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The Agatha Awards – 2021 Books

 

The winners of the Agatha Awards for 2021 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2021. The awards were given to mystery and crime writers during the live Malice Domestic conference on April 23, 2022.

 

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 and winners (winners indicated in red)!

Best Contemporary Novel
Cajun Kiss of Death by Ellen Byron 

Watch Her by Edwin Hill 
The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny
Her Perfect Life by Hank Phillippi Ryan 
Symphony Road by Gabriel Valjan


Best Historical Novel
Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge

Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara 
The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey 
Death at Greenway by Lori Rader-Day 
The Devil’s Music by Gabriel Valjan 

 

Best First Novel
The Turncoat’s Widow by Mally Becker 

A Dead Man’s Eyes by Lori Duffy Foster 
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala 
Murder in the Master by Judy L. Murray 
Mango, Mambo, and Murder by Raquel V. Reyes 

 

Best Short Story
“A Family Matter”
by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb 2021)

“A Tale of Two Sisters” by Barb Goffman in Murder on the Beach (Destination Murders)
“Doc’s at Midnight” by Richie Narvaez in Midnight Hour (Crooked Lane Books)
“The Locked Room Library” by Gigi Pandian (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine July/Aug 2021)
“Bay of Reckoning” by Shawn Reilly Simmons in Murder on the Beach (Destination Murders)

 

Best Non-Fiction
The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice 
by Jan Brogan 

Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter by Chris Chan 
The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders that Stunned Victorian England by Julie Kavanaugh 
How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America by MWA with editors Lee Child and Laurie R. King 

 

Best Children’s/YA Mystery
Cold-Blooded Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce 

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur 
I Play One on TV by Alan Orloff 
Leisha’s Song by Lynn Slaughter 
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer 

 

 

 

2022 Left Coast Crime Awards (the Lefties)

Left Coast Crime 2022 presented four Lefty Awards at the rescheduled convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Titles must have been published for the first time in the USA or Canada during 2021, in book or ebook format. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red)!

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel
  °  Ellen Byron, Cajun Kiss of Death
  °  Jennifer Chow, Mimi Lee Cracks the Code
  °  Elle Cosimano, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It
  °  Cynthia Kuhn, How To Book a Murder
  °  Raquel V. Reyes, Mango, Mambo, and Murder
  °  Wendall Thomas, Fogged Off

 

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel
(Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970
  °  Susanna Calkins, The Cry of the Hangman
  °  John Copenhaver, The Savage Kind
  °  Naomi Hirahara, Clark and Division
  °  Sujata Massey, The Bombay Prince
  °  Catriona McPherson, The Mirror Dance
  °  Lori Rader-Day, Death at Greenway

 

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel
  °  Alexandra Andrews, Who Is Maud Dixon
  °  Marco Carocari, Blackout
  °  Zakiya Dalila Harris, The Other Black Girl
  °  Mia P. Manansala, Arsenic and Adobo
  °  Wanda M. Morris, All Her Little Secrets

 

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel
  °  Tracy Clark, Runner
  °  S.A. Cosby, Razorblade Tears
  °  Matt Coyle, Last Redemption
  °  William Kent Krueger, Lightning Strike
  °  P.J. Vernon, Bath Haus

 

 

2022 Valentine’s Day Mysteries and Fiction

Are you a fan of holiday themed reading? Published between 2016 and 2022, here is an updated  list of thirty novels, novellas, and short stories centered around Valentine’s Day. Be prepared to sigh, or giggle, or be entranced by the selection. Click on the titles to discover more about the books and enjoy!

 

Jennifer S. Alderson  Death by Baguette

Carolyn Arnold  Valentine’s Day is Murder

 

Belle Bailey  A Sugar Maple Valentine

Patti Benning  Tall, Dark, and Deadly

Bellamy Bloom & Addison Moore  Murder Bites

Franky A. Brown  What Happened to Romance?

 

Susan Carroll The Valentine’s Day Ball

Cherry Christensen  Secret Valentine

Colleen Cross  Witching for Love on Valentine’s Day

 

Sylvia Damsell  A Valentine Wish

Steve Demaree A Valentine Murder

Liz Dodwell Valentine’s Day: a Polly Parrett Pet-Sitter Cozy

Jessica L. Elliott Operation: Romance

 

Tammy Falkner A Valentine’s Day Miracle

Deborah Garner  A Flair for Truffles

Patricia Gligor Marnie Malone

Donna Grant  My Fiery Valentine

 

Holly Hepburn Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence

Liwen Y. Ho Romantically Ever After

June McCrary Jacobs Handmade Hearts

 

Libby Klein  Theater Nights Are Murder

Jackie Lau  A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day

Lia London Love from A to Z

 

Ava Mallory & nine more authors Stirring Up Love & Mystery

Jenn McKinlay  Royal Valentine

Leslie Meier  Valentine Candy Murder

Mobile Writers Guild Valentine’s Day Pieces (Anthology)

Addison Moore & Bellamy Bloom  Sealed with a Hiss

 

Summer Prescott A Blossom of Murder

Amy M. Reade  Be My Valencrime

 

Happy Reading!

 

NYT Top Ten Best Fiction and Nonfiction – 2021

The New York Times Book Reviews announced its 10 Best Books of the Year for 2021. Books published in 2021 were eligible, as well as a few from 2020, not previously considered. Pamela Paul (a NYT Book Reviews editor) is quoted as saying that the books “stand on the merits of their prose and storytelling.”

Fiction:

“The Love Songs of W.E.B Debois,” by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

“Intimacies,” by Katie Kitamura

“When We Cease to Understand the World,” by Benjamin Labatut

“No One Is Talking About This,” by Patricia Lockwood

“How Beautiful We Were,” by Imbolo Mbue

 

Nonfiction:

“Red Comet,” by Heather Clark

“The Copenhagen Trilogy,” by Tove Ditlevsen, translated by Tiina Nunnally

“Invisible Child,” by Andrea Elliott

“On Juneteenth,” by Annette Gordon-Reed

“How The Word Is Passed,” by Clint Smith

 

 

Halloween Mystery List – 2021

Halloween will be here before you know it and if you’d like to pick up a fun read with a seasonal theme, here are seventy-eight titles in our updated 2021 Halloween Mystery List. Some have been around for ages, but others have recently been published or re-published. There are dozens more books with a Halloween theme, so if your favorite is not on the list, please let us know the title and author in the comments.

Click on the bold titles to read more about the individual books.


Stacey Alabaster – The Pumpkin Killer
Susan Wittig Albert – Witches’ Bane
Ritter Ames and 8 others – Midnight Mysteries: Nine Cozy Tales
Gretchen Archer – Double Jinx


Laurien Berenson – Howloween Murder
Susan Bernhardt – The Ginseng Conspiracy
Morgana Best – The Halloween Time Spell
Bethany Blake – Dial Meow for Murder
Susan Boles – Death of a Wolfman
Ginger Bolton –Boston Scream Murder
Lilian Jackson Braun – Cat Who Talked to Ghosts
Christin Brecher – 15 Minutes of Flame
Allison Brook – Death Overdue
Rita Mae Brown – The Litter of the Law
Catherine Bruns – Dessert Is the Bomb
Mollie Cox Bryan – Scrapbook of the Dead
Anna Celeste Burke – All Hallows’ Eve Heist
Jessica Burton – Death Goes Shopping
Ellen Byron – Murder in the Bayou Boneyard


Nora Charles – Death with an Ocean View
Laura Childs – Frill Kill
Agatha Christie – The Hallowe’en Party
Susan Rogers Cooper – Not in My Backyard

E.J. Copperman – Night of the Living Deed
Maya Corrigan – Crypt Suzette

Kathy Cranston – Pumpkins are Murder

Isis Crawford – A Catered Costume Party

James J. Cudney – Haunted House Ghost


Kathi Daley – The Inn at Holiday Bay

Kim Davis – Cake Popped Off

Krista Davis – Murder Outside the Lines


Jana Deleon – Swamp Spook
Steve Demaree – Murder on Halloween
Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat with an Emerald Eye


Janet Evanovich – Plum Spooky
Sharon Farrow – Mulberry Mischief
Connie Feddersen – Dead in the Pumpkin Patch

Vickie Fee – It’s Your Party, Die If You Want To

Honora Finkelstein – The Lawyer Who Died Trying

‘Jessica Fletcher’ & Donald Bain – Trick or Treachery


Eva Gates – The Spook in the Stacks

Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames) – Stirring the Plot

Sarah Graves – Nail Biter


Carolyn Haines – Hallowed Bones

Ellen Hart – Sweet Poison

Julia Henry – Digging Up the Remains

Lee Hollis – Death of a Wicked Witch

Carolyn Q. Hunter – Pumpkin Pie Waffle

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter – Murder on the Ghost Walk


Liz Ireland – Mrs. Claus and the Halloween Homicide
Sybil Johnson – Designed for Haunting

Daniel Judson – The Violet Hour

Heather Justesen – Muffins & Murder


Jenny Kales – A Stew to A Kill

Andrew Klavan – The Animal Hour

Cynthia Kuhn – The Spirit in Question


Joyce & Jim Lavene – Ghastly Glass

James Lilley – Death Knocks Twice

Linda Lovely – Picked Off

Alice Loweecey The Clock Strikes Nun


Karen MacInerney – Deadly Brew

Ed McBain – Tricks: an 87th Precinct Mystery

Jenn McKinlay – Dark Chocolate Demise

G.A. McKevett – Poisoned Tarts

Leslie Meier – Wicked Witch Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Barbara Ross – Halloween Party Murder
Alexis Morgan – Death by Jack-O-Lantern

Lynn Morrison – Stakes and Spells

Mandy Morton – Cat Among the Pumpkins

Liz Mugavero – A Biscuit, a Casket

Julie Mulhern – Send in the Clowns


Katie Penryn – The Witch Who Hated Halloween

Leigh Perry – The Skeleton Haunts a House

Summer Prescott & 7 others – A Very Cozy Halloween


Rachael Stapleton – Black Cats, Corpses and the Pumpkin Pantry

Rebecca Tope – Death in the Cotswolds

Diane Vallere – Masking for Trouble

Kirsten Weiss – Gourd to Death

 

If you’ve read any books in the Halloween Mystery List for 2021, please let us know what you thought.

Happy Spooky reading!

Bloody Scotland Crime Book of the Year 2021 – McIlvanney Prize

Bloody Scotland Debut Prize for Crime Novel of the Year:

In 2019, Bloody Scotland introduced a new prize, the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. To qualify for the award, the book must either be written by an author that was born or lives there, or is set in Scotland. The winner is awarded a cheque of £500 and a trophy sponsored by Glencairn Glass.

Introducing this year’s exciting finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie

No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison

Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman

 

The McIlvanney Prize is Bloody Scotland’s annual prize awarded to the Best Scottish Crime Book of the Year. As with the Debut novel award, authors must either be born or have lived in Scotland, and their book must be set in Scotland. The winner of The McIlvanney Prize will receive £1,000 and a Glencairn trophy.

Here are the finalists, with the winner indicated in red:

The Silent Daughter, Emma Christie

The Coffinmaker’s Garden, Stuart MacBride

Edge of the Grave, Robbie Morrison

The April Dead, Alan Parks

Hyde, Craig Russell

Congratulations to all!

 

 

 

Macavity Awards – 2021

The Macavity Awards are nominated by members and friends of Mystery Readers International, and subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal. Normally presented at BoucherCon, the 2021 Macavity winners were announced prior to the virtual presentation in late August, due to Covid. BoucherCon New Orleans is being postponed until 2025.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (indicated in red).

Mystery Readers International, Mystery Readers Journal, and the Macavity Awards, were created by Anthony Award winner, the fabulous Janet Rudolph.

Best Novel 
“Before She Was Helen” by Caroline B. Cooney
“Blacktop Wasteland” by S.A. Cosby
“Blind Vigil” by Matt Coyle  
“All the Devils Are Here” by Louise Penny
“These Women” by Ivy Pochoda  
“When She Was Good” by Michael Robotham

 

Best First 
“Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line” by Deepa Anappara  
“Murder in Old Bombay” by Nev March  
“The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman  
“Winter Counts” by David Heska Wanbli Weider  
“Darling Rose Gold” by Stephanie Wrobel

 

Best Short Story 
“Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sept/Oct 2020) 
“The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2020) 
“Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan (California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology, edited by Art Taylor; Wildside Press) 
“Dog Eat Dog” by Elaine Viets (The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell, edited by Josh Pachter; Untreed Reads Publishing) 
“The Twenty-Five Year Engagement,” by James W. Ziskin (In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon, edited by Laurie R. King; Pegasus Crime)

 

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery 
“The Last Mrs. Summers” by Rhys Bowen  
“The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne” by Elsa Hart
“The Turning Tide” by Catriona McPherson
“Mortal Music” by Ann Parker  
“The Mimosa Tree Mystery” by Ovidia Yu
“Turn to Stone” by James Ziskin

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