CWA Dagger Awards 2022: winners announced

The winners of the 2022 CWA Daggers, which honour the very best in the crime writing genre, have been announced. ALCS is proud to support crime writers and one of these esteemed awards, the CWA ALCS Gold Dagger For Non-Fiction.

The prestigious Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Daggers are the oldest awards in the genre and have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over half a century. The 2022 winners were announced at a Gala Dinner at the Leonardo City Hotel on Cooper’s Row in London on Wednesday 29 June.

The ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction went to Julia Laite for The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice, a poignant account of the short life of a New Zealand woman trafficked as part of the burgeoning sex trade at the start of the twentieth century.

Ray Celestin took home two Daggers for his novel Sunset Swing. Celestin was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for the crime novel of the year as well as the Historical Dagger.

Sunset Swing is the closing act of Celestin’s City Blues Quartet set in Los Angeles at the end of 1967. Judges praised the novel for its cast of original characters that mingle with historical figures on a big and ‘evocative canvas’.

The full list of CWA 2022 winners is:

CWA Gold Dagger
Sunset Swing, Ray Celestin (Macmillan; Mantle)

CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger
Dead Ground, MW Craven (Little, Brown; Constable)

CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger
The Appeal, Janice Hallett (Profile Books; Viper Books)

CWA Historical Dagger
Sunset Swing, Ray Celestin (Pan Macmillan; Mantle)

CWA ALCS Gold Dagger For Non-Fiction
The Disappearance of Lydia Harvey: A True Story of Sex, Crime and the Meaning of Justice, Julia Laite (Profile Books)

CWA Crime Fiction In Translation Dagger sponsored in honour of Dolores Jakubowski
Hotel Cartagena, Simone Buchholz and translated by Rachel Ward (Orenda Books)

CWA Short Story Dagger
‘Flesh of a Fancy Woman’ by Paul Magrs in Criminal Pursuits: Crime Through Time edited by Samantha Lee Howe (Telos Publishing)

CWA Dagger In The Library
Mark Billingham

CWA Publishers Dagger
Faber & Faber

CWA Debut Dagger sponsored by ProWritingAid
The 10:12 by Anna Maloney

The CWA Red Herring for services to crime writing and the CWA
In memory of Thalia Proctor

Find out more about the winners at