2021 Dagger Awards Longlists

The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) of the United Kingdom has announced the longlists for the 2021 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 in May, and the winners will be revealed at a ceremony on July 10.


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

  • Amer Anwar: Stone Cold Trouble (Dialogue)
  • S A Cosby: Blacktop Wasteland (Headline)
  • M W Craven: The Curator (Constable)
  • Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Fiction)
  • Garry Disher: Peace (Viper)
  • Mick Finlay: Arrowood and the Thames Corpses (HQ)
  • Nicci French: House of Correction (Simon & Schuster)
  • Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere)
  • Elly Griffiths: The Postscript Murders (Quercus)
  • Antonia Hodgson: The Silver Collar (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • S G Maclean: The House of Lamentations (Quercus Fiction)
  • C D Major: The Other Girl (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Thomas Mullen: Midnight Atlanta (Little, Brown)
  • S J Parris: Execution (Harper Fiction)
  • Tade Thompson: Making Wolf (Constable)
  • Nicola Upson: The Dead of Winter (Faber)
  • Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre,)
  • Rebecca Whitney: The Hidden Girls (Mantle)


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.

  • Charles Cumming: Box 88 (HarperFiction)
  • Robert Galbraith: Troubled Blood (Sphere)
  • Ryan Gattis: The System (Picador)
  • Ian Rankin: Song for the Dark Times (Orion Fiction)
  • Rod Reynolds: Blood Red City (Orenda Books)
  • Craig Robertson: Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster)
  • Michael Robotham: When She Was Good (Sphere)
  • Catherine Ryan Howard: The Nothing Man (Atlantic Books)
  • Stuart Turton: The Devil and the Dark Water (Raven Books)
  • Ruth Ware: One by One (Harvill Secker)
  • Holly Watt: The Dead Line (Raven Books)
  • Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Zaffre)


  • Eva Björg Ægisdóttir: The Creak on the Stairs (Orenda)
  • Susan Allott: The Silence (Borough)
  • Emma Christie: The Silent Daughter (Welbeck Publishing )
  • Catherine Cooper: The Chalet (HarperFiction)
  • Ben Creed: City of Ghosts (Welbeck Publishing)
  • Judi Daykin: Under Violent Skies (Joffe Books)
  • Egan Hughes: The One That Got Away (Sphere)
  • S W Kane: The Bone Jar (Thomas & Mercer)
  • Rob McInroy: Cuddies Strip (Ringwood Press)
  • Stephanie Scott: What’s Left of Me Is Yours (W&N)
  • Stephen Spotswood: Fortune Favours the Dead (Wildfire)
  • John Vercher: Three Fifths (Pushkin Press)
  • S R White: Hermit (Headline)


  • J M Alvey: Justice for Athena (Canelo)
  • John Banville: Snow (Faber)
  • Vaseem Khan: Midnight at Malabar House (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Laurie King: Riviera Gold (Allison & Busby)
  • Chris Lloyd: The Unwanted Dead (Orion Fiction)
  • S J Parris: Execution (HarperFiction)
  • Ben Pastor: The Night of Shooting Stars (Bitter Lemon Press)
  • Michael Russell: The City Under Siege (Constable)
  • David S. Stafford: Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons (Allison & Busby)
  • A D Swanston: Chaos (Bantam Press)
  • Nicola Upson: The Dead of Winter (Faber)
  • Ovidia Yu: The Mimosa Tree Mystery (Constable)


  • Fredrik Backman: Anxious People, translated by Neil Smith (Michael Joseph,)
  • Roxanne Bouchard: The Coral Bride, translated by David Warriner (Orenda Books)
  • Marc Elsberg: Greed, translated by Simon Pare (Black Swan)
  • Yun Ko-eun: The Disaster Tourist, translated by Lizzie Buehler (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Volker Kutscher: The March Fallen, translated by Niall Sellar (Sandstone Press)
  • D A Mishani: Three, translated by Jessica Cohen (Riverrun)
  • Jo Nesbo: The Kingdom, translated by Robert Ferguson (Harvill Secker)
  • Håkan Nesser: The Secret Life of Mr Roos, translated by Sarah Death (Mantle)
  • Mikael Niemi: To Cook a Bear, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (Maclehose Press)
  • Agnes Ravatn: The Seven Doors, translated by Rosie Hedger (Orenda Books)
  • Maike Wetzel: Elly, translated by Lyn Marven (Scribe UK)


  • Robert Scragg: “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas” in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg
  • Elle Croft: “Deathbed” in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg 
  • Dominic Nolan: “Daddy Dearest” in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg
  • Adam Southward: “Especially at Christmas” in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg
  • Christopher Fowler: “Head Count” in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)
  • Victoria Selman: “Hunted” in Afraid of the Christmas Lights, edited by Robert Scragg
  • Clare Mackintosh: “Monsters” in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)
  • Stuart Turton: “Murder Most Vial” in First Edition: Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books (The Dome Press)
  • Livia Llewelyn: “One of These Nights” in Cutting Edge: Noir Stories by Women, edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Pushkin Press)
  • James Delargy: “Planting Nan” in Afraid of the Light, edited by Robert Scragg
  • Simpson Grears: “The Foot of the Walk Murders” in The Foot of the Walk Murders, edited by Simpson Grears (Rymour Books)


  • Sue Black: Written in Bone (Doubleday)
  • Amanda Brown: The Prison Doctor; Women Inside (HQ)
  • Becky Cooper: We Keep the Dead Close (William Heinemann)
  • Martin Edwards: Howdunit (Collins Crime Club)
  • Andrew Harding: These Are Not Gentle People (MacLehose)
  • Debora Harding: Dancing with the Octopus (Profile Books)
  • Nick Hayes: The Book of Trespass (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Ben MacIntyre: Agent Sonya (Viking)
  • Jax Miller: Hell in the Heartland (HarperCollins)
  • Daniel Smith: The Peer and the Gangster (The History Press)
  • Ravi Somaiya: Operation Morthor (Viking)
  • Kate Summerscale: The Haunting of Alma Fielding (Bloomsbury Circus)
  • Mark Townsend: No Return (Guardian, Faber & Faber)


  • Lin Anderson
  • Nicci French
  • Lisa Jewell
  • Erin Kelly
  • Peter May
  • Denise Mina
  • Margaret Murphy
  • James Oswald
  • L J Ross
  • C L Taylor


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.

  • Peter Boland: Savage Games
  • Zack Daniel: The Tonganoxie Split
  • Kerry Eaton: Long Egg
  • Ashley Harrison: The Looking Glass Spy
  • Fiona McPhillips: Underwater
  • Karen Milner: Sister Killer
  • Julie Nugent: The Lying Days
  • Biba Pearce: Rough Justice
  • Hannah Redding: Deception
  • Edward Regenye: Lightfoot
  • Elizabeth Todman: The Tunnel Runners
  • Jennifer Wilson O’Raghallaigh: Mandatory Reporting


  • Bitter Lemon Press
  • Faber & Faber
  • Harper Fiction
  • Head of Zeus
  • Michael Joseph
  • No Exit Press
  • Orenda Books
  • Pushkin Vertigo
  • Raven
  • Sphere
  • Viper


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:


[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

1 thought on “2021 Dagger Awards Longlists

  1. In the short story category, I noticed a half-dozen stories from the AFRAID OF THE LIGHT and AFRAID OF THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS anthologies. Pretty impressive.

    Good news: All profits from both anthologies go to domestic-abuse organizations. And only $2.99 for ebook. (For paperback: $4.99 for LIGHT, 141 pages; $8.99 for LIGHTS, 199 pages.)

    Bad news: Looks like they’re only available via Amazon.

Comments are closed.