I've returned home after a brief and hectic trip to London that involved a variety of meetings (one of them in the historic Reform Club, which I've never been inside before), a pleasant book-signing session in Hatchards, and finally the CWA Daggers shortlist announcements reception at Waterstone's in Piccadilly.
To deal with the personal stuff first, I'm thrilled to say that my story "Murder and its Motives" has been shortlisted for the CWA Short Story Dagger. This is my fifth appearance on a Dagger list, and it's the third short story of mine to reach this particular shortlist. "Test Drive" did so twelve years ago, and three years later, "The Bookbinder's Apprentice" earned me the Dagger. So I'm naturally very happy.
Happy, too, to see that two other stories from the Detection Club anthology Motives for Murder appeared on the list - those by Michael Ridpath and Len Tyler. What a happy book that has proved to be. I'd also like to say how pleased I am to see Leye Adenie on the shortlist; I've been following his career with keen interest ever since we got to know each other last year. The shortlist also features the legendary James Sallis and Ovidia Yu.
Overall, the event went extremely well, and the attendance was very good. I was especially pleased to meet that fine writer Louise Penny for the first time. The success of the event was due to good work on the part of several people, but I'd like to pay special tribute to Mike Stotter, the CWA Daggers Liaison Officer, an unsung hero of the CWA, who does great work year after year in ensuring that all goes smoothly with the independent judging process. It's that process that ensures the high reputation of the Daggers the world over.