A labour of love and expertise

Karen of Euro Crime has searched her archives to produce a comprehensive list of eligible titles for the CWA Duncan Lawrie International Dagger award, the shortlist for which, together with the other awards, will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) night. Karen is "particularly interested in the International dagger as it's the only award for which translated crime novels are eligible." The criteria (via CWA)  are: crime novels by the broadest definition including thrillers, suspense novels and spy fiction as long as the book was not originally written in English and has been translated into English for UK publication between June 1 2007 and May 31 2008.

"So which ones will be on the shortlist?", asks Karen, inviting readers to choose their own.  She says "my six – based on my own reading plus Euro Crime and press reviews, are: Gomez-Jurado's God's Spy, Hammesfahr's The Sinner, Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Meyer's Devil's Peak, Nesbo's Nemesis and Vargas' This Night's Foul Work." (I thought I was an avid crime fiction reader, but I've read only one of these!)

Fiona Walker, Norman Price, CrimeFic Reader and me all chance our arm in the comments to Karen's post: please do head on over and add your vote, too – there are some fantastic books to choose from. What is especially nice about the exercise is that Roger Cornwell, CWA webmaster, has dropped in and confirmed that the yet-to-be-revealed shortlist does come exclusively from Karen's longlist (one up for the comprehensiveness of the Euro Crime database). He also writes "we will be running a forum where you can discuss the shortlist, in the run-up to the announcement of the winner. Check out the CWA website for more details, from around 10pm Tuesday evening. Your comments will be most welcome."

Print ‘blogs’ given value by The Times

So The Times has had a redesign (print edition) today. Probably this is being discussed on the Internet already; I haven't looked yet. The best development in my book is that the leaders (read 'blog posts' in today's language) are upgraded to the inside front cover. That's where they belong, in my opinion, to 'lead into' the day's edition, to give it its tone of the day. A redesign of a magazine or paper usually provides an excuse for the publication to look back at its past highlights, and to look forward to the future, and The Times is no exception with this fascinating historical article 'How the Thunderer felled a government and freed a pop star' (don't be put off by the title).

"If, one day in 1812, you decided to skip the leader column, you might have missed that the Prime Minister had been assassinated. It was only in a leader that The Times reported Spencer Perceval's murder. A mere prime ministerial resignation might not make it until paragraph three of a leader, even though the news was a Times exclusive. Similarly, one of the greatest scoops in this paper's history — the news that Robert Peel had decided to repeal the Corn Laws — appeared only in a leader. Over time, however, while leaders continued to provide fresh information along with opinion, the practice of using them to break big stories ceased. The reason for this change was a revolution in the treatment of news. Today's Times can be contrasted with the paper's report on the battle of Trafalgar. The news story ambled through the facts for several columns, informing readers only right at the end that Admiral Nelson had been killed."

Plenty of other fascinating nuggets at the link. Here's a short summary of all the new aspects, with an invitation to readers to comment online.