This glamorously-named award – the nominees get a champagne reception at London’s Savoy Hotel as well as the diamond dagger- is the ‘lifetime achievement’ award offered by the Crime Writers’ Association. Consequently, the list of winners reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of contemporary crime writers – Ruth Rendell, P D James, Ian Rankin, John le Carré, Elmore Leonard and so on. Eric Ambler won the first award, in 1986, and Frederick Forsythe the 2012 one.
The CWA committee selects writers nominated by the membership. Nominees have to meet two essential criteria: first, their careers must be marked by sustained excellence, and second, they must have made a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language, whether originally or in translation. The award is made purely on merit without reference to age, gender or nationality. (1)
The Barr Smith Library holds the work of all of these authors: we have an excellent crime fiction collection.