I was a wonder-blogger as we led up to the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards banquet. This year, I read, reviewed, and ranked in three categories. My calls:
- Best Novel – Canary by Duane Swierzynski
- Best First Novel – Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
- Best Paperback Original – The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
And then I totally flaked out once the winners were announced. And I haven’t reviewed a dang thing since then. Life! Go figure.
But for those who were anxiously awaiting, the alignment this year was less than perfect: MWA and I agreed on just one out of three.
- Best Novel went to Lori Roy’s fabulous Let Me Die in His Footsteps, which I ranked third.
- Best First Novel went to The Sympathizer, by Viet Than Nguyen, which I ranked #2.
- And it was “winner winner chicken dinner” because the actual judges gave the totally deserving Lou Berney the Edgar for The Long and Faraway Gone.
Berney’s book was the one that really resonated with me out of all the nominees this year. I ended up buying it several times, because I gave the darn thing as a gift to friends and relatives out of sheer enthusiasm. My dad loved it but argued with the ending. Here’s where you can get all the info on this year‘s nominees and winners.
I’ve been reviewing Edgar nominees since 2010. That year was stellar: I had 100% agreement, as both Literary Lunchbox and the MWA gave John Hart’s The Last Child and Stefanie Pintoff’s In the Shadow of Gotham awards. In 2011, I sank to the depths at 0% (but I still think my calls were better). In 2012, it was 50%. MWA and Lunchbox agreed on Mo Hayder’s Gone, but I gave All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen the edge over Lori Roy’s winner, Bent Road. 2013 was tough, at another 0%… but I think everyone expected Gone Girl to triumph over Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night. And Chris Pavone’s debut, The Ex-Pats, was awfully good. In 2014, it was another 50% and I defer to MWA, Red Sparrow deserved its win, but we agreed with William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace. And last year I totally called it with Tom Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley as the best debut, although I figured Mo Hayder for a second win with Wolf, and Stephen King took the Edgar home for Mr. Mercedes.
At any rate, before I returned to the world of reading and reviewing, I felt that closure was necessary, Edgars-wise. Thanks for reading.