On Thursday, Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine announced its nominees for the 2010 Barry Awards. In addition to the usual categories of Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Short Story, and the rest, the list also included a new group from which to choose: Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade (2000-2009). The contenders for that title are:
• The Guards, by Ken Bruen (Minotaur)
• The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
• The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
• Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
• Still Life, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
• The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Penguin Press)
Now, while all of those half-dozen works certainly deserve acclaim, and some of them (particularly Larsson’s first thriller) have become bestsellers, we are left wondering whether they really represent the best crime and mystery novels the first decade of the 21st century had to offer. And if so, which one ought to walk away with the Barry?
We would like to know what you, the extremely well-read members of The Rap Sheet’s readership, think of these selections. So we’ve set up an informal poll near the top of the right-hand column on this page. (See the compact, silver-shaded box.) Feel free to vote for your favorite among the six books the Deadly Pleasures judges think are the best. Or feel free to suggest alternative “best crime novels of the decade” in the Comments section of this post.
Our poll will remain on the page for the next couple of weeks, until midnight on Monday, June 28. After that we’ll tally up the votes. Whether Deadly Pleasures readers and subscribers--the folks who will ultimately name a Barry Award recipient in the Best Mystery/Crime Novel of the Decade category--agree with your preferences is another matter altogether. But at least you will have had your say.
UPDATE: The winners of this poll can be found here.