Friday, July 23, 2010

Swedish crime novel wins the International Dagger

Johan Theorin and translator Marlaine Delargy have won the 2010 Crime Writers' Association International Dagger for The Darkest Room. The prize follows the pair's 2009 John Creasey New Blood Dagger (best first novel) for Echoes From the Dead.

Thorin and Delargy beat out competition that included:
Badfellas by Tonino Benacquista, translated from the French by Emily Read.

August Heat by Andrea Camilleri, translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli.

Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb

Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer, translated from the Afrikaans by K.L. Seegers.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, whose correct placement of the apostrophe, in contradistinction to the novel's American edition, was not enough to secure a triumph over Larsson's fellow Swede. Reg Keeland was the translator.

Ruth Dudley Edwards won the Non-Fiction Dagger for Aftermath: The Omagh Bombing And the Families' Pursuit of Justice.

Visit the CWA Web site for other awards and shortlists announced today and links to more information about each.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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35 Comments:

Blogger Kiwicraig said...

Congrats to Theorin - must have been a tough decision for the judges this year; that's a hell of a line-up. Really strong - there would be some contenders that would have won in many other years...

July 23, 2010  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

If memory serves me right, a Delarg(e)y played soccer for League of Ireland senior club, Shelbourne, during the 1960s-70s
[i](when they played in the Ringsend area of Dublin)[/i]

I also believe a teammate may well have been 'Rossi' Walsh, who has since become one of Ireland's most notorious 'barrack-room lawyers', and famously almost blew himself up when he was trying to torch a pub, about 15 years ago!

July 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Craig, it was a strong field, and the favorite among the bloggers I read won. I don't think any of the finalists would have generated the surprise that greeted last year's choice of The Chalk Circle Man, though.

July 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Colorful days those must have been for Irish soccer. But the Delargeys have since settled down to translating books and winning awards.

July 23, 2010  
Blogger The Celtic Kagemusha said...

maybe the family wanted to escape 'Rossi's evil influence.
Although some of it may just have rubbed off, in themes for their crime fiction!
(and I believe a more recent League of Ireland player, ex-Bray Wanderers, has just lately been convicted of drug dealing)

July 23, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I'm a bit surprised that Theorin's book won, but not altogether. To me, it was going to be Indridason, Larsson or Theorin. I thought that Indridason's book would win as it was so well-written and moving, albeit sad.

However, I haven't read Theorin's yet (it's on reserve at the library which has few copies)and when I read it, then I'll see why it won.

With this heat in the Northeast, it is a temptation to sit in the a/c and do nothing but read global fiction and drink iced tea until the weather regains its sanity.

Wish that I had the Theorin book right now; Scandinavian cold and windy weather is just what I need to read about in this heat. (And not Camilieri's "August Heat"!)

July 23, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Arnaldur is so good that he will always be a worthy contender for any award. He won the Gold Dagger a few years for ago for best novel, before there was a separate award for translated crime fiction.

Theorin made a big impression last year, winning the first-novel award. A number of the bloggers I read had expected him to win the International Dagger as well. So he is obviously prominent on lots of radar screens.

Cold-weather crime fiction might only remind me of how hot it is here, so I'm reading a book from South Africa.

July 23, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I was reading on blogs that Theorin's and Indridason's books were serious contenders for the Dagger.

EuroCrime had a straw poll where bloggers voted who'd win the Dagger: Order was Larsson, Indridason, Theorin. Remainint three tied.
Then the vote on who they expected to win had the same order but with Larsson pulling out way in front of Indridason with Theorin coming in third, etc.

July 24, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I saw that poll. Even not having read the Larsson, I didn't think there was a chance it would win. Partisans of Arnaldur and Theorin praise their writing as well as their storytelling. I don't think even Larsson's ardent champions do that for him.

July 24, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

No, I didn't really think Larsson would win and that if writers were being judged on their writing, that Indridason might win as he came in second in both parts of that poll and Theorin third.

July 24, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I confess that I went to last year's postings and discussion of the controversy over Fred Vargas and Sian Reynolds receiving their third Dagger award.

It was very interesting.

Since I'm a huge Fred Vargas fan, wanted to read about the hoopla from last year.

I do hope the award and the discussions about it brought Vargas some new readers.

After reading the blogs, I may read "The Three Evangelists" a second time.

July 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, if nothing else, such controversies may increase interest in a book.

I did notice that amid the occasional complaint of pro-French bias after Vargas and Sian Reynolds won their third award, no one seemed to complain that five Nordic novels on a shortlist of six constituted pro-Nordic bias.

July 25, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes, I believe that some bloggers here wanted to read books by Vargas after the controversies over her winning a third Dagger.

True enough. No one did complain about five Nordic nominees out of six last year.

And no one seemed to complain that half of the nominees this year were Nordic either.

July 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Last year's choice was a surprise, and some people were not content to let it rest at that.

July 25, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes, I saw that reading this blog and the comments last year as well as at that time reading about the controversy on various mystery websites and sending on statements to other Vargas fans.

July 25, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I generally find controversies a frustrating waste of time, but I wrote a short piece about this one last year.

July 26, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Good essay on the controversy over last year's Vargas win of the Dagger.

I think that controversies are good if they get people thinking more about books and reading more, especially more expansively.

I would venture that last year's dust-up got more mystery readers opening up Vargas' books, and perhaps, reading more books by French writers.

Also, it might have caused more interest in the Dagger awards and, thus in international crime fiction.

In final analysis, I think it turns out to be a good thing.

I know that I as a Vargas fan, rushed to get "The Chalk Circle Man," out of the library, then loaned it to friends and sent on some of the articles I'd seen about the controversy, which they enjoyed.

July 26, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's nice to encounter "dust-up"; thanks.

I don't mind controversy if it's clash of ideas. Conspiracy theories, gossip and vituperation, on the other hand, are a waste of time that could better be spent reading.

It would be nice to think that the dust-up got people reading Vargas who had not read her after her two previous International Daggers.

July 26, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Vituperation and viciousness are never true, are a waste of time.

But controversy that causes an exchange of ideas and leads some on to expand their reading is good.

I think that more people read Vargas' books after all the hoopla (in fact, I've seen notes on the blogosphere about this), perhaps more people read more French writers.

I, for one, will investigate Pierre Magnan after reading about him in that piece from DBB.

Whatever helps expand reading and learning, even reading articles about controversies is good, as long as it isn't vicious or limiting of choices, rather than increasing them.

July 26, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Errata: top sentence should have said (above): Vituperation and viciousness are never good; that is true, and they are a waste of time.

July 26, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That makes me feel good about the possibile utility of controversies, and I'm gratified that my blog led you toward Pierre Magnan. Thanks for letting me know.

Controversies should pull spectators in and work them into a passion. Often I can manage only disdain,

July 26, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes, controversies should pull in spectators/readers and motivate them to read more books, blogspots, comment and then read more broadly, see the world of books.

July 26, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Controversies always bring me to read if they're about books.
Yes, I looked up Magnan and he has a book, "The Death of the Truffle Woods," that looks like fun. Geez, did Vargas find his peasants?

So much to read--saw Jen's postings_-hat one must simply retire and read round the block.

July 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, I can recommend "Death in the Truffle Wood" and also Magnan's "The Messengers of Death." They are somber mysteries set in a French village with a mood very different from that of an English village mystery. They, too, offer a convincing picture of their setting. You'll find discussions of both books here.

July 27, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

It's hard to think of a book called "Death in the Truffle Wood," which my library has, thankfully (never telling what they will and won't have) not being humorous...just the title alone is fun.

Yes, I shall try to read that in August when I hope I can just have a virtual vacation, reading about Italy, France, England's east coast, Ireland and Scandinavia, not to mention South America, Africa and Asia.

And I will try to get the Magnan books.

July 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, it conjured up pictures of a slightly zany English village, doesn't it? But I've read no other crime fiction like Magnan's books.

July 27, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Few crime writers write about rural life. Magnan is one of them -- the only one I can think off off hand.

July 27, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Magnan sounds intriguing, will find that "Death in the Truffle Wood."

I wish I could get a doctor's note excusing me from doing anything in August, including paying bills or doing errands, so that all of these great books could be read.

Between this blog, Petrona, EuroCrime, Reactions to Reading, Jen's and Lesa's, Kerrie's,(and more, sorry to leave any out), one cannot leave the house--except to get the books, by any means necessary!

July 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, I have an extra copy of Pierre Magnan's The Murdered House lying around my house. If you send me your address, I'll send you the book.

July 28, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Thank you much for the offer to send Magnan's book. However, I did a search at my library system and, miraculously, they have a copy of the one mentioned above and "Death in the Truffle Wood." So I will put them on reserve.

Also, a new name for France: Martin Walker. Petrona mentioned "Bruno, Chief of Police," as a good read and then in today's NYTBR, Marilyn Stasio recommends the next book in the series, "The Dark Vineyard." (And my library has a few of these books.)

Finally, read "August Heat," by Camilleri; could not put it down. Although I found the ending a bit preposterous, that didn't make the book less entertaining. I will read more of these, especially this month--my designated reading vacation month, especially of global crime fiction.

August 01, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I saw and noted that Petrona post. Thanks. (By the way, "Petrona" left the first-ever comment on this blog, back in 2006.)

The preposterousness of the ending to August Heat also says much about Montalbano's attitude toward the world and the people who live in it. Such an ending to case is no surprise for a fictional detective who likes to read Simenon's Maigret.

August 02, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Oh, never read any Simenon, but a friend has read all of the Maigret series in French (the same friend who watches Italian tv episodes about Montelbano), and recommends them.

So, that is a trademark of Simenon's?

The ending didn't take away from the enjoyment of "August Heat." I did laugh out loud and didn't realize that Camilleri's books have wit.

I also liked many of his observations on society and injustice. Had not realized this about him.

Based on Petrona's review, will next read, "The Wings of the Sphinx," as I search the library for it and "Roseanna," as I plan to read this month at least the first Sjowall/Wahloo book (have read others).

Has anyone seen the NYTBR about Martin Walker's series set in France--or read any of these books? I plan to read the first one as soon as I can get it out of the library.

August 02, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The Maigret trademark is the detective's sympathy with the perpetrator and with downtrodden folks in general, a tendency noted by many critics. And moments of humor are a great characteristic of Camilleri's Montalbano novels -- as are his barbed, sometimes explicit observation about corruption, usually political, in Italy.

August 02, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Well, Camilleri or should I say, Montalbano, had a good comment about the unnecessary death of an undocumented construction worker, as he thought to himself that there should be a monument in Rome, as there is to unknown soldiers, to undocumented workers, who die on the job for a crust of bread.

It brought tears to my eyes in an otherwise nonsentimental story.

Has anyone read the Walker books on Bruno, the chief of police?

August 02, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Camilleri is not above a tug at the heart strings that way. One of the books (and the television episode on which it was based) -- The Shape of Water. I think it was -- has Montalbano behave with tender mercy toward an illegal-immigrant prostitute who was wearily expecting much worse.

August 02, 2010  

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