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2021 ThrillerFest Awards

Thriller writers bring us thrills and chills and keep us awake long into the wee hours of the morning. Check out the 2021 ITW Thriller Awards finalists and enjoy the reads! Winners will be announced in July.

BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL
S.A. Cosby – BLACKTOP WASTELAND
Joe Ide – HI FIVE
Richard Osman – THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB
Ivy Pochoda – THESE WOMEN
Lisa Unger – CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45

BEST FIRST NOVEL
Jasmine Aimaq – THE OPIUM PRINCE
Don Bentley – WITHOUT SANCTION
Kyle Perry – THE BLUFFS
Francesca Serritella – GHOSTS OF HARVARD
David Heska Wanbli Weiden – WINTER COUNTS
 
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Alyssa Cole – WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING
Layton Green – UNKNOWN 9: GENESIS 
John Marrs – WHAT LIES BETWEEN US
Andrew Mayne – THE GIRL BENEATH THE SEA
Benjamin Stevenson – EITHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT
  
BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Sean Black – AVENUE OF THIEVES
Jeff Buick – A KILLING GAME
Diane Capri – FULL METAL JACK
Jake Needham – MONGKOK STATION
Kirk Russell – NO HESITATION

Congratulations to all the finalists!

 

2021 – CrimeFest

Now in its 14th year, the awards honor the best crime books released in 2020 in the UK. From their site: “CRIMEFEST is a convention for people who like to read an occasional crime novel as well as for die-hard fanatics.” In most cases, eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlists.

Affected by Covid as so many other events have, the 2021 winners will be announced online later this Spring.

Congratulations to all the nominees!

 

DEBUT CRIME NOVEL AWARD

Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir  “The Creak on the Stairs”

Marion Brunet “Summer of Reckoning”

Robin Morgan-Bentley “The Wreckage”

Richard Osman “The Thursday Murder Club”

Mara Timon “City of Spies”

Trevor Wood “The Man on the Street”

 

LAST LAUGH AWARD  (humorous crime fiction)

Ben Aaronovitch “False Value”

ChristopherFowler “Bryant & May-Oranges and Lemons”

Elly Griffiths “The Postscript Murders”

Carl Hiaasen “Squeeze Me”

RichardOsman “The Thursday Murder Club”

Malcolm Pryce “The Corpse in the Garden of Perfect Brightness”

Khurrum Rahman “Ride or Die”

OlgaWojtas “Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Vampire Menace”

 

eDUNNIT AWARD (ebooks)

Gabriel Bergmoser “The Hunted”

Sharon Bolton “The Split”

P. Carter “Little Boy Lost”

Steve Cavanagh “Fifty-Fifty”

Michael Connelly “Fair Warning”

James Lee Burke “A Private Cathedral”

Ian Rankin “A Song for the Dark Times”

Holly Watt “The Dead Line”

 

H.R.F. KEATING AWARD (critical or biography)

Mark Aldridge “Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World”

MartinEdwards (editor) “Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club”

Colin Larkin “Cover Me: The Vintage Art of Pan Books: 1950-1965”

Andrew Lycett “Conan Doyle’s Wide World”

Heather Martin “The Reacher Guy”

Sheila Mitchell “HRF Keating: A Life of Crime”

Craig Sisterson “Southern Cross Crime: The Pocket Essential Guide to the Crime Fiction, Film & TV of Australia and New Zealand”

Peter Temple “The Red Hand: Stories, reflections and the last appearance of Jack Irish”

 

BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR CHILDREN (ages 8-12)

Sophie Deen “Agent Asha: Mission Shark Bytes”

Elly Griffiths “A Girl Called Justice -The Smugglers’ Secret”

Anthony Horowitz “Nightshade”

Jack Noel “My Headteacher is an Evil Genius”

Serena Patel “Anisha, Accidental Detective”

Serena Patel “School’s Cancelled”

Onjali Q. Rauf “The Night Bus Hero”

Dave Shelton “The Pencil Case”

 

 

2021 Hammett Prize

The Hammett Prize is bestowed by The International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch). The award will be given later this year for a 2020 work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by an American or Canadian author. The prize is the famous ‘Thin Man’ bronze trophy, and bragging rights. 🙂

Congratulations to all the nominees:

 

MURDER IN OLD BOMBAY by Nev March
Based on a true story that occurred in colonial India, a hospitalized soldier investigates a murder.

 

THE MOUNTAINS WILD by Sarah Stewart Taylor
A New York detective returns to Dublin to investigate the disappearance of her cousin after new evidence appears 20 years later.

 

THREE HOURS IN PARIS by Cara Black
In World War II, a female sniper out for revenge, is sent to Paris to assassinate the Fűhrer, but misses. Told in real time.

 

WHEN THESE MOUNTAINS BURN by David Joy
Set in Appalachia, an addict, a frustrated father, and a lawman converge around the circumstances of the opioid epidemic.

 

WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
A vigilante on a Native American reservation searches for the source of a heroin supply.

 

 

The Agatha Awards – 2020 Books

The nominees for the Agatha Awards for 2020 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The awards will be given to mystery and crime writers during the virtual More than Malice conference in July, 2021. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2020.

 

The Agatha Awards recognize the “traditional mystery,” meaning that there is no graphic sex and no excessive violence in the writing. Thrillers or hard-boiled detectives cannot be found here, but instead, picture Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot at work.

 

Congratulations to all the nominees!

Best Contemporary Novel
Gift of the Magpie by Donna Andrews

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris
All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day

 

Best Historical Novel
The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen

Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins
A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman
Taken Too Soon by Edith Maxwell
The Turning Tide by Catriona McPherson

 

Best First Novel
A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

Winter Witness by Tina deBelgarde
Derailed by Mary Keliikoa
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer
Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker

 

Best Short Story
“Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mag)

“The Red Herrings at Killington Inn” by Shawn Reilly Simmons Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories (Level Best Books)
“The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb)
“Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology (Wildside Press)
“The 25 Year Engagement” by James Ziskin In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon (Pegasus Crime)
 
Best Children’s/YA Mystery
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel
by Fleur Bradley

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Saltwater Secrets by Cindy Callaghan
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richard Narvaez

 

Barry Awards (Crime Fiction) – 2021

Established in 1997, the Barry Awards are presented at the annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, to be held this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. Voted on by readers of the Deadly Pleasures mystery magazine, the award was named in honor of Barry Gardner, an American critic and lover of great crime fiction. The winners of the Barry Awards-2021 will be announced in late August, during the Bouchercon Opening Ceremonies.


Best Novel

THE BOY FROM THE WOODS, Harlan Coben
THE LAW OF INNOCENCE, Michael Connelly
BLACKTOP WASTELAND, S. A. Cosby
AND NOW SHE’S GONE, Rachel Howzell Hall
MOONFLOWER MURDERS, Anthony Horowitz
ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE, Louise Penny


Best First Novel

DEEP STATE, Chris Hauty
MURDER IN OLD BOMBAY by Nev March
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB, Richard Osman
THE EIGHTH DETECTIVE, Alex Pavesi
WINTER COUNTS, David Heska Wanbli Weiden
DARLING ROSE GOLD, Stephanie Wrobel


Best Paperback Original

WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING, Alyssa Cole
MONGKOK STATION, Jake Needham
HIDE AWAY, Jason Pinter
BAD NEWS TRAVELS FAST, James Swain
DARKNESS FOR LIGHT, Emma Viskic
TURN TO STONE, James W. Ziskin


Best Thriller

DOUBLE AGENT, Tom Bradby
BLIND VIGIL, Matt Coyle
ONE MINUTE OUT, Mark Greaney
THE LAST HUNT, Deon Meyer
EDDIE’S BOY, Thomas Perry
THE WILD ONE, Nick Petrie

Congratulations to all the nominees!  🙂

NBR March Reviews – Four Genres

AMISH MYSTERY

“A Killer Carol” by Laura Bradford

Bradford’s beautifully written Amish mystery series stars Claire Weatherly, an Englisher, and Jakob Fisher, a former member of the Amish community. Claire chose to come to Heavenly, Pennsylvania to live with her aunt, rebuild her life, and open a store filled with Amish crafts. Jakob is a police detective in the town, who chose police work over life with the Amish.

 

In “A Killer Carol,” the seventh in the series, two of Claire’s Amish friends are suspected of a double murder and Jakob seems to have the evidence to prove it. Nobody’s talking, and with Claire and Jakob on opposite sides of the investigation, the holiday season may have lost its glow. With several surprising ‘wow’ moments, and Bradford’s wonderful characters to share the storyline, “Killer Carol” is a gift, no matter what time of year you read it. 

 

MILITARY FICTION

“The Last Platoon” by Bing West

In order to increase his chances at advancement, a career-stalled Marine accepts a short assignment to Afghanistan. West presents a realistic ‘boots on the ground’ viewpoint, with dedicated Marines adjusting to the leadership change. Self-serving orders given by the base C.O. result in a badly handled campaign, despite our hero’s best efforts to do his job. We come to realize that (with few exceptions) chain-of-command decisions are inviolate in the armed services.


The friendly Afghans are unpredictable, the base is under-manned, and the C.O. seems unhinged. With deadly consequences, “The Last Platoon” brings all the players together during a devastating sandstorm. West was an Assistant Secretary of Defense as well as a combat Marine and brings a great deal of authenticity to “The Last Platoon.”

 

THRILLER

 

“Backlash” by Brad Thor is a pulse-pounding page-turner in the Scot Harvath series. Harvath is betrayed, people close to him are murdered, and he is captured from U.S. soil by Russians. He is tortured and put on a plane to be handed over to an enemy who wants him dead. But the plane crashes in a remote part of Russia during a massive snowstorm and several of his guards are killed. That’s in the first thirteen pages of stay-up-all-night reading.

 

What follows is a harrowing tale of Harvath’s journey to evade the Russians without his usual support system in place. He knows that his captors will stop at nothing to get him back, but he is out for revenge. He must dig deep to stay alive in the face of hunger, brutal conditions, and the few resources he can steal. The twists are many, the perils are real, and the action superbly written.

 

NONFICTION

 

“No Time Like the Future” by Michael J. Fox, is exceptional. I laughed and cried as the beloved actor, Michael J. Fox, recounted his daily life with Parkinson’s via experiences with his career, his cherished family, and dear friends. He fully acknowledges the sacrifices others have made on his behalf while revealing some of his own missteps and ‘negotiations’ with the disease. Ever optimistic, Fox inspires all of us with his attitude and marvelous sense of humor in the midst of astonishing challenges. Wow!

Hint, hint: book sales raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, the leading Parkinson’s organization in the world.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book List: Author Craig Johnson

Craig Allen Johnson’s writing career has centered around his iconic lead character, Walt Longmire, a modern American sheriff from Wyoming. What makes Sheriff Walt Longmire so immediately likable? Middle-aged, experienced at his job, widower of a woman he loved more than life itself, an attorney daughter of whom he is so very proud, and a Cheyenne best friend/sidekick whom he has known since childhood. Longmire mostly follows the rules, but when justice is in question, the rules are sometimes open to interpretation.

 

The stories are full of wonderful dialogue, intriguing mysteries, life and death situations, and a core set of characters with whom you’d like to spend as much time as possible. Johnson’s obvious love of the wide-open spaces of Wyoming spills onto the pages when the landscape becomes a character, as suddenly dangerous as any killer could be or as mesmerizing as a beautiful painting.


Read the first in the series, “The Cold Dish,” and you’ll want to follow this lawman throughout the rugged Wyoming hills.
Here is the list of the Longmire books, in order of publication.

 

“The Cold Dish”  review here

“Death Without Company”

“Kindness Goes Unpunished” review here

 “Another Man’s Moccasins”

“The Dark Horse”

“Junkyard Dogs”

“Hell Is Empty”

“As the Crow Flies”

“A Serpent’s Tooth”

“Any Other Name”

“Dry Bones”  review here

“An Obvious Fact”

“The Western Star”

“Depth of Winter”

“Land of Wolves”

“Next to Last Stand”

Please visit https://www.craigallenjohnson.com for the ‘buy’ links for each of the books and to see the list of novellas that fill the gaps between the novels. Discover what he is doing virtually and in a few months, in person. There is a goodies store on the site, as well as a portal for ordering the DVDs from the TV series. Enjoy!

 

 

*Photos of Craig Johnson taken at Quail Ridge Bookstore in Raleigh, NC, by Patti Phillips.

 

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