The Anthony Awards were announced a week or so ago at the Bouchercon Convention. I've been meaning to post the winners and some of the nominees and this is the time.
I'm surprised and yet I'm not surprised. Up for Best Novel were both Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn which spent weeks on the bestseller lists and The Beautiful Mystery by perennial winner Louise Penny. I really thought that Flynn had a chance to unseat Penny who I believe has won several years in a row. She didn't. Perhaps Flynn's work was not quite enough of a mystery, I don't know. Penny's work is wonderful and I definitely read the Inspector Gamache series but really this makes the fourth time in a row. She must have a stack of them in her home. Penny has come out with another highly regarded mystery this year, How the Light Gets In, and I wonder if she will be going for a fifth win. If you haven't read Penny's series yet, the order is:
Still Life where she introduces the Canadian village of Three Pines - 2006
A Fatal Grace - from 2007
The Cruelest Month from 2008
A Rule Against Murder from 2009
The Brutal Telling from 2009 and her first Anthony Best Novel
Bury Your Dead from 2010 and her second Anthony
A Trick of Light from 2011 and the third Anthony
The Beautiful Mystery from 2012 which won the most recent Anthony
I have actually heard Louise Penny speak and she is humorous and delightful - her mysteries are quite complex though.
Best First Novel was not much of a surprise. A personal favorite of mine, Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman, did not win but the winner had been very strongly reviewed and was quite popular here, TheExpats by Chris Pavone. The story about an ex-CIA wife who follows her husband for a new job in Luxembourg and starts questioning her surroundings, their new friends and her husband.
Finally, the Best Paperback Original went to Big Maria by Johnny Shaw. Big Maria is a mine and three down and outers decide to go and find the lost gold that is hidden there. The problem is that Big Maria is right in the middle of a U.S. Army Artillery Range. Humor and suspense. I love that idea. Others that had been up for the award are listed below:
Whiplash River by Lou Berney
Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau
And She Was by Alison Gaylin
Blessed are the Dead by Malla Nunn
All are available at the library. Enjoy!