SOLICITOR by day, crime writer by night – and now multi award-winner.

That is the life of Lymm author Martin Edwards who spends his evenings thinking of ways to murder people in his acclaimed books.

The 63-year-old’s page-turners have now been recognised by the Crime Writers’ Association after he received the prestigious Dagger in the Library award.

Martin, best known for his Lake District Mysteries, pipped numerous bestselling authors to the prize including Sophie Hannah, Nicci French and Peter May.

The ‘Dagger’ is awarded each year to a crime writer for a body of work particularly admired by library users, and for their support of libraries.

Nominations are submitted by librarians nationwide and the final decision is made by a judging panel comprised of leading librarians.

Previous winners have included Alexander McCall Smith, Mo Hayder, Lindsey Davis and Peter Robinson.

Martin said: “Receiving this award is a tremendous honour, and one of the great thrills of my writing life.

“Libraries have always played an important part in my life, both as an author and as a reader.

“I’m a huge admirer of the tireless contributions made by library staff, not only to communities and but also to society as whole.

“Britain’s libraries are invaluable, and they are a treasure to be prized.”

It has been a particularly successful couple of years for Martin as in 2016 he won three awards in quick succession for The Golden Age of Murder, a factual book which looked at how Agatha Christie and other mystery writers of that era transformed crime fiction.

Martin has fans across the pond too in America.

In September the dad-of-two received the Macavity Award in Florida from Mystery Readers International and he also has eight other major crime writing awards, four of them from the United States.

Meanwhile, Martin’s latest novel, Gallows Court, a thriller set in 1930 has been earning rave reviews in the national press while Lee Child described it as ‘superb’.