Highlighting the best in mysteries and thrillers, the Edgar® Awards celebrated its 75th year this Thursday, April 29th. Congratulations to all 2021 nominees and winners. You can see the full list of 2021 Edgar Award nominees here.
The Best Novel
Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesn’t let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin-roofed homes where nine-year-old Jai lives with his family. From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the city’s fancy high-rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem a thousand miles away. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line plunges readers deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world.
Best First Novel
In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Megan Miranda, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.
Best Paperback Original
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
Best Fact Crime
From a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter from the smallest newspaper ever to win the prize in the investigative reporting category, an urgent, riveting, and heartbreaking investigation into the corporate greed that pumped millions of pain pills into small Appalachian towns, decimating communities.
The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award
London, 1703. In a time when the old approaches to science coexist with the new, one elite community attempts to understand the world by collecting its wonders. Sir Barnaby Mayne, the most formidable of these collectors, has devoted his life to filling his cabinets. While the curious-minded vie for invitations to study the rare stones, bones, books, and artifacts he has amassed, some visitors come with a darker purpose.
For Cecily Kay, it is a passion for plants that brings her to the Mayne house. The only puzzle she expects to encounter is how to locate the specimens she needs within Sir Barnaby’s crowded cabinets. But when her host is stabbed to death, Cecily finds the confession of the supposed killer unconvincing. She pays attention to details—years of practice have taught her that the smallest particulars can distinguish a harmless herb from a deadly one—and in the case of Sir Barnaby’s murder, there are too many inconsistencies for her to ignore.
To discover the truth, Cecily must enter the world of the collectors, a realm where intellect is distorted by obsession and greed. As her pursuit of answers brings her closer to a killer, she risks being given a final resting place amid the bones that wait, silent and still, in the cabinets of Barnaby Mayne.
The G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award
The “splendid genre-pushing” (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine finds herself traveling from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.
Robert L. Fish Award
Colette Bancroft (Editor); Ace Atkins (Contribution by); Karen Brown (Contribution by)
Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir . Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct location within the geographic area of the book. Brand-new stories by: Michael Connelly, Lori Roy, Ace Atkins, Karen Brown, Tim Dorsey, Lisa Unger, Sterling Watson, Luis Castillo, Sarah Gerard, Danny L pez, Ladee Hubbard, Gale Massey, Yuly Restrepo Garc s, Eliot Schrefer, and Colette Bancroft.
In 1933, Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping both her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock’s confidante and one of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters of his first American film, Rebecca. Harrison had quickly grown from being the worst secretary Hitchcock ever had to one of his closest collaborators, critically shaping his brand as the “Master of Suspense.” Forging her own public persona as the female Hitchcock, Harrison went on to produce numerous Hollywood features before becoming a television pioneer as the producer of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. A respected powerhouse, she acquired a singular reputation for running amazingly smooth productions– and defying anyone who posed an obstacle. She built most of her films and series from the ground up. She waged rough-and-tumble battles against executives and censors, and even helped to break the Hollywood blacklist. She teamed up with many of the most respected, well-known directors, writers, and actors of the twentieth century. And she did it all on her own terms. Author Christina Lane shows how this stylish, stunning woman became Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer–one whom history has since overlooked.
Elizabeth C. Bunce
Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.
When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes he–not even her father, the town prosecutor.
Best Young Adult
The other orphans say Margot is lucky.
Lucky to have survived the car-wreck that killed her family.
Lucky to get a single room because she wakes up screaming every night.
And finally, lucky to be chosen to join a foster family at their remote country manor.
But soon, Margot realizes that it wasn’t generosity that moved Mr. and Mrs. Sutton to bring her home. Margo was handpicked to be a companion for their daughter, Agatha-a formerly typical teenager who suddenly went catatonic.
Staying with the Suttons is better than the alternatives, but strange things start happening at the estate. As Margot begins to understand the truth, she begins to slip away…just like Agatha.
Until the next morning, when the day repeats itself.
Baxter and Halen are the only ones who remember what happened, and they repeat their living nightmare again and again. As the cycle continues, the two try to figure out what’s going on- Why does Halen feel sick every time she takes off the necklace? Where is the eerie singing coming from? And who, or what, is killing everyone?
Best Short Story
Maaza Mengiste wins Best Short Story for “Dush, Ash, Flight” from Addis Ababa @AkashicBooks.
2021 Grand Master
Best TV Episode Teleplay
“Episode 1, Open Water” – The Sounds, Written by Sarah-Kate Lynch (Acorn TV)
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