Non-fiction

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 

 

 

 

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 Barnes and Noble Book of the Year

In its third annual “Best of…” event, Barnes and Noble did a survey of booksellers at its brick and mortar stores, asking which books they enjoyed selling the most during the year. Here’s the list of the eight top nominees that moved the booksellers and/or pointed to pivotal moments in 2021 for them. The booksellers chose among the finalists for the B&N Book of the Year (indicated in red).

Click on the titles to learn more about the books.

 

Cloud Cuckoo Land”  by Anthony Doerr

“The Sentence”  by Louise Erdrich

“Pizza Czar: Recipes and Know-How from a World-Traveling Pizza Chef”
by Anthony Falco

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water”  by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (Illustrator)

“Together”   by Luke Adam Hawker

“Under the Whispering Door”  by TJ Klune

“The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (Two-Volume Set)”  by
Paul McCartney, Paul Muldoon (Editor)

“Crying in H Mart”  by Michelle Zauner

Have you read any of the finalists? Please let us know in the comments below.

 

 

2021 Anthony Awards

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. Take a look at the nominees and the winners for the coveted Anthony Awards. The winners (indicated in red) were announced during virtual BoucherCon in August.

Best Hardcover Novel

  • What You Don’t See – Tracy Clark
  • Blacktop Wasteland – S.A. Cosby
  • Little Secrets – Jennifer Hillier
  • And Now She’s Gone – Rachel Howzell Hall
  • The First to Lie – Hank Phillippi Ryan
     

Best First Novel

  • Derailed – Mary Keliikoa
  • Murder in Old Bombay – Nev March
  • Murder at the Mena House – Erica Ruth Neubauer
  • The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
  • Winter Counts – David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Best Paperback Original/E-Book/Audiobook Original Novel

  • ​The Fate of a Flapper – Susanna Calkins
  • When No One is Watching – Alyssa Cole
  • Unspeakable Things – Jess Lourey
  • The Lucky One – Lori Rader-Day
  • Dirty Old Town – Gabriel Valjan

Best Short Story

  • “Dear Emily Etiquette” – Barb Goffman – EQMM – Dell Magazines
  • “90 Miles” – Alex Segura – Both Sides: Stories From the Border – Agora Books
  • “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74” – Art Taylor – AHMM (Jan-Feb) – Dell Magazines
  • “Elysian Fields” – Gabriel Valjan – California Schemin’ – Wildside Press
  • “The Twenty-Five Year Engagement” – James W. Ziskin – In League with Sherlock Holmes – Pegasus Crime

Best Juvenile/Young Adult

  • Midnight at the Barclay Hotel – Fleur Bradley
  • Premeditated Myrtle – Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington – Janae Marks
  • Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco – Richie Narvaez
  • Star Wars Poe Dameron: Free Fall – Alex Segura

Best Anthology or Collection

  • Shattering Glass: A Nasty Woman Press Anthology – Heather Graham, ed.
  • Both Sides: Stories from the Border – Gabino Iglesias, ed.
  • Noiryorican – Richie Narvaez
  • The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell – Josh Pachter, ed.
  • California Schemin’ – Art Taylor. ed.
  • Lockdown: Stories of Crime, Terror, and Hope During a Pandemic – Nick Kolakowski and Steve Weddle, eds.

 

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!

 

 

2021 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards

From the Killer Nashville site:We believe all engaging stories have three elements: mystery, thriller, and suspense. Since 2008, the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards have recognized the best stories from the previous year told through various media utilizing the elements of mystery, thriller, and/or suspense. Judges are professional writers, book reviewers, librarians, academics, and—in specialized cases—specific industry peers. Focus is on quality, not popularity.”

 

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

 

BEST ACTION ADVENTURE   The Crow’s Nest / Richard Meredith

BEST COMEDY   Con Me Once / J. L. Delozier

BEST COZY   Rose by Any Other Name / Becki Willis

BEST HISTORICAL   The Lost Wisdom of the Magi / Susie Helme

BEST INVESTIGATOR    Within Plain Sight / Bruce Robert Coffin

BEST JUVENILE / Y.A.   Irish Town / Matthew John Meagher

BEST MYSTERY   Code Gray / Benny Sims

BEST NONFICTION   Words Whispered in Water / Sandy Rosenthal

BEST SCI-FI / FANTASY   Odyssey Tale / Cody Schlegel

BEST SHORT STORY COLLECTION   Couch Detective Book 2 / James Glass

BEST SUPERNATURAL   Borrowed Memories / Christine Mager Wevik

BEST SUSPENSE   Ring of Conspiracy / J. Robert Kinney

BEST THRILLER   The Divine Devils / R. Weir

 

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 were announced online in May.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners (Indicated in red)!

 

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”

 

 

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