2018 Hammett Prize




The Hammett Prize is bestowed each year by The International Association of Crime Writers (North American Branch). This year the award will be given for a 2017 work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author, in November. The winner receives the famous ‘Thin Man’ bronze trophy, and bragging rights.  :-)

Please click on the nominated book title to find out more about the novel.

The nominees are as follows: 

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Ernest J. Gaines (Vintage)
August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Crime)
Two Days Gone, by Randall Silvis (Sourcebooks Landmark)

Congratulations to all!

Past winners for books published in the year indicated include:

2016:  The White Devil by Domenic Stansberry

2015: The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin

2014: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

2013: Angel Baby by Richard Lange

2012: Oregon Hill by Howard Owen

2011: The Killer is Dying by James Sallis

2010: The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

2009: The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

2008: The Turnaround by George Pelecanos


Have you read any of the 2017 nominated books? Or the Hammett Prize winners from previous years? Now’s your chance.  :-)





“The Trapped Girl” by Robert Dugoni


Book Cover - The Trapped Girl

“The Trapped Girl” is the fourth book in Robert Dugoni’s engrossing Tracy Crosswhite series. A teenager, out before dawn for an illegal crab pot pickup in Puget Sound, almost tips the boat because of the pot’s weight. He sees a hand sticking up, freaks out, and returns to shore with the very dead, trapped girl.


Tracy Crosswaite and her partner, Kins, catch the call and a complicated case. The body hasn't been in the water all that long, but Jane Doe has had plastic surgery done to her face, which makes ID slower than usual. She is identified, but it seems that there is more going on than first appears.


The husband is a suspect, and seems deserving of that title. A 500K insurance policy was taken out just before the woman’s death, but why? The obvious answer may be too easy. And Dugoni never likes easy.


The characters in "The Trapped Girl" ring true, including the sleazy husband and the wife’s girlfriend. Dugoni writes each of the people with nuances and just enough good/suspicious behavior that I was certain that the deed(s) had been done by more than one person, and I kept changing my mind as Dugoni disproved my theory each time. And then tossed another ‘so-sure-this-time’ clue at us.


Tracy Crosswaite is evolving as a person and as a detective in the series and she is at the top of her game in this wildly tricky, intriguing case. Dugoni has allowed a more human side to be seen in some of the ensemble characters, and even Tracy admits to a flicker of surprise at a colleague’s actions. She remains steadfast in her support of women as cops, and we get to see more of the effect of that stance on her personal life.


The clever twists will keep you enthralled until the very last page. Jane Doe is not who she seems to be and the supposed bad guys are not the most evil in the book. Whom do we trust? Who is telling the truth? Whose story is this, really?


“The Trapped Girl” is a barnburner of a book, with a superb, multilayered storyline that never misses a beat. It was easy to place “The Trapped Girl” on my 2017 ‘Killer Thrillers for the Beach’ list. I’ve already read it twice.


“Close to Home,” fifth in the series, is next on my TBR list.


Please visit for more information about this award winning, bestselling, gifted writer.



Top Eleven Reviews – 2017


Book Cover - What She Knew

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.


“Black Cat Mystery Magazine” debut issue short mystery fiction


“Killer Thrillers for the Beach”  (seven thriller authors, ten titles)


“Cat About Town” by Cate Conte


“Grilled for Murder” by Maddie Day


“The 7th Canon” by Robert Dugoni


“I like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around” by Ann Garvin


“A Good Day to Buy” by Sherry Harris


“Dry Bones” by Craig Johnson


“What She Knew” by Gilly Macmillan


“Custom Baked Murder” by Liz Mugavero


“Relic” by Fiona Quinn


Many thanks everyone! May 2018 bring you lots of love and laughter, along with some thumpin’ great new reads.  :-)


Shamus Awards – 2017


PWA logo

Bouchercon, the largest international mystery lovers convention, held in October this year, is a natural platform for several writing awards. In addition to the Anthony, Barry, and Macavity Awards for excellence in mysteries, the PWA’s Shamus Awards-2017 were given for deserving Private Eye titles published in 2016. (The winners were announced before the convention.)


The Private Eye Writers of America, focuses on Private Eye fiction alone. PWA’s definition of a Private Eye: a person paid to investigate crimes who is not employed by a government agency.


The winners are noted in red, with the other finalists immediately after. Congratulations to all!   :-)

Best Original Private Eye Paperback
Vaseem Khan, The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown. Red Hook Books 

Michael Craven, The Detective and the Chinese High-Fin. Harper Collins
O'Neil De Noux,  Hold Me, Babe. Big Kiss Publications
Erle Stanley Gardner,  The Knife Slipped. Hard Case Crime
Manuel Ramos, My Bad. Arte Publico Press


Best First Private Eye Novel
Joe Ide, IQ.  Little, Brown

Tim Baker, Fever City. Europa Editions
D. P. Lyle, Deep Six.  Oceanview Publishing
David Swinson, The Second Girl. Little, Brown
Richard Vine, Soho Sins. Hard Case Crime


Best Private Eye Short Story
Brendan DuBois, “A Battlefield Reunion” in AHMM, June
Lawrence Block, “Keller’s Fedora” (e-publication)
Ake Edwardson, “Stairway From Heaven” in Stockholm Noir, Akashic
Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, “A Dangerous Cat” in The Strand. Feb-May
Dave Zeltserman, “Archie On Loan” in EQMM, Sept.-Oct.


Best Private Eye Novel
Reed Farrel Coleman, Where It Hurts. Putnam
Lindsey Davis, The Graveyard of the Hesperides. Minotaur
Timothy Hallinan, Fields Where They Lay. Soho Crime
Al Lamanda, With 6 You Get Wally. Gale Cengage
Robert S. Levinson, The Stardom Affair.  Five Star




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”



Scotland Crime Book of the Year – 2017



The Scotland Crime Book of the Year Award, now called The McIlvanney Prize, is given at Bloody Scotland, a premier conference for crime writers. Eligible authors must be born in Scotland, live there, or set their books there. The winner receives 1,000 pounds and the book is promoted for a year at Waterstone’s, a major book chain in the UK. This year The McIlvanney Prize was awarded on September 8th. The long list, chosen by an independent panel of readers, is below, with the five finalists noted with ‘*’. The winner was chosen by Susan Calman, Craig Sisterson, and Lee Randall.


The winner is indicated in red.

Lin Anderson – “None But the Dead”

Chris Brookmyre – “Want You Gone”

Ann Cleeves – “Cold Earth”

Helen Fields – “Perfect Remains”

*Val McDermid – “Out of Bounds”

Claire MacLeary – “Cross Purpose”

*Denise Mina – “The Long Drop”

Owen Mullen – “Games People Play”

Ian Rankin – “Rather Be the Devil”

*Craig Robertson – “Murderabilia”

*Craig Russell – “The Quiet Death of Thomas Quaid”

*Jay Stringer – “How to Kill Friends & Implicate People”


Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!  :-)


Previous winners are noted below:

2016: Chris Brookmyre – “Black Widow”

2015: Craig Russell – “The Ghosts of Altona”

2014: Peter May – “Entry Island”



10 of the Best Books of the Past Year-2017 Update



…and the prize goes to…


Readers all over the world choose their next book based on the award winners announced by various organizations during the recent year. Here is a list of ten popular awards for recent novels in the adult category to receive applause and/or rave reviews from colleagues in the genre or from readers who loved the books.


Have you read any books on the list? If so, let us know what you enjoyed about them in the comment section. 


Agatha Award given to mystery writers, in 2016 best contemporary novel:

“A Great Reckoning” by Louise Penny


Bram Stoker Award for 2016 best in horror or dark fantasy:

“The Fisherman” by John Langan


Christy Award for excellence in Christian fiction 2016:

“The Five Times I Met Myself” by James L. Rubart


Edgar Allen Poe Award awarded by Mystery Writers of America 2017:

“Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley


Goodreads Choice Awards chosen by readers 2016 (Fiction):

“Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty


Hugo Awards awarded for the best Science Fiction or Fantasy 2017:

“The Obelisk Gate” by N.K. Jemisin


Macavity Award given to favorite 2016 mystery by Mystery Readers International:

“The Long and Faraway Gone” by Lou Berney


Man Booker Prize literary prize for best 2016 novel: 

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty


National Book Award for fiction given to U.S. authors 2016:

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead


Nebula Awards presented by Science Fiction Writers for 2016 work:

“All the Birds in the Sky” by Charlie Jane Anders