Books  |  May 20, 2021

CWA Dagger 2021 shortlists announced

The 2021 Crime Writers' Association (CWA) Dagger Awards shortlists have been revealed with Ben Macintyre, Lisa Jewell, Clare Mackintosh and Chris Whitaker featuring. 

The CWA Daggers are the premier literary crime-writing awards in the United Kingdom. Entries to seven of the eleven Daggers are nominated by publishers and judged independently of the CWA by industry professionals.

Ben Macintyre’s Agent Sonya was shortlisted in the ‘ACLS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction’ category. Agent Sonya reveals the astonishing story behind the most important woman spy in history, Sonya Burton, and the huge emotional cost that came with being a mother, a wife, and a secret agent all at once.

In the ‘Dagger in the Library’ category, Lisa Jewell and her vast array of bestselling novels such as Then She Was Gone and The Family Upstairs have been shortlisted. This prize awards a body of work by an established crime writer that has long been popular with borrowers from libraries.

Monsters, a gripping short story by Clare Mackintosh, is shortlisted for the ‘Short Story Dagger’. Originally written for the ‘Celebrating 21 Years of Goldsboro Books’ Anthology, Monsters is the unsettling tale of a child unravelling the reality of their existence.

Finally, Chris Whitaker has been shortlisted in two categories, the ‘Gold Dagger for Fiction’ and the ‘Ian Fleming Steel Dagger’, for We Begin at the End. A blistering story of murder, revenge and retribution set under the Californian sun, We Begin at the End is a thriller of exceptional psychological flair that showcases the lengths we will go to keep our family safe. It has also been longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2021 and the TV rights have been optioned by Disney.

Maxim Jakubowski, chair of the CWA, said: “The Dagger shortlists again highlight the wealth of great books and diversity within the crime genre. The Daggers are assuredly the best and most prestigious reflection of what's happening on the crime and mystery writing front.”

The winners will be announced at an online CWA Dagger awards ceremony on 1st July.