Sunday, April 30, 2017

Of Cozies and Critical Acclaim

Since I was away from my office all of yesterday, running around Seattle on the Independent Bookstore Day “Champion Challenge” (more on that subject later), I missed hearing about the winners of the 2016 Agatha Awards competition and seeing the list of nominees for the 2017 Strand Magazine Critics Awards.

Both sets of results are now posted below.

The latest set of recipients was announced during a Saturday night banquet at the 28th Malice Domestic conference, held in Bethesda, Maryland (April 28-30). The Agathas are intended to honor the “traditional mystery”—i.e, those containing “no explicit sex” and “no excessive gore or gratuitous violence.”

Best Contemporary Novel: A Great Reckoning, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

Also nominated: Body on the Bayou, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane); Quiet Neighbors, by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink); Fogged Inn, by Barbara Ross (Kensington); and Say No More, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

Best Historical Novel: The Reek of Red Herrings, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur)

Also nominated: Whispers Beyond the Veil, by Jessica Estevao (Berkley); Get Me to the Grave on Time, by D.E. Ireland (Grainger Press); Delivering the Truth, by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink); and Murder in Morningside Heights, by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel: The Semester of Our Discontent, by Cynthia Kuhn (Henery Press)

Also nominated: Terror in Taffeta, by Marla Cooper (Minotaur); Murder in G Major, by Alexia Gordon (Henery Press); Decanting a Murder, by Nadine Nettmann (Midnight Ink); and Design for Dying, by Renee Patrick (Forge)

Best Non-fiction: Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot: How to Write Gripping Stories that Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats, by Jane K. Cleland (Writer’s Digest)

Also nominated: A Good Man with a Dog: A Game Warden’s 25 Years in the Maine Woods, by Roger Guay with Kate Clark Flora (Skyhorse); and Sara Paretsky: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, by Margaret Kinsman (McFarland)

Best Short Story: “Parallel Play,” by Art Taylor (from Chesapeake Crimes: Storm Warning, edited by Donna Andrews, Barb Goffman, and Marcia Talley; Wildside Press)

Also nominated: “Double Jinx,” by Gretchen Archer (Henery Press); “The Best-Laid Plans,” by Barb Goffman (from Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional, edited by Verena Rose, Barb Goffman, and Rita Owen; Wildside Press); “The Mayor and the Midwife,” by Edith Maxwell (from Blood on the Bayou: Bouchercon Anthology 2016, edited by Greg Herren; Down & Out); and “The Last Blue Glass,” by B.K. Stevens (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, April 2016)

Best Children’s/Young Adult: The Secret of the Puzzle Box: The Code Busters Club, by Penny Warner (Darby Creek)

Also nominated: Trapped, by P.A. DeVoe (Drum Tower Press); Spy Ski School, by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster); Tag, You’re Dead, by J.C. Lane (Poisoned Pen Press); and The Mystery of Hollow Places, by Rebecca Podos (Balzer & Bray)

Lifetime Achievement: Charlaine Harris

Poirot Award: Martin Edwards

Presented by The Strand Magazine, these annual commendations, “recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction,” are “judged by a select group of book critics and journalists.” Winners will be announced during “an invitation-only cocktail party in New York City, hosted by The Strand on July 12, 2017.” And the nominees are …

Best Novel:
You Will Know Me, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
The Wrong Side of Goodbye, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
The Trespasser, by Tana French (Viking)
What Remains of Me, by Alison Gaylin (Morrow)
Out of Bounds, by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware (Gallery)

Best Debut Novel:
The Widow, by Fiona Barton (NAL)
IQ, by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
The Madwoman Upstairs, by Catherine Lowell (Touchstone)
A Deadly Affection, by Cuyler Overholt (Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Homeplace, by Kevin Wolf (Minotaur)
The Lost Girls, by Heather Young (Morrow)

In addition, Clive Cussler will be honored with The Strand’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

READ MORE:The Malice That Was …,” by Les Blatt (Classic Mysteries); “Malice Domestic 2017—the BOLO Books Recap,” by Kristopher Zgorski (BOLO Books).

1 comment:

Bill Selnes said...

I thought A Great Reckoning was an excellent book. Out of the books I read in 2016 it was the second on my best of the year. It was my favourite of books published in 2016.