Two-time Booker Prize winner Hilary Mantel has snagged the top honor at the Costa Book Awards for her novel "Bring Up the Bodies."
The British writer's blood-soaked Tudor saga, which won the Booker last year, defeated four other titles shortlisted for the 25,000 pound ($39,400) prize for 2012's book of the year.
Accepting her prize at a London ceremony on Tuesday, Mantel alluded to her recent successes by saying she was "not going to apologize" for winning another award.
"I'm happy and I shall make it my business to try to write more books that will be worth more prizes," she said.
Dame Jenni Murray, who chaired the judging panel, said Mantel was a unanimous winner and her book stood "more than head and shoulders— on stilts— above the rest."
Other works shortlisted for the top Costa prize included "The Overhaul," from Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie, and "The Innocents," a first novel from Francesca Segal.
"Dotter of Her Father's Eyes," written by Mary Talbot and drawn by her husband, Bryan, was also in the running, along with "Maggot Moon," a children's book from severely dyslexic writer and illustrator Sally Gardner.
All of the writers on the shortlist — Mantel included — will take home 5,000 pounds.
The awards, known until 2006 as the Whitbread Book Awards, were established in 1971 and recognize "outstanding and enjoyable books" by writers based in the U.K. and Ireland.