Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Jockeying for Shamuses and Davitts

In the past, Shamus Award winners were announced during a banquet held during the annual Bouchercon convention. That isn’t the case this year: Bouchercon doesn’t open in New Orleans until August 25, but the Private Eye Writers of America, which sponsors these coveted commendations, has already let slip the victors in its 2021 competition, in four categories.

Best Original Private Eye Paperback: Brittle Karma, by Richard Helms (Black Arch)

Also nominated: Farewell Las Vegas, by Grant Bywaters (Wild Rose Press); All Kinds of Ugly, by Ralph Dennis (Brash); Remember My Face, by John Lantigua (Arte Publico); and Damaged Goods, by Debbi Mack (Renegade Press)

Best Private Eye Short Story: “Mustang Sally,” by John M. Floyd
(Black Cat Mystery Magazine, October 2020)

Also nominated: “A Dreamboat Gambol,” by O’Neil De Noux (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, November/December 2020); “Setting the Pick,” by April Kelly (Mystery Weekly Magazine, July 2020); “Show and Zeller,” by Gordon Linzner (Black Cat Mystery Magazine, October 2020); and “Nashua River Floater,” by Tom MacDonald (from Coast to Coast Noir, edited by Andrew McAleer and Paul D. Marks; Down & Out)

Best Private Eye Novel: Blind Vigil, by Matt Coyle (Oceanview)

Also nominated: What You Don’t See, by Tracy Clark (Kensington); Do No Harm, by Max Allan Collins (Forge); House on Fire, by Joseph Finder (Dutton); and And Now She’s Gone, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)

Best First Private Eye Novel: The Missing American, by Kwei
Quartey (Soho Crime)

Also nominated: Squatter’s Rights, by Kevin R. Doyle (Camel Press); Derailed, by Mary Keliikoa (Epicenter Press); I Know Where You Sleep, by Alan Orloff (Down & Out); and Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)

Congratulations to all of the nominees!

In addition, this year’s Eye Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Michael Z. Lewin, creator of the Albert Samson P.I. series.

* * *

Also newly released is the not-so-short shortlist of contenders for Sisters in Crime Australia’s Davitt Awards. These prizes—now in their 21st year—are intended to highlight “the best crime and mystery books by Australian women.” There are five categories of awards, those below being the rivals for Best Adult Crime Novel.

Death Beyond the Limit, by B M Allsopp (Coconut Press)
Deadman’s Track, by Sarah Barrie (HQ Fiction)
Gathering Dark, by Candice Fox (Penguin Random House Australia)
A Testament of Character, by Sulari Gentill (Pantera Press)
The Good Sister, by Sally Hepworth (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Where the Truth Lies, by Karina Kilmore (Simon & Schuster Australia)
The Deceptions, by Suzanne Leal (Allen & Unwin)
Stone Sky Gold Mountain, by Mirandi Riwoe (University of
Queensland Press)
Torched, by Kimberley Starr (Pantera Press)

In Reference to Murder has the complete list of Davitt Award finalists. Unless the COVID-19 pandemic forces a change, the winners of the 2021 Davitts—including a sixth, Readers’ Choice honoree—will be named during a dinner in Melbourne on Saturday, August 28.

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