Crime Fiction Awards 2024 Kickoff


The Crime Writers’ Association has announced the 2024 Diamond Dagger Joint Winners, Lynda La Plante and James Lee Burke.

The Diamond Dagger recognizes authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre, and is regarded as one of the foremost awards hosted in Britain for crime writing.

Lynda La Plante CBE began her career as an actor in TV and theatre. She graduated from RADA, where her fellow students included Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. 

La Plante wrote her first treatment for TV, Widows, which went on to become one of the highest rating series in the 1980s. She became a sought-after crime writer, with her debut novel, The Legacy, published in 1987. 

In 1990, La Plante began work on Prime Suspect, which was released in 1991, starring Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison. In 1993, she received the Dennis Potter Award from BAFTA and was made a fellow of the British Film Institute. The success led to her forming her own television production company, La Plante Productions. 

She also wrote and produced multiple shows in the US, with actors including Vanessa Redgrave, Sam Neill, and Rob Lowe. In 2014, she formed a new global rights and production company – La Plante Global. Her current book series features Detective Jack Warr. She received a CBE for services to Literature, Drama and Charity in 2008. 

James Lee Burke’s first novel was compared to the work of Faulkner and Sartre by the New York Times. Despite this, he was out of hardback print for 13 years until his third novel, The Lost Get-Back Boogie was published and submitted for a Pulitzer Prize, after being rejected over 111 times. Over the years, he’s taught at universities, worked as a case worker with former felons, as a pipeliner for an oil company, a long-distance truck driver, and a newspaper reporter.

James Lee Burke has two Edgar Awards, a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, and has been a Guggenheim Fellow.  


The winner of the Joffe Books Prize for Crime Writers of Colour 2023 was announced on December 6, 2023.

The winner is Renita D’Silva, for her compelling psychological thriller, The Neighbour. She receives a two-book publishing deal with Joffe Books, a £1,000 cash prize, and a £25,000 audiobook deal from Audible for the first book. This is one of Britain’s biggest crime prizes.

The Joffe Books Prize for Crime Writers of Colour was established in direct response to the paucity of diverse voices being published in crime fiction. Its explicit aim is to actively seek out writers from communities that are underrepresented in our genre and support them in building sustainable careers, while simultaneously discovering brilliant new talent to join our bestselling list.

Renita D’Silva