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Barry Awards (Crime Fiction) – 2022

Established in 1997, the Barry Awards are presented at the annual Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, to be held this year in Minneapolis. The winners will be announced at the Opening Ceremonies on September 8th. 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. Congratulations to all the nominees!

 

Best Mystery/Crime Novel
THE DARK HOURS, Michael Connelly

RAZORBLADE TEARS, S. A. Cosby
LAST REDEMPTION, Matt Coyle
CLARK AND DIVISION, Naomi Hirahara
BILLY SUMMERS, Stephen King
WE BEGIN AT THE END, Chris Whitaker

 

Best First Mystery/Crime Novel
WHO IS MAUDE DIXON?, Alexandra Andrews

GIRL A, Abigail Dean
DOWN RANGE, Taylor Moore
FALLING, T. J. Newman
SLEEPING BEAR, Connor Sullivan
STEEL FEAR, Brandon Webb & John David Mann

 

Best Paperback Original
THE HUNTED, Gabriel Bergmoser

ARSENIC AND ADOBO, Mia P. Manansala
BLACK CORAL, Andrew Mayne
THE GOOD TURN, Dervla McTiernan
SEARCH FOR HER, Rick Mofina
BOUND, Vanda Symon

 

Best Thriller
THE DEVIL’S HAND, Jack Carr

THE NAMELESS ONES, John Connolly
DEAD BY DAWN, Paul Doiron
RELENTLESS, Mark Greaney
SLOUGH HOUSE, Mick Herron
FIVE DECEMBERS, James Kestrel

 

2022 Mystery Writers of America – Edgar Awards

The nominees for the 2022 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television from 2021, were announced in January, 2022. The winners were revealed on April 28, 2022 in New York City and are noted here in red.

BEST NOVEL
The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen
Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
Five Decembers by James Kestrel
How Lucky by Will Leitch
No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield

 

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Deer Season by Erin Flanagan
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins
The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer

 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell
The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke
The Album of Dr. Moreau by Daryl Gregory
Starr Sign by C.S. O’Cinneide
Bobby March Will Live Forever by Alan Parks
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

 

BEST FACT CRIME
The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox
Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green
Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn
Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice by Ellen McGarrahan
The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade by Benjamin T. Smith
When Evil Lived in Laurel:  The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer by Curtis Wilkie

 

BEST JUVENILE
Cold-Blooded Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Aggie Morton Mystery Queen: The Dead Man in the Garden by Marthe Jocelyn
Kidnap on the California Comet: Adventures on Trains #2 by M.G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman
Rescue by Jennifer A. Nielsen

 

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris
The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

 

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Dog Day Morning” – The Brokenwood Mysteries, Written by Tim Balme (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – The Beast Must Die, Written by Gaby Chiappe (AMC+)
“The Men Are Wretched Things” – The North Water Written by Andrew Haigh (AMC+)
“Happy Families” – Midsomer Murders, Written by Nicholas Hicks-Beach (Acorn TV)
“Boots on the Ground” – Narcos: Mexico, Written by Iturri Sosa (Netflix)

 

Please visit https://mysterywriters.org/mwa-announce-the-2022-edgar-award-nominations for information about nominees in the Short Story, Best Critical/Biographical, Mary Higgins Clark, and Sue Grafton Awards.

 

From the site: “MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents.”

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

 

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

 

 

2021 – Christmas Themed Mysteries and Romance

Christmas seems to be the most popular holiday theme for mysteries and fiction of all varieties. I discovered that there were hundreds from which to choose, with more written every year. Some writers focus entirely on Christmas in every book they publish.

 

If you are a fan of Christmas themed fiction, then this updated 2021 list of fifty-eight novels, novellas, and short stories is for you. The books were recommended by avid cozy booksellers and reviewers, as well as NBR and Kerrian’s Notebook subscribers. Click on the titles to find out more about the books, then snuggle up with a great Christmas read.

 

Susan Wittig Albert “The Darling Dahlias & the Poinsettia Puzzle

Gretchen Archer  “Double Deck the Halls

Donna Andrews “The Twelve Jays of Christmas

Mary Angela “Very Merry Murder”

Joy Avon “In Peppermint Peril”

 

Laurien Berenson “Here Comes Santa Paws

Susan Bernhardt “Murder Under the Tree

Brittany E. Brinegar “Holly Jolly Murder

Leslie Budewitz “As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles”

Ellen Byron “A Cajun Christmas Killing”

 

Lynn Cahoon “Have a Holly Haunted Christmas

Robyn Carr “A Virgin River Christmas

Nancy Coco “Have Yourself a Fudgy Little Christmas

Cate Conte “A Whisker of a Doubt

Maya Corrigan “Gingerdead Man

 

Kim Davis “Frosted Yuletide Murder

Maddie Day “Candy Slain Murder

Vicki Delany “Dying in a Winter Wonderland

Maria DiRico “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder

Leighann Dobbs “Grievance in Gingerbread Alley

 

Barbara Early “Murder on the Toy Town Express”

Peggy Ehrhart “Silent Knit, Deadly Knit

Morris Fenris “Christmas Angel Charity

Beatrice Fishback “Winter Writerland

Amanda Flower “Candy Cane Crime

Joanne Fluke “Christmas Cupcake Murder

Jacqueline Frost “Slashing Through the Snow

 

Daryl Wood Gerber “Wreath between the Lines

John Gray “Manchester Christmas

Patrice Greenwood “As Red as Any Blood

 

Carolyn Haines “A Garland of Bones

Victoria Hamilton “Breaking the Mould”

Jo A Heistand “Shortbread and Dead

Julie Hennrikus “A Christmas Peril”

Liz Ireland “Mrs. Claus and the Santaland Slayings

 

CeeCee James “The Frosty Taste of Scandal

Miranda James “Six Cats a Slayin”

Tina Kashian “Mistletoe, Moussaka, and Murder

Andrea Kress “Christmas Recipe for Murder

Laura Levine “Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge”

 

Debbie Macomber “Dear Santa

VL McBeath “A Christmas Murder

Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, Peggy Ehrhart  “Christmas Card Murder

Ada Moncrieff “Murder Most Festive

Nancy Naigle “Hope at Christmas

 

Carlene O’Connor “Murder at an Irish Christmas

Gail Oust: “The Twelve Dice of Christmas”

James Patterson, Maxine Paetro: “The 19th Christmas

Anne Perry “A Christmas Legacy

 

Amy M. Reade “The Worst Noel

Heather Redmond “A Christmas Carol Murder

Barbara Ross “Nogged Off

Rosemarie Ross “Christmas Candy Corpse

 

Karen Schaler “A Royal Christmas Fairy Tale

Julie Seedorf  “The Discombobulated Decipherers”

Jane Willan  “Abide with Me

Traci Wilton “Mrs. Morris and the Ghost of Christmas Past

Sherryl Woods: “Christmas at White Pines

Happy Choosing!

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