C. J. Sansom wins the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger

We’re thrilled with the news that C. J. Sansom has been announced as the recipient of the highest honour in British crime writing, the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Diamond Dagger. The CWA Daggers are now regarded by the publishing world as the foremost British awards for crime-writing. The award recognises authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre.

C. J. Sansom says:  “I feel so honoured to be awarded this year’s Diamond Dagger, and my heartfelt thanks to the CWA members and committee. Wonderful to think I now join such a distinguished group of authors. To think it all started with the idea that a novel set around Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries might make a good story. Thank you.”

Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the CWA, said: “C. J. Sansom has proven himself to be the modern master of the historical thriller, regardless of periods. Equally at ease evoking sixteenth century England, Spain in the aftermath of its Civil War or even an alternate post-WW2 Britain, he weaves a web of compelling reality around his characters and brings the past to life like no other, making him a splendid and deserved addition to the prestigious ranks of Diamond Dagger winners.”

C. J. Sansom is the author of the bestselling Matthew Shardlake series of historical thrillers, which have won many awards. DARK FIRE won the 2005 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, awarded by the CWA. DOMINION won the 2012 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. REVELATION was shortlisted for the Books Direct Crime Thriller of the Year 2009 and the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger in 2008. HEARTSTONE was shortlisted for the 2011 Walter Scott Prize.

C. J. Sansom is our third author to win the Diamond Dagger. P. D. James won the award in 1987 and Andrew Taylor won it in 2009. It was in fact P.D. James who introduced C. J. Sansom to the agency, having been sent the first few chapters of DISSOLUTION and then subsequently highly recommending them for our attention. We can imagine the pleasure she would take in her protégé’s success today.

The Diamond Dagger is announced before the annual CWA Dagger Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of the crime genre”, due to be awarded this June.