Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Following Christie’s Lead

While I was away from my office yesterday, organizers of the annual Malice Domestic conference announced their finalists for this year’s Agatha Awards, in six categories. Those prizes celebrate the “traditional mystery” (books typified by the works of Agatha Christie, containing little violence, sex, or gore).

Best Contemporary Novel:
Fatal Cajun Festival, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane)
The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
Fair Game, by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
A Better Man, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Murder List, by Hank Philippi Ryan (Forge)

Best First Mystery Novel:
A Dream of Death, by Connie Berry (Crooked Lane)
One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)
Murder Once Removed, by S.C. Perkins (Minotaur)
When It’s Time for Leaving, by Ang Pompano (Encircle)
Staging for Murder, by Grace Topping (Henery Press)

Best Historical Mystery:
Love and Death Among the Cheetahs, by Rhys Bowen (Penquin)
Murder Knocks Twice, by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur)
The Pearl Dagger, by L. A. Chandlar (Kensington)
Charity’s Burden, by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)
The Naming Game, by Gabriel Valjan (Winter Goose)

Best Non-fiction:
Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story, by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland)
Blonde Rattlesnake: Burmah Adams, Tom White, and the 1933 Crime Spree that Terrified Los Angeles, by Julia Bricklin (Lyons Press)
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee,
by Casey Cep (Knopf)
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Basic)
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Best Children/Young Adult:
Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers, by Shauna Holyoak
(Disney Hyperion)
Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen MacManus (Delacorte Press)
The Last Crystal, by Frances Schoonmaker (Auctus Press)
Top Marks for Murder, by Robin Stevens (Puffin)
Jada Sly, Artist and Spy, by Sherri Winston (Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers)

Best Short Story:
“Grist for the Mill,” by Kaye George (from A Murder of Crows,
edited by Sandra Murphy; Darkhouse)
“Alex’s Choice,” by Barb Goffman (from Crime Travel, edited by
Barb Goffman; Wildside Press)
“The Blue Ribbon,” by Cynthia Kuhn (from Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and
Shawn Reilly Simmons; Wildside Press)
“The Last Word,” by Shawn Reilly Simmons (from Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible)
“Better Days,” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019)

The winners are to be selected by attendees of Malice Domestic 32, which will be held in Bethesda, Maryland, from May 1 to 3. Congratulations to all of the nominees!

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