Saturday, February 19, 2011

Louise Penny to four-peat at upcoming Agathas?

After claiming an unprecedented third consecutive Best Novel Agatha Award last year, popular Canadian mystery writer Louise Penny is now in line to score four, with the nomination of her novel BURY YOUR DEAD for Best Novel at this year's instalment of the Agatha Awards - which focus on 'traditional mysteries' (ie cosies, or mysteries with less violence, blood and sex, that usually focus on confined settings and often have amateur detectives).

The 2010 Agatha Awards (yes, we're in 2011, but they seem to name them for the year the books came out, rather than the year of presentation) are given for materials first published in the United States by a living author during the calendar year 2010 (January 1-December 31), either in hardcover, as a paperback original, or e-published by an e-publishing firm. The Agatha Awards will be voted on by attendees and then presented at the upcoming Malice Domestic convention, to be held in Bethesda, Maryland from 29 April to 1 May 2011.

Here is the full list of nominees:

Best Novel:
Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard
Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Best First Novel:
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden
Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower
Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill
Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff

Best Non-fiction:
The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran
Sherlock Holmes for Dummies by Stephen Doyle & David A. Crowder
Have Faith in Your Kitchen by Katherine Hall Page
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History by Yunte Huang

Best Short Story:
"Swing Shift" by Dana Cameron, Crimes by Moonlight
"Size Matters" by Sheila Connolly, Thin Ice
"Volunteer of the Year" by Barb Goffman, Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin'
"So Much in Common" by Mary Jane Maffini, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
"The Green Cross" by Liz Zelvin, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

Best Children's/Young Adult:
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
Theodosia and the Eyes of Horus by R. L. LaFevers
The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee
Virals by Kathy Reichs
The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

Of the nominees, I have only read THEODORE BOONE by John Grisham (it was an enjoyable read, and a well-told tale for teenagers). I also have a copy of BURY YOUR DEAD in my TBR pile (I think). Interestingly, I only found out about VIRALS recently, in conjunction with Kathy Reichs's brief visit to New Zealand - it sounds like an interesting novel too, and good to see some big-name crime and thriller writers penning tales for younger readers. I think it's so important that reading is encouraged with children, and things are done to develop or cultivate the lifelong love of stories and reading that many of us share.

Have you read any of the nominees? Thoughts welcome.


  1. I've read all but one of the Best Novel nominees, ditto for the Best First--and, of course, the short stories!

    If Louise Penny is found deceased under mysterious circumstances at Malice, it's because we're all tired of fighting such a outstanding writer.

  2. I have to read The Brutal Telling next - it's here beside me on Mount TBR, and then pick up Bury Your Dead next. I enjoy her series so much, and am so proud as a Canadian that she is doing so well! (Please tell Sheila that it's about time Canada had some award-winning mystery writers!)

    I really want to read The Poisoner's Handbook and came across a review of Murder at the PTA recently, so am hoping I can find it too.