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August 7, 2008 / C.T. Henry

THE MOST AWARDED FIRST NOVELS SINCE 2000

How do you know if a new author is really good?  As I explained in another post, one of my favorite methods is to critically assess the numerous awards given throughout the year by different associations. 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.

1. Open Season – C.J. Box (2001)
ANTHONY WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
GUMSHOE WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
LA Times Nominee

2. In the Bleak Midwinter – Julia Spencer-Fleming (2002)
ANTHONY WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
DILYS WINNER,
AGATHA WINNER,
Gumshoe Nominee

3. Still Life – Louise Penny (2006)
ANTHONY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
DILYS WINNER
CREASEY NEW BLOOD DAGGER WINNER
ARTHUR ELLIS WINNER

4. A Conspiracy of Paper – David Liss (2000)
EDGAR WINNER,
MACAVITY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
Anthony Nominee

_

5. Monkeewrench – P.J. Tracy (2003)
ANTHONY WINNER,
BARRY WINNER,
GUMSHOE WINNER,
Dilys Nominee

_

6. The Distance – Eddie Muller (2004)
SHAMUS WINNER,
GUMSHOE WINNER,
Anthony Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Barry Nominee

7. King of Lies – John Hart (2007)
GUMSHOE WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Anthony Nominee,
Macavity Nominee,
Barry Nominee

8. Immoral – Brian Freeman (2005)
MACAVITY WINNER,
Edgar Nominee,
Anthony Nominee,
Barry Nominee,
Dagger Nominee

9. Blindsighted – Karin Slaughter (2001)
DAGGER WINNER,
Macavity Nominee,
Barry Nominee,
Gumshoe 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.
  • The Agatha Award is bestowed at Malice Domestic®, an annual convention in Washington D.C. which salutes the “traditional mystery” typified by the works of Agatha Christie—no explicit sex or violence, amateur detective, confined setting, characters who know each other.
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