International Dagger Shortlist: some guesswork

Posted: May 23, 2012 in Argentina, Book Awards, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Scandinavia, Sicily, Sweden

Some years I have already read most of the CWA International Dagger shortlist before the announcement is made. This year it will be announced at Crimefest on 25 May in Bristol, and unfortunately my limited reading numbers, and the absence of any Liza Marklund’s books on the eligibility list, may mean that I won’t get round to reading all six. But never mind here is my unofficial shortlist from the books I have read, it may be totally out of kilter with the official choices, but at least has a nice geographic spread, with contenders from Argentina, Iceland, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden and Italy .

Sweet Money: Ernesto Mallo translator Katherine Silver

Outrage: Arnaldur Indridason translator Anna Yates

Trackers: Deon Meyer translator K.L.Seegers

The Boy in the Suitcase: Lene Kaaberbol [also translator] & Agnete Friis 

Another Time, Another Life: Leif G.W. Persson translator Paul Norlen

The Potter’s Field: Andrea Camilleri translator Stephen Sartarelli

The cover photo might give you a clue as to which one would be my winner. 


  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    Norman – I like your choices! I’m hoping you’re right about the Meyer, the Camilleri and the Mallo. And OK the rest of them are excellent choices, too.

  2. Maxine says:

    Excellent shortlist, Norman, I could not argue with it – or your choice of winner. It is a very difficult year, though, we are spoilt for choice!

  3. Norman Price says:

    Thanks Margot and Maxine.
    I just finished an old English police procedural which I will review next month, and started on another Swedish book. Hour of The Wolf which might also be a contender even though I am only 85 pages in so far. I have Fossum, Horst, and Nesbo waiting to be read. Definitely a case of being spoilt for choice.

  4. Philip says:

    I have only read seven eligibles so far. At the time I was impressed with The Quarry but if I had to choose now I think I would agree with you.

  5. kathy d. says:

    I’ve read Outrage, Boy in the Suitcase and The Potter’s Field. Would agree with your putting them in the mix for the Dagger’s shortlist. I may have to purchase Hour of the Wolf, as the library hasn’t even obtained The Unlucky Lottery yet by Hakan Nesser.

  6. I can’t argue with your choice of winner either, it is on my shortlist but is pipped in my preference by Karin Fossum’s The Caller (which probably puts that book immediately out of the running as I’m hopeless at this stuff).

    I can only agree that we are spoiled for choice…I keep meaning to read the Ernesto Mallo book which has made your shortlist…time is in short supply.

  7. Norman Price says:

    Philip, I have The Quarry sitting on my TBR shelf, and as I loved Theorin’s previous two books it probably would have made my shortlist.

    Kathy, Hour of the Wolf is very good [so far] but very very sad. Under the Swedish title Carambole it won the Nordic Glass Key.

    Bernadette, I have Karin Fossum’s The Caller on my TBR shelf as well so will probably be able to read that next if it gets on the shortlist. Her books are usually brilliant, and when I chatted with her briefly at Crimefest 2008 about her work with children with learning difficulties she came over as a very nice person.

    I picked up Dregs to read several times, but the small font in my copy put me off. If it gets on the shortlist I will have to get a magnifying glass.

  8. kathy d. says:

    Oh, gosh, I hope my copy of Dregs (which I loaned to a friend who loved it) has larger type than you describe. I find more and more paperback books are off-limits to me due to the font size. If I can get hard-cover copies in the library, I opt for those. But often, global mysteries are not in the library’s catalogue, so I must get paperbacks — and often, the type is too small.
    I would hope that publishers would realize that many global crime fiction readers are “middle-aged” or older and need larger-size print. Their sales would improve, I’d venture.

  9. Jose Ignacio says:

    I’m only missing Dregs on your list Norman. Otherwise I’ve no major discrepancies with your choice.

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