Saturday, May 04, 2019

Twice Lucky in Maryland

If the many attendees at tonight’s presentation of the annual Agatha Awards, held during the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, Maryland, were looking for surprises, they got just what they wanted. Votes in not one, but two out of the six categories of contenders ended in ties. All of the winners and other nominees are listed below.

Best Contemporary Novel:
Mardi Gras Murder, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane)

Also nominated: Beyond the Truth, by Bruce Robert Coffin
(Witness Impulse); Cry Wolf, by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press); Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny (Minotaur); and Trust Me, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

Best Historical Novel:
The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)

Also nominated: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley); The Gold Pawn, by L.A. Chandlar (Kensington); Turning the Tide, by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink); and Murder on Union Square, by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel:
Tie — A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder, by Dianne Freeman (Kensington), and Curses Boiled Again, by Shari Randall
(St. Martin’s Press)

Also nominated: Little Comfort, by Edwin Hill (Kensington); What Doesn’t Kill You, by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink); and Deadly Solution, by Keenan Powell (Level Best)

Best Short Story:
Tie — “All God’s Sparrows,” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine [AHMM], May/June 2018), and “The Case of the Vanishing Professor,” by Tara Laskowski (AHMM, May/June 2018)

Also nominated: “A Postcard for the Dead,” by Susanna Calkins (from Florida Happens, edited by Greg Herren; Three Rooms Press); “Bug Appetit,” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], November/December 2018); and “English 398: Fiction Workshop,” by Art Taylor (EQMM, July/August 2018)

Best Children’s/Young Adult Mystery:
Potion Problems (Just Add Magic), by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin)

Also nominated: Winterhouse, by Ben Guterson (Henry Holt); and A Side of Sabotage, by C.M. Surrisi (Carolrhoda)

Best Non-fiction:
Mastering Plot Twists: How to Use Suspense, Targeted Storytelling Strategies, and Structure to Captivate Your Readers, by Jane Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)

Also nominated: Writing the Cozy Mystery, by Nancy J. Cohen (Orange Grove Press); Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer, by Margalit Fox (Random House); Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life, by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books); and Wicked Women of Ohio, by Jane Ann Turzillo (History Press)

As Classic Msyteries blogger Les Blatt reminds us, “The Agatha Awards are presented to authors who write traditional mysteries, with sex and violence kept off-stage and to a minimum, of the sort written by Agatha Christie and others.”

READ MORE:Malice Domestic 31 Recap,” by Kristopher Zgorski
(BOLO Books).

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