We were delighted to see that Catherine Aird is this year’s recipient of the CWA’s Diamond Dagger. Well-deserved and long over-due. The Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger is probably the most prestigious award in the business. It is won for work of ‘sustained excellence and for making a significant contribution to crime fiction published in the English language.’
Catherine Aird published her first novel in the wonderful Chronicles of Calleshire in 1966. Over twenty more have followed as well as many sparkling short stories.
Her series detective is the likeable Inspector Christopher Sloan. Happily married, a keen rose grower, he is long-suffering about the amusing antics of his sidekick Constable Crosby and his boss Superintendent Leeyes. The attractive setting is the fictional county of Calleshire, its villages and the small town of Berebury.
The novels can be described as a perfect blend of police procedural and British cosy crime. They embody all the best elements of Golden Age crime fiction such as skilled plots, fair play cluing and a satisfying reveal. However Catherine Aird consistently provides readers with something more. Her characters are very believable and described with gentle irony. She writes in a witty, engaging style that’s an absolute delight to read.
Highly recommended if you enjoy murder most English.