Foiled again. Lehane and Pavone take home the Edgars.

macbethSeth Godin and I have something in common.  In his recent blog post, he points out that he saw Alan Cumming on Broadway in an out-of-the-box one-man version of MacBeth.  Critics, particularly Charles Isherwood in the New York Times, didn’t like it.  Seth loved it, leading him to wonder what purpose critics serve.   I found this ironic, as Seth is also a critic of a sort, whose commentary is wide-ranging.  All of this is a long lead-up to the fact that the Mystery Writers of America Edgars Banquet was last night and my top-ranked nominees for Best Novel and Best First Novel didn’t win.

live_by_nightCongrats are in order for Dennis Lehane for Live by Night.   In my review, I noted that many people would love this book, but I wasn’t one of them.  So at least I got that right.   This historical crime drama actually came in fourth on my list.   I am, in many ways, astounded that Gone Girl didn’t win.  I console myself that it must have been a close thing.  As a refresher, here’s how I ranked the Best Novel nominees:

  1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  2. The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye
  3. Sunset by Al Lamanda
  4. Live By Night by Dennis Lehane
  5. The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins
  6. Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman
  7. All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Walter Mosley

expatsIt was deja vu all over again when it comes to Best First Novel.  Matthew Quirk’s The 500 got my nod.  Chris Pavone took home the Edgar for The Expats.  As my review recounts:  I enjoyed the book, but found it a little convoluted and had a hard time really caring about the main characters.  On the other hand, I did think it would make a fantastic movie.   Here was my final lineup for Best First Novel:

  1. The 500 by Matthew Quirk
  2. Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman
  3. The Expats by Chris Pavone
  4. Black Fridays by Michael Sears
  5. The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
  6. Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

Sigh.  The Edgars are over for another year.  On the other hand, nominations are open for 2014.   Might be fun to keep on eye on it throughout the year – I see William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace is there already!

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