Saturday, June 06, 2009

The day of the short(list) Daggers

The Crime Writers' Association has announced most of the short lists for the 2009 Dagger Awards. The International Dagger list for crime novels in translation reflects the continuing popularity of Nordic crime fiction, with three Swedish novels and one each from Norway and Iceland. Fred Vargas and translator Siân Reynolds, already two-time Dagger winners for Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand in 2007 and The Three Evangelists in 2006, are the only non-Nordic contenders on this year's short list.

    Shadow by Karin Alvtegen, translated from the Swedish by McKinley Burnett (Steven T. Murray)

    Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indriðason, translated from the Icelandic by Bernard Scudder and Victoria Cribb

    The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland (Steven T. Murray)

    The Redeemer by Jo Nesbø, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

    Echoes from the Dead by Johan Theorin, translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy

    The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas, translated from the French by Siân Reynolds
    Shortlistees for best short story include Sean Chercover, a guest at the first international Noir at the Bar earlier this year.

    Read more about the nominees on the CWA Web site here and in Barry Forshaw's Times preview here.

    © Peter Rozovsky 2009

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    Blogger R. T. said...

    Would you care to handicap the "race" by predicting a winner?

    June 06, 2009  
    Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

    I haven't read enough of the books to make a knowledgeable guess, though I have just started reading one of them.

    Speaking from a position of ignorance, one wonders whether Stieg Larsson's celebrity will influence the voters one way of another, though of course it should not. The Vargas/Reynolds team has won twice. Again, past results should not influence current voters, but who knows whether or not they do?

    French novels have won every year since the creation of the International Dagger, but Arnaldur won the Gold Dagger for best novel the last year before the International Dagger was broken out as a separate category. So, based on trends, I can make absolutely no predictions. I could, however, set myself the pleasant task of reading all the novels and then making a prediction.

    June 06, 2009  
    Blogger R. T. said...

    I am also disadvantaged by virtue of ignorance--i.e., I haven't yet read any of them though I hope to take them all on as soon as I can lay my hands on copies (though the Larsson is already here). Perhaps Larsson's novel will not be the best for me to start with in the immediate future (for reasons explained in my blog, BOOKED FOR MURDER), but I am anxious to see if it measures up to the first in the trilogy. We shall have to compare notes when we've done the reading. (I have to confess, though, that I am partial to Arnaldur Indridason's work, so the deck may already be stacked in his favor in my mind.)

    June 06, 2009  
    Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

    At least one of my acquaintances who has read and rhapsodized over the first of the Larsson trilogy says the second is even better.

    I have read two of Arnaldur's novels. The Draining Lake especially is outstanding, so I share something of your partiality. But I have just begun The Chalk Circle Man, which is off to a highly promising start.

    June 06, 2009  
    Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

    Two of the books that I rated very highly The Crossroads by Niccolo Ammaniti [that won the Italian equivalent of the Booker] and Alone in Berlin [Every Man Dies Alone in the USA] by Hans Fallada are not on the list.
    But I have read four of the six I have a suspicion Echoes of the Dead by Johan Theorin will win. I have agreed with the judges on previous occasions especially last year when excellent Lorraine Connection by Dominique Manotti won.

    June 07, 2009  
    Blogger Dorte H said...

    I have read three of the books (Larsson, Nesbo, Theorin) and five of the authors (Alvtegen and Indridason).

    One might vote for Larsson for his rather different protagonist, Salander, but Theorin is probably my first choice.

    June 07, 2009  
    Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

    Uriah, I saw your list. Four of six is a decent job of prediction, I'd say. The judges must have this thing about Nordic writers. That and the continuing popularity of the Kenneth Branagh Wallander series leads me to suspect there is life left in the Nordic crime-fiction boom.

    June 07, 2009  
    Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

    Dorte, I'll establish Echoes From the Dead as the early favorite, then. If I lived in the UK, I might even place a small wager at a betting shop.

    I bought my copy of the book yesterday, and I may read it next -- after I've finished The Chalk Circle Man.

    June 07, 2009  

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