2022 Crime Writer’s Association Gold Dagger Nominee Longlist

One of the greatest honours a mystery writer can receive is to win the Gold Dagger award from the Crime Writer's Association. Though they award a variety of prizes each year, the Gold Dagger is meant for the “best crime novel of the year”. Past recipients include John le Carré, Ann Cleeves, Reginald Hill, Ian Rankin, and Ruth Rendell

Since most of the lists are a bit frustrating in that they don't include descriptions and purchasing details, we've opted to create a list that fills that need. If you've been catching up on your TBR (“to be read”) pile and you haven't kept up with the latest releases, we hope you'll find this helpful.

Keep in mind that these awards are, sadly, still adhering to the very dated tradition of only including books published by approved traditional publishers. That means some of today's best crime novelists are entirely excluded from the running – while some very mediocre books with poor sales/few reviews make the long list.

2022 Crime Writer's Association Gold Dagger Nominee Longlist (+ Descriptions)

Before we move on, we also wanted to mention that we've flipped the list so it's in reverse alphabetical order by author surname. Nearly all the lists online are in the opposite order, so we thought it might be nice for the late-in-the-alphabet authors to get their turn on top.

As this site focuses on British books, we've tried to make it clear which books are NOT British. It's nothing against those books, that's just not the primary focus here. If not specifically mentioned, you can assume it's British.

Brazilian Psycho by Joe Thomas

Brazilian Psycho

Crime writer and City University of London professor Joe Thomas brings us this fourth entry in the São Paulo Quartet, a story of murder and power at the heart of the Brazilian social-democrat resurgence. The action takes place over 15 years, offering a mix of literary fiction, historical fiction, and crime.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

A Beginner's Guide to Murder by Rosalind Stopps

A Beginner's Guide to Murder

Three seventy-something women are having tea in a cafe when seventeen-year-old Nina bursts in, clearly running from something. When a man comes in asking for the young woman, the older ladies don't hesitate to hide her.

After the immediate danger passes, Nina tells them more of her troubles. Instincts kicking in, the women vow to protect her – but they soon realise the only way to do that is to commit murder.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Daughters of Night

Set in Georgian London, this murder mystery does a deep dive into the city's sex trade. The action follows Caroline Corsham, a woman determined to get justice for a woman most would prefer to ignore.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Trawlerman by William Shaw

The Trawlerman

The fourth entry in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series, this novel is set in Dungeness, Kent, and it follows along after two dead people are found naked in their home. The only clues are a note written in blood and a strange report about spectral figures leaving the home.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou

The Stoning

After an Australian schoolteacher is found taped to a tree and stoned to death, suspicion immediately falls to the refugees being housed nearby. Tensions between immigrants, local whites, and the local indigenous people are high – and DS George Manolis, newly arrived back in his hometown, will have to work quickly to keep the community from falling apart.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Killing Hills by Chris Offutt

The Killing Hills

American author Chris Offutt spins a tale of Appalachian noir in this novel about a murder investigation in the hills and hollers of Kentucky, USA.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Shadows of Men by Abir Mukherjee

The Shadows of Men

Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee attempt to solve the murder of a Hindu theologian in 1923 Calcutta. Set during a time of heightened political tension, this fifth outing will put intense strain on the relationship between the two detectives as they travel between Calcutta and Bombay for their investigation.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

I Know What I Saw by Imran Mahmood

I Know What I Saw

Once upon a time, Xander Shute was a wealthy banker. Now, he's homeless – sheltering for a night in an empty flat in Mayfair – when the occupants return home unexpectedly. He scrambles to find a hiding spot, then finds himself witnessing a brutal murder.

When he tries to report the crime to police, they tell him he couldn't possibly have seen what he thinks he saw. Is he insane? How can he find out the truth?

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Lightseekers by Femi Kayode

Lightseekers

Namibian author Femi Kayode weaves a tale about the murder of three university students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. When a powerful politician enlists the aid of Dr. Philip Taiwo, Taiwo has no idea that what seems like a cold case is actually anything but.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

A Slow Fire Burning

After a young man is found murdered on a London houseboat, the women in his life come under investigation – a one-night-stand, a grief-stricken aunt, and a nosy neighbour with all sorts of secrets. All of them have their own reasons to be angry or resentful towards the victim, but would any of them go as far as murder?

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Unwilling by John Hart

The Unwilling

American thriller author John Hart brings us this military thriller set in the American South at the height of their conflict in Vietnam. It follows the story of a family deeply wounded by the war, and by the ugly aftermath of an encounter with a prison transfer bus on a stretch of empty road.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The House Uptown by Melissa Ginsburg

The House Uptown

This coming-of-age novel follows a young girl who goes to live in New Orleans with her eccentric, artsy grandmother after her own mother's death. Her arrival upsets her grandmother's free-wheeling lifestyle, but it also dredges up painful and disturbing memories for the past.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean

The Last Thing to Burn

In a small farm cottage, a husband holds his wife captive. He watches her constantly. He's given her a new name. Visitors rarely come, and they never see her.

Now, “Jane” has a reason to fight. She's watching him and waiting for the right time to make her move. This domestic thriller comes to us from East Midlands-born Will Dean.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby

Razorblade Tears

This African-American (in other words, not British) thriller follows two men as they attempt to get justice for the murder of their married gay sons.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Sunset Swing by Ray Celestin

Sunset Swing

Though novelist Ray Celestin is based in London, this novel takes places in Los Angeles around the Christmas of 1967. It tells interwoven stories of murder, conspiracy, and madness in a city where dreams are made and broken.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz

Before You Knew My Name

Australian author Jacqueline Bublitz pens this tale of murder and tragedy in New York City. After travelling halfway around the world, Ruby Jones is hoping to reinvent herself. Unfortunately, she finds herself lonelier than ever in the big city.

When she stumbles upon a woman's dead body near the Hudson River, their fates are forever tied together. Who was the Jane Doe? Can Ruby give her the closure she deserves?

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

City of Vengeance by DV Bishop

City of Vengeance

Edinburgh-based DV Bishop tells this tale of murder in 1536 Florence. When a Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, former soldier Cesare Aldo is given just four days to find the killer before the feat of Epiphany.

Along the way, he uncovers more than just details about the murder. He uncovers a plot that endangers the entire city.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Rabbit Hole by Mark Billingham

Rabbit Hole

After a difficult period involving PTSD, self-medication, and a complete breakdown, former officer Alice Armitage is now a long-term psychiatric inpatient. When a fellow patient is murdered, she uses her professional skills to launch an investigation from the inside – but her tenuous grasp on sanity gets weaker as she realises there's no one she can trust.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict

The Christmas Murder Game

Lily Armitage wouldn't have returned to the grand family home if not for a letter from her aunt. She asks her niece to return for the family's annual Christmas Game, promising the clues will reveal who killed her mother many years before. The winner will also receive the deeds to the manor house.

Soon after her arrival, a snowstorm cuts them off from the rest of the world – and Lily learns that each of her estranged cousins have their own reasons for wanting to win. The family game quickly turns deadly, leaving everyone fighting not just for the inheritance, but for their lives.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

Next of Kin by Kia Abdullah

Next of Kin

During the hottest July on record in London, a stressed architect leaves her three-year-old nephew in the backseat of her car. What follows is a domestic drama-thriller about a family torn apart by one horrific accident.

Get it: Kindle | Paperback | Audiobook | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)

 

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The Crime Writer's Association Gold Dagger Longlist, 2022

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