Tag Archives: Edgar Awards

Edgar survived!

EDGAR SURVIVED!! I found him in a box of books salvaged after our house fire. An Edgar Allan Poe statue that literally emerged from the flames and smoke… I love the little guy even more now.

Upcoming Events: Edgars, Bay Area Book Fest, Noir at the Bar

Welcome to spring 2020, when events have scrambled to move online. It has of course been hugely disappointing to cancel celebrations — like the Edgar Awards banquet, which I was supposed to emcee in New York City — but so many organizations are making the best of this situation. And that means that you can all attend.

Here’s what’s coming up in the next few weeks.

The Edgar Awards
Thursday, April 30, 2020
11 AM Eastern
The awards will be announced by Mystery Writers of America via Twitter: @EdgarAwards

Bay Area Book Festival Unbound
Queens of Mystery: Writer to Writer with Meg Gardiner and Rachel Howzell Hall
Moderated by Laurie R. King
Program will air Tuesday May 5th, 7:00 PM Pacific

Noir at the Bar Queens
Friday, May 8, 2020 7 PM Eastern
Watch via Crowdcast
Books sold by Kew & Willow

The Edgar Awards 2019

Official photo

What a fantastic night in New York City. Mystery Writers of America celebrated the 73rd Edgar Awards with a gala at the Grand Hyatt. And, as 2019 MWA President, I was privileged to emcee the ceremony.

Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, and especially to this year’s winners. The entire list is here.


It was great to see so many friends and writers I idolize, including MWA’s outgoing president, Jeffery Deaver, who presented the Raven Award to the New York Times crime fiction critic, Marilyn Stasio (and introduced me with a Jeopardy!-style quiz, in the form of questions).

Now to put my feet up. And read a whole bunch of amazing books.

Edgars week 2019


This is a big week for the mystery writing world, and for me in particular. As this year’s president of Mystery Writers of America, I’ll be emceeing the Edgar Awards in New York City. Ahead of that, I’ll be moderating a panel at the annual Edgar Symposium.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Grand Hyatt Hotel – Mezzanine Level – Regency Room
East 42nd Street @ Grand Central Station
10:00 – 10:50 a.m.

Legalize It: Lawyers & Legal Professionals as Protagonists
How do writers capture the complexity of law—and the gray areas of morality—in fact and fiction?

Moderator: Meg Gardiner (2019 MWA National President)
Mike Lawson (2019 Best Novel Nominee – House Witness)
Sujata Massey (2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award Nominee – The Widows of Malabar Hill)
Michaeley O’Brien (2019 Best TV Episode – “Episode 1,” Mystery Road, Acorn TV)
Jonathan Green (2019 Best Fact Crime – Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal)

Edgar Allan Poe Awards
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Grand Hyatt Hotel
New York, New York

It should be exciting. Wish me luck!

The 2016 Edgar Awards


Last night the Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2016 Edgar Awards. You know this award is near and dear to my heart, and I’m delighted to congratulate the winners — and all the nominees. Take a look at this list, folks, and get reading. (Winners listed first in each category.)

Best Novel

Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House – Dutton)

The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – A Marian Wood Book)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)

Best First Novel

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)

Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin Random House – Viking)

Best Paperback Original

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay
(Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Best Fact Crime

Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully
by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide
by Eric Bogosian (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Where The Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him
by T.J. English (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime
by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
American Pain: How a Young Felon and his Ring of Doctors Unleashed 
America’s  Deadliest Drug Epidemic 

by John Temple (Rowman & Littlefield – Lyons Press)

Best Critical/Biographical

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins)

The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue 
by Frederick Forsyth (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald
by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan (Arcade Publishing)
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica
by Matthew Parker (Pegasus Books)
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett 
by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury Publishing – Bloomsbury USA)

Best Short Story

“Obits” – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

“The Little Men” – Mysterious Bookshop by Megan Abbott (Mysterious Bookshop)
“On Borrowed Time” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Mat Coward (Dell Magazines)
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” – Providence Noir 
by Peter Farrelly (Akashic Books)
“Family Treasures” – Let Me Tell You  by Shirley Jackson (Random House)
“Every Seven Years” – Mysterious Bookshop by Denise Mina (Mysterious Bookshop)

Best Juvenile

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught
(Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman)
If You Find This by Matthew Baker
(Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C.Chester
(HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands  (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)

Young Adult

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
(HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books) 

Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman)
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Clarion Books)

TV Episode Teleplay

“Gently with the Women” – George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)

“Episode 7” – BroadchurchTeleplay by Chris Chibnall (BBC America)
“Elise – The Final Mystery” – Foyle’s War, Teleplay by Anthony Horowitz (Acorn TV)
 “Terra Incognita” – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Erik Mountain & Melissa Scrivner Love (CBS/Warner Brothers)
“The Beating of her Wings” – Ripper Street, Teleplay by Toby Finlay (BBC America)

Robert L. Fish Memorial Award

“Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 
by Russell W. Johnson (Dell Magazines)

Mary Higgins Clark Award

Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)

Grand Master

Walter Mosley

Raven Awards

Margaret Kinsman
Sisters in Crime

Ellery Queen Award

Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International

A great night at the Edgar Awards

Edgar Nominees

Last night I had a fantastic time at the Edgar Awards in New York City. The place was packed, and lively, and everybody looked spiffy. Maybe it’s because I got to see so many friends, and to shake hands with writers I adore. Maybe it’s because I was a judge this year for Best Paperback Original, and it was fantastic to greet each of the authors who wrote the wonderful books I was privileged to read, and our judging panel was privileged to nominate. It was a special evening, and I’m delighted that I could be there to applaud and see everybody accept their awards.


The Husband got to come along as arm candy, and I got to wear a badge with JUDGE written on it. I got to meet James Ellroy, and to hang out with Karin Slaughter, Alafair Burke, and Hank Phillipi Ryan. I saw Ian Rankin in a suit. And the fabulous Sara Paretsky, new president of Mystery Writers of America, looking stunning in an off-the-shoulder gown. I got a hug from Stephen King, and met his wife Tabitha.

The photo at the top is of Best Novel nominees Ian Rankin, Stephen King, Karin Slaughter, Stuart Neville, and Wiley Cash. (Mo Hayder, herself a previous winner, couldn’t make it.) Congratulations to my favorite author, who won the night’s biggest award for Mr. Mercedes.


And enthusiastic congratulations to Best Paperback Original winner Chris Abani, whose novel The Secret History of Las Vegas blew me away. In his acceptance speech, he said that his first novel, written when he was a teenager in Nigeria, got him three years in jail. Last night was a far different turn of events. I’m thrilled I could be part of it.

Here’s a list of all the winners.

This week: heading to the Edgars


The Edgar Awards will be presented Wednesday evening in New York City. I love attending these awards (see above for the biggest reason). This year I was a judge for the Best Paperback or Ebook Original. I am damn well going to be there to see the award presented.

The full list of this year’s Edgar nominees is here.

The 2015 Edgar Award nominations

The nominees for the 2015 Edgars have just been announced. I always get excited about the Edgar nominations, because they’re a huge deal for mystery authors, and because, well.

This year I am especially excited by the nominations because I was a judge for the Best Paperback Original. It was an honor and a privilege to read the submissions, and I’m delighted by the strong slate in the category.

Here’s the press release from Mystery Writers of America, announcing the nominees in all categories. (And, in the case of the Grand Master, Raven Award, and Ellery Queen Award, the winners.)

Congratulations to every one of them!

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 206th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2015 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2014. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 69th Gala Banquet, Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Wolf by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown)
Coptown by Karin Slaughter (Penguin Randomhouse – Ballantine Books)


Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman (W.W. Norton)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (Crown Publishers)
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)


The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani (Penguin Randomhouse – Penguin Books)
Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Barkeep by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas and Mercer)
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books)


Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America by Kevin Cook (W.W. Norton)
The Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Other Side: A Memoir by Lacy M. Johnson (Tin House Books)
Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William Mann (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, the Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation by Harold Schechter (Amazon Publishing – New Harvest)


The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis by Charles Brownson (McFarland & Company)
James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Jim Mancall (Oxford University Press)
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch (University of Illinois Press)
Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film by Francis M. Nevins (Perfect Crime Books)
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe by J.W. Ocker (W.W. Norton – Countryman Press)


“The Snow Angel” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Doug Allyn (Dell Magazines)
“200 Feet” – Strand Magazine by John Floyd (The Strand)
“What Do You Do?” – Rogues by Gillian Flynn (Penguin Randomhouse Publishing – Ballantine Books)
“Red Eye” – Faceoff by Dennis Lehane vs. Michael Connelly (Simon & Schuster)
“Teddy” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Brian Tobin (Dell Magazines)


Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion Books – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)
Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith (Quirk Books)
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)


The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano (Penguin Young Readers Group – Kathy Dawson Books)
Fake ID by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Amistad)
The Art of Secrets by James Klise (Algonquin Young Readers)
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)


“The Empty Hearse” – Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
“Unfinished Business” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS)
“Episode 1” – Happy Valley, Teleplay by Sally Wainwright (Netflix)
“Dream Baby Dream” – The Killing, Teleplay by Sean Whitesell (Netflix)
“Episode 6” – The Game, Teleplay by Toby Whithouse (BBC America)


“Getaway Girl” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine By Zoë Z. Dean (Dell Magazines)


Lois Duncan
James Ellroy


Ruth & Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine
Kathryn Kennison, Magna Cum Murder


Charles Ardai, Editor & Founder, Hard Case Crime

* * * * * *

(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Tuesday, April 28, 2015)

A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur Books)
The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey (Minotaur Books)
Invisible City by Julia Dahl (Minotaur Books)
Summer of the Dead by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)
The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

Books to Die For gets an Edgar nomination

Books to Die For US

And how exciting is that? The anthology has been nominated for a 2013 Edgar Award in the category Best Critical/Biographical Book. Congratulations to editors John Connolly and Declan Burke, whose passion for the project has resulted in such a sterling anthology. I’m delighted that their hard work has been recognized by the Mystery Writers of America with this nomination.

And I’m jazzed to be even a small part of the project. Thanks, guys, for including my essay on Sue Grafton’s A is for Alibi in the anthology.

And congratulations to all this year’s nominees. Here’s the complete rundown.

Tonight: the 2012 Edgar Awards

Tonight I have the honor of presenting the Edgar for Best Paperback Original. I’ll share the podium with author Con Lehane. Congratulations to all the nominees — shown above — and good luck!

John Cusack to play Edgar Allen Poe

Dear Mystery Writers of America: Could you grab John Cusack and send him to my house to play the role of my Edgar award? Even for one day? Please?

John Cusack playing Edgar Allan Poe in film about the author’s life.

Edgar, deadly?

This morning, as I lay twitching from jet lag, I started thinking about the suspense that lies ahead this evening at the Edgar Awards. That is: will I climb the stairs to the stage to present Best Paperback Original, wearing heels, without tripping and taking a Jackie Chan-style header into the table where the Edgar statuettes are lined up? At which point the Husband brought in the morning paper and said: “You’re in trouble.”

He handed me the Wall Street Journal.

On page one of Greater New York section, along the banner at the top, was a color picture of Edgar Allan Poe and the headline: “Winner’s Curse At Edgar Awards.”

Sweet Jeebus. What happens to Edgar winners? Do we go insane? End up working as Walmart greeters, struggling to welcome people to the store with with just the right words? I grabbed the paper from him.

Winners at tonight’s annual Edgar Awards, presented by the Mystery Writers of America, should relish the victory–the first Edgar is often the last.

Do winners spontaneously combust, like Spinal Tap drummers? What happens if more than one winner is at a table tonight? If I sit across from Harlan Coben, could there be a reaction, like matter and anti-matter colliding, that destroys the table in a flash of exploding plates and flowers and rubber chicken and editors?

The group has doled out awards to crime and mystery novelists since 1946, but few writers collect multiple awards in major categories during the course of their careers.

That’s it? It’s rare to win an Edgar? It’s difficult to win even once, which makes the award even more treasured? Thank God. Now I can go back to worrying that if I trip on the stairs and careen off the stage, I don’t take out Lee Child and Laura Lippman.

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Edgar secretly gets festive

Here’s how preoccupied I’ve been with finishing my next novel — somebody at my house helped Edgar get ready to celebrate Christmas, and I only noticed it today.

Oh, and I had to climb on a stool to photograph him. He not only managed to get a stocking cap on, he got himself on the top of a tall bookshelf, from where he’s staring down at us like The Raven.

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Edgars: wrap-up


I was waiting to write more about the Edgar Awards until I had calmed down and got some sleep. Instead, I’ve flown back to the UK and am now excited and jetlagged to boot. Therefore: rambling observations.

To answer a commenter’s question: What, in fact, are the Edgars? No, they’re not a stuffy boys’ club. Nor are they a secret group of superheroes, like the Watchmen or the Justice League, awesome though that would be. They’re the annual awards given by the Mystery Writers of America for crime writing — novels, short stories, non-fiction books, teleplays, and screenplays. “Edgar” is the godfather of mystery writing, Edgar Allan Poe. For the complete list of winners, check out the summary in the New York Times.

The awards evening spun by in a blur, because I was in a nervous frenzy waiting for my category to be announced. Sue Grafton and James Lee Burke, who were made MWA Grandmasters, were dignified and gracious. Harlan Coben was warm and funny. Lee Child was dry and funny. To keep from chewing my nails to stubs, I ate a dessert that was bigger than my fist. I may also have bitten several chunks out of the tablecloth.

And everything I said about it being an honor just to be nominated is true. But when I heard my name announced, it felt like having my head bashed between two cymbals. Clang. I think I actually slapped my cheeks with both hands, like Macauley Culkin on the Home Alone poster. Then I dashed for the stage. I forgot the notes I’d written, with the quips and the list of people to thank. I remember seeing the presenters at the podium — last year’s winner, Megan Abbott, and the Wall Street Journal‘s Larry Light, chair of the judging panel. I saw arrows on the stage floor pointing toward me, which seemed to indicate I was going the wrong way. I was thinking Don’t do a face plant and Don’t cry like a kindergartner.

I think I remembered half of what I meant to say. I know I didn’t thank everybody. And God help me, I certainly didn’t mean to slight Stephen King. I should have written everybody’s names on the inside of my wrist in scarlet nail polish. I do recall saying that I felt like Cinderella. After being rejected by every publisher that initially read it, China Lake had ended up winning one of the biggest awards in American crime fiction. What I should have added is: Evan Delaney had finally arrived at the ball, and was being invited to dance with the prince.

And yesterday Edgar did make it through security at JFK, but it was close. He was bubble-wrapped and taped to excess, like a plaster mummy, and the young screener pulled me and the Husband aside and asked all kinds of questions and sent Edgar through the x-ray machine again and pulled off some bubble wrap and finally said, “Hey, it’s the Monopoly man!”

Not now, and nevermore.

Glad to be home.