Nothing can beat the thrill of being in person at the annual Edgar Awards.
I have enjoyed everything about it—the cocktail party, the chance to talk to editors and writers and the heartfelt speeches.
Certain moments have always stood out through the years—moments that can’t be recreated on Zoom.
And I also love getting all dressed up.
So, maybe next year we can all gather together.
But the organizers of the 75th Edgar Awards, sponsored by Mystery Writers of America, did a wonderful job of presenting a first-class awards ceremony that began at 1 p.m. April 29.
First, MWA kept up the attention by having a series of interviews with the nominees and Grand Master and Ellery Queen honorees.
In addition, authors have been reading from their nominated books on Mystery Writers of America’s Facebook page.
It was almost like being there.
As was done last year, the winners gave acceptance speeches immediately after their names were announced. These speeches were live adding a sense of spontaneity and charm. Loved the cameos by pets.
Colette Bancroft, winner of the Robert L. Fish award, thanked each of the 14 authors whose stories appeared in the short story collection Tampa Bay Noir, as well as her friends and family, including her late husband, John.
In accepting the Raven Award for Malice Domestic, Verena Rose, the editor and co-publisher at Level Best Books, thanked the MWA Board, fans, and writers. She recalled getting the call about the Raven on a Friday the 13th as well as reminisced a bit on the early days of Malice Domestic when Barbara Mertz helped get the conference going.
The happiness of children's author Elizabeth C. Bunce, who won for Best Juvenile Book, was contagious and we were all charmed by her cat's cameo.
Christina Lane's emotional acceptance of Best Critical/Biographical work for Phantom Lady had most also in tears. Alyssa Cole mentioned racism and prejudice and social justice, all themes in When No One Is Watching, winner of the Best Paperback Original.
Deepa Anappara was clearly shocked to win for Best Novel for her Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line and used her time to mention the pandemic situation in India.
Thank you Grand Master Jeffery Deaver for wearing a tux—or at least the part of the tux we could see. Grand Master Charlaine Harris was her usual charming self, thanking all the professionals who helped her with her career as well as her friends, family, and readers. "I feel I have been elected prom queen and won the Noble Peace Prize," Harris said.
Here is the complete list of the nominees with the winners listed first in bold with *** in front of their names.
Congratulations to each of the nominees and those who took home an Edgar.
***Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, by Deepa Anappara (Random House)
Before She Was Helen, by Caroline B. Cooney (Poisoned Pen Press)
Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman Books)
These Women ,by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco)
The Missing American, by Kwei Quartey (Soho Crime)
The Distant Dead, by Heather Young (William Morrow)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
***Please See Us ,by Caitlin Mullen (Gallery Books)
Murder in Old Bombay, by Nev March (Minotaur Books)
Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas (William Morrow)
Winter Counts, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Ecco)
Darling Rose Gold, by Stephanie Wrobel (Berkley)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
***When No One is Watching, by Alyssa Cole (William Morrow)
The Deep, Deep Snow, by Brian Freeman (Blackstone Publishing)
Unspeakable Things, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)
The Keeper, by Jessica Moor (Penguin Books)
East of Hounslow ,by Khurrum Rahman (Harper 360)
BEST FACT CRIME
***Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic, by Eric Eyre (Scribner)
Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America, by Mark A. Bradley (W.W. Norton & Company)
The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia, by Emma Copley Eisenberg (Hachette Books)
Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country, by Sierra Crane Murdoch (Random House)
Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife ,by Ariel Sabar (Doubleday)
***Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock, by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press)
Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club, edited by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery & Fiction, by Erin E. MacDonald (McFarland)
Guilt Rules All: Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction, by Elizabeth Mannion & Brian Cliff (Syracuse University Press)
This Time Next Year We'll be Laughing, by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press)
BEST SHORT STORY
***"Dust, Ash, Flight," Addis Ababa Noir, by Maaza Mengiste (Akashic Books)
"The Summer Uncle Cat Came to Stay," Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Leslie Elman (Dell Magazines)
"Etta at the End of the World," Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, by Joseph S. Walker (Dell Magazines)
“The Twenty-Five Year Engagement,” In League with Sherlock Holmes, by James W. Ziskin (Pegasus Crime)
***Premeditated Myrtle, by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers)
Me and Banksy, by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Puffin Canada)
From the Desk of Zoe Washington, by Janae Marks (Katherine Tegen Books)
Ikenga, by Nnedi Okorafor (Viking BFYR)
Nessie Quest, by Melissa Savage (Crown BFYR)
Coop Knows the Scoop, by Taryn Souders (Sourcebooks Young Readers)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
***The Companion, by Katie Alender (G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR)
The Inheritance Games, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little, Brown BFYR)
They Went Left, by Monica Hesse (Little, Brown BFYR)
Silence of Bones, by June Hur (Feiwel & Friends)
The Cousins, by Karen M. McManus (Delacorte Press)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
***“Episode 1, Photochemistry” – Dead Still, Written by John Morton (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1, The Stranger” – Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, written by Danny Brocklehurst (Netflix)
“Episode 1, Open Water” – The Sounds, written by Sarah-Kate Lynch (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – Des, written by Luke Neal (Sundance Now)
“What I Know” – The Boys, written by Rebecca Sonnenshine, based on the comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson (Amazon)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
"The Bite,” Tampa Bay Noir, by Colette Bancroft (Akashic Books)
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
***The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne, by Elsa Hart (Minotaur Books)
Death of an American Beauty ,by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur Books)
The Lucky One, by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The First to Lie, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
Cold Wind, by Paige Shelton (Minotaur Books)
THE G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD
***Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery ,by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House Books)
The Burn, by Kathleen Kent (Mulholland Books)
Riviera Gold, by Laurie R. King (Ballantine Books)
Dead Land, by Sara Paretsky (William Morrow)
The Sleeping Nymph, by Ilaria Tuti (Soho Crime)
Turn to Stone, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
Reagan Arthur, Publisher, Alfred A. Knopf