by Marcus Sakey
This morning Mystery Writers of America announced the 2008 Edgar nominations. The Edgar is the most prestigious annual award in the field, and this year's nominees are terrific. A partial list is below; click here to see the full list.
Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (Henry Holt and Company)
Priest by Ken Bruen (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins)
Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House Books)
Down River by John Hart (St. Martin's Minotaur)
BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group – Viking)
Snitch Jacket by Christopher Goffard (The Rookery Press)
Head Games by Craig McDonald (Bleak House Books)
Pyres by Derek Nikitas (St. Martin's Minotaur)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Random House - Mortalis)
Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks (Serpent's Tail)
Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill (Hard Case Crime)
Who is Conrad Hirst? by Kevin Wignall (Simon & Schuster)
BEST SHORT STORY
"The Catch" – Still Waters by Mark Ammons (Level Best Books)
"Blue Note" – Chicago Blues by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Bleak House Books)
"Hardly Knew Her" – Dead Man's Hand by Laura Lippman (Harcourt Trade Publishers)
"The Golden Gopher" – Los Angeles Noir by Susan Straight (Akashic Books
"Uncle" – A Hell of a Woman” by Daniel Woodrell (Busted Flush Press)
If/Then by David Foley (International Mystery Writers' Festival)
Panic by Joseph Goodrich (International Mystery Writers' Festival)
Books by Stuart M. Kaminsky (International Mystery Writers' Festival)
As always, I've read fewer than I would have expected, which means I've got some work to do in the next months. However, there are a couple I'd like to draw special attention to.
Derek Nikitas, nominated for PYRES, is a fellow member of the Killer Year group (as is Sean Chercover), and I had the privilege to blurb his book, so his nomination gives me a very personal pride. Way to do, Derek!
Ken Bruen is a friend and a mentor and an inspiration, and I love that in the last few years his work has really started to get the acclaim it deserves.
Laura Lippman is a wonderful writer, and the absolute soul of class and grace. While I'm thrilled she was nominated for her story, I'm stunned that WHAT THE DEAD KNOW didn't make the list.
My friend John Hart pulled off an amazing feat; he was nominated last year for the Best First for KING OF LIES. To return with a nomination for Best Novel on his sophomore effort is incredible.
Reed Farrel Coleman is a stone-pro who is long-overdue for this sort of attention. Very happy to see that one.
Stuart Kaminsky was nominated for not one but two Edgars, one of them for his contribution to CHICAGO BLUES, the anthology edited by Libby Hellman that includes stories from the Outfit. His story is terrific, as is the antho.
Speaking of the anthology, Alison Janssen and Ben LeRoy at Bleak House Books deserve special notice--rarely has a publisher not based in New York had such success. Three award noms, including in two Best Novel categories. Go, go, go!
Finally, for the record, this isn't a vote or a critique or anything of the sort. These are folks I know. I'm just giving love to friends.
Congratulations to all the Edgar nominees! It's a hell of a list.