James Bond author among winners of crime writing awards

The author behind a series of James Bond books, looking at his teenage life, is among the winners of prestigious crime writing awards.

Anthony Horowitz, who wrote the Young Bond series, along with TV favourites Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders, picked up the Dagger In The Library award at the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Dagger Awards.

The accolade is voted for by libraries and borrowers across the UK and Ireland who are asked to choose their favourite established writer.

Imran Mahmood in a black suit with white shirt and Victoria Selman in a white dress
The awards were presented by Imran Mahmood and Victoria Selman (CWA/PA)

The awards’ judging panel said Horowitz had “surpassed himself” in delivering both series and standalone novels.

A spokesperson for the CWA said: “Renowned for Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders on the screen, Anthony’s books are triumphs too, the Alex Rider series, his James Bond and his Sherlock Holmes novels.

“Now the author has surpassed himself with standalone mysteries and the endearing, inventive Hawthorne & Horowitz series.”

The Gold Dagger, awarded to the best crime novel of the year, was won by Una Mannion for her second book, Tell Me What I Am.

Previous winners of the award have included Ian Rankin, John le Carre, Reginald Hill, and Ruth Rendell.

The judging panel said Mannion’s book was “haunting and beautifully written”, and that it “expertly examines the boundaries of love, power and control and will stay with you long after you turn the last page”.

The Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, which is given to the best thriller novel of the year, went to Jordan Harper for Everybody Knows.

Judges praised the book for being “brilliantly constructed and fast-paced”, and said it took readers into the “heart of the darkness of Hollywood, guided by a sensationally atypical protagonist”.

Maxim Jakubowski, chairman of the Daggers Committee, said he was pleased to see new writers picking up awards, despite a number of the genre’s “big beasts” releasing books this year.

He said: “Yet another remarkable year of crime writing in which our impartial judges have uncovered a crop of wonderful books.

“In a year in which many of our big beasts had new books, it’s refreshing to see so many new names and talents winning.

“And a momentous occasion for independent publishers who have swooped on the majority of the awards and, in particular, Faber & Faber who have achieved a rare double of Gold and Steel Daggers.”

Nicholas Shakespeare picked up the ALCS Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction for his book, Ian Fleming: The Complete Man, which was described as a “panoramic biography of the creator of the most charismatic 20th-century hero”.

Jo Callaghan won the ILP John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for debut novels, for her book Blink Of An Eye.

The Historical Dagger went to Jake Lamar for Viper’s Dream, a book looking at the jazz scene of mid-century Harlem and the dangerous underbelly of its drug trade.

Judges praised his book for its skilled plotting and “elegantly spare prose” that they said created a “pungent sense of the jazz age”.

Lynda La Plante and James Lee Burke picked up the Diamond Dagger in early spring, which is awarded to an author whose crime-writing career has been marked by sustained excellence.

The awards were co-hosted by Sunday Times bestselling author of Truly Darkly Deeply, Victoria Selman, and bestselling author Imran Mahmood, whose debut novel You Don’t Know Me was adapted by the BBC.

The CWA Daggers were established in 1955.