Saturday, May 8, 2010

Award-Winning Mystery Books

Winners of two different mystery award programs - The Edgar Awards and The Agatha Awards - were announced recently.  This year's winner of the Edgar for best novel is The Last Child, by John Hurt. The other nominees for this award were The Missing (Tim Gautreaux), The Odds (Kathleen George), Mystic Arts of Erasing all Signs of Death (Charlie Huston), Nemesis (Jo Nesbo), and A Beautiful Place to Die (Nunn). The winner for the Best First Novel by an American is In the Shadow of Gotham, by Stefanie Pinter. The other nominees in this category were  The Girl She Used to Be (David Cristofano), Starvation Lake (Bryan Gruley), The Weight of Silence (Heather Gudenkauf), A Bad Day for Sorry (Sophie Littlefield), and Black Water Rising (Attica Locke). The Edgar Awards are presented by The Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

The Last Child is a shattering novel of innocence and evil set in North Carolina, where the author lives. A year after his twin sister disappeared, thirteen-year-old Johnny Merrimon continues to search for her, despite the fact that everyone presumes she is dead, which takes him to very dark places, literally and figuratively.

Set in New York in the early 1900s, In the Shadow of Gotham will remind many of the best works of Caleb Carr at his best, as Detective Simon Ziele attmpts to solve the brutal murder of a young Columbia graduate student killed while visiting her aunt.

The Agatha Awards are presented by Malice Domestic, a nonprofit organization saluting the "traditional mystery," books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie -- no explicit sex, no gratiuitous violence or excessive gore. In other words, my kind of book!

This year's Agatha for Best Novel was presented to Louise Penny, for her novel The Brutal Telling, the fifth book in her Inspector Armand Gamache Three Pines series, set in Quebec (the first book in that series is Still Life). The award for Best First Novel went to Alan Bradley for his book The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, the first book in his series featuring the delightful and chemistry-obsessed eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce and set in the 1950s in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop's Lacy. (The second book in the series, The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag, has just been published in hardback.) Sweetness also won the Dilys Award this year, presented by the Independent Mystery Bookseller's Association to the book they most enjoyed handselling.

1 comment:

  1. This helps a lot, thank you! Very succinct

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