The Edgar® Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2018, were presented by Mystery Writers of America during its 73rd Gala Banquet, April 25, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.
Those who took home an Edgar are in bold with ** in front of their names.
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees. Each of these categories is comprised of strong nominees so we consider everyone a winner.
**Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Hachette Book Group - Mulholland)
The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard (Blackstone Publishing)
House Witness by Mike Lawson (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
A Gambler’s Jury by Victor Methos (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne (Penguin Random House – Hogarth)
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Penguin Random House – Berkley)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
**Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (HarperCollins Publishers - Ecco)
A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper (Seventh Street Books)
The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut (HarperCollins Publishers - Ecco)
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
**If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani (Penguin Random House – Penguin Books)
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger (Harlequin – Park Row Books)
BEST FACT CRIME
**Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge First and the Rise of Gay Liberation by Robert W. Fieseler (W.W. Norton & Company - Liveright)
Sex Money Murder: A Story of Crack, Blood, and Betrayal by Jonathan Green (W.W. Norton & Company)
The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure by Carl Hoffman (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson (Penguin Random House - Viking)
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper)
The Good Mothers: The True Story of the Women Who Took on the World's Most Powerful Mafia by Alex Perry (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
**Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland Publishing)
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow Paperbacks)
Mark X: Who Killed Huck Finn's Father? by Yasuhiro Takeuchi (Taylor & Francis - Routledge)
Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)
BEST SHORT STORY
**“English 398: Fiction Workshop” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Art Taylor (Dell Magazines)
“Rabid – A Mike Bowditch Short Story” by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books)
“Paranoid Enough for Two” – The Honorable Traitors by John Lutz (Kensington Publishing)
“Ancient and Modern” – Bloody Scotland by Val McDermid (Pegasus Books)
“The Sleep Tight Motel” – Dark Corners Collection by Lisa Unger (Amazon Publishing)
**Otherwood by Pete Hautman (Candlewick Press)
Denis Ever After by Tony Abbott (HarperCollins Children’s Books – Katherine Tegen Books)
Zap! by Martha Freeman (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective by A.B. Greenfield (Holiday House)
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Company – Henry Holt BFYR)
Charlie & Frog: A Mystery by Karen Kane (Disney Publishing Worldwide – Disney Hyperion)
Zora & Me: The Cursed Ground by T.R. Simon (Candlewick Press)
BEST YOUNG ADULT
**Sadie by Courtney Summers (Wednesday Books)
Contagion by Erin Bowman (HarperCollins Children’s Books - HarperCollins)
Blink by Sasha Dawn (Lerner Publishing Group – Carolrhoda Lab)
After the Fire by Will Hill (Sourcebooks – Sourcebooks Fire)
A Room Away From the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers)
BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
**“The One That Holds Everything” – The Romanoffs, Teleplay by Matthew Weiner & Donald Joh (Amazon Prime Video)
“The Box” - Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Teleplay by Luke Del Tredici (NBC/Universal TV)
“Season 2, Episode 1” – Jack Irish, Teleplay by Andrew Knight (Acorn TV)
“Episode 1” – Mystery Road, Teleplay by Michaeley O’Brien (Acorn TV)
“My Aim is True” – Blue Bloods, Teleplay by Kevin Wade (CBS Eye Productions)
ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
“How Does He Die This Time?” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Nancy Novick (Dell Magazines)
THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
**The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Press – Soho Crime)
A Death of No Importance by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur Books)
A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington Publishing)
Bone on Bone by Julia Keller (Minotaur Books)
A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier (Minotaur Books)
THE G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD
Shell Game by Sara Paretsky (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
Martin Cruz Smith, best known for his eight-novel series featuring Arkady Renko, who first appeared in Gorky Park
Previous Grand Masters include William Link, Peter Lovesey, Jane Langton, Max Allan Collins, Ellen Hart, Walter Mosley, Lois Duncan, James Ellroy, Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.
The Raven Award
(recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing)
Marilyn Stasio, the mystery critic for the New York Times Book Review (and other magazines) for 30 years, since 1988.
Previous Raven winners include the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, Dru Ann Love, Kris Zgorski, Sisters in Crime, Margaret Kinsman, Kathryn Kennison, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.
The Ellery Queen Award
(established in 1983 to honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry.”
Linda Landrigan, editor since 2002 of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
Previous Ellery Queen Award winners include Robert Pépin, Neil Nyren, Janet Rudolph, Charles Ardai, Joe Meyers, Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Carolyn Marino, Ed Gorman, Janet Hutchings, Cathleen Jordan, Douglas G. Greene, Susanne Kirk, Sara Ann Freed, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Jacques Barzun, Martin Greenburg, Otto Penzler, Richard Levinson, William Link, Ruth Cavin, and Emma Lathen.
The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.
Pictured: Author Maureen Jennings
The British born, Canadian writer Maureen Jennings is best known for her Inspector Murdoch series set in Victorian-era Toronto (which is also a popular CBC television series by the same name). She’s also written a series set in England during WWII featuring Detective Tom Tyler. With her latest book, Heat Wave, she introduces a new series set in 1936 Toronto and a new main character, a private investigator’s assistant named Charlotte Frayne. Mystery Scene's Robin Agnew caught up with the busy author to discuss the author's new Paradise Cafe Mystery series.
Robin Agnew for Mystery Scene: In your new Paradise Cafe Mystery series, you introduce Charlotte Frayne. After two decades spent inside the heads of male characters, how does it feel to be writing a woman?
Maureen: Really nice. I’m using a first-person narrative and it feels very comfortable.
This book is set in 1936 Toronto, so it's a very different feel from Murdoch's Toronto. How has the city and setting changed from the 1880s to the 1930s?
Oh gosh so much. This actually felt like a contemporary novel. Skirts were shorter, conventions looser. Women certainly had more freedom to pursue an independent life in 1936 (thanks to WWI). Technology had advanced (i.e the telephone and dictaphone were in common use). Lots more cars.
Heat Wave begins at the cusp of WWII. How was this time different in Canada than it was in Europe?
Other than the threat of being invaded, which Europe had to face, the issues were similar. For example, how far can one allow tyranny to go?
Can you discuss more about what the Paradise Cafe is? It's such a profound idea to have a cafe started by former POWs.
I had read about POWs who were starving, spending many hours talking about food—meals they had loved in the past, recipes they shared. At first, I was surprised. I thought if you were hungry, the last thing you’d want to talk about would be food, but apparently not.
So I followed up on that and had my four main characters decide to get a cafe and run it together. The city and the country at the time were still in the grip of the terrible depression, so they decide to cook meals that are inexpensive, and—unlike what they had been forced to eat while they were prisoners—what they serve is delicious.
When they were POWs reminiscing and sharing the meals they had loved, they would say, …And that was Paradise." So, they named the cafe, The Paradise Cafe. A place where they know your name and all you have say is, "I’ll have the same."
Your Murdoch novels address important social issues, and your new book does as well. What issues were important to you as you wrote this novel?
Inequality and injustice. Prejudice. The vital attempts to make things better, as my men do.
How likely would it have been for a woman to have functioned as a private eye in 1936?
They certainly existed, but would have mainly dealt with domestic situations, which meant really that they had to spy on the putative unfaithful spouse. Divorces were difficult to get unless you could prove adultery. I don’t stray too far from this in this book. Women were always considered to be more emotional than men, and would deal with emotional situations that they could therefore understand.
After twenty years of writing, what still excites you about our work?
There’s always so much to share. I read a lot in the area I’m researching and there’s always something new that I discover. Then I want to tell everybody about it.
Do you have a favorite character from among those you've created?
Difficult to answer this one. I must say, I do like Murdoch. I suppose there’s something of me in him. At least I give him concerns that I consider to be important. I do like his son, Jack, who comes into Let Darkness Bury the Dead and I am proud of Fiona Williams the ventriloquist (also in that book). I’ve always wanted to study ventriloquism. Having an alter ego can be a good way of saying things you might be too polite to say normally.
And finally, what's next for Charlotte Frayne?
I’m looking forward to sending Charlotte on another adventure. This time I’ve become fascinated with the labor struggles of the period when courageous women in the sweatshops tried to rally and go on strike for better conditions. Charlotte will go undercover to suss out what’s happening.
Maureen Jennings, now a Canadian citizen, was born in the UK and emigrated to Canada as a teenager. After a long career as a psychotherapist, she is now writing full time and has published one novella, 13 novels of crime fiction, and one book of non-fiction relating to creativity, as well as four professionally produced plays. She is the author of the Inspector Murdoch novels as well as being a consultant and occasional scriptwriter for the Murdoch television show. She has been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Bruce Alexander, and Macavity awards, as well as being nominated eight times for Canada's prestigious Arthur Ellis Award for both her novels and her short stories.