Wednesday, May 04, 2022

Extolling Armstrong’s Debut

Minotaur Books and the Mystery Writers of America have named the winner of their 2022 First Crime Novel Competition. She’s New Orleans writer Jess Armstrong, whose novel, The Curse of Penryth Hall, is slated for publication by Minotaur in 2023.

Kelley Ragland, Minotaur’s vice president and associate publisher, said of Armstrong’s book: “Jess impressed us right away with the lyrical descriptions and passionate characters in her novel, The Curse of Penryth Hall. Her gothic mystery is set in 1920s Cornwall and features an unforgettable heroine in Ruby Vaughn, who must overcome the power of the village’s long-held legends in order to catch a killer.”

The announcement of Armstrong’s victory was made late last week, during the 76th annual Edgar Awards banquet.

Previous winners of this Minotaur/MWA contest include Stefanie Pintoff (in 2008, for In the Shadow of Gotham), Eleanor Kuhns (in 2011, for A Simple Murder), John Keyse-Walker (in 2015, for The Drowned Land), and Nev March (in 2019, for Murder in Old Bombay). “Minotaur is currently accepting submissions for next year’s award,” reads a news release. “For more information about all three writing competitions Minotaur Books co-sponsors, visit”

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