The 2018 CWA Daggers Longlists

10407482_736833699704895_409767413602878499_nThe CWA Dagger longlists were announced at Crimefest in Bristol on Friday evening as has become traditional. One  Dagger has already been confirmed and the shortlists for the remainder will be announced in July. The winners of all the CWA Daggers will be announced at the Dagger Awards Dinner to be held on 25 October, when Michael Connelly will be awarded the Diamond Dagger.

The Crime Writers Association Daggers have been synonymous with quality crime writing for over fifty years. These prestigious awards started in 1955, less than two years after the Association was founded, with the award of a Crossed Red Herring Award to Winston Graham (now better known for Poldark) for The Little Walls.

Click on the individual Dagger below to view the longlists.

  • The Gold Dagger is awarded to the best crime novel of the year.
  • The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger. The broadest definition of the thriller novel is used for eligible books; these can be set in any period and include, but are not limited to, spy fiction and/or action/ adventure stories.
  • The John Creasey (New Blood)Dagger. This award is for the best crime novel by a first-time author of any nationality first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period.
  • The CWA International Dagger. This award is for crime novels (defined by the broadest definition including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction) as long as the book was not originally written in English and has been translated into English for UK publication during the Judging Period.
  • The Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. This award is for any non-fiction work on a crime related theme by an author of any nationality as long as the book was first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period.
  • The CWA Short Story Dagger. This award is for any crime short story first published in the UK in English in a publication that pays for contributions, or broadcast in the UK in return for payment, during the Judging Period.
  • The Debut Dagger is open to anyone who has not yet had a novel published commercially.
  • The CWA Historical Dagger. This award is for the best historical crime novel, first published in the UK in English during the Judging Period, set in any period up to 50 years prior to the year in which the award will be made. For novels that involve passages set later than this time period, at least three-quarters of the book should be set in an earlier period.
  • The CWA Dagger in the Library. The Dagger in the Library is a prize for a body of work by a crime writer that users of libraries particularly admire.



The 2018 Petrona Award Winner

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Yesterday, at the Gala Dinner at CrimeFest, Bristol, Petrona Award judges Barry Forshaw and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2018 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.
The winner is QUICKSAND by Malin Persson Giolito, translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles and published by Simon & Schuster UK, 416 pages, ISBN 9781471160325, April 2017. (Source: The Petrona Award blog).

quicksand-9781471160349_lgSynopsis: There could be two sides to Maja Norberg that shift silently like quicksand: the question is, which one do you believe?
Is Maja a normal 18-year-old, the poster girl next door, popular and excelling at her schoolwork, caught in the middle of a terrible tragedy? Or, is she the most reviled teenager in the country?
Either way, everyone knows her name. She has spent nine excruciating months in jail, awaiting trial for a mass murder that killed her boyfriend and her best friend, and now the time has come for her to enter the courtroom. What did she do? Or is it what she didn’t do that brought her here?
Is Maja a cold-blooded murderer or is she just a girl who has lost her way and, as a consequence, now lost the ones she loved? (Source: Goodreads)

About the Author: Malin Persson Giolito was born in Stockholm in 1969, and grew up in Djursholm, Sweden. She holds a degree in law from Uppsala University and has worked as a lawyer for the biggest law firm in the Nordic region and as an official for the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. She is now a full-time writer and has written four novels including Quicksand, her English debut. Persson Giolito lives with her husband and three daughters in Brussels. (Source. Amazon)

Other Press US publicity page

Simon & Schuster UK publicity page

Named the Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Crime Writers Academy

I’ve just bought it and looking forward to reading this novel soon. Stay tuned.

Ayer, durante la Cena de Gala en el CrimeFest de Bristol, los jueces del Premio Petrona, Barry Forshaw y Sarah Ward, anunciaron la ganadora del Premio Petrona 2018 a la Mejor novela negra escandinava del año.
La ganadora es QUICKSAND de Malin Persson Giolito, traducida del sueco por Rachel Willson-Broyles y publicado por Simon & Schuster. (Fuente: The Petrona Award blog). Quicksand ha sido traducida al español por PONTUS; SANCHEZ GIMENEZ y publicada por SUMA, fuera de colección en el 2017, con el título de Arenas movedizas.

ESL90711Sinopsis: La masacre en una escuela de uno de los barrios más lujosos de Estocolmo ha sacudido Suecia. Maja Norberg es detenida por su implicación en el ataque, en el que murieron su novio y su mejor amiga. Pero ¿cómo llegó una chica brillante y popular a convertirse en la adolescente más odiada del país?

Maja era una niña rica que cumplía con lo que se esperaba de ella. Hasta que conoció a Sebastian Fagerman, hijo del multimillonario más poderoso de Suecia. Sebastian era deslumbrante y peligroso, y Maja se sintió atraída hacia él como una polilla hacia la luz. Viajes, barcos, fiestas de lujo, sexo y drogas. ¿En qué momento perdió el control?

Tras nueve interminables meses en prisión, por fin ha llegado el momento de comparecer ante el tribunal. ¿Es Maja una asesina a sangre fría o solo una niña extraviada que ahora ha perdido también a aquellos a quienes amaba?

Biografía del autor: Malin Persson Giolito nació en Estocolmo en 1969. Ha trabajado como abogada en el mayor bufete de los países nórdicos y como funcionaria de la Comisión Europea en Bruselas. Ha publicado tres libros antes de Arenas movedizas, que va a ser editada en 24 países tras su gran éxito en Suecia, donde ha sido elegida Mejor Novela de Suspense del Año, el premio literario oficial que concede la Academia Sueca de Escritores de Misterio. Vive en Bruselas con su marido y sus tres hijas. (Fuente Amazon)

Megustaleer página publicitaria

Elegido mejor libro de suspense del año en Suecia

Acabo de comprarlo y estoy deseando leer esta novela pronto. Permanezcan en sintonía.

OT: A Stroll by the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid

Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid (Spanish for Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid) is an 8 hectares (19.7684 acres) botanical garden in Madrid (Spain). The public entrance is located at Plaza de Murillo, next to the Prado Museum. The garden was founded on October 17, 1755, by King Ferdinand VI, and installed in the Orchard of Migas Calientes, near what today is called Puerta de Hierro, on the banks of the Manzanares River. In 1774 King Charles III ordered the garden moved to its current location on the Paseo del Prado. This new site opened in 1781. Inside an area defined by wrought iron fencing,the design by architects Francesco Sabatini and Juan de Villanueva organized the garden into three tiered terraces, arranging plants according to the method of Linnaeus. Its mission was not only to exhibit plants, but also to teach botany, promote expeditions for the discovery of new plant species and classify them. There was a particular interest in the botany of Spain’s colonial possessions. The garden was greatly augmented by a collection of 10,000 plants brought to Spain by Alessandro Malaspina in 1794. The Spanish War of Independence in 1808 caused the garden to be abandoned, but in 1857 director Mariano de la Paz Graëlls y de la Aguera revived it with a new greenhouse and refurbishment of the upper terrace. Under his leadership a zoo was created in the garden, but subsequently relocated to the Parque del Buen Retiro. Between 1880 and 1890 the garden suffered heavy losses, first losing 2 hectares (4.9 acres) to the Ministry of Agriculture in 1882, then losing 564 trees in 1886 to a cyclone. Since 1939 the garden has been dependent on the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and in 1942 was declared Artistic Garden. In 1974, after decades of hardship and neglect, the garden was closed to the public for restoration work to its original plan. It reopened in 1981. (Source: Wikipedia)






Review: Evil Under the Sun, 1941 (Hercule Poirot # 20) by Agatha Christie

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Harper Collins, 2010. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 1646 KB. Print Length: 288 pages. First published in the UK by the Collins Crime Club in June 1941 and in the US by Dodd, Mead and Company in October of the same year. ASIN: B0046H95QS. eISBN: 9780007422340.

9780007422333_thumb3Synopsis: It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun she had been strangled. Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?

More about this story: It seems that no matter how hard he tries, Poirot never quite gets a holiday. This story sees him in Devon, Agatha Christie’s home county, and, of course, among the scantily clad sunbathers, a murdered woman is found. On the release of the novel in June 1941 a reviewer for The Guardian wrote “Is it going too far to call Mrs Agatha Christie one of the most remarkable writers of the day?” While WWII ravaged Europe, Christie’s writing was in full stride and she was publishing at least a novel a year, often two. Evil under the Sun follows the same themes as her earlier short story, Triangle at Rhodes (1936), with Poirot assuming the role of liaison between two marriages. It is, in fact, one of the Agatha Christie Seven Deadly Sins reading list – lust. Among Christie’s most popular works, the story has been adapted multiple times. It became a feature film in 1982 and was the second to star Peter Ustinov as Poirot. The TV adaptation in 2001, starring David Suchet, made perhaps the most alterations to the story, including adding the characters of Hastings, Japp and Miss Lemon, none of whom appear in the original novel. This was also the last time Japp and Miss Lemon were to appear in the series until 2013. Both of these versions were filmed on location at Bigbury Beach in Devon. Evil under the Sun has even been adapted for PC. The game lets players take on the role of Hastings, while Poirot guides them through the clues and encourages them to solve the mystery as he would. In 1999, BBC Radio 4 adapted the story, with John Moffat as Poirot. The most recent incarnation of the story is in graphic novel form, released in 2013.

My take: The action takes place in the Jolly Roger Hotel at Leathercombe Bay in Devon, an exclusive hotel at the seaside. The novel relies heavily on a previous short story by the Author herself published in 1936, Triangle at Rhodes. Between the clients lodged at the hotel we find Odell and Carrie Gardner, an American tourists couple who relax after having travel all over England; Major Barry, a retired military officer; Horace Blatt, a rather obnoxious businessman who nobody likes; Reverend Stephen Lane, a rather fanatical clergyman; Patrick y Christine Redfern, a young couple on holidays; Captain Kenneth Marshall, his young wife Arlena and Kenneth’s daughter, Linda; Rosamund Darnley, an old acquaintance of Captain Marshall, now a famous dressmaker; Emily Brewster, a spinster very fond of sports, and the famous Belgian detective Monsieur Hercule Poirot. The story opens when Arlena Marshall makes her appearance on the beach late in the morning. She is an amazingly attractive woman, a former actress known as Arlena Stuart. Her mere presence leave nobody unmoved, and she soon becomes the subject of gossip on the part of the rest of the hotel guests. ‘Because she was beautiful, because she had glamour, because men turned their heads to look at her, it was assumed that she was the type of woman who wrecked lives and destroyed souls.’ The rumours and tattling increases when Patrick Redfern seems to become infatuated by Arlena and both begin to act foolishly in view of the rest of the hotel guests. Until one day, tragedy strikes in this quiet corner of the world and Arlena’s corpse appears over the sand in a solitary cove not far from the hotel, known as Pixy’s Cove, but everyone has a robust and solid alibi.

For my taste, I very much enjoyed reading Evil Under the Sun. It might not be Christie’s masterpiece but I’m quite tempted to include it among my ten favourite Poirots. Above all for its well-structured plot, and its excellent characterisation. From what I see, my view is not always shared by other bloggers I have much in esteem, but it might be just a matter of taste. The story revolves around the presence of evil. On hindsight, the nature of evil was quite fashionable at that time. After all it was probably written after the outbreak of WWII, even though it doesn’t contain any explicit reference to the war. At the same time it also shows Agatha Christie’s position on feminism and the role of woman in the world. Besides it’s a good example of a classic golden age mystery set in a relatively closed environment where it is difficult to come in or out, with a relatively small number of possible suspects, all them with strong alibis. The characters are well-drawn with just a few brush strokes, the story is well written and everything in it makes of this novel a very pleasant read. Highly recommended.

‘The whole must fit into a complete and harmonious pattern. There were the scissors found on the beach –a bottle thrown from the window –a bath that no one would admit to having taken –all perfectly harmless occurrences in themselves, but rendered significant by the fact that no one would admit to them. Therefore, they might be of significance.’

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

About the author: Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. Christie also wrote the world’s longest-running play, a murder mystery, The Mousetrap, and six romances under the name Mary Westmacott. In 1971 she was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her contribution to literature. (Source: Wikipedia).

Evil Under the Sun has been reviewed at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…, Reactions to Reading, At the Scene of the Crime, Mysteries in Paradise, BooksPlease, and In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel, among others.

Harper Collins UK publicity page

Harper Collins US publicity page

Agatha Christie Official Website

Notes on Evil Under the Sun


Maldad bajo el sol, de Agatha Christie

Sinopsis: No era algo inusual encontrarse con el hermoso cuerpo bronceado de la amante del sol Arlena Stuart tendido en la playa, boca abajo. Solo que, en esta ocasión, no había sol ella había sido estrangulada. Desde la llegada de Arlena al complejo de vacaciones, Hercule Poirot había detectado tensión sexual en el aire del mar. ¿Pero acaso podía este aparente crimen pasional haber sido realmente algo más perverso y premeditado?

Más sobre esta historia: Parece que no importa lo mucho que se esfuerce, Poirot nunca conisgue unas vacaciones. Esta historia lo encuentra en Devon, el condado natal de Agatha Christie, y, por supuesto, entre los escasamente vestidos bañistas, aparece asesinada una mujer. Al publicarse la novela en junio de 1941, un crítico de The Guardian escribió: “¿No es algo desporporcionado considerar a la señora Agatha Christie una de las escritoras más destacadas del momento?” Mientras la Segunda Guerra Mundial asolaba Europa, la escritura de Christie estaba en pleno apogeo y publicaba al menos una novela al año, a menudo dos. Maldad bajo el sol sigue el mismo argumento que su historia corta anterior, Triángulo en Rodas (1936), con Poirot asumiendo el papel de enlace entre dos matrimonios. Es, de hecho, una de las listas de lectura de Agatha Christie sobre los siete pecados capitales: la lujuria. Entre las obras más populares de Christie, la historia ha sido adaptada varias veces. Se convirtió en largometraje en 1982 y fue el segundo protagonizado por Peter Ustinov como Poirot. La adaptación televisiva en 2001, protagonizada por David Suchet, tuvo quizá las mayores modificaciones de la historia, incluyendo la participación de personajes como Hastings, Japp y Miss Lemon, ninguno de ellos aparecen en la novela original. Esta fue también la última vez que Japp y Miss Lemon iban a aparecer en la serie hasta 2013. Ambas versiones fueron filmadas en escenarios naturales en Bigbury Beach, Devon. Maldad bajo el sol incluso ha sido adaptada como juego de ordenador. El juego permite a los jugadores asumir el papel de Hastings, mientras que Poirot les guía a través de las pistas y los alienta a resolver el misterio como él lo haría. En 1999, BBC Radio 4 adaptó la historia, con John Moffat como Poirot. La más reciente reencarnación de la historia es como novela gráfica, publicada en el 2013.

Mi opinión
: La acción tiene lugar en el Hotel Jolly Roger en Leathercombe Bay en Devon, un exclusivo hotel junto al mar. La novela se basa en gran medida en una historia corta anterior de la propia autora publicada en 1936, Triángulo en Rodas. Entre los clientes alojados en el hotel encontramos a Odell y Carrie Gardner, una pareja de turistas estadounidenses que se relajan después de haber viajado por toda Inglaterra; el comandante Barry, un oficial militar retirado; Horace Blatt, un empresario bastante desagradable que a nadie le gusta; el reverendo Stephen Lane, un clérigo bastante fanático; Patrick y Christine Redfern, una joven pareja de vacaciones; el capitán Kenneth Marshall, su joven esposa Arlena y la hija de Kenneth, Linda; Rosamund Darnley, una antigua conocida del Capitán Marshall, ahora famosa modista; Emily Brewster, una solterona muy aficionada a los deportes, y el famoso detective belga Monsieur Hercule Poirot. La historia comienza cuando Arlena Marshall hace su aparición en la playa a última hora de la mañana. Ella es una mujer increíblemente atractiva, una actriz retirada conocida como Arlena Stuart. Su mera presencia no deja a nadie indiferente, y pronto se convierte en tema de chismes por parte del resto de los huéspedes del hotel. “Debido a que era hermosa, porque tenía glamour, porque los hombres giraban la cabeza para mirarla, se daba por supuesto que era el tipo de mujer que destrozaba vidas y destruía almas“. Los rumores y chismes aumentan cuando Patrick Redfern parece encapricharse con Arlena y ambos comienzan a actuar tontamente a la vista del resto de los huéspedes del hotel. Hasta que un día, la tragedia golpea en este rincón del mundo y el cadáver de Arlena aparece sobre la arena en una ensenada solitaria no muy lejos del hotel, conocida como La ensenada de Pixy, pero todos tienen una coartada sólida y robusta.

Para mi gusto, disfruté mucho leyendo Maldad bajo el sol. Puede que no sea la obra maestra de Christie, pero estoy bastante tentado de incluirla entre mis diez Poirots favoritas. Sobre todo por su trama bien estructurada y su excelente caracterización. Por lo que veo, mi punto de vista no siempre es compartido por otros bloggers a los que tengo en gran estima, pero podría ser solo una cuestión de gusto. La historia gira en torno a la presencia del mal. En retrospectiva, la naturaleza del mal estaba bastante de moda en ese momento. Después de todo, probablemente fue escrita después del estallido de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, a pesar de que no contiene ninguna referencia explícita a la guerra. Al mismo tiempo, también muestra la posición de Agatha Christie sobre el feminismo y el papel de la mujer en el mundo. Además, es un buen ejemplo de un clásico misterio de la edad dorada establecido en un entorno relativamente cerrado donde es difícil entrar o salir, con un número relativamente pequeño de posibles sospechosos, todos ellos con sólidas coartadas. Los personajes están bien dibujados con solo unas pocas pinceladas, la historia está bien escrita y todo en ella hace de esta novela una lectura muy agradable. Muy recomendable.

“El todo debe encajar en un patrón perfecto y armonioso. Estaban las tijeras encontradas en la playa, una botella lanzada desde una ventana, un baño que nadie iba a admitir haber tomado, todo ocurrencias perfectamente inofensivas en sí mismas, pero que aportaban relevancia por el hecho de que nadie las admitía. Por tanto, debían ser importantes.”

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Sobre el autor: Nacida en Torquay en 1891, Agatha Christie recibió la típica educación victoriana impartida por institutrices en el hogar paterno. Tras la muerte de su padre, se trasladó a París, donde estudió piano y canto. Contrajo matrimonio en 1914 y tuvo una hija, pero su matrimonio terminó en divorcio en 1928. Dos años después, durante un viaje por Oriente Medio conoció al arqueólogo Max Mallowan, con quien se casó ese mismo año; a partir de entonces pasó varios meses al año en Siria e Irak, escenario de Ven y dime cómo vives (Andanzas 50, ahora también en la colección Fábula) y de alguna de sus novelas policiacas, como Asesinato en Mesopotamia o Intriga en Bagdad. Además del gran éxito de que disfrutaron sus célebres novelas, a partir de 1953 ganó celebridad con las adaptaciones teatrales de sus novelas en el West End londinense. En 1971 le fue concedida la distinción de Dame of the British Empire. Murió en 1976.

Otra reseña de Maldad bajo el sol en novelanegraypoliciaca

Flamingos in the Desert: Exploring Almeria (2014), by Kevin Borman

As a necessary extension of my trip to Gata Cape – Níjar Natural Park, I’ve just bought Kevin Borman’s book Flamingos in the Desert: Exploring Almeria. (, 2014). 312 pages. ISBN: 978-1784074371.

51r7b WfdCL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Blurb: From flamingos to earthquakes, gold mines to goats, prickly pears to wildfires, and white villages to the sets of cinematic history – Kevin Borman takes you on a unique journey through Almería province, from the saltpans of Cabo de Gata to the Sorbas Gypsum Karst, the Tabernas Desert and beyond, sharing his reflections and intimate understanding of the landscapes, wildlife and culture of this fascinating and little-known pocket of wild Spain. If you want to know about the reintroduction of loggerhead turtles, the history of the gold industry, the ‘ghost airfield’ near Turre, how to take your olives to the local olive mill or how to walk down the Río de Aguas from source to mouth, it’s all in here. There are floods, nuclear bombs, threshing circles, Moorish irrigation systems, and lots of details of local walks. Peter O’Toole, Sergio Leone, John Lennon and Jack Nicholson make brief appearances. There’s even a recipe for prickly pear jam.
With maps and a link to an online photo gallery, this book is the ideal companion for the curious traveller, whether passing through on foot or spinning through the sunshine on two wheels or four.
“The first book to get to the heart of Almería. A must-read for all residents and visitors.” Jackie Bragg
“This is a feast of a book. The author walks the reader through Almería’s landscapes with the inclusive warmth of a man who enjoys walking himself. The narratives are threaded through with real expertise about the history, geography and geology of the region and given all the more substance by a cast of wonderful characters whose identities and characteristics he weaves seamlessly into his writing. It is a must, not only for visitors to Almería but to anyone who enjoys high quality pieces that communicate the love of travel he clearly has.” Ian Roberts
“A lovely, informative book. A good balance of people, places and things, a celebration of nature and the landscape and the people who have shaped it and who live in it.” Peter Adeline

About the Author: Kevin Borman was born on the Lincolnshire coast in 1950. He moved to Sheffield in 1968 and from 1972 until 2004 taught Geography in comprehensive schools there. In the sixth form in 1967 he ran 10.1 seconds for the 100 yards. In 1989 he ran ‘The Fellsman’ in the Yorkshire Dales (61 miles and 11,000’ of climb) in 16 hours. Now he just walks about a bit. Between 1989 and 2004 he also worked as a writer, photographer, reviewer and news editor for High magazine. He has written several books and contributed well over 300 articles to a wide range of magazines and journals. In 2003 he received an Award for Excellence for his regular Walking World column in High from the Outdoor Writers’ Guild. His interests include natural history, hillwalking, travel, music, writing, dark chocolate and the occasional glass of red wine. He has been exploring Almería since buying a house there with his wife Troy Roberts in 2005.

I’m planning to read it soon. Stay tuned.

I share with the Author his interests on ‘hillwalking, travel, music, writing, dark chocolate and the occasional glass of red wine’, along with the year of birth.

FeedaRead publicity page