The Mystery Writers of America has announced the Edgar Award winners! And unlike last year, where my taste totally reflected the taste of the judges… we are not in synch. In fact, 180 degrees difference.
I picked Tana French’s Faithful Place for Best Novel. MWA picked Steve Hamilton’s The Lock Artist. I placed this one… dead last in the running. Augh. A revisit of my review reveals that I still agree with my comments. Hamilton is a great author – I’ve loved his previous series – and The Lock Artist was very creative and a fun read, but I didn’t find it to be my preference.
Similarly, for Best First Novel, my pick was Nic Pizzolatto’s Galveston. MWA’s choice: Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva. Again, this book was at the bottom of my list. I looked back over my review. Yep, still agree with it. The book has sheer verve going for it, but it’s not as edgy as I prefer.
Bottom line: If you haven’t read all the nominees, do so! They’re all excellent and well worth your time. You can’t go wrong with the established authors nominated for Best Novel, including Tana French, Harlen Coben, Tom Franklin, Timothy Hallinan and Laura Lippman.
For the debut novels, you may find that Rogue Island is your favorite, or perhaps the humor and quirky characterizations of David Gordon’s The Serialist will float your boat. All five nominees are an opportunity to expand your “must read” list.
My final take on being so wrong? No biggie. It’s like the Oscars. “Predict the Oscars” contests reward those critics who are best are predicting what nominees will be selected by the Oscar voters. I am more like the critics who pen “who should win” columns. But even with that perspective, this undertaking is all very subjective! Still, it’s terrifically fun, so 2012 will find me doing the same thing. Maybe I’ll even go to the ceremony!