisible Blood, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Titan Books)
  • Louise Jensen: The Recipe in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Dean Koontz: Kittens in Exit Wounds, edited by Paul B Kane and Marie O’Regan (Titan Books)
  • Syd Moore: Easily Made in 12 Strange Days of Christmas (Point Blank Press)


This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime-related theme by an author of any nationality.

  • Casey Cep: Furious Hours (William Heinemann)
  • Julia Ebner: Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Peter Everett: Corrupt Bodies (Icon Books)
  • Caroline Goode: Honour: Achieving Justice for Banaz Mahmod (Oneworld Publications)
  • Joanna Jolly: Red River Girl (Virago)
  • Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey: She Said (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Sean O’Connor: The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury (Simon & Schuster)
  • Adam Sisman: The Professor and the Parson: A Story of Desire, Deceit and Defrocking (Profile Books)
  • Susannah Stapleton: The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective (Picador)
  • Fred Vermorel: Dead Fashion Girl: A Situationist Detective Story (Strange Attractor Press)


The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by an established crime writer who has long been popular with borrowers from libraries, and who has supported libraries and their users.

  • Benjamin Black
  • Christopher Brookmyre
  • Jane Casey
  • Paul Finch
  • Alex Gray
  • Mick Herron
  • Quintin Jardine
  • Lisa Jewell
  • Erin Kelly
  • Adrian McKinty
  • Denise Mina
  • James Oswald


A competition for the opening of a crime novel and synopsis, chosen by judges: bestselling author Leigh Russell, editor Stephanie Glencross (of Gregory and Company), Editorial Director at Bonnier Zaffre Katherine Armstrong and director of literary agency A.M. Heath and Co. Oli Munson.

  • Barbara Austin: Lowlands
  • Anna Caig: The Spae-Wife
  • Loraine Fowlow: Undercut
  • Leanne Fry: Whipstick
  • Kim Hays: Pesticide
  • Jack Kapica: Blogger’s End
  • Nicholas Morrish: Emergency Drill
  • Josephine Moulds: Revolution Never Lies
  • Michael Munro: Bitter Lake
  • Karen Taylor: Grim Fairy Tale
  • Jane Wing: Dark Pastimes
  • Sarah Yarwood-Lovett: A Generation of Vipers


This prestigious Dagger is awarded annually to the Best Crime and Mystery Publisher of the Year.

  • Allison & Busby
  • Bitter Lemon
  • Harvill Secker
  • Head of Zeus
  • HQ
  • Michael Joseph
  • Orenda
  • Orion
  • Pushkin Vertigo
  • Raven
  • Severn House
  • Sphere


Awarded every year to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence, and who has made a significant contribution to the genre. Votes from CWA members go forward to be deliberated on by an independent panel. This year’s recipient is —


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One thought on “2020 Dagger Awards Longlists

  1. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I am grateful that you post the various and sundry mystery awards notices here.

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