Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Edgar Nominations

About a year ago I told you all that I'd been asked to be on a committee to select the best mystery published (in English) in 2010 -- not the best First Mystery by an American Author, nor the best Paperback Original Mystery, but the Best Mystery.

The books poured in all year and I immersed myself in reading mysteries of every ilk -- spies and P.I.s and amateur sleuths, and tough cops; historical and procedurals and thrillers and ghost stories and suspense . . .

The setting were cities, villages, remote wildernesses, you name it -- here, there, and all over the globe.
It was a rewarding experience. I have a much better idea now of the breadth of this genre called mystery and a heightened respect for all the mystery writers out there.

The downside, alas, is that I read a lot of good books -- none of which I'm allowed to discuss. As judge I had to agree not to to. I can say that we are very proud of our selections -- and there were so many great books that it was hard to choose.

And at last the day is here! It's the birthday of Edgar Allen Poe and The Mystery Writers of America have announced the Edgar Nominees. Congratulations to all!

(The winners will be announced in April.)

Best Novel
Caught by Harlan Coben (Penguin Group USA - Dutton)
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
Faithful Place by Tana French (Penguin Group USA - Viking)
The Queen of Patpong by Timothy Hallinan (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books)
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins - William Morrow)

Best First Novel
Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva (Tom Doherty Associates - Forge Books)
The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books)
The Serialist: A Novel by David Gordon (Simon & Schuster)
Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
Snow Angels by James Thompson (Penguin Group USA - G.P. Putnam's Sons)

Best Paperback Original
Long Time Coming by Robert Goddard (Random House - Bantam)
The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn (Henry Holt)
Expiration Date by Duane Swierczynski (Minotaur Books)
Vienna Secrets by Frank Tallis (Random House Trade Paperbacks)
Ten Little Herrings by L.C. Tyler (Felony & Mayhem Press)

And for the complete list with the other categories--  non-fiction, short stories, young adult, etc. -- go HERE.

Lots of good reading out there! 

Now to my task of boxing up books to donate to our county library. As you can see, these books have just about taken over.
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Marilyn said...

What a mammoth task it must have been to have read all those books but what wonderful reads so many of them must have been.

Martin H. said...

Wow, that's quite a task, Vicki. I used to chew my way through piles of books, but progress is slow these days. Whereas I once read three books a week, it now takes me three weeks to read a book!

I look forward to seeing the list of nominees.

Merisi said...

I am in awe, Vicki, that you read all those books, I truly am! Your local library is lucky beyond belief, so many essentially prize-worthy mystery books at once, people must be more than happy about that gift from publisher's heaven.

Miss_Yves said...

A great task,(to read and to clear off your library!!!!)
A very well named price !
Your local library will be happy to receive so many books, with the guarantee they are mysterious books, wrtitten by talented authors!

chiccoreal said...

Dear Vicki: Reminds me of my "Forms of Fiction" class from Homer to Kafka. Not too shabby! How do you manage to read all those books and carry on? I believe you are the most talented writer/reader I have ever met! An dubious job, no doubt! Would like to know what tweaks or whets your appetite for the "perfect sleuth". Is there a formula?

Pat in east TN said...

Wow ... those stacks and boxes full of books looks quite overwhelming! I'm like Martin H., in that I used to read lots of books during a short time and now I savor each book and sometimes it takes a while to finish one.

How on earth did you find the time to read these books (wondering how many it actually was?), with all you do.

Your library will be tickled to death to receive your gift.

Star said...

and you have read all those? all the way through? or did you skip a lot of pages? Perhaps you can tell after reading the first chapters?
I would love to know what the criteria is for the nominees?

Star said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Miller said...

wow. thats a lot of books...i would have loved every minute of it...smiles.

Brenda said...

Holy moley that's a lot of books!! That's more than I've read in the last ten years I bet. However, I'm sure it was a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the genre. I'd think all that reading would make a person a better writer. Lucky, lucky library!!!

Vicki Lane said...

It was great fun. No, I didn't read every word of every book. But every spare moment was spent reading.

Chiccoreal -- maybe I'll try to answer your question about the 'perfect sleuth' in the FAQ next Tuesday.

Star, the criteria was simply 'good writing'-- and of course that's quite subjective, isn't it? Our committee of eight was good cross-section of gender and age and it was interesting to see how often we completely agreed on liking or not liking a book.

Suz said...

..and you had time to blog!

Carol said...

I'm not sure how you made it through the last year-reading for the Edgars, writing, blogging, teaching, gardening, cooking. My head aches just thinking about it. I need a vacation after reading about your schedule!

And the word verification was prewaxes, which seems a painful prelude to the real thing.

Tammy said...

Wow...but in a good way! All I can think is I'd love to sift and sort my way through those boxes. :-) I would love to see a post on the 'perfect sleuth'. Of course we all know we have different ideas on that, or there wouldn't be so many popular books out there.
Take care,

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fabulous honor Vicki, but what a lot of work.

I'm with Suz - how did you possibly find the time to blog, take all those gorgeous photos you continually have, write your own books, and prepare meals (notice I never leave out eating)? Your clock must have a lot more time on it than mine.

Alan Burnett said...

What a task reading all of them. I shall await the announcement of the winning and try to make sure I read it.

Jill said...

What a wonderful thing to be involved in, and also an honor. Now you can coast to the end of this journey. I am sure you will be happy to donate those books. I am also sure that your library will be overjoyed with that donation.

Helen T in SC said...

I'm reading Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter now. A master class on how to show, not tell. Amazed how you did all of that reading.

Kaye Barley said...

Vicki! All those books! Heaven! but, quite the responsibility. I have my fingers crossed for a few faves . . .

Mel said...

I am in awe of your book pile and your dedicated reading. And still you write and you blog and you do all that you do, which lately has included dealing with a lot of snow, which must have made all that reading a blessing. I've never read more than 60 books a year at my best and average more like 30-40 a year. I can't fathom a must read pile that big. But I wish I had such problems. Harder still is trying to imagine having read a good book and not being able to talk about it yet!
Your local library is very lucky to have you - what a tremendous gift. Happy reading.

Louise said...

You read all of those, and managed to find time to write, besides. You are some woman, Vicki!

Friko said...

To my great shame I must admit that the only name I've ever heard of is that of the first author. And I've not read him either.

You deserve a medal for reading them all.
However did you get any of your work done, never mind blogging?

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

I don't how you find the time to read them all before a deadline far less making a decision on them. At least it gives you a chance to find out on the variety of writing styles.

Vagabonde said...

I am in awe at your energy. You read so many books, you write your own, you have a blog and comment on your friends’ blogs, you cook, you travel and give lectures and lessons, you entertain – how do you do it all? Congratulation on making a selection, this must have not been an easy job. I looked at the site you gave as a link and saw many interesting books I’d like to read.

Tipper said...

Thanks for sharing the results-now I can add some of the winners to my list : )