Let the reading begin. The Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the prestigious Edgar awards for works published in 2012. In recent years, I have reviewed and ranked the nominees for Best Novel and for Best First Novel by an American Author. Shockingly, I had only read two of the 13 books nominated in these categories this year (Gone Girl and Live by Night). The Edgar Awards banquet will be held May 2, 2013 in New York City at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Here’s the list of books nominated for Best Novel:
- The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
- The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (Penguin Group USA – Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
- Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishers)
- Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
- Sunset by Al Lamanda (Gale Cengage Learning – Five Star)
- Live by Night by Dennis Lehane (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
- All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley (Penguin Group USA – Riverhead Books)
And here are the nominees for Best First Novel by an American Author:
- The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay (Random House Publishing- Ballantine)
- Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)
- Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal (Random House Publishing- Bantam Books)
- The Expats by Chris Pavone (Crown Publishers)
- The 500 by Matthew Quirk (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company – Reagan Arthur)
- Black Fridays by Michael Sears (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
My philosophy: I started out with a “predict the Oscars” mindset, assuming that my perspective on mystery/crime novels would reflect the perspectives of the decision-makers. And my first year reviewing and ranking certainly reinforced that perspective: I called it in both categories. The next year, zippo. This was met with shock and deep mourning. Last year, I got one right and one wrong (but not by much). So, batting .500 overall. You can read more about the 2010, 2011 and 2012 review process here, here and here.
One thing new this year: in an effort to support my local independent bookstore (Hi, Book Table people!), I purchased 12 of the 13 books right there. (I already owned the Dennis Lehane.) They were super-helpful in ordering for me and I got them all at a discount. Previously, I had been just as likely – or perhaps more likely – to purchase from Amazon, borrow from the library, or buy the e-book, as I was to buy locally. But as they say, “if you shop here, we will be here,” and I want my local bookstore, even if I do wish they were just a wee bit bigger.
Resolution: Finish early. I typically am posting my final review and ranking the same week as the banquet. The associated anxiety takes away some of the fun.