Are you a lover of mysteries and crime fiction? Looking for a good winter reading project? Why not read through all the 2020 Edgar Award winners and nominees? With over forty books to chose from, from classic mysteries to YA thrillers to true crime, you won’t run out of reading material anytime soon. To give you a taste of the many fantastic books that made the Edgar Awards shortlist this year, we’ve highlighted the winners in each category. So brew up the hot beverage of your choice and find a comfy spot: there’s a lot of great reading ahead of you!
The Stranger Diaries is a fresh, contemporary take on the Gothic tradition. Clare Cassidy is a high school English teacher who specializes in Gothic literature. She even teaches a class every year on her favorite Gothic writer, R. M. Holland. But then one of her colleagues turns up dead with a line from one of Holland's most famous stories left by the body. Suddenly Clare isn't sure if she's living in real life, or some twisted version of her favorite murder mystery.
Best First Novel
Miracle Creek is many things: a small town mystery, a courtroom drama, and a nuanced exploration of the complexities of marriage and parenting. In a small Virginia town, a group of people are tied together by a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber used to potentially cure a range of conditions. When the chamber explodes and two people die, it soon becomes clear that the tragedy was no accident, and the town is thrown into chaos.
Best Paperback Original
Adam O'Fallon Price
The Hotel Neversink is a multigenerational epic about the grim legacy of one family's Catskills hotel. Beginning with the disappearance of a young boy shortly after the hotel opened in the 1930s, the novel follows the family's patriarch and his children and grandchildren as they wrestle with the past and their role in the hotel's darkest secrets.
Best Fact Crime
When she was a girl growing up in Indiana, Axton Betz-Hamilton's parents' identities were stolen. This crime plagued her childhood, causing her family to distrust the outside world and cut themselves off completely. The Less People Know About Us is Betz-Hamilton's moving memoir about the crime and its aftermath, and the secrets and betrayal that haunted her long into adulthood.
In Hitchcock and the Censors, John Billheimer tells the engaging story of Alfred Hitchcock's lifelong battle with the censors at the Motion Picture Production Code Office. The censors held up Hitchcock's work for dozens of reasons, forcing Hitchcock to fight back with charm and trickery, pushing the boundaries of what was considered "decent" for American moviegoers in the 1940s and 50s.
A young girl and her trusty dog team up to save her dad when he's accused of stealing money from the town library fund in this fun and quirky middle grade mystery. Jesse is keen to get to the bottom of the case and free her dad, but she really comes into her own when a tornado strikes, and she has the chance to save more than just her own family.
Best Young Adult
A fun sci-fi mystery for the internet age, Catfishing on CatNet follows the exploits of a teenage girl determined to save a beloved AI. Steph's mom moves them around a lot, so most of her friends are on CatNet, an online social media platform for cat lovers. When it turns out that the admin is a sentient AI, it's up to Steph and her friends to save her from hostile outsiders.
The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award
Fleeing an abusive home, Alice and ten-year-old Oren get off the bus in upstate New York in the middle of a snowstorm. A local social worker, Mattie, who lives in the middle of the woods, offers to take them home for the night. But both women are keeping secrets, and as the snowstorm intensifies around them, those secrets slowly unravel—with shocking consequences for all.
The G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award
In Borrowed Time, the latest in Tracy's Clark's new PI series, Cassandra Raines, Chicago cop turned PI, reluctantly agrees to take on a case as a favor for a friend: a man was found in Lake Michigan, his body floating near his luxury boat. All the signs point to accident or suicide, but Cass's friend insists there's something suspicious about it. The problem is, the deeper she gets into the case, the more danger she finds herself in.
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