Like many readers, I enjoy knowing the “real” story that inspires a novel, especially if historical facts are woven into the plot.
Stefanie Pintoff built her career on utilizing history in her novels.
Her debut In the Shadow of Gotham introduced New York Police Detective Simon Ziele, who was mourning the loss of his fiancée in the 1904 General Slocum steamship disaster. Ziele teamed up with criminologist Alistair Sinclair to hunt criminals in old Manhattan.
Pintoff’s research shows the beginnings of forensics as well as life at the turn of the 20th century.
In the Shadow of Gotham won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author and was nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards.
Pintoff’s new series, which began with Hostage Taker and continues with her latest, City on Edge, is set in contemporary times but still honors the past.
FBI special agent Evangeline “Eve” Rossi leads her Vidocq team of “ex-cons and barely reformed thugs,” whose nontraditional ways allow them to go where normal detectives can’t. Eve’s team knows how criminals think, because each of them used to be one—which doesn’t hurt, either.
Eve’s team is based on Eugène François Vidocq, a French criminal and criminalist during the 19th century.
According to books and websites, he turned from being a criminal to become the founder and first director of the crime-detection Sûreté Nationale. He was also the head of the first known private detective agency.
Considered to be the father of modern criminology, Vidocq also inspired stories by Victor Hugo, Edgar Allan Poe, and Honoré de Balzac.
To add to the authenticity in her novels, Pintoff includes a dossier on each of Eve’s team members.
In my Mystery Scene review of City on Edge, I wrote about “Pintoff’s affinity for the hidden corners of New York City, as Eve and her crew go into parts of the city that few people know about. Pintoff keeps the suspense high while keeping readers’ expectations off-kilter. Anything can happen in City on Edge, and does.”
Those of us who love mysteries/crime fiction know that the Edgar Awards are the Oscars of the genre.
Actually, for some of us the awards, named after Edgar Allan Poe, are better than the Oscars. I have seen only a couple of movies the past year, but have read just about everything on this list.
The Edgar Awards are given by the Mystery Writers of America, and the nominations are announced on Poe’s birthday. This year marks the 208th anniversary of his birth.
The 2017 Edgar Allan Poe Awards honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television published or produced in 2016.
The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at the 71st gala banquet on April 27, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
The Ex by Alafair Burke (Harper)
Where It Hurts by Reed Farrel Coleman (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow)
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley (Grand Central Publishing)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (Penguin Books)
Dodgers by Bill Beverly (Crown Publishing Group)
IQ by Joe Ide (Mulholland Books)
The Drifter by Nicholas Petrie (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Dancing With the Tiger by Lili Wright (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lost Girls by Heather Young (William Morrow)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Shot in Detroit by Patricia Abbott (Polis Books)
Come Twilight by Tyler Dilts (Thomas & Mercer)
The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer)
Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty (Seventh Street Books)
A Brilliant Death by Robin Yocum (Seventh Street Books)
Heart of Stone by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)
BEST FACT CRIME
Morgue: A Life in Death by Dr. Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell (St. Martin’s Press)
The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer (William Morrow)
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England by Paul Thomas Murphy (Pegasus Books)
While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent Into Madness by Eli Sanders (Viking Books)
The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Press)
Alfred Hitchcock: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd (Nan A. Talese)
Encyclopedia of Nordic Crime: Works and Authors of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden Since 1967 by Mitzi M. Brunsdale (McFarland & Company)
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin (Liveright)
Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote Dracula by David J. Skal (Liveright)
BEST SHORT STORY
“Oxford Girl” by Megan Abbott (Mississippi Noir, Akashic Books)
“A Paler Shade of Death” by Laura Benedict (St. Louis Noir, Akashic Books)
“Autumn at the Automat” by Lawrence Block (In Sunlight or in Shadow, Pegasus Books)
“The Music Room” by Stephen King (In Sunlight or in Shadow, Pegasus Books)
“The Crawl Space” by Joyce Carol Oates (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dell Magazines)
Summerlost by Ally Condie (Dutton BFYR)
OCDaniel by Wesley King (Paula Wiseman Books)
The Bad Kid by Sarah Lariviere (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Framed! by James Ponti (Aladdin)
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught (Paula Wiseman Books)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon Pulse)
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry (Henry Holt BFYR)
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Little, Brown BFYR)
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Teen)
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Dial Books)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“Episode 1 - From the Ashes of Tragedy” – The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Teleplay by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (FX Network)
“The Abominable Bride” - Sherlock, Teleplay by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat (Hartswood Films/Masterpiece)
“Episode 1 - Dark Road” - Vera, Teleplay by Martha Hillier (Acorn TV)
“A Blade of Grass” – Penny Dreadful, Teleplay by John Logan (Showtime)
“Return 0” – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan and Denise The (CBS/Warner Brothers)
“The Bicameral Mind” – Westworld, Teleplay by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy (HBO/Warner Bros. Television)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“The Truth of the Moment” by E. Gabriel Flores (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dell Magazines)
Max Allan Collins
Dru Ann Love
ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink)
Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books)
Blue Moon by Wendy Corsi Staub (William Morrow)
The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd (William Morrow)