Last Thursday, May 1st, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards Banquet was held. The Edgar is the “Oscar” of mystery writing, is awarded every year and is named for author Edgar Allen Poe. The event was held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York City and was “Black Tie Preferred.” Wish I could have been there. All I have to do is write a fantastic mystery novel, get it published and then nominated for “Best Novel” or “Best First Novel.” Oh, yeah. Piece of cake.
The categories and winners were:
Best Novel: ORDINARY GRACE by William Kent Krueger, published by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.
Best First Novel: RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews, from Simon & Schuster’s Scribner division.
Best Paperback Original: THE WICKED GIRLS by Alex Marwood, published by Penguin Books USA.
Best Fact Crime: THE HOUR OF PERIL: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln before the Civil War, by Daniel Stashower, published by St. Martin Press, Minotaur Books.
Best Critical/Biographical: AMERICA IS ELSEWHERE: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture, by Erik Dussere, published by Oxford University Press.
Best Short Story: THE CAXTON PRIVATE LENDING LIBRARY AND BOOK DEPOSITORY, by John Connolly, Mysterious Bookshop.
Best Juvenile: ONE CAME HOME, by Amy Timberlake, published by Random House Children’s Books.
Best Young Adult: KETCHUP CLOUDS, by Annabel Pitcher, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.
Mary Higgins Clark Award: COVER OF SNOW by Jenny Milchman, published by Random House, Ballantine.
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award: THE WENTWORTH LETTER by Jeff Soloway, published by St. Martin’s Press.
Each award, except for the last, had five nominees, and although most of the winners were written by men, I was happy to see twenty women’s names (and an initial which might be) among the forty-five finalists. Not exactly half, but getting close.
I was also glad to see two finalists were published by Thomas & Mercer, the Amazon mystery imprint. Maybe next year self-published books will be included. One hopes that RWA’s Rita Awards, which opened to self-pubs this year (results in July), will open the door.
Now, pick a winner from the above, stash some chocolate in a handy place and enjoy.