Friday, January 20, 2012

Plenty of internationals up for Edgar Award

Earlier today (NZT), the Mystery Writers of America announced the nominees for the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards (the 'Edgars'), honoring the best in mystery fiction and nonfiction. The winners will be announced at a gala banquet on April 26 in New York. A quick skim of the main award (Best Novel) nominees reveals that non-US authors feature strongly this year:
  • The Ranger by Ace Atkins;
  • Gone by Mo Hayder;
  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino;
  • 1222 by Anne Holt;
  • Field Gray by Philip Kerr.
By my calculation, that's an American author, a British author, a Japanese author, a Norwegian author, and a British author who sets his books in wartime Germany/Europe. So quite the geographical spread compared to most years, for a US-based award that is considered 'the Oscar of the crime writing world'.

I haven't read any of those five novels, although I have all but THE RANGER and 1222 on my TBR shelf at home, waiting to be read (I have a different Anne Holt book as well). So I can't given any thoughts on what book might be most deserving, or the favourite etc. As always, some very good books have missed out. I thought I might see Jo Nesbo's name there - he has previously been nominated for NEMESIS, and THE SNOWMAN and THE LEOPARD - both arguably better novels - were both released in the USA in 2011, so I would have thought might have featured. Also, James Lee Burke's FEAST DAY OF FOOLS has been lauded by many, and even the author himself thinks it might be his best book ever (which is an incredibly high bar), so I thought he might get some further recognition - although he seems to have been overlooked by the Edgars in recent years, in favour of newer and lesser-known authors (he has one the Award twice before).

Unfortunately there is also no nomination for Luther, even though the first series won last year's television Edgar, and many consider the second series as good or better (and Idris Elba just won a Golden Globe for the second series). However the five nominated TV shows - Blue Bloods, Justified, Whitechapel, Homeland, and Law & Order: SVU are all quality shows too. I would have maybe had Luther and Sons of Anarchy there somewhere - both have excellent writing - but that's the way these things go with awards ceremonies.

Have you read any of the five novels nominated for the Best Novel Edgar? Which is your pick to win?

You can read the full list of nominees, courtesy of Shots Mag!, here.

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