Saturday, May 02, 2020

Malice Carries On

This year’s Malice Domestic mystery-fiction conference may have been cancelled as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop organizers from announcing the recipients of their 2020 Agatha Awards earlier this evening. You can watch the short live Zoom streaming event here, or simply scroll down to discover all of the winners.

Best Contemporary Novel:
The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)

Also nominated: Fatal Cajun Festival, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane); Fair Game, by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press); The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill (Kensington); A Better Man, by Louise Penny (Minotaur); and The Murder List, by Hank Philippi Ryan (Forge)

Best First Mystery Novel:
One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)

Also nominated: A Dream of Death, by Connie Berry (Crooked Lane); Murder Once Removed, by S.C. Perkins (Minotaur); When It’s Time for Leaving, by Ang Pompano (Encircle); and Staging for Murder, by Grace Topping (Henery Press)

Best Historical Mystery:
Charity’s Burden, by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)

Also nominated: 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); and The Naming Game, by Gabriel Valjan (Winter Goose)

Best Non-fiction:
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Basic)

Also nominated: 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); and The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper, by Hallie Rubenhold (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Best Children/Young Adult:
The Last Crystal, by Frances Schoonmaker (Auctus Press)

Also nominated: Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers, by Shauna Holyoak (Disney Hyperion); Two Can Keep a Secret, by Karen MacManus (Delacorte Press); Top Marks for Murder, by Robin Stevens (Puffin); and Jada Sly, Artist and Spy, by Sherri Winston (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Best Short Story:
“The Last Word,” by Shawn Reilly Simmons (from Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible, edited by Verena Rose, Rita Owen, and Shawn Reilly Simmons; Wildside Press)

Also nominated: “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); and “Better Days,” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, May/June 2019)

As explained in the Zoom video, this year’s Agatha Award recipients will be presented with their prize teapots and invited to make acceptance speeches during the 2021 conference (assuming the novel coronavirus is no longer a danger by next spring).

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