Is this a dagger winning novel I see before me?

Posted: July 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

51Jx542D48L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_I shouldn’t attempt to pick a winner of the CWA Ellis Peters because I have only read three of the shortlist, but I did find Pilgrim Soul by Gordon Ferris a 51c0Fu8cTKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX385_SY500_CR,0,0,385,500_SH20_OU02_brilliant read.

On the other hand I have read four out of the six novels shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and from information gleaned at Crimefest at Bristol I don’t think I would rate the two books I haven’t read. Neither The Missing File by D.A. Mishani nor Death in Sardinia by Marco Vichi should have been shortlisted as I think both were somewhat wordy and self indulgent including back stories and side stories that added nothing to the narrative. The International Dagger should be between three time winner Fred Vargas, with her eccentric novel The Ghost Riders of Ordebec, and Pierre Lemaitre with another quirky French offering Alex.

My selection would be Alex which has the usual attributes of good crime fiction, a plot that has surprises, great characters and a thought provoking theme. The winners will be announced on Monday 15 July.


  1. I’ve only read three of the possible 6 winners of the international dagger and really wouldn’t know which of those to pick. I found the level of violence in ALEX gratuitous, I know I’m in the minority these days but I can’t help it – the ending was particularly unnecessary. I rather liked THE MISSING FILE though I don’t think it was an award winner. I did borrow the Roslund & Hellstrom book from the library but it’s enormous and I haven’t had the energy to pick it up 🙂

  2. kathy d. says:

    I have only read Ordebec and The Missing File. I think the former deserves the Dagger, as it’s brilliant in all respects. The latter is not that well-written, and does not stand above any number of debut novels or other books, although it’s interesting.
    I have not read Alex, but am very put off by the level of violence which i’ve read about in reviews.
    I’m about to read The Collini Case to see what the discussion is about.

  3. kathy d. says:

    I just finished The Collini Case and am reeling from its content. What that book exposes about “international law” during WWII is stunning. What it exposes about the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, their protection via legalities, the lack of culpability, etc. is important. That it raised discussions in Germany is important.
    I am glad it was nominated for the CWA Dagger. It’s an important book. I do believe Ferdinand Von Schirach was sincere about what he wrote. There are points made in the book, which would back up that viewpoint.

    • Norman Price says:

      Thanks Kathy I know you don’t like reading WWII books. Therefore you have tempted me and I might read it when I have tackled my present TBR mountain.

  4. Peter says:

    I hope you placed heavy wager at Ladbrokes on your International Dagger choices.

  5. Peter says:

    I hope you placed heavy wagers at Ladbrokes on your International Dagger choices.

  6. Norman Price says:

    Peter, I have been away for a few days soaking up the sun in the Cornish Riviera, but did note that my critical faculties had survived all the reading necessary to comment on the daggers.

  7. kathy d. says:

    I’m glad Ghost Riders of Ordebec co-won the Dagger, however, I don’t think I’ll read Alex; there’s just so much violence against women I can take. And I think I’ve reached my maximum of that.

    Definitely read The Collini Case. Lots of discussion around the blogosphere about it, post-war “justice” — or not — in Germany and whether books with political messages should win prizes, if the writing isn’t superb.

    I may also have to suspend my inclination not to read about WWII with Gordon Ferris’ Pilgrim Soul. It sounds too good to pass over, and I like books with Glasgow settings.

  8. Chandra Lawrie says:

    Alex put me off to, just more than I want to see or read. I love Crime fiction so am looking for some good ones to look for. I just finished White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy by Paul Mark Tag, for it’s info. It’s more conspiracy driven as the name says, but great thriller fiction. But looking to get back to crime, it’s my favorite! Great blog, I can say I found a couple possibilities here!

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