Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ellroy and Duncan named Grand Masters by MWA

In a case of 'what? really - he isn't one already?', the much-acclaimed James Ellroy has today been named as one of two new Mystery Writers of America (MWA) Grand Masters for 2015. Lois Duncan, who has been writing mysteries for several decades, has also been named a new Grand Master.

The Grand Master Award is touted by the MWA as representing "the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality". So for UK readers, it's the equivalent of the Diamond Dagger, or something of a 'Hall of Fame' type of award.

Ellroy and Duncan will receive their awards at the Edgars Banquet, held in New York City next April.

Upon learning he was named a Grand Master, Ellroy said, "This is a splendid honor; it lauds my career to date and spurs me on to stay young, healthy, and productive. The Mystery Writers of America: ever honorable, ever grand in their contribution to the craft of crime writing."

Duncan is best known for her thrillers for teenagers, which were nominated several times for the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel (and some were made into films). She said: "I'm stunned and overwhelmed by this incredible honor! To have my own name included on this illustrious list of my idols — Agatha Christie, Ira Levin, Stephen King, Tony Hillerman — is something I could never have imagined."

Previous Grand Masters include Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

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