Thursday, February 18, 2010

Low on Gore and Violence, But Lots of Death

The traditional mysteries fan organization, Malice Domestic, has announced the nominees for its 2009 Agatha Awards as follows:

Best Novel
Swan for the Money, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Bookplate Special, by Lorna Barrett (Berkley Prime Crime)
Royal Flush, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley Prime Crime)
A Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Air Time, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mira)

Best First Novel
For Better, for Murder, by Lisa Bork (Midnight Ink)
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley
(Delacorte Press)
Posed for Murder, by Meredith Cole (Minotaur)
The Cold Light of Mourning, by Elizabeth Duncan
(St. Martin’s Press)
In the Shadow of Gotham, by Stefanie Pintoff (Minotaur)

Best Non-fiction
Duchess of Death, by Richard Hack (Phoenix Books)
Talking About Detective Fiction, by P.D. James (Knopf)
Blood on the Stage, 1925-1950, by Amnon Kabatchnik
(Scarecrow Press)
Dame Agatha’s Shorts, by Elena Santangelo (Bella Rosa Books)
The Talented Miss Highsmith, by Joan Schenkar
(St. Martin’s Press)

Best Short Story
“Femme Sole,” by Dana Cameron (from Boston Noir, edited by Dennis Lehane; Akashic Books)
“Handbaskets, Drawers, and Killer Cold,” by Kaye George
(from Crooked)
“The Worst Noel,” by Barb Goffman (from The Gift of Murder, edited by John M. Floyd; Wolfmont Press)
“On the House,” by Hank Phillippi Ryan (from Quarry, edited by Kate Flora, Ruth McCarty, and Susan Oleksiw; Level Best Books)
“Death Will Trim Your Tree,” by Elizabeth Zelvin
(from The Gift of Murder)

Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel
The Morgue and Me, by John C. Ford (Viking Juvenile)
The Hanging Hill, by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
The Case of the Poisoned Pig, by Lewis B. Montgomery (Kane Press)
The Other Side of Blue, by Valerie O. Patterson (Clarion Books)
The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, by Nancy Springer (Philomel)

I’m not foolish enough to make any wagers here. But I will say that I was impressed by Stefanie Pintoff’s In the Shadow of Gotham, though it may have a hard time getting past Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie to win the Best First Novel award. And I will be surprised if Joan Schenkar’s biography, The Talented Miss Highsmith, doesn’t pick up Best Non-fiction honors.

Winners will be announced during Malice Domestic 22, to be held in Arlington, Virginia, from April 30 through May 2.

(Hat tip to Mystery Fanfare.)


Jack Getze said...

Watch out for a dark horse in that first novel category, Meredith Cole's Posed for Murder. A very entertaining read.

Jared said...

I'd like to point out that both Lorna Barrett and Lisa Bork are residents of Rochester, NY, that burgeoning hot-bed of crime fiction. (note: some preceding statements may be self-serving...)

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Please don't neglect the short stories! I have mine up on my website, and we're planning to put links to all the nominated stories on Poe's Deadly Daughters soon. Malice is a convention, not an organization, and the Agathas selection process is just like the one for the Anthonys. It's so much better when the voters have read all the nominated works.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Actually, Elizabeth, Malice Domestic IS an organization, as well as the name of an annual convention. According to information on its site, "Malice Domestic Ltd., a nonprofit corporation (501)(C)(3) with tax-exempt status, was incorporated in 1992 and is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors."

And I'll be happy to add links to all of the short stories, if and when those tales can all be accessed electronically.


Diana said...

So many excellent writers to choose from! I'm looking forward to Malice this year.

The choice for best author will tough, I love Hank's books and Rhys' latest series is so incredibly fun.

The short story choices are excellent also, I've read three so far (SinC natinal posted the links on their Yahoo group).

My fav in the Non-Fiction category is Blood on the Stage. The extremely talented Amnon Kabatchnik has spent 50 years in love with the written word, as a University professor and a theatrical director of off-Broadway, summer stock and national touring productions. The care and detail he has given to the works in his book truly show his love of the craft of crime/mystery fiction.

New Yorkers - He's directing an off-Broadway production of Ladies in Retirement for Pulse Ensemble Theatre which opens early March.