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August 5, 2008 / C.T. Henry

AWARD WINNING MYSTERIES SINCE 2000

How do you choose what mystery books to read? One of my most successful methods is to critically assess the numerous awards given throughout the year by different associations. Knowing that awards can be very political, I look at the breadth of a book’s accomplishment, i.e. how many nominations did it win, rather than the number of awards it won. I figure that if a book has been nominated for at least four awards, it must be a very good mystery. Over the years, my “system” has never failed me. Every book has been truly satisfying, and nearly every book on this list is one the best mysteries that I have ever read.

THE MOST AWARDED MYSTERY NOVELS:

placeofexecution1. A Place of Execution – Val McDermid (2000)
ANTHONY WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
DILYS WINNER,
LA TIMES WINNER,
Edgar Nominee
_

2. Mystic River – Dennis Lehane (2001)
ANTHONY WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
DILYS WINNER,
Hammett Nominee
_

whatthedeadknow3. What the Dead Know – Laura Lippman (2007)
ANTHONY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
Dagger Nominee,
Gumshoe Nominee
_

4. The Lincoln Lawyer – Michael Connelly (2005)
MACAVITY WINNER,
SHAMUS WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Anthony,
Dagger Nominee,
LA Times Nominee,
Gumshoe Nominee

5. City of Bones – Michael Connelly (2002)
ANTHONY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Dagger Nominee,
Gumshoe Nominee

6. Winter and Night - S.J. Rozan (2002)
EDGAR WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
Shamus Nominee,
Anthony Nominee,
Barry Nominee

7. Silent Joe – T. Jefferson Parker (2001)
EDGAR WINNER,
LA TIMES WINNER,
Macavity Nominee,
Barry Nominee,
Gumshoe Nominee,
Hammett Nominee

8. California Girl - T. Jefferson Parker (2004)
EDGAR WINNER,
Anthony Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Gumshoe Nominee,
Hammett Nominee

9. The Guards – Ken Bruen (2003)
SHAMUS WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Barry Nominee
_

soul-patchSoul Patch – Reed Coleman (2007)
SHAMUS WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Barry Nominee,
Macavity Nominee(

_o_

10. The Bottoms – Joe R. Lansdale (2000)
EDGAR WINNER,
Anthony Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Hammett Nominee

_


The Awards:

  • The Edgar Allan Poe Award® is awarded every April by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA). Eligible novels must be published in the U.S. in English and nominated by the publisher.
  • The Anthony Award, named for mystery reviewer Anthony Boucher, is bestowed every summer at the Boucheron World Mystery Convention. Eligible books must be published in the U.S. in English and nominated by a Bouchercon registrant.
  • The Shamus Award is given by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA). Eligible novels feature a professional private investigator (someone not employed by the government or police).
  • The Macavity Award, named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, is bestowed annually at Bouchercon by Mystery Readers International (MRI).
  • The Barry Award, named for fan reviewer Barry Gardner, is bestowed annually at Bouchercon by fan-oriented Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (DP).
  • The DILYS Award has been given annually since 1993 by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling.
  • The Los Angeles Times Book Prize is awarded every Spring, highlighting the newspaper’s annual Festival of Books. Eight panels of three judges each provide all nominations and choose both finalists and winners.
  • The Hammett Prize is awarded annually by The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers for literary excellence in the field of crime writing.
  • The Gumshoe Award is given annually by Mystery Ink magazine to recognize the best achievements in crime fiction.
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3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Val McDermid / Aug 6 2008 9:01 pm

    Who knew? Reading this made my day, Henry. Thanks for taking the time to figure all this out.

  2. tonybulmer / Nov 4 2012 8:33 pm

    Gorgeous George Pelecanos is sobbing I can here his soft tears falling from Mulholland Drive, some good choices here tho!

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