Each year when award nominations come out, some authors’ works appear on a couple of different lists.
That’s understandable because these are talented authors with good books.
This year there seems to be even more overlap among the various nominees. Personally, I love it when authors on my best of the year list are nominated for several awards, as happens this year.
Please keep in mind, I am not making any predictions about who will win or who should win. There were many good books published last year, some of which are nominated for awards as well as numerous superb 2012 books not nominated in any category.
The Edgars were awarded May 2 and the Agathas were awarded May 4. The Thriller will be given during Thrillerfest July 10 to 13 in New York City. The Anthony, Shamus, Macavity, and the Barry will be given during Bouchercon, Sept. 19 to 22 in Albany, N.Y.
Here are the authors with the most nominations. If I have missed one, please let me know.
This year, two authors—Michael Sears and Hank Phillippi Ryan—tied for the most award nods with five each.
Sears’ excellent debut Black Fridays has been nominated for an Edgar, the Thriller, Anthony, the Barry and the Shamus. The only award Sears’ novel was not nominated for is the Macavity. In my review of Black Fridays, I said: “Michael Sears, who spent more than 20 years on Wall Street, delivers a thoughtful, intricate cautionary tale in his impressive debut about greed, mismanaged money and the thrill that the unscrupulous get from cheating the unsuspecting. . . . an excellent character study about a man coming to terms with his own limitations and trying to be a good father to a difficult, special-needs child.”
Hank Phillippi Ryan’s The Other Woman picked up a Shamus, an Anthony, an Agatha, and a Macavity nods. She won the Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award given during the Mystery Writers of America’s agents and editors party held May 1 during Edgar week. In my review of The Other Woman, I said “Politics, dirty campaigns and compromised candidates are a compelling plot foundation in any year, but especially in this presidential election year. The Other Woman works well as a political thriller and romantic suspense, delving into political and journalism ethics.”
Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl took four nominations—Edgar, Anthony, Barry, and Macavity. Here’s what I said about Gone Girl: The “adage of no one knows what goes on behind closed doors moves the plot of . . . Flynn’s suspenseful psychological thriller. . . Flynn’s unpredictable plot careens down an emotional highway where [a] couple dissects their marriage with sharp acumen.”
Several authors earned three nominations. Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery won an Agatha and has been nominated for an Anthony and a Macavity.
Alison Gaylin’s And She Was also is a triple threat with the Shamus, the Thriller and an Anthony.
Owen Laukkanen’s debut The Professionals has a trio of awards—the Anthony, Thriller and Barry. My comments: “In his excellent debut, Owen Laukkanen mixes the economic downturn and a bleak job market for a suspenseful and insightful thriller about four out-of-work, newly graduated college friends who become kidnappers.”
Daniel Friedman’s Don’t Ever Get Old and Chris Pavone’s The Expats have each received Edgar, Macavity and Thriller nominations.
Some authors have double nominations.
Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night won the Edgar for best novel and also is up for a Barry. In my review, I said: “Live by Night goes beyond the life of crime, skirting that fine line between glorifying the illegal and showing the humanity behind even mobsters. In this 10th novel, Dennis Lehane examines our history, morality in an amoral world and what motivates some people to ‘live by night,’ making up their own rules as one character says.”
Ben H. Winters’ The Last Policeman won the Edgar for best paperback and is up for Macavity.
Susan M. Boyer’s Low Country Boil won the Agatha for best first novel and also is up for a Macavity.
Matthew Quirk’s The 500 received an Edgar nomination and is up for an Anthony. In a review for Mystery Scene, I said: “Former Atlantic reporter Matthew Quirk’s powerful debut [is] a high-concept thriller about the lure of power, money and corruption. The 500—the term refers to Washington’s 500 most powerful people—balances nonstop action with believable, appealing, easy to care about characters.”
Susan Elia MacNeal’s debut Mr. Churchill's Secretary received an Edgar nomination and is up for a Macavity. A profile of MacNeal is the current cover story for Mystery Scene.
These are all terrific authors whose novels deserve to be recognized. But I wonder. Does the recognition of the same authors come at the expense of diversity in the genre?
I'd like to know what our readers think. Please comment.