Saturday, February 03, 2007

Honors Out of Left Field

Winners of the 2007 Lefty and Dilys awards were announced during this evening’s Left Coast Crime banquet, held in Seattle.

Scottish author Donna Moore’s ... Go to Helena Handbasket (Point Blank Press) picked up the Lefty, which celebrates the most humorous mystery published during each year. In choosing that same debut work as one of January Magazine’s favorite books of 2006, contributing editor Kevin Burton Smith opined: “Moore comes off like an unholy cross between Raymond Chandler and Alfred E. Neuman, leaving no pun unspun and no turn of phrase unstoned, no cow too sacred to tip and no play on words too painful to inflict on unsuspecting readers.”

Also nominated for the Lefty: No Nest for the Wicket, by Donna Andrews (St. Martin’s Minotaur); Monkey Man, by Steve Brewer (Intrigue Press); 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers, by Troy Cook (Capital Crimes); and Murder Unleashed, by Elaine Viets (NAL).

Following close on the heels of that prize presentation came the naming of this year’s Dilys Award winner: Still Life, by Canada’s Louise Penny (St. Martin’s Minotaur). Receiving this commendation, Penny recalled the story of how--after completing work on the novel--she’d gone into her local bookshop and told the owner that she’d finally finished her first book. “And the bookseller said, ‘That’s wonderful, dear. Would you like to try another one?’” Penny concluded, raising chuckles and cheers from the LCC crowd.

Also nominated for the Dilys: Billy Boyle, by James R. Benn (Soho); Holmes on the Range, by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin’s Minotaur); The Mournful Teddy, by John J. Lamb (Berkley Prime Crime); The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard (Ballantine); and The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield (Atria).

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