Friday, October 16, 2009

Making News at the Shamuses

Tonight’s presentation of the 2009 Shamus Awards brought a few surprises, one of which was certainly the second-in-a-row win by Reed Farrel Coleman in the Best Novel category. These prizes, sponsored by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA), were given out during a banquet at Indianapolis’ Slippery Noodle bar. Here is the complete rundown of winners:

Best Hardcover: Empty Ever After, by Reed Farrel Coleman
(Bleak House Books)

Also nominated: Salvation Boulevard, by Larry Beinhart (Nation Books); The Blue Door, by David Fulmer (Harcourt); The Price of Blood, by Declan Hughes (Morrow); and The Ancient Rain, by Domenic Stansberry (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Best First P.I. Novel: In the Heat, by Ian Vasquez
(St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Also nominated: Stalking Susan, by Julie Kramer (Doubleday); Swann’s Last Song, by Charles Salzberg (Five Star); The Eye of Jade, by Diane Wei Liang (Simon & Schuster); and Veil of Lies, by Jeri Westerson (St. Martin’s Minotaur)

Best Paperback Original: Snow Blind, by Lori Armstrong (Medallion)

Also nominated: Shot Girl, by Karen Olson (Obsidian); The Stolen, by Jason Pinter (Mira); The Black Hand, by Will Thomas (Touchstone); and The Evil That Men Do, by Dave White (Three Rivers Press)

Best Short Story: “Family Values,” by Mitch Alderman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine [AHMM], June 2008)

Also nominated: “Last Island South,” by John C. Boland (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], September/October 2008); “The Blonde Tigress,” by Max Allan Collins (EQMM, June 2008); “Discovery,” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (AHMM, November 2008); and “Panic on Portage Path,” by Dick Stodghill (AHMM, January/February 2008)

In addition, the Hammer Award for Best Character went to Lawrence Block’s series private eye, Matthew Scudder. Michael Ayoob’s as-yet-unpublished work, Shots on Goal, was named the winner of the 2009 PWA/St. Martin’s Best First Private Eye Novel contest. And Max Allan Collins presented The Eye (Lifetime Achievement) Award to Robert J. Randisi, author and PWA founder. By all accounts, Randisi was completely surprised to be given this high honor.

Prior to the handing round of these commendations, Randisi proposed a toast to detective novelist Stuart M. Kaminsky, who died earlier this month in St. Louis.

And finally, when he called in to Rap Sheet headquarters a bit ago with the news about these awards, correspondent Ali Karim noted that, in an altogether unexpected development, he had been summoned to the stage to present Coleman with his prize for Best Hardcover Novel. Karim remarked that this turn probably had much to do with the fact that he’d worn a stand-out, all-white suit with black braces (“My Tom Ripley look”) to the banquet.

Congratulations to the winners and nominees both.

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