Friday, October 10, 2008

And the Winners Are ...

Last evening brought Bouchercon participants together to hear who had won this year’s Macavity, Barry, and Crimespree awards (though most of the Crimespree winners had been announced earlier in 2008). After grazing at long tables of food set up at the back of the vast meeting space, hundreds of writers, critics, and enthusiastic crime-fiction readers settled in to their chairs to watch and cheer as presentations of plaques and (in the case of the Macavity) cats were made. The evening was especially joyous, it seemed, because the heralded “Belle of Baltimore,” this city’s own Laura Lippman, picked up multiple commendations.

The full lists of winners and nominees follows.


Best Mystery Novel: What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)

Also nominated: Soul Patch, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House); The Unquiet, by John Connolly (Atria); Blood of Paradise, by David Corbett (Ballantine Mortalis); and Water Like a Stone, by Deborah Crombie (Morrow)

Best First Mystery: In the Woods, by Tana French (Viking)

Also nominated: Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill (Morrow); The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster); Stealing the Dragon, by Tim Maleeny (Midnight Ink); and The Collaborator of Bethlehem, by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho Crime)

Best Mystery Short Story:Please Watch Your Step,” by Rhys Bowen (The Strand Magazine, Spring 2007)

Also nominated: “A Rat’s Tale,” by Donna Andrews (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], September-October 2007); “The Missing Elevator Puzzle,” by Jon L. Breen (EQMM, February 2007); “Brimstone P.I.,” by Beverle Graves Myers (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, May 2007); and “The Old Wife’s Tale,” by Gillian Roberts (EQMM, March-April 2007)

Best Mystery Non-fiction: The Essential Mystery Lists, compiled and edited by Roger M. Sobin (Poisoned Pen Press)

Also nominated: The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction, by Barry Forshaw (Penguin Rough Guides); Chester Gould: A Daughter’s Biography of the Creator of Dick Tracy, by Jean Gould O’Connell (McFarland & Company); Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters, by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower, and Charles Foley (Penguin); and Police Procedure and Investigation: A Guide for Writers, by Lee Lofland (Howdunit Series, Writers Digest Books)

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery: Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin (Putnam)

Also nominated: Her Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bowen (Penguin); The Snake Stone, by Jason Goodwin (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Consequences of Sin, by Clare Langley-Hawthorne (Penguin); and The Gravedigger’s Daughter, by Joyce Carol Oates (Ecco)


Best Novel (published in the U.S. in 2007): What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)

Also nominated: Soul Patch, by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House); The Unquiet, by John Connolly (Atria); Down River, by John Hart (St. Martin’s Minotaur); Dirty Martini, by J.A. Konrath (Hyperion); and Red Cat, by Peter Spiegelman (Knopf)

Best First Novel (published in the U.S. in 2007): In the Woods, by Tana French (Viking)

Also nominated: Missing Witness, by Gordon Campbell (Morrow); Big City, Bad Blood, by Sean Chercover (Morrow); The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster); The Collaborator of Bethlehem, by Matt Beynon Rees (Soho Press); and The Blade Itself, by Marcus Sakey (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Best British Crime Novel (published in the U.K. in 2007, not necessarily written by a British writer nor set in the U.K.): Damnation Falls, by Edward Wright (Orion)

Also nominated: A Quiet Belief in Angels, by R.J. Ellory (Orion); Pig Island, by Mo Hayder (Bantam Press); One Under, by Graham Hurley (Orion); The Death List, by Paul Johnston (Mira); The 50/50 Killer, by Steve Mosby (Orion)

Best Paperback Original: Queenpin, by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)

Also nominated: Black Widow Agency, by Felicia Donovan (Midnight Ink); Choke Point, by Jay MacLarty (Pocket); The Mark, by Jason Pinter (Mira); Wash This Blood Clean from My Hand, by Fred Vargas (Penguin); Who Is Conrad Hirst?, by Kevin Wignall (Simon & Schuster)

Best Thriller: The Watchman, by Robert Crais (Simon & Schuster)

Also nominated: No Time for Goodbye, by Linwood Barclay (Bantam); The Cleaner, by Brett Battles (Delacorte); Volk’s Game, by Brent Ghelfi (Henry Holt); Silence, by Thomas Perry (Harcourt); and Midnight Rambler, by Jim Swain (Ballantine)

Finally, in a surprise move, George Easter, the editor of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (which sponsors the Barrys, together with Mystery News), was given the annual Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom. Easter, who had apparently thought that an announcement of a winner in this category had been postponed until Saturday, remarked upon receiving the Sandstrom: “This is the only award I’ve ever coveted, but I could never figure out how to get it.” That brought a roar of laughter from the assembled guests.


As I said before, winners in at least most of the categories for this commendation (given out by Crimespree Magazine) were announced months ago. However, I don’t recall hearing about two winners prior to last evening. They were:

Crimespree Contributor of the Year: Rae Helmsworth

Reader Award: Laurie R. King

After the awards ceremony, there was plenty of partying around the convention hotel and elsewhere. We can expect even more of that on Saturday night, following the presentations of the 2008 Anthony Awards.

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