The Agatha Awards were announced at the Malice Domestic Conference on May 3rd in Bethesda, MD. Agatha's are given to 'cozy' mysteries - tales without a bunch of violence and sex.
The winner Best Novel goes to a perennial award recipient, Louise Penny for A Beautiful Mystery. Chief Inspector Gamache is introspective as usual while investigating a murder at a Quebec monastery.
The winner of the Best First Novel went to Susan M. Boyer for Lowcountry Boil. Private Investigator Liz Talbot goes home to a South Carolina island when her grandmother is killed. Her brother is the chief of police but he wants her out of the investigation. A real southern feel to this one. I liked this one and am happy that there are to be more in this series.
Finally for the Agatha's, the winner of Best Historical Novel went to Catriona McPherson for Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder. Witty, amateur sleuth Dandy, is caught between two rival department store families. A delightful followup to Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains.
Bouchercon will be in Albany, NY September 19th through the 22nd. They announce the Anthony Awards at that time. Anthony nominees tend to be harder than cozies but as you will see, that doesn't mean that the same book won't be up for both awards.
The nominees for the Anthonys this year are:
Dare Me by Megan Abbott - 2 cheerleaders with a new coach and a suicide that causes uncertainties. What is actually going on at this high school.
The Trinity Game by Sean Chercover - Daniel Byrne is an investigator for the Vatican’s secretive Office of the Devil’s Advocate—the department that scrutinizes miracle claims. Over ten years and 721 cases, not one miracle he tested has proved true. But case #722 is different; Daniel’s estranged uncle, a crooked TV evangelist, has started speaking in tongues—and accurately predicting the future. Daniel knows Reverend Tim Trinity is a con man. Could Trinity also be something more?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - Gillian Flynn's breakthrough novel about a REALLY dysfunctional relationship. If you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - this is the title that won the Agatha last week. Could it win both of them? The continuing saga of Chief Inspector Gamache follows the murder at a cloistered monastery.
The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan - this title won the Mary Higgins Clark award at the Edgar Awards. A telejournalist who refused to release her source is relegated to puff newspaper pieces. She gets involved tracking down a politician's secret mistress and somehow it is tied to murdered women. Dirty politics.....
BEST FIRST NOVEL
Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman - a retired policeman decides to track down an old adversary with a fortune in stolen gold.
The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen - 4 college friends turn to kidnapping in the down job market. Everything appears to be going well until they kidnap the wrong man and find not only the law but organized crime are after them.
The Expats by Chris Pavone - also won the Edgar for best first novel. The story of an ex-CIA wife who moves to Luxembourg with her husband and finds herself questioning what is really happening.
The 500 by Matthew Quirk - A year ago, fresh out of Harvard Law School, Mike Ford landed his dream job at the Davies Group, Washington's most powerful consulting firm. Now, he's staring down the barrel of a gun, pursued by two of the world's most dangerous men. To get out, he'll have to do all the things he thought he'd never do again: lie, cheat, steal-and this time, maybe even kill.
Black Fridays by Michael Sears - Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big – there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed.
Check out these to see which you think should win. All are available at the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.