I know that the mystery genre seems to have an abundance of awards, but I, for one, enjoy hearing about them.
I especially like it when the nominees of the various awards don't overlap. To me, that is just another way of honoring the many good books that are out there.
The 2011 Nero Award finalists have just been announced and, as usual, it honors some exceptional work.
I'm glad I don't have to make the final decision as it would be hard to pick just one book.
The Nero Award celebrates literary excellence in the mystery genre.
The Nero Award is presented each year to an author for the best mystery written in the tradition of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe stories. It is presented at the Black Orchid Banquet, traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City.
Past winners have included Tess Gerritsen, Lee Child, and Martha Grimes.
This year, the nominees are:
Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books)
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds (St. Martin’s Press)
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
The Midnight Show Murders by Al Roker (Delacorte)
Think of a Number by John Verdon (Crown)
The Wolfe Pack, the literary society that celebrates all things Nero Wolfe, also presents the Black Orchid Novella Award (BONA) in partnership with Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine to celebrate the Novella format popularized by Rex Stout. The BONA is also announced at the Black Orchid Banquet in December.
The Wolfe Pack, founded in 1977, is a forum to discuss, explore, and enjoy the 72 Nero Wolfe books and novellas written by Rex Stout. The organization has more than 450 members worldwide.
I remember a time when TV was at its slowest during the summer. Those days are gone.
Now the summer not only is filled with original episodes, but there's quite a number of series designed for the mystery fan.
Here's a smattering:
THE GLADES (A&E, Sundays at 10 p.m.) Season two of this guilty pleasure should have some personal and professional changes for Jim Longworth, a detective with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement who is based in the fictional town of Palm Glade, Florida. The series shoots in South Florida, especially in the Fort Lauderdale area.
NORA ROBERTS’ CARNAL INNOCENCE (Lifetime, June 13 at 8 p.m.) Gabrielle Anwar (“Burn Notice”) plays a world-famous violinist who wants peace and quiet and instead is stalked by a serial killer.
MEMPHIS BEAT (TNT, June 14 at 9 p.m.) Who knew that Jason Lee could play a convincing cop? OK, so Memphis Beat isn't exactly Homicide: Life on the Streets, but there are some interesting plots that showcase Lee's character Dwight Hendricks. And who doesn't love Alfre Woodard’s as Dwight's lieutenant.
BURN NOTICE (USA, June 23 at 8 p.m.) Jeffrey Donovan returns as Michael Westen, the burned spy in the fifth season, which is shot in South Florida. Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Gabrielle Anwar co-star. This is a personal favorite. Burn Notice remains fresh because each year the writers tackle a new aspect of Michael Westen's life.
SUITS (USA, June 23 at 10 p.m.) Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams) is a brilliant college-dropout who lands a job with one of New York City's best attorneys, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht). Mike's raw talent and photographic memory impresses his new boss. Of course, this happens all the time -- dropouts pretend to be lawyers and handle high-profile cases. Hey, I live in Florida.
TRUE BLOOD (HBO, June 26 at 9 p.m.) Expect new characters in the fourth season of this Southern-gothic series based on Charlaine Harris' novels. Fiona Shaw will play Marnie, a witch. Gary Cole will play as Sookie Stackhouse’s grandfather, Earl. But wait, isn't he dead?
LEVERAGE (TNT, June 26, at 9 p.m.) The best gang of con artists return.
Photos: Top, Memphis Beat with Jason Lee and Alfre Woodard. TNT photo. Jeffery Donavan in Burn Notice. USA photo