Sunday, April 24, 2022

Cozy, Fun, and Fêted

Although the “live and in-person,” 2022 Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, Maryland, continues into this afternoon, it’s already been announced that Ellen Byron’s Cajun Kiss of Death—the seventh of her Cajun Country Mysteries—has won the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel. This marks the second such accolade for that Los Angeles-area author; her 2018 entry in the same series, Mardi Gras Murder, also scored Best Contemporary Novel honors.

According to the Malice Domestic Web site, the Agathas are intended to “celebrate the Traditional Mystery, best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence, and would not be classified as ‘hard-boiled.’”

Below is the full run of 2022 Agatha recipients.

Best Contemporary Novel:
Cajun Kiss of Death, by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane)

Also nominated: Watch Her, by Edwin Hill (Kensington); The Madness of Crowds, by Louise Penny (Minotaur); Her Perfect Life, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge), and Symphony Road, by Gabriel Valjan (Level Best)

Best Historical Novel:
Death at Greenway, by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins)

Also nominated: Murder at Mallowan Hall, by Colleen Cambridge (Kensington); Clark and Division, by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime); The Bombay Prince, by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime); and The Devil’s Music, by Gabriel Valjan (Winter Goose)

Best First Novel:
Arsenic and Adobo, by Mia P. Manansala (Berkley)

Also nominated: The Turncoat’s Widow, by Mally Becker (Kensington); A Dead Man’s Eyes, by Lori Duffy Foster (Level Best); Murder in the Master, by Judy L. Murray (Level Best); and Mango, Mambo, and Murder, by Raquel V. Reyes (Crooked Lane)

Best Short Story:
“Bay of Reckoning,” by Shawn Reilly Simmons (from Murder on the Beach; Destination Murders)

Also nominated: “A Family Matter,” by Barb Goffman (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January/February 2021); “A Tale of Two Sisters,” by Barb Goffman (from Murder on the Beach); “Doc’s at Midnight,” by Richie Narvaez (from Midnight Hour, edited by Abby L. Vandiver; Crooked Lane); and “The Locked Room Library,” by Gigi Pandian (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, July/August 2021)

Best Non-fiction:
How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America, edited by Lee Child and Laurie R. King (Simon & Schuster)

Also nominated: The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice, by Jan Brogan (Bright Leaf Press); Murder Most Grotesque: The Comedic Crime Fiction of Joyce Porter, by Chris Chan (Level Best); and The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders that Stunned Victorian England, by Julie Kavanaugh (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Best Children’s/YA Mystery:
I Play One on TV, by Alan Orloff (Down & Out)

Also nominated: Cold-Blooded Myrtle, by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers); The Forest of Stolen Girls, by June Hur (Fiewel and Friends); Leisha’s Song, by Lynn Slaughter (Fire and Ice); and Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche, by Nancy Springer (Wednesday)

On top of all those prizes, Malice Domestic presented two separate Lifetime Achievement Awards, to Ellen Hart and Walter Mosley.

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