Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Notes — Best Mystery/Crime Writers of the New Century

A number of important awards will be announced later this week at the big Mystery Writers of America (MWA) conference, Bouchercon, in Cleveland.  Last Monday we listed some of the “best mystery novel” awards, stopping just before the 21st Century. Today, we pick this up where we left off.

The compilation is based on awards given by the MWA (The Edgar and the Anthony), the Private Eye Writers of America (The Shamus), Mystery Readers International (The Macavity) and the comprehensive mystery review quarterly, Deadly Pleasures (The Barry).

Among those who have had their books judged the “best” of the year by these organizations, a mystery novel by Michael Connelly has won nine awards over the years, with probably more to come. Laura Lippman and Sue Grafton have each picked up six.  John Hart’s The Last Child and Laura Lippman’s What the Dead Know won three out of the five “bests” for 2010 and 2008 respectively. I was surprised to see that some of the legendary writers in the thriller/suspense/mystery field have won few or none of these awards, including many writers who regularly appear at the top of the bestseller lists.

Two other points should be noted.  One is that eligibility for the Shamus Award is limited to books about private investigators.  The second is that most of these organizations give awards in several categories — best paperback, best first novel, etc.  The books listed here are for “Best Novel” only.

To check out the 2012 winners as they are announced later this week, visit Rap Sheet or the web sites of the organizations giving the awards.  I’ll also update this post with the new awards as they are reported.

2000   Jan Burke, Bones, Edgar
            Don Winslow, California Fire and Life, Shamus
            Peter Robinson, In a Dry Season, Anthony
            Sujata Massey, The Flower Master, Macavity
            Peter Robinson, In a Dry Season, Barry

2001   Joe R. Lansdale, The Bottoms, Edgar
            Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, Havana Heat, Shamus
            Val McDermid, A Place of Execution, Anthony
Val McDermid, A Place of Execution, Macavity
Nevada Barr Deep South, Barry

2002   T. Jefferson Parker, California Girl, Edgar
            S. J. Rozan, Reflecting the Sky, Shamus
            Dennis Lehane, Mystic River, Anthony
            Laurie R. King, Folly, Macavity
            Dennis Lehane, Mystic River, Barry

2003   S. J. Rozan, Winter and Night, Edgar
            James W. Hall, Blackwater Sound, Shamus
            Michael Connelly, City of Bones, Anthony
            S.J. Rozan, Winter and Night, Macavity
            Michael Connelly, City of Bones, Barry

2004   Ian Rankin, Resurrection Men, Edgar
            Ken Bruen, The Guards, Shamus
            Laura Lippman, Every Secret Thing, Anthony
            Peter Lovesey, The House Sitter, Macavity
            Laura Lippman, Every Secret Thing, Barry

2005   T. Jefferson Parker, California Girl, Edgar
            Ed Wright, While I Disappear, Shamus
            William Kent Krueger, Blood Hollow, Anthony
            Ken Bruen, The Killing of the Tinkers, Macavity
            Lee Child, The Enemy, Barry

2006   Jess Walter, Citizen Vince, Edgar
            Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer, Shamus
            William Kent Krueger, Mercy Falls, Anthony
            Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer, Macavity
            Thomas H. Cook, Red Leaves, Barry

2007   Jason Goodwin, The Janissary Tree, Edgar
            Ken Bruen, The Dramatist, Shamus
            Laura Lippman, No Good Deeds, Anthony
            Nancy Pickard, The Virgin of Small Plains, Macavity
            George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener, Barry

2008   John Hart, Down River, Edgar
            Reed Farrel Coleman, Soul Patch, Shamus
            Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know, Anthony
            Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know, Macavity
            Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know, Barry

2009   C. J. Box, Blue Heaven, Edgar
            Reed Farrel Coleman, Empty Ever After, Shamus
            Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict, Anthony
            Deborah Crombie, Where Memories Lie, Macavity
            Arnaldur Indridason, The Draining Lake, Barry

2010   John Hart, The Last Child, Edgar
            Marcia Muller, Locked In, Shamus
            Louise Penny, The Brutal Telling, Anthony
            John Hart, The Last Child, Macavity
            John Hart, The Last Child, Barry

2011   Steve Hamilton, The Lock Artist, Edgar
            Lori Armstrong, No Merci, Shamus
            Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead, Anthony
            Louise Penny, Bury Your Dead, Macavity
            Steven Hamilton, The Lock Artist, Barry

2012   Mo Hayder, Gone, Edgar
           Michael Wiley, A Bad Night's Sleep, Shamus
           Louise Penny, A Trick of the Light, Anthony
           Susan Gran, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Macavity
           Jussi Adler Olsen, The Keeper of Lost Causes,  Barry



Editor Bill said...

The Shamus seems to have a loose idea of private investigators. The Lincoln Lawyer has a lawyer as a protagonist, not a P.I. and I would think that Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor is more of an independent agent than a P.I.

Ronald Tierney said...

I noted that as well and was surprised. In the Lincoln Lawyer, a private investigator working for the main character plays a significant role in the plot. That may have been the qualifying aspect. I believe the way PWA describes it is that the character cannot be a law enforcement agent and must be paid for his or her work.