2011 Debut Dagger

Congratulations to all the Debut Dagger entrants! The 2011 list is out and this year, the folks at CWA have provided  short blurbs about the winner and runner-up. The winning entry is from South Africa, What Hidden Lies, by Michele Rowe:

“The murder of a sex offender on the spectacular Cape Town coast brings together Detective Persephone (Percy) Jonas and retired criminal psychologist, Dr Marge Labuschagne. As they struggle to find answers and confront their own prejudices, the past stretches out to touch the present. This is a story about secrets – particularly those we keep from ourselves.”

The runner-up, Graham Brack, set his entry, The Outrageous Behaviour of Left-Handed Dwarves, (what a great title!) in one of my favourite cities, Prague:

“All Lieutenant Josef Slonsky wants to do is reach retirement age without anyone bashing in his head. But when he is called in to investigate the death of a young woman, he finds himself caught up in a series of scandals that reach to the highest levels in Government. In search of the truth – and his next meal – Slonsky strides through the mean streets of Prague keeping alive the fine tradition of the maverick detective.”

Both are terrific settings which emphasizes what I’ve suggested in the past: that your setting is another character in the book so you need to make sure it’s as interesting as they are.

Finally, well-earned congrats to Sharon Hunt who was the only Canadian short-listed this year. I’m sure you must be disappointed, Sharon, but I hope you went to the awards ceremony in Harrogate and made the most of the incredible opportunities that even being short-listed presents. (The photograph banner at the top of this site of the chalk –actually, tape– outline of a body is from the parking lot of the Crown Hotel where all the festivities take place.)

And let’s keep our fingers crossed that sometime in the future, we’ll see Capetown and Prague detectives roaming the shelves of our bookstores.

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