Well the Crime Writers' Association Awards evening is now over (10 July 2008) and the winner of the Duncan Lawrie Dagger is Frances Fyfield. Well done to Frances. Well done also to Craig Russell who won the Dagger in the Library Award, which, now the hush-hush secrecy is all over and done with, I can reveal that I was nominated for it. OK, so I didn't make the shortlist but I was delighted and excited to get to the long list having not been around in crime writing terms for very long. It gave me a thrill to know that many library readers are enjoying my marine mystery crime novels and my thrillers.

I would also like to congratulate my crime writing friend, Martin Edwards, who has won the 2008 CWA Short Story Award for THE BOOKBINDER’S APPRENTICE, first published in The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries edited by Maxim Jakubowski, and published by Constable Robinson.

Martin gets the award and a cheque for £1500, so a slap-up meal and champagne all round. Pity I live the other end of the UK (well almost). The judges described his story as ‘A subtle, insidious, and disturbingly creepy tale of how an Englishman in Venice finds himself offered the job of apprentice to a bookbinder with unusual methods.’ I have just started reading one of Martin's Lake District mysteries called 'The Cipher Garden,' which I know I'll enjoy as much as his others. Well done, Martin.

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