A highlight of every Bouchercon is the Anthony Awards. The 2019 awards were presented on Saturday, Nov. 2, during the convention held in Dallas.
The 2019 Anthony Awards were for works published in 2018, and were selected by the votes of those attending Bouchercon.
This year’s nominees in each of the categories were among the strongest we’ve ever seen. Each author—both those nominated and who took home the Anthony—was a winner.
Congratulations to all.
(Those who took home the Anthony, which was one of the most beautiful awards we’ve seen, are listed first in bold face with ** before the title.)
**November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
Blackout by Alex Segura (Polis Books)
Best First Novel
**My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
Broken Places by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)
Best Paperback Original Novel
** Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)
Best Short Story
**“The Grass Beneath My Feet” by S.A. Cosby, in Tough (blogazine, August 20, 2018)
“Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November/December 2018)
“Cold Beer No Flies” by Greg Herren, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
“English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (July/August 2018)
“The Best Laid Plans” by Holly West, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
** I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Mastering Plot Twists: How To Use Suspense, Targeted Storytelling Strategies, and Structure To Captivate Your Readers by Jane K. Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)
Pulp According to David Goodis by Jay A. Gertzman (Down & Out Books)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (Ecco)
The Anthony® Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (rhymes with “voucher”), a well-known California writer and critic who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times Book Review, and also helped found Mystery Writers of America. The Anthony Awards were first presented in 1986.
The recent uptick in mysteries by diverse authors shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Mystery readers have always wanted stories about different cultures, backgrounds and heritages.
This has especially been true in the past 25 years as publishers realized that readers want stories that take place in a variety of regions and feature myriad characters.
Two of the best mysteries of 2019 are Steph Cha’s Your House Will Pay about the effects of violence on two families—one Korean American, the other African American; and Attica Locke’s Heaven, My Home, which continues the series about African-American Texas Ranger Darren Mathews.
While I believe that publishers still have a long way to go to recognize that these stories are so important to the success of the genre, the ground work is here.
Here are a few authors who are setting a new tone to the mystery fiction genre, and giving us those stories that we crave. I am sure I have missed a few so let us know other authors
Tracy Clark, Borrowed Time (Kensington): Continues the story of Cassandra Raines, a former Chicago homicide cop turned private investigator.
Tori Eldridge, The Ninja Daughter (Agora Books/Polis) A Chinese-Norwegian modern-day ninja with Joy Luck Club family issues who fights the Los Angeles Ukrainian mob, sex traffickers, and her own family to save two desperate women and an innocent child.
Cheryl Head, Judge Me When I'm Wrong: A Charlie Mack Motown Mystery (Bywater Books): Two court cases occupy Detroit private investigator Charlene “Charlie” Mack and her team.
Angie Kim, Miracle Creek (Sarah Crichton Books): Courtroom drama about a Korean immigrant family and a mother accused of murdering her autistic son.
Sujata Massey, The Satapur Moonstone (Soho Crime): Set in 1922, this new series follows Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female solicitor who works for her father’s law firm.
Michael Nava, Carved in Bone (Persigo Press): The first new Henry Rios novel in 20 years explores the story of two gay men in 1980s San Francisco.
Patricia Shanae Smith, Remember (Agora/Polis): Portia Willows, a girl who struggles with severe social anxiety disorder, following the loss of her mother and sister in a mysterious car accident.
John Vercher, Three-Fifths (Agora/Polis): A biracial black man, passing for white, is forced to confront the lies of his past and the truth of his present when his best friend, just released from prison, involves him in a hate crime.