Mystery Scene

Walter Mosley 2023 CWA Diamond Dagger Recipient

Image courtesy of CWA

The Crime Writers' Association (CWA) has awarded American writer Walter Mosley a Diamond Dagger, considered the highest honor in crime writing in the United Kingdom. The Diamond Dagger recognizes authors whose crime writing careers have been marked by sustained excellence, and who have made a significant contribution to the genre.

Since he first introduced readers to Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins in Devil in a Blue Dress over three decades ago, Mosley has gone on to pen more than 60 books spanning genres and styles across mystery, science fiction, memoir, graphic novels, short stories, young adult fiction, and more. In addition to Easy Rawlins, who was brought to life on the big screen in 1995 by Denzel Washington in a film adaptation of Devil, Mosley's canon includes Fearless Jones, Leonid McGill, and Socrates Fortlow, to name just a few of the beloved characters he's has brought to readers.

Mosley's Diamond Dagger follows on the heels of the recently announced 2023 Mystery Writers of America Raven Award, which was given to the Crime Writers of Color, an organization cofounded by authors Mosley, Kellye Garrett, and Gigi Pandian in 2018. It's just the latest recognition for Mosley in a long career of advocating for stories, characters, and creators of color in the genre. Mosley's other awards include an MWA Grand Master Award, a Grammy, and a PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, among many others.

"At the beginning of my writing career I was fortunate enough to be awarded the CWA’s New Blood Dagger, otherwise called the John Creasey Award," said Mosley in a statement from CWA. "That was the highest point of my experience as a first book author. Since then, I have picked up other honors along the way but the only award that comes near the Diamond Dagger is the MWA’s Grand Master nod. These two together make the apex of a career that I never expected.”

Maxim Jakubowski, Chair of the CWA, said, “I am truly delighted my friend Walter has been deemed worthy of the Diamond Dagger by my colleagues and members of the CWA. His voice has dominated the fiction scene for decades and I can think of no more deserving and ground-breaking an author to be given this ultimate accolade, for the so many things he has contributed to our genre but also to modern society.”

The Diamond Dagger will be awarded before the annual CWA Dagger Awards, dubbed the "Oscars of the crime genre," due to take place on July 6 at a glittering gala evening. Congratulations to a true master.