The nominees for the Agatha Awardsfor 2018 Books (named for Agatha Christie) have been announced. The awards were given to mystery and crime writers at the annual Malice Domestic Awards Banquet on May 4, 2019. The nominated books were first published in the United States by a living author between January 1 and December 31, 2018.
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 (indicated in red)! 🙂
Best Contemporary Novel “Mardi Gras Murder” by Ellen Byron
“Beyond the Truth” by Bruce Robert Coffin
“Cry Wolf” by Annette Dashofy
“Kingdom of the Blind” by Louise Penny
“Trust Me” by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Best Historical Novel
“Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding” by Rhys Bowen
“The Gold Pawn” by LA Chandlar “The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey
“Turning the Tide” by Edith Maxwell
“Murder on Union Square” by Victoria Thompson
Best First Novel (Tied for the win) “A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder” by Dianne Freeman
“Little Comfort” by Edwin Hill
“What Doesn't Kill You” by Aimee Hix
“Deadly Solution” by Keenan Powell “Curses Boiled Again” by Shari Randall
Best Short Story (Tied for the win) "All God's Sparrows" by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
"A Postcard for the Dead" by Susanna Calkins (in Florida Happens) "Bug Appetit" by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
"The Case of the Vanishing Professor" by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
Best Young Adult Mystery “Potion Problems” by Cindy Callaghan
“Winterhouse” by Ben Guterson
“A Side of Sabotage” by C.M. Surrisi
“Mastering Plot Twists” by Jane Cleland
“Writing the Cozy Mystery” by Nancy J Cohen
“Conan Doyle for the Defense” by Margalit Fox
“Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life” by Laura Thompson
“Wicked Women of Ohio” by Jane Ann Turzillo
Mystery Readers International, Mystery Readers Journal, and the Macavity Awards, were created by Anthony Award winner, Janet Rudolph.
Links to three of the short fiction nominees are included.
Best Mystery Novel
“The Marsh King's Daughter,” by Karen Dionne “Magpie Murders,” by Anthony Horowitz
“Bluebird, Bluebird,” by Attica Locke
“Glass Houses,” by Louise Penny
“The Old Man,” by Thomas Perry
“The Force,” by Don Winslow
Best First Mystery Novel
“Hollywood Homicide,” by Kellye Garrett
“The Dry,” by Jane Harper
“She Rides Shotgun,” by Jordan Harper “The Lost Ones,” by Sheena Kamal
“The Last Place You Look,” by Kristen Lepionka
“Lost Luggage,” by Wendall Thomas
Best Mystery Short Story
“As Ye Sow,” by Craig Faustus Buck, in Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017
“The #2 Pencil,” by Matt Coyle, in Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea
Sue Feder Memorial Award: Best Historical Mystery
“Dangerous to Know,” by Renee Patrick
“The Devouring,” by James R. Benn “In Farleigh Field,” by Rhys Bowen
“Cast the First Stone,” by James W. Ziskin
“Racing the Devil,” by Charles Todd
“A Rising Man,” by Abir Mukherjee
Congratulations to the Macavity Awards-2018 nominees and winners (indicated in red) 🙂
As we approach Memorial Day in the United States, I am reminded of the many friends and family members affected by war and its fallout, but rarely do veterans talk about their experiences. The authors below have captured the challenges and realities soldiers have faced throughout history. If you read Military Fiction and Non-fiction, these are among the best.
Mark Bowden: “Black Hawk Down,” true story of American forces in Somalia.
Philip Caputo: "A Rumor of War," the riveting true story of Philip Caputo's experience in Viet Nam.
Tom Clancy: “The Hunt for Red October,” based on a story rumored to be true.
Stephen Coonts: “Flight of the Intruder,” gripping story of Navy carrier pilot during Viet Nam, based on Coonts’ experiences.
Bernard Cornwell: “Sharpe’s Rifles,” part of a fictional series about Napoleonic warfare.
Nelson DeMille: “Up Country,” one of DeMille’s best. My review can be read here.
Ken Follett: “The Eye of the Needle,” Edgar Award winner.
Christopher Hibbert: “Red Coats and Rebels,” American Revolution told from the British perspective.
Laura Hillenbrand: “Unbroken,” WW2 true story of resilience, review here.
John Keegan: “The Face of Battle,” the story of what real soldiers go through, with information about famous battles in history.
Phil Klay: “Redeployment,” award-winning book contains 12 short stories centered around deployment in Afghanistan & Iraq.
Marcus Luttrell: “Lone Survivor: Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10.”
Tim O'Brien: "The Things They Carried," award-winning book of the Viet Nam conflict.
Thank a veteran. Give him/her a job. They sacrificed much and fought to keep you free.
The Anthony Awards 2018 were handed out at The World Mystery Convention (usually referred to as Bouchercon) on September 8, 2018. 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 2018 were chosen by attendees at the 2017 convention, as well as early registrants for the 2018 event. The recognized works were published during 2017 and the finalists were voted upon by the 2018 Bouchercon attendees. The winners were announced that weekend. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners! Winners indicated in red. 🙂
Nominees and winners for the Anthony Awards 2018 are:
"The Late Show" by Michael Connelly
"Magpie Murders" by Anthony Horowitz
"Bluebird, Bluebird" by Attica Locke
"Glass Houses" by Louise Penny
"The Force" by Don Winslow
BEST FIRST NOVEL
"Hollywood Homicide" by Kellye Garrett
"She Rides Shotgun" by Jordan Harper
"The Dry" by Jane Harper
"Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All" by Christopher Irvin
"The Last Place You Look" by Kristen Lepionka
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
"Uncorking a Lie" by Nadine Nettmann
"Bad Boy Boogie" by Thomas Pluck
"What We Reckon" by Eryk Pruitt
"The Day I Died" by Lori Rader-Day
"Cast the First Stone" by James W. Ziskin
BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES
"Give Up the Dead" (Jay Porter #3) by Joe Clifford
"Two Kinds of Truth" (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly
"Y is for Yesterday" (Kinsey Millhone #25) by Sue Grafton
"Glass Houses" (Armand Gamache #13) by Louise Penny
"Dangerous Ends" (Pete Fernandez #3) by Alex Segura
BEST SHORT STORY
"The Trial of Madame Pelletier" by Susanna Calkins from Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical
"God’s Gonna Cut You Down" by Jen Conley from Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash
"My Side of the Matter" by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon
"Whose Wine Is It Anyway?" by Barb Goffman from 50 Shades of Cabernet
"The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place" by Debra Goldstein from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/June 2017
"A Necessary Ingredient" by Art Taylor from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea
BEST CRITICAL/NON-FICTION BOOK
"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
"Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann
"Chester B. Himes: A Biography" by Lawrence P. Jackson
"Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction" by Jessica Lourey
Thriller writers bring us thrills and chills, keep us awake long into the wee hours of the morning and leave us begging for more. You’re also likely to see many of them on top mystery writer lists all over the world. The 2018 ITW Thrillerfest Awards nominees included terrific titles once again – truly 'stay awake' reads. Take a look at this year’s finalists. The winners are indicated in red:
BEST HARDCOVER NOVEL
Dan Chaon — “Ill Will”
Denise Mina — “The Long Drop”
B.A. Paris — “The Breakdown”
Gin Phillips — “Fierce Kingdom” Riley Sager — “Final Girls”
BEST FIRST NOVEL
Steph Broadribb — “Deep Down Dead”
Daniel Cole — “Ragdoll”
Walt Gragg — “The Red Line” K.J. Howe — “The Freedom Broker”
Sheena Kamal — “The Lost Ones”
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Christine Bell — “Grievance”
Rachel Caine — “Stillhouse Lake”
Layton Green — “The Resurrector”
Adrian McKinty — “Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly”
Lori Rader-Day — “The Day I Died”
BEST SHORT STORY
Lee Child — “Too Much Time”
Mat Coward — “What Could Possibly Go Boing?” Zoë Z. Dean — “Charcoal and Cherry”
Willy Vlautin — “The Kill Switch”
Ben H. Winters — “Test Drive”
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
Gregg Hurwitz — “The Rains”
Gregg Olsen — “The Boy She Left Behind”
Sheryl Scarborough — “To Catch a Killer”
Rysa Walker — “The Delphi Effect”
Diana Rodriguez Wallach — “Proof of Lies”
BEST E-BOOK ORIGINAL NOVEL
Sean Black — “Second Chance”
Jeff Gunhus — “Resurrection America”
Alan McDermott — “Trojan”
Caroline Mitchell — “Witness”
Kevin Wignall — “A Fragile Thing”
Congratulations to all the finalists and winners!
The 2018 ITW Thrillerfest Award Winners were announced at ThrillerFest XIII, July 14, 2018, in New York City. 🙂
How many have you read?
Please visit www.thrillerwriters.org for more information about the International Thriller Writers and the amazing programs they have for writers.
Tons of great books, soooo many talented authors, and oodles of dedicated booklovers, all combined to make 2017 a great year of reading entertainment. Whether discovering a new author, or returning to a tried and true favorite, the NBR community interest was over 30% greater than the previous most popular year.
Although not included in the 'Top Eleven Reviews – 2017' book list, the 2017 author profiles (Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, Barbara Ross, Lynn C. Willis) were extremely popular and we’ll have more during 2018. Click on their names – links to books included.
Why Top Eleven? There is a debut magazine in the list, very well received by the NBR audience. 🙂
Listed in alphabetical order by author (except for the magazine and the ‘Killer Thrillers’), click on the links to read the reviews for the first time, or to enjoy them again.
Edith Maxwell writes award-winning short stories, has several series of full-length mysteries out and has been nominated for Agatha Awards in both the Short Story and Historical Fiction categories for this year’s Malice Domestic mystery conference. At this writing, she has eleven published novels since 2012 under the names Tace Baker, Maddie Day, and Edith Maxwell, with #12 due out next month. She is working on three more to be published in the near future. She is the one of the most prolific traditionally published authors I know and she is loving all of it!
I first met Edith at a Writers Police Academy conference in the Fall of 2012. At the time, she had just published her first Lauren Rousseau title, “Speaking of Murder,” as Tace Baker. I was hooked by the intelligent, worldly, complex female lead character. She attended WPA in order to research police procedure, and also gathered tons of information about firefighters and EMS personnel that she might use in future novels.
While following her career the last few years, it’s become apparent that solid research underpins all her books. Happily, combined with her own personal experiences, the result is richly developed backgrounds and storylines.
For the Country Store series, Maxwell took a trip to Indiana in order to investigate the setting, special southern Indiana phrasing (“I can’t eat another bite ’cause I’m as full as a tick”), and foods specific to the region. As it happens, she was also returning to the area of her grad school days and the site of a university packed with her own Maxwell family history. Friends of hers in the grad program had restored an old country store and turned it into a restaurant and bed & breakfast, the basis for Robbie Jordan’s ‘Pans ‘N Pancakes’ establishment in the series. In addition, Maxwell loves to cook and there are virtual cooking lessons woven throughout the stories as well as yummy recipes to be found.
Fun fact: my mom had an amazing collection of antique cookware, so when Robbie chats about the vintage pieces in her store, I can see the tools in my mind’s eye. Maxwell/Day’s details? Wonderful!
The Local Foods series features an organic farmer as the lead character, and guess what? Edith ran her own small certified organic farm for a few years and that expertise infuses the series with effortless realism. Readers can pick up tips about what it takes to grow produce organically, both the pitfalls and the plusses, while enjoying the cleverly crafted mysteries.
The Quaker Midwife series is a project close to Edith’s heart. She is a Quaker herself and some of the history and the daily practices of the Society of Friends have found their way into this series. Maxwell now lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts where the books are set, and the local history influenced her short story writing. One of the short stories became the impetus for a 19th c. midwife character. Rose Carroll, the Quaker midwife, is perfectly placed to be a sleuth, since she gets to go where men (and the police) can’t in 1888, and hears all kinds of secrets that help solve the crimes. Beautifully written, “Delivering the Truth” is well-deserving of the Agatha historical mystery nomination this year.
Click on the link to check out Maxwell’s YouTube video of a walking tour of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Maxwell is wearing an authentic self-made 1888 dress and bonnet while she conducts the tour and chats about the sites mentioned in “Delivering the Truth.” What a fun and terrific way to launch a series!
Plus, as Maddie Day, Edith has a new cozy foodie mystery series, Cozy Capers Book Group, set on Cape Cod. “Murder on Cape Cod” will be the first title launched in 2018. The lead character runs a bicycle repair and rental shop and hosts a weekly cozy mystery book group. My dad’s family came from the Cape, and I’m looking forward to reading Maxwell/Day’s take on the region.
So, how does she keep up this writing pace and still maintain the quality in her books? First, she is doing what she loves. She has a writing schedule for each day – mornings are the best for her – but when a deadline looms, she sometimes goes away for a few days on retreat. She turns off the internet so that there are no distractions at all and she can write from dawn ‘til midnight if she needs to. When slipping away to a retreat, Maxwell likes to take along comfy clothes, walking shoes, a laptop, a favorite pen, and an actual paper notebook. Oh, and of course, wine and dark chocolate. 🙂
Maxwell writes traditional mysteries with absorbing puzzles to solve, and appealing characters that engage us on every page. With strong female leads, fascinating details, and multi-layered plots, this is an author we want to follow, wherever (or whenever) she leads us.
Read the review of “A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die,” (Local Foods series) here.
Read the review of “Grilled for Murder,” (Country Store series) here (written as Maddie Day)
Read review of “Delivering the Truth” (Quaker Midwife series) here. 🙂
"Delivering the Truth" has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. And “The Mayor and the Midwife” has been nominated for an Agatha for Best Short Story. Read the short story here.