Friday, February 17, 2012

"One for the thumb" for Louise Penny?

Last year I commented on how Louise Penny was remarkably up for a fourth consecutive Agatha Award for her novel BURY YOUR DEAD. She'd already won an unprecedented three in a row. The Agatha Awards, presented annually, are literary awards for mystery and crime writers who write the 'traditional mystery' akin to those made famous by Agatha Christie (eg no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence). Each year, the Awards are voted on by attendees and then presented at the upcoming Malice Domestic convention. Unsurprisingly, at last year's Malice Domestic, Penny was again voted the winner for Best Novel.

Now, the Canadian queen of crime fiction has once again been named a finalist for this year's Agatha Award. In North American sporting parlance, having already secured a repeat, three-peat, and four-peat of victories, she's now going for "one for the thumb" (a reference to the rings that football players and others win).

Here's the full list of finalists for this year's awards:

Best Novel:
  • The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
  • The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis (Berkley)
  • Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
  • Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing)
  • A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Best First Novel:
  • Dire Threads by Janet Bolin (Berkley)
  • Choke by Kaye George (Mainly Murder Press)
  • Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown)
  • Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab (Berkley)
  • Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend (Berkley)
Best Non-fiction:
  • Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure by Leslie Budewitz (Linden)
  • Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her Notebooks by John Curran (Harper)
  • On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (Princeton University Press)
  • Wilkie Collins, Vera Caspary and the Evolution of the Casebook Novel by A. B. Emrys (McFarland)
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris (Ace)
Best Short Story:
  • "Disarming" by Dana Cameron, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine - June 2011
  • "Dead Eye Gravy" by Krista Davis, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
  • "Palace by the Lake" by Daryl Wood Gerber, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology (Wildside Press)
  • "Truth and Consequences" by Barb Goffman, Mystery Times Ten (Buddhapuss Ink)
  • "The Itinerary" by Roberta Isleib, MWA Presents the Rich and the Dead (Grand Central Publishing)
Best Children's/Young Adult:
  • Shelter by Harlan Coben (Putnam)
  • The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
  • Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press)
  • The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (EgmontUSA)
  • The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key by Penny Warner (EgmontUSA)
Best Historical Novel:
  • Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
  • Murder Your Darlings by J.J. Murphy (Signet)
  • Mercury's Rise by Ann Parker (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson (Minotaur)
  • A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)

Of all those, I've only read SHELTER by Harlan Coben (which was good).

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