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It's a Mystery 2012 Wrap-Up

book cover     book cover     book cover     [Cover]

Mystery Awards

Each year a number of organizations and associations honor mystery writers for their outstanding work.  Below are the major awards, presented in 2012 for works published in 2011.  The winning titles are listed, along with their location at WPPL (MYS or FIC).  For a complete list of awards, nominees, and winners, visit

The Agatha Awards, named in honor of Agatha Christie, are nominated and voted on by Malice Domestic fans.  These awards honor the traditional mystery - books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie.

     Best Novel - Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron (MYS).

     Best First Novel - Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (MYS).

The Anthony Awards are given annually at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention (Cleveland, 2012), with the winners selected by attendees.  The award is named for the late Anthony Boucher, well-known writer and critic who helped found the Mystery Writers of America.

     Best Mystery Novel - A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (MYS).

     Best First Mystery - Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (MYS).

The Barry Awards, voted on by the readers of Deadly Pleasures, are also presented at Bouchercon.  The awards are named in honor of Barry Gardner, well-known fan reviewer.

     Best Novel - The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (FIC).

     Best First Novel - The Informationist by Taylor Stevens (FIC).

     Best British Crime Novel - Dead Man's Grip by Peter James (MYS).

     Best Paperback Original - The Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley (MYS).

Sad News

The mystery community remembers the following authors who passed away in 2012.

James D. Doss, age 72.  He wrote the Charlie Moon/Scott Parris series, set among the Ute Tribe in Colorado.

Dorothy Gilman, age 88.  Best known for creating Mrs. Pollifax, (a grandmother who becomes a CIA agent), Gilman wrote other humorous mysteries and children's books.

Reginald Hill, age 75.  This award-winning British author wrote a series of 23 books about Yorkshire police detectives Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe.

Donald J. Sobol, age 87.  An American author of children's fiction, and recipient of a special "Edgar" award, he was the creator of the popular children's series featuring Encyclopedia Brown.

More from Bouchercon 2012, Cleveland

The author panel titled What Would Rockford Do? featured these authors of Private Eye mysteries:  Cleveland's own Les Roberts (Milan Jacovich series), Jack Fredrickson (Dek Elstrom series), Howard Shrier (Jonah Geller series) and Jack Bludis (Brian Kane series).  These very funny gentlemen offered insights into PIs in general, and their characters specifically.  Here are some of their thoughts:

  • As writers change, so do their characters.
  • All PIs are lone wolves.
  • PIs are flawed.
  • PIs are not violent, but they respond to violent people.
  • PIs solve crimes by going where police can't go (outside the law) - in dark places.
  • Their characters are an "idealized version of the author".
  • Their PIs step up and do what the authors (and readers) wish they could do (like throwing the bad guy off the bus).

Forthcoming Titles - a number of new additions to long-running series.

Daheim, Mary - Alpine Xanadu (Emma Lord #24)

Greenwood, Kerry - Unnatural Habits (Phryne Fisher #19)

Hall, Parnell - Arsenic and Old Puzzles (Puzzle Lady #14), and Stakeout (Stanley Hastings #18)

Meier, Leslie - Easter Bunny Murder (Lucy Stone #19)

Robinson, Peter - Watching the Dark (Inspector Banks #20)

Todd, Charles - Proof of Guilt (Inspector Rutledge #15)

Happy New Year and Happy Reading in 2013!


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