By Oline H Cogdill

This was to have been the week to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mystery Writers of America (MWA).

It was to have been the week of Edgar Awards festivities to celebrate that anniversary with parties around New York City at bookstores, restaurants and apartments, a terrific symposium to discuss genre trends and culminating with the banquet to honor the books, short stories and films nominated for the Edgar.

That was the plan.

But as we all know, the pandemic has forced the cancellation of many high-profile events, forcing traditions to be put aside—or revised—as we concentrate on staying healthy and sheltering in place.

But what hasn’t been canceled is that MWA’s 75th anniversary will still be celebrated.

And what hasn’t been canceled is that MWA will still honor the Edgar Awards nominees—just in a different format.

The 2020 Edgar Awards will be announced on April 30, 2020, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT on the MWA Twitter page.

Here is the link https://twitter.com/EdgarAwards.

At the same Twitter address, MWA has been sharing videos of authors reading their nominated works.

I won’t say it’s almost like being there because nothing beats the excitement of being in the room where the Edgar Awards happen, of cheering on those who take home the statue, or hearing leaders of the genre discuss mysteries and being able to answer questions during the symposium.

But this is a terrific way to honor those works and authors, following the trend that countless other organizations are doing not only across the country but worldwide.

The tradition continues, just in another format.

And that is important.

“We've never not given out the awards, no matter what is going on in the world. And even though there is a global pandemic, honoring and recognizing our finalists and winners seems even more important than ever before,” said Greg Herren, Executive Vice President of Mystery Writers of America.

Naturally, the awards ceremony will be reformatted. “We're just doing a banner, not voice, on the individual awards category announcements,” said Herren.

As usual, the winners will be secret until announced, but we will get to hear from them. All the finalists were asked to record an acceptance speech, which will air after their category is announced.

Other Edgar traditions will continue

The "In Memoriam" will be put up on the MWA YouTube channel.

The Edgar Annual will still be published.

Plans for the symposium are, at present, on hold.

"We are exploring options right now on how to present the symposium; whether it will be done as a live on-line event will depend on whether we can find a way to do it with the high level of quality everyone expects from Mystery Writers of America. We can't mirror the actual in-person live dynamic of the usual symposium, but we want to come as close as possible," added Herren.

All these events will be available on the MWA YouTube Channel. MWA plans to have the videos on YouTube within an hour after all the honorees have been announced. Facebook will only be a link to the website and YouTube.

“I'm actually very pleased with how this is all turning out,” added Herren.

Mystery Scene also will post the winners here by noon on April 30.

And this shows when crisis arise, clever ways can be found to keep traditions going.

Stay healthy, everyone. And keep reading. The Edgar nominees are a great resource to update your reading list.

And here are the Edgar nominees.

Mystery Scene congratulates all the nominees.

BEST NOVEL
Fake Like Me, by Barbara Bourland (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)
The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The River, by Peter Heller (Penguin Random House – Alfred A. Knopf)
Smoke and Ashes, by Abir Mukherjee (Pegasus Books)
Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham (Simon & Schuster Scribner)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing (Penguin Random House Berkley)
Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
The Good Detective, by John McMahon (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott (Penguin Random House – Alfred A. Knopf)
Three-Fifths, by John Vercher (Polis Books – Agora Books)
American Spy, by Lauren Wilkinson (Penguin Random House – Random House)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Dread of Winter, by Susan Alice Bickford (Kensington Publishing)
Freedom Road, by William Lashner (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Blood Relations, by Jonathan Moore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Mariner Books)
February’s Son, by Alan Parks (Europa Editions – World Noir)
The Hotel Neversink, by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)
The Bird Boys, by Lisa Sandlin (Cinco Puntos Press)

BEST FACT CRIME
The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder that Shocked Jazz-Age America, by Karen Abbott (Penguin Random House - Crown)
The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity, by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing)
American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century, by Maureen Callahan (Penguin Random House - Viking)
Norco '80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History, by Peter Houlahan (Counterpoint Press)
Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall, by James Polchin (Counterpoint Press)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
Hitchcock and the Censors, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)
Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan, by Ursula Buchan (Bloomsbury Publishing)
The Hooded Gunman: An Illustrated History of Collins Crime Club ,by John Curran (Collins Crime Club)
Medieval Crime Fiction: A Critical Overview, by Anne McKendry (McFarland)
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women, by Mo Moulton (Hachette Book Group – Basic Books)

BEST SHORT STORY
“Turistas," from Paque Tu Lo Sepas, by Hector Acosta (Down & Out Books)
“One of These Nights," from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers, by Livia Llewellyn (Akashic Books)
“The Passenger," from Sydney Noir, by Kirsten Tranter (Akashic Books)
“Home at Last," from Die Behind the Wheel: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of Steely Dan, by Sam Wiebe (Down & Out Books)
“Brother’s Keeper," from Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, by Dave Zeltserman (Dell Magazine)

BEST JUVENILE
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster, by Cary Fagan (Penguin Random House Canada – Tundra Books
Eventown, by Corey Ann Haydu (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Katherine Tegen Books)
The Whispers by Greg Howard (Penguin Young Readers – G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR)
All the Greys on Greene Street, by Laura Tucker (Penguin Young Readers – Viking BFYR)
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse, by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books – Paula Wiseman Books)

BEST YOUNG ADULT
Catfishing on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer (Tom Doherty Associates – Tor Teen)
Killing November, by Adriana Mather (Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf BFYR)
Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (Penguin Young Readers - Kokila)
The Deceivers, by Kristen Simmons (Tom Doherty Associates – Tor Teen)
Wild and Crooked, by Leah Thomas (Bloomsbury Publishing)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Season 5, Episode 3” – Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)
“Season 5, Episode 4” – Line of Duty, Teleplay by Jed Mercurio (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – Dublin Murders, Teleplay by Sarah Phelps (STARZ)
“Episode 1” – Manhunt, Teleplay by Ed Whitmore (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – The Wisting, Teleplay by Katherine Valen Zeiner & Trygve Allister Diesen (Sundance Now)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“There’s a Riot Goin’ On," from Milwaukee Noir, by Derrick Harriell (Akashic Books)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
The Night Visitors, by Carol Goodman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
One Night Gone, by Tara Laskowski (Harlequin – Graydon House)
Strangers at the Gate, by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur Books)
Where the Missing Go, by Emma Rowley (Kensington Publishing)
The Murder List, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Tom Doherty Associates – Forge Books)

THE G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD
Shamed, by Linda Castillo (Minotaur Books)
Borrowed Time, by Tracy Clark (Kensington Publishing)
The Missing Ones, by Edwin Hill (Kensington Publishing)
The Satapur Moonstone, by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
The Alchemist’s Illusion, by Gigi Pandian (Midnight Ink)
Girl Gone Missing, by Marcie R. Rendon (Cincos Puntos Press)

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