The CWA International Dagger Shortlist and my choice for the winner

It's not like I'm a professional reviewer or anything, just a reader who enjoys good crime fiction, the edgier the better.  But every year I read and post my thoughts about the books that are on the CWA International Dagger shortlist.  This year's books are (linked to my reviews):


  1. The Wings of the Sphinx, by Andrea Camilleri
  2. An Uncertain Place, by Fred Vargas
  3. Three Seconds, by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom
  4. Death on a Galician Shore, by Domingo Villar
  5. Needle in a Haystack, by Ernesto Mallo
  6. The Saint-Florentin Murders, by Francois Parot
  7. River of Shadows, by Valerio Varesi

You'll notice that there's no link to the book by Parot; I bought it from the UK, started to read it, and realized it was #5 in a series. Well, no can do. I'm by nature a series purist -- must read books in their publication order to keep up with all of the backstories, characters etc. and right now I don't have enough time for that.  So, I gave the book to one of my blogger friends, something I do every so often.


My choice for the International Dagger is Mallo's Needle in a Haystack.  I read this book back in November and still find myself thinking about it every now and then.  It is everything I love about crime fiction -- strong characters, great plot, setting and above all, good writing.  Plus it's set in a time period in which I have a strong interest.  If I was voting on second place (if there were such a thing), it would be Villar's Death on a Galician Shore... another piece of solid crime fiction done by a very good writer.  That's not to say I didn't enjoy the others, but there does have to be a winner, right?


Is anyone who might possibly read this an International Dagger shortlist enthusiast? I'd love to know your choice.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on July 20, 2011 at 4:44am
Oh, Nancy, you've made my day!  Thank you.
Comment by nancy oakes on July 20, 2011 at 4:41am
thanks! I've read all of your Sugawara Akitada novels - they're quite fun.
Comment by I. J. Parker on July 20, 2011 at 4:28am
Thanks.  Interesting list.

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