Tuesday, November 09, 2004

CWA Dagger Winners

As has already been reported by the CWA and Sarah, the winning Daggers have been announced today. The winners are:

I am most delighted with the fact that Reginald Hill has won the People's Choice Award for Good Morning, Midnight, which came as a complete surprise to me. It's a super, super book, and is in my view the most deserving of this year's set of winners.

I can't say that I'm not absolutely shocked (and a little annoyed, as usual); I'd seen Hayder as the hottest favourite in some years - because Tokyo is a damn, damn good book, and rather obviously deserved to win. (It's getting incredibly frustrating that I end up having to respectfully (well, not, actually) disagree with the CWA every year - alright, well, for the past two.) I have every expectation that Blacklist won't, in my opinion, be as good. It's a damn shame that neither Hayder or Wilson took anything, and a bit of a mystery as well, to be honest.

As I said right at the start though, Harvey taking the Silver is no surprise, as now he's been rewarded, in a token manner at least, for an otherwise Dagger-free career. Alexander McCall Smith taking the Dagger in the Library was almost a foregone conclusion, really. Also, before I forget...as far as I can tell, this is the first year in the CWA's history that a main Dagger has gone to an author who has already been awarded the Diamond Lifetime's Achievement Dagger. Which is quite interesting. See, it can be done. (Also this is now the first Gold Dagger winning book since 1985 that I haven't read.)

Jeffery Deaver deserves his short-story win, at least. He's darn good at it, after all. When you read a collection like Twisted, though, by the time you've read 20 short stories in a row by the same author, they do rather loose their shine, and I was routinely guessing the "surprise". I'm not so sure that he should have taken the Steel, though: while I really enjoyed Garden of Beasts, and am quite happy for it to win the award, I have a suspicion that Fesperman's book - though I've not read it - was probably superior.

What else is there for me to pass on my opinion about... Not a lot, really. Mark Mill's win is not a surprise, and congratulations to Ellen Grub. Let's hope she has as much sucess as previous winners like Edward Wright and Caroline Carver.

Overall, aside from the rather surprising (to me, at least) twist in the main award, everything has proceeded according to plan. Now, at least, hopefully I can attempt to move on from being angry about last year's Fox Evil debacle, and can get on with grouching about how they've robbed Hayder of her rightful award as well. Gee, I am a grumpy-guts, aren't I.