Every year, I read, review, and rank the MWA Edgar finalists in 2-3 categories, and overall, about half the time the Literary Lunchbox pick for the Edgar and the actual winner line up. Some years, I miss them all. One year, I batted .1000. But given that there are 5-6 entries in each category, I do okay. It helps that I’m not trying to forecast the winner, I’m just telling you who would win if LL was in charge of the award program. So I can always think that MWA got it wrong!
This year, I’m going to start with the Best Paperback Original category, because that’s where I found my favorite Edgar book from last year, Lou Berney’s Long and Faraway Gone. It won. (Also the Macavity, Anthony and Barry awards!)
Here’s this year’s line up!
- Shot in Detroit – Patricia Abbott
- Come Twilight – Tyler Dilts
- The 7th Canon – Robert Dugoni
- Rain Dogs – Adrian McKinty
- A Brilliant Death – Robin Yocum
- Heart of Stone – James W. Siskin
Only Robert Dugoni and Adrian McKinty are familiar to me, and frankly, McKinty’s book is the one to beat from my perspective. He’s a seasoned author, Rain Dogs is an entry in a popular series featuring Irish detective Sean Duffy, and as it happens, I already read it and loved it. But I try to wipe that all from my mind and read for more than sheer enjoyment during Edgar time.
Once Best Original Paperback is done, I expect to go through Best First Novel by an American Author and finish up with Best Novel. This year’s banquet is on April 27, so that gives me three months to get through them all. Generally I manage to squeak by, time-wise.
My good friend and writing buddy Addy Whitehouse will also be reviewing this year – you can find her here. She uses a different system – a 1-10 rating – so theoretically she could end up with a tie! Occasionally I love something she hates, and vice versa. Thus proving there is something out there for everyone…