There are a lot of specialized awards within the book publishing industry. For Sci-Fi, there are the Hugos, the Philip K. Dick Award, and about a dozen others. For cooking, the James Beard Award is well known. For Children’s, you’ve got the Caldecott Medals; for Horror, the Bram Stokers. And the Edgar Award, along with the Agatha and Macavity Awards, is one of the best known and most prestigious awards given to mystery writers. Named after Edgar Allan Poe, the Edgars are given by the Mystery Writers of America, honoring the best in mystery fiction, TV, and nonfiction published or produced each year.
Former winners include some of the most well-known names in the genre, including Raymond Chandler, Dick Francis, Agatha Christie, Truman Capote, Vincent Bugliosi, and Michael Crichton.
2011’s winners will be announced at the Mystery Writers of America’s 66th Gala Banquet on April 26, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. In a separate event, Mystery Writers of America will also hold a symposium, featuring presentations by current and past winners and nominees on a variety of relevant topics. Past subjects have included “How to Write a Novel,” and “Getting Here From There,” a presentation on some of the books that inspired certain authors to become writers. If you’re interested in attending, keep an eye out for more information on the website, which will continue to be added in the coming months.
Although we won’t find out who comes out on top until April, the nominees were announced just last week. Check out the following (abridged) list to see if your favorite mystery book of the past year appears!
– The Ranger by Ace Atkins
– Gone by Mo Hayder
– The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino
– 1222 by Anne Holt
– Field Gray by Philip Kerr
BEST FIRST NOVEL:
– Red on Red by Edward Conlon
– Last to Fold by David Duffy
– All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen
– Bent Road by Lori Roy
– Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
– The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
– The Faces of Angels by Lucretia Grindle
– The Dog Sox by Russell Hill
– Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley
– Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis
BEST FACT CRIME
– The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins
– The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge by T.J. English
– Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
– Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender by Steve Miller
– The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal
BEST CRITICAL BIOGRAPHICAL
– The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of Our Time by Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer, and John-Henri Holmberg
– Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making by John Curran
– On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda
– Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film by Philippa Gates
– Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds and Marnie by Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick
– Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger
– It Happened on a Train by Mac Barnett
– Vanished by Sheela Chari
– Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
– The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
BEST YOUNG ADULT:
– Shelter by Harlan Coben
– The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
– The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall
– The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
– Kill You Last by Todd Strasser.
For a more complete list of the nominees, including the nominees of stage, short fiction, and film, and further details on the books and authors listed here, check out the Edgars’ website here.