I could not be more pleased that the CWA has announced the award of the CWA Diamond Dagger to Catherine Aird in recognition of the sustained excellence of her work. I've known Catherine for a long time, and I've enjoyed her books for even longer. She is a truly delightful person, and while the award is of course for her writing, it is all the more pleasing to see someone so popular in the crime fiction community receive such recognition. She is beyond doubt a worthy winner.
Because of my own membership of the CWA committee, I've been aware that this announcement was to be made for some time, and I did notice that, as soon as the news came out, many of Catherine's fans took to social media to express their delight. I'm not a bit surprised. Her plots are clever, her characters and situations are entertaining,, and her humour a real bonus..
I've written about Catherine previously on this blog, and I've had the pleasure of including her stories in CWA anthologies over the years. Recently, she contributed to a CWA anthology with a difference. Truly Criminal, which will be published in the spring, is a collection of essays about true crime by CWA members, and Catherine writes about a case that is interesting, but little known.
One item of trivia that may be unfamiliar to many fans of traditional detective fiction is that Catherine has a family connection with Josephine Tey, one of the great figures of Golden Age mystery writing. I share Catherine's enthusiasm for Tey, and I continue to hope that one of these she will write more about her. Tey and Catherine belong to different generations, but in both cases, their books will be read for many years to come.