The Agatha Awards for 2017 Books


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The nominees for the Agatha Awards for 2017 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The awards will be bestowed upon mystery and crime writers at the annual Malice Domestic conference in late April, 2018. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2017.

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 
“Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery” by Allison Brook
“A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery” by Ellen Byron
“No Way Home: A Zoe Chambers Mystery” by Annette Dashofy
“Take Out” by Margaret Maron
“Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” by Louise Penny


Best Historical Novel 
“In Farleigh Field” by Rhys Bowen
“Murder in an English Village: A Beryl and Edwina Mystery” by Jessica Ellicott
“Called to Justice: A Quaker Midwife Mystery” by Edith Maxwell
“The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery” by Susan Elia MacNeal
“Dangerous to Know: A Lillian Frost and Edith Head Novel” by Renee Patrick


Best First Novel 
“Adrift: A Mer Cavallo Mystery” by Micki Browning
“The Plot is Murder: Mystery Bookshop” by V.M. Burns
“Hollywood Homicide: A Detective by Day Mystery” by Kellye Garrett
“Daughters of Bad Men” by Laura Oles
“Protocol: A Maggie O'Malley Mystery” by Kathleen Valenti


Best Nonfiction 
“From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon” by Mattias Boström
“The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books” by Martin Edwards
“American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land” by Monica Hesse
“Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction” by Jess Lourey  

“Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier” by Tatiana de Rosnay

Best Short Story 
“Double Deck the Halls” by Gretchen Archer
“Whose Wine is it Anyway” by Barb Goffman in 50 Shades of Cabernet
“The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place” by Debra Goldstein in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017)
“The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” by Gigi Pandian
“A Necessary Ingredient” by Art Taylor in Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Seat


Best Children’s/Young Adult 
“City of Angels” by Kristi Belcamino
“Sydney Mackenzie Knocks 'Em Dead” by Cindy Callaghan
“The World’s Greatest Detective” by Caroline Carlson
“Audacity Jones Steals the Show” by Kirby Larson
“The Harlem Charade” by Natasha Tarpley

Happy Reading!


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New York Times – Top Five Best Fiction for 2017


Book Cover - Pachinko

The New York Times Top Five Best Fiction Books of 2017 list was posted on November 30th. It’s always interesting to see which books editors at the NYT will choose for their “Best of…” lists for the year. The titles are sometimes bestsellers, but more importantly, the editors have fallen in love with the story (or the writing) and Wahoo! the book makes the list.


Check out the top five fiction choices from 2017, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Click on the links below the book titles to read their reviews.



“Autumn” by Ali Smith



“Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid



“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee



“The Power” by Naomi Alderman



“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward


Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any of the books. Happy Reading!  


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Pulitzer Prize – 2017



The Pulitzer Prize is an award given for work published the previous year in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature, and the arts in the United States. Joseph Pulitzer, an innovative newspaper publisher, endowed Columbia University in New York City with $2 million in his 1904 will. Columbia was to create the School of Journalism, as well as scholarships and prizes to promote excellence in certain fields. The intent of the gift was “for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education."


The President of Columbia has the honor of presenting the yearly awards selected by the Pulitzer Prize board. Pulitzer has evolved over the decades and an expanded prize list now also includes the digital age. The judging is rigorous and to win is considered by many to be the pinnacle in a career.

Click on the titles to read more about each of the books.

Fiction 2017

Presented for distinguished fiction published in book form during the previous year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life. Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)

"For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America."

Other finalists:

Imagine Me Gone, by Adam Haslett (Little, Brown)

The Sport of Kings, by C. E. Morgan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)


General Nonfiction 2017

For a distinguished and appropriately documented book of nonfiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category. Fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond (Crown)

"For a deeply researched exposé that showed how mass evictions after the 2008 economic crash were less a consequence than a cause of poverty."

Other finalists:

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism, by John Donvan and Caren Zucker (Crown)

The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery, by Micki McElya (Harvard University Press)


Congratulations to all for this wonderful achievement.  🙂


Please visit for more information and for the list of prizewinners in other disciplines.


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Goodreads Choice Awards – 2017





Most of the winners of major book awards are selected by members of the groups that give the award – much like the film industry’s Academy Awards are selected each year. Mystery writers vote on the major mystery awards; romance writers vote on the Rita Award, etc.




Goodreads, the popular readers/authors site, has a slightly different model for the Goodreads Choice Awards. During the year, readers chat about books they’re reading and make lists of their favorites for their friends and followers to see. They also rank books they’ve read with stars, indicating how much they liked (or disliked) the titles published that year. There are thousands of books listed on the site, with thousands of comments, giving anyone who’s interested a way to see how a book (published in the U.S. in English) is viewed by the Goodreads group. Amazon acquired Goodreads, so these reviews and stars probably have an impact on book sales.



During October each year, the Goodreads staff looks at the stats and does the math, then nominates 15 books for each of 20 categories that have an average rating of 3.5 stars or more.



The members of the Goodreads community vote in elimination rounds. They are allowed to vote in all twenty categories, giving a broader view of a book’s popularity. If you sign up to become a member of Goodreads, you can vote as well.



Opening round now closed  (voting on the selected 15 in each category, write-ins accepted) : Oct. 31st thru Nov. 5th




Semifinal Round now closed: Nov. 7th thru Nov. 12th  (voting on the original 15 along with the top 5 write-ins in each category – voters can change their minds about the original vote):



Final Round now closed: Nov. 14th thru Nov. 27th  (voting on final top 10 books in each category)


It's December 5th and the winners have been announced. Click on the links and see how close the voting in some categories was.



Here are the 2017 links for eight of the categories (once there, the other twelve categories are an easy click away):


Mystery & Thriller

Historical Fiction



Science Fiction


YA Fantasy & Science Fiction





The 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Liane Moriarty “Truly Madly Guilty”

Mystery & Thriller: Stephen King  “End of Watch”

Historical Fiction: Colson Whitehead “The Underground Railroad”

Fantasy: J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Romance: Colleen Hoover  “It Ends With Us”

Science Fiction: Pierce Brown  “Morning Star”

Non-Fiction: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy Carter “Hamilton: The Revolution”

YA Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sarah J. Maas  “Court of Mist and Fury”



Did you read any of the winning choices from 2016? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comment section.



The 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”

Mystery & Thriller:  Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”

Historical Fiction:  Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”

Fantasy:  Neil Gaiman’s “Trigger Warning”

Romance:  Colleen Hoover’s “Confess”

Science Fiction: Pierce Brown’s “Golden Son”




The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Rainbow Rowell's "Landline"

Mystery & Thriller:  Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes" 

Historical Fiction:  Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See"

History & Biography:  Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"

Romance:  Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"

Science Fiction:  Andy Weir's "The Martian"



The 12 additional categories include cookbooks, horror, non-fiction, children’s books and more.



It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1,953,770 total votes were cast for the Goodreads Choice Awards.

The final tabulation for 2015 was 3,007,748 votes.

In 2016?  3,550,346 votes.    🙂

This year's final total was 3,887,698!


Happy reading! You're in for a treat.  🙂




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The Man Booker Prize International – 2017



Famous for its celebration of global fiction, this year’s Man Booker International Prize  competition was among the 13 titles in the longlist below. The £50,000 prize is divided equally between the author of the winning book and its translator. Previously, the prize had been given every other year to an author for an entire body of work. The new version of the Man Book International Prize acknowledges the importance of the quality of a translation in a global publication and is now given annually. The books must have been translated into English and published in the UK.

The six titles in the short list group are listed in bold type. The winner is indicated in red.

Click on the book titles to discover more information about the books.

Mathias Enard        "Compass"                                     

Translated by Charlotte Mandell

Wioletta Greg            "Swallowing Mercury"                 

Translated by Eliza Marciniak


David Grossman    "A Horse Walks Into a Bar"  

Translated by Jessica Cohen


Stefan Hertmans      "War and Turpentine"                 

Translated by David McKay


Roy Jacobsen          "The Unseen"                                 

Translated by Don Bartlett


Ismail Kadare           "The Traitor’s Niche"                   

Translated by John Hodgson


Yan Lianke               "The Explosion Chronicles"       

Translated by Carlos Rojas


Alain Mabanckou       "Black Moses"                          

Translated by Helen Stevenson


Clemens Meyer         "Bricks and Mortar"                    

Translated by Katy Derbyshire


Dorthe Nors             "Mirror, Shoulder, Signal"          

Translated by Misha Hoekstra


Amos Oz                   "Judas"                                          

Translated by Nicholas de Lange


Samanta Schweblin     "Fever Dream"                        

Translated by Megan McDowell


Jón Kalman Stefánsson   "Fish Have No Feet"        

Translated by Phil Roughton


Congratulations to all the nominees and to the winner!  🙂


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Halloween Mystery List – 2017



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 forty-eight titles in our updated 2017 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

Susan Bernhardt – The Ginseng Conspiracy

Bethany Blake – Dial Meow for Murder

Susan Boles – Death of a Wolfman

Lilian Jackson Braun – Cat Who Talked to Ghosts

Rita Mae Brown – The Litter of the Law

Mollie Cox Bryan – Scrapbook of the Dead

Anna Celeste Burke – All Hallows’ Eve Heist

Jessica Burton – Death Goes Shopping

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

Kathy Cranston – Pumpkins are Murder

Kathi Daley – Halloween in Paradise; Murder at the Witching Hour

Steve Demaree – Murder on Halloween

Carole Nelson Douglas – Cat with an Emerald Eye

Janet Evanovich – Plum Spooky

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

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

Sarah Graves – Nail Biter

Carolyn Haines – Hallowed Bones

Ellen Hart – Sweet Poison

Lee Hollis – Death of a Pumpkin Carver

Carolyn Q. Hunter – Pumpkin Pie Waffle

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter – Murder on the Ghost Walk

Daniel Judson – The Violet Hour

Heather Justesen – Muffins & Murder

Andrew Klavan – The Animal Hour

Joyce & Jim Lavene – Ghastly Glass

James Lilley – Death Knocks Twice

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

Liz Mugavero – A Biscuit, a Casket

Julie Mulhern – Send in the Clowns

Leigh Perry – The Skeleton Haunts a House

Rebecca Tope – Death in the Cotswolds

Diane Vallere – Masking for Trouble


If you’ve read any books in the Halloween Mystery List for 2017, please let us know what you thought.

Happy Spooky reading.  🙂




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Anthony Awards 2017 – Bouchercon


BoucherconLogoToronto 2017


The World Mystery Convention, usually referred to as Bouchercon, is an annual conference named after Anthony Boucher, a mystery author and critic who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. This event honors various segments of the mystery and crime fiction community.


The nominees for the Anthony Awards 2017 were chosen by attendees at the 2016 convention, as well as early registrants for the 2017 event. The recognized works were published during 2016 and the winners were  announced on October 15th, after the Sunday Brunch. You’ll notice some returning authors on the list of nominees as well as great new entries.


The winners are indicated in red.


Best Novel

  • “You Will Know Me” – Megan Abbott
  • “Where It Hurts” – Reed Farrel Coleman
  • “Red Right Hand” – Chris Holm
  • “Wilde Lake” – Laura Lippman
  • “A Great Reckoning” – Louise Penny


Best First Novel

  • “Dodgers” – Bill Beverly
  • “IQ” – Joe Ide
  • “Decanting a Murder” – Nadine Nettmann
  • “Design for Dying” – Renee Patrick
  • “The Drifter” – Nicholas Petrie


Best Paperback Original

  • “Shot in Detroit” – Patricia Abbott
  • “Leadfoot” – Eric Beetner
  • “Salem’s Cipher” – Jess Lourey
  • “Rain Dogs” – Adrian McKinty
  • “How to Kill Friends and Implicate People” – Jay Stringer
  • “Heart of Stone” – James W. Ziskin  


Best Short Story

  • “Oxford Girl” – Megan Abbott, Mississippi Noir
  • “Autumn at the Automat” – Lawrence Block, In Sunlight or in Shadow
  • “Gary’s Got A Boner” – Johnny Shaw, Waiting to Be Forgotten
  • “Parallel Play” – Art Taylor, Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning
  • “Queen of the Dogs” – Holly West, 44 Caliber Funk: Tales of Crime, Soul and Payback


Best Anthology

  • “Unloaded: Crime Writers Writing Without Guns” – Eric Beetner, ed.
  • “In Sunlight or in Shadow” – Lawrence Block, ed.
  • “Cannibals: Stories from the Edge of the Pine Barrens” – Jen Conley
  • “Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016” – Greg Herren, ed.
  • “Waiting To Be Forgotten: Stories of Crime and Heartbreak, Inspired by the Replacements” – Jay Stringer, ed.


For nominees & winners in the YA, Critical Non-Fiction, and Novella categories, please visit


Congratulations to all the Anthony Awards-2017 nominees and winners!  🙂


Previous winners include:


BEST NOVEL – “The Killing Kind” – Chris Holm   

BEST FIRST NOVEL – “Past Crimes” – Glen Erik Hamilton 

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – “The Long and Faraway Gone” – Lou Berney 

BEST SHORT STORY – "The Little Men: A Bibliomystery" – Megan Abbott 



BEST NOVEL“After I'm Gone” – Laura Lippman

BEST FIRST NOVEL – “The Black Hour” – Lori Rader-Day

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – “The Day She Died” – Catriona McPherson

BEST SHORT STORY – "The Odds Are Against Us" Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2014 – Art Taylor



BEST FIRST NOVEL – Matt Coyle’s “Yesterday's Echo”

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL – Catriona McPherson’s “As She Left It”

BEST NOVEL – William Kent Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace”



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