Every spring, the Mystery Writers of America award Edgars to outstanding works in the last year. This year the banquet where the winners are announced is on May 2nd at a hotel in New York City. If you want to prepare for your own particular award, the nominees are listed below by category.
The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins - the next in the Quinn Colson series (after The Ranger) has the ex Army Ranger and newly elected sheriff of Tibbehah County Mississippi facing Mexican gun runners and an illegal adoption ring.
The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye - the beginning of a series that takes place in mid 1800's New York City. Timothy Wilde becomes a reluctant member of the newly formed New York City Police and when he finds a young girl running through the streets, covered in blood, his adventure starts.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - need I say more about this blockbuster? It's the story of a marriage gone horribly wrong and two people who find new ways to hurt each other.
Potboiler by Jesse Kellerman - a middle aged college professor gets involved in more than anyone could imagine when his boyhood friend, a bestselling novelist, dies.
Sunset by Al Lamanda - a former police officer sunk in depression and alcohol is asked by the mob boss he thinks had his wife killed to find the real killer.
Live By Night by Dennis Lehane - The son of a Boston police captain leads a live of crime in the 1920's - and he is the hero.
All I Did Was Shoot My Man by Wlater Mosley - the fourth in the Leonid McGill series. Leonid tries to keep his family together while watching over a woman accused of one of the largest heists in history.
It will be interesting to see if they give it to Gillian Flynn as that title has won alot of awards or to someone new and different.
BEST FIRST NOVEL
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay - in 1925 Seattle, a young woman was passed over for a museum curatorship so she sets sail for Cambodia on a quest to find 10 ancient Khmer scrolls and starts an adventure of a lifetime. It has received nothing but the highest praise for the sense of time and place.
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman - Buck Schatz, a retired Memphis cop, might be eighty some years old but he is as crusty and cantankerous as he was when he was working. A dying buddy tells him that a Nazi officer who had tortured him during WWII, was alive and had escaped with a car full of gold. Humor and hard boiled together.
Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal - for those who love Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs stories - this will be your winner. Maggie Hope graduated at the top of her college class but her gender gave her the position of typist at 10 Downing Street. Maggie though uses her intelligence to uncover a murderous plot.
The Expats by Chris Pavone - Kate, an ex-CIA operative, leaves her job and the country when her husband is offered a position in Luxembourg. There is the difficulty of settling in a new country with strange customs and a strange language AND there is the fact that you don't really know what your husband does or who anyone really is. The reviews on this one are all over the map but it got nominated so give it a try.
The 500 by Matthew Quirk - Mike Ford is a former con artist/Harvard Law School grad who has been picked by the Davies Group to be the handler of problem for D.C.'s powerful insiders. Did he sell his soul?
Black Friday by Michael Sears - Jason Stafford spent 2 years in prison for insider trading. He lost his money and his family. When he gets out, a friend gives him a job investigating the trading done by a junior partner who was killed in an accident. He also takes custody of his young autistic son. He has a lot on his plate. And then it gets dangerous.
All the above titles are available at the library. MWA also gives an award for Best Paperback Original and I'll talk about those next time. Hopefully, you can decide you YOU think should win the awards.