Monday 29 October 2018
The Dagger in the Library
Thursday evening proved to be one of the most enjoyable of my whole writing career. It was the occasion of the CWA Daggers Awards, a glitzy black tie event at the Grange City Hotel in London, and I'll remember it forever because I was fortunate enough to be awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library.
The Dagger in the Library is awarded for a writer's body of work that has brought pleasure to library users, and nominations are submitted by librarians up and down the country. I was delighted to feature on first the longlist, announced in May, and then the shortlist, announced in July. The other authors nominated included such prominent and popular bestsellers as Sophie Hannah, Nicci French, and Peter May. Formidable competition, to put it mildly.
The judging panel is composed exclusively of librarians, and so it was a very special moment when the chair of the panel, Sue Wilkinson, opened the envelope and read out my name. During the past three years, I've been nominated for three other Daggers, and to win on this occasion was a real joy. Exactly ten years have passed since the wonderful night when I won my first Dagger, for best short story, and this was if anything an even more cherishable moment.
There were many other happy moments during the evening, not least the chance to present the Diamond Dagger to Michael Connelly, and Red Herring awards to Ali Karim, Ayo Onatade, David Stuart Davies, and Mike Stotter. It was also grand to spend time with my editors at Head of Zeus and Harper Collins, and with my agent, as well as friends such as Mick Herron and Matthew Booth, and to chat over dinner with the guest speaker, tv scriptwriter Jude Tindall. It was all truly memorable. I've still not quite come down to earth, and I'm certainly feeling very, very fortunate.