This, from Matt Beynon Rees, who writes with the flawless grace of good Welsh bards,

“My first Omar Yussef Mystery has won its first big prize. Last week in London, I was awarded the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasey New Blood Dagger. It’s the CWA’s prestigious award for a first novel. It’s a great thrill, recognition for my book (titled The Bethlehem Murders in the UK; The Collaborator of Bethlehem in the US) and my work. The prize is a real dagger — I don’t know how I’m going to get it through airport security and back to Jerusalem… For this award, I truly want to thank everyone who has worked on my book at my publishers around the world, and all the reviewers and readers who’ve made the book a success, too. The novel is nominated for two other forthcoming awards (in the US, the Barry and Macavity awards), so perhaps there’ll be more good news soon. The second book in the Omar Yussef series, A Grave in Gaza (US)/The Saladin Murders (UK), is already receiving great reviews and the third novel, in which Omar finds himself caught in a sinister murder mystery in Nablus, will be out early next year under the title The Samaritan’s Secret. I’m now writing the fourth Omar Yussef Mystery, which takes place in the famous Palestinian town of…Brooklyn.

Best wishes,


For the full announcement on the CWA website and to see the winners of other CWA awards this year:http://www.thecwa.co.uk/daggers/2008/newblood.html

Way to go, Matt!

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