AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

January 22, 2012

What Do the Edgar Awards Mean to You?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashedit @ 12:06 pm

As the revolution in publishing rages, Mystery Writers of America just released names of nominees for its prestigious Edgar Awards. Absent from the  nominations are print-on-demand and e-books that  carve increasingly hefty slices out of the reading market. I’d like to pose this question to my readership: What Do the Edgar Awards Mean to You? Your comments are valued and appreciated. Please click the comments link below, after the list of nominees.  Let your thoughts be heard! Elaine Ash

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce on the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, its Nominees for the 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2011. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 66th Gala Banquet, April 26, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City. 


The Ranger by Ace Atkins (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Gone by Mo Hayder (Grove/Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)

The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Minotaur Books)

1222 by Anne Holt (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)

Field Gray by Philip Kerr (Penguin Group USA – G.P. Putnam’s Sons – Marion Wood Books)


Red on Red by Edward Conlon (Random House Publishing Group – Spiegel & Grau)

Last to Fold by David Duffy (Thomas Dunne Books)

All Cry Chaos by Leonard Rosen (The Permanent Press)

Bent Road by Lori Roy (Penguin Group USA – Dutton)

Purgatory Chasm by Steve Ulfelder (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)


The Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett (Hachette Book Group – Orbit Books)
The Faces of Angels by Lucretia Grindle (Felony & Mayhem Press)
The Dog Sox by Russell Hill (Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Mystery Books)
Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper Paperbacks)

Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis (Random House Trade Paperbacks)  


The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars

by Paul Collins (Crown Publishing)

The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge

by T.J. English (HarperCollins – William Morrow)

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

by Candice Millard (Random House – Doubleday)

Girl, Wanted: The Chase for Sarah Pender by Steve Miller (Penguin Group USA – Berkley)

The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal (Penguin Group USA – Viking)


The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets

Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of our Time

by Dan Burstein, Arne de Keijzer & John-Henri Holmberg (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making by John Curran (HarperCollins)

On Conan Doyle: Or, the Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda (Princeton University Press)

Detecting Women: Gender and the Hollywood Detective Film by Philippa Gates (SUNY Press)

Scripting Hitchcock: Psycho, The Birds and Marnie

by Walter Raubicheck and Walter Srebnick (University of Illinois Press)


“Marley’s Revolution” – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by John C. Boland (Dell Magazines)

“Tomorrow’s Dead” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by David Dean (Dell Magazines)

“The Adakian Eagle” – Down These Strange Streets

by Bradley Denton (Penguin Group USA – Ace Books)

“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” – Down These Strange Streets

by Diana Gabaldon (Penguin Group USA – Ace Books)

“The Case of Death and Honey” – A Study in Sherlock by Neil Gaiman

(Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Books)

“The Man Who Took His Hat Off to the Driver of the Train” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Peter Turnbull (Dell Magazines)


Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger (Abrams – Amulet Books)
It Happened on a Train by Mac Barnett (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Vanished by Sheela Chari (Disney Book Group – Disney Hyperion)
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (Scholastic Press)
The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (Egmont USA)


 Shelter by Harlan Coben (Penguin Young Readers Group – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Penguin Young Readers Group – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall (Random House Children’s Books – Knopf BFYR)

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines

(Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Roaring Creek Press)

Kill You Last by Todd Strasser (Egmont USA)



Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club by Jeffrey Hatcher

(Arizona Theatre Company, Phoenix, AZ)

The Game’s Afoot by Ken Ludwig (Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland, OH)


“Innocence” – Blue BloodsTeleplay by Siobhan Byrne O’Connor (CBS Productions)

“The Life Inside” – Justified, Teleplay by Benjamin Cavell

(FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television)

“Part 1” – Whitechapel, Teleplay by Ben Court & Caroline Ip (BBC America)

 “Pilot” – Homeland, Teleplay by Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon & Gideon Raff (Showtime)

“Mask” – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Speed Weed (Wolf Films/Universal Media Studios)


“A Good Man of Business” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

by David Ingram (Dell Magazines)


Martha Grimes


M is for Mystery Bookstore, San Mateo, CA

Molly Weston, Meritorious Mysteries


Joe Meyers of the Connecticut Post/Hearst Media News Group


(Presented at MWA’s Agents & Editors Party on Wednesday, April 25, 2012)

Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton (Minotaur Books)

Come and Find Me by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

Death on Tour by Janice Hamrick (Minotaur Books)

Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown Publishing Group)

Murder Most Persuasive by Tracy Kiely (Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books)


  1. Since I don’t really write mysteries or crime fiction (although I’m doing stuff on the fringes of that), I don’t know a lot about the Edgars. I’ve always thought they were a pretty prestigious award.

    Comment by Charles Gramlich — January 22, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  2. Hmm this is interesting. Traffic to this post is brisk, yet no crime writers have commented.

    Comment by ashedit — January 22, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

  3. My problem with the Edgars is that they’re a very narrow picture of the mystery community, especially the short story category. The Edgars are for professional writers only, people who get paid pro rates for their work and are published by “approved markets” and the list of approved short story markets is so narrow as to exclude 3/4 of the work out there.

    Yes, I see their point, they are a professional organization but how prestigious is an award that excludes everything that they don’t give approval to first? And there are many publishers out there who don’t want to jump through MWA’s hoops just to get an approval.

    The number of professional paying markets for shorts are few and far between. And most of the professional paying anthologies are not open to public submissions, they are invitation only – to authors who have a track record with novels. And if the anthology your story was published in and paid you pro rates, you could still be shit out of luck for a nomination because it wasn’t on that “approved” publishing venue list.

    Comment by sandraseamans — January 23, 2012 @ 5:22 am

  4. Thanks for the great clarification, Sandra. The MWA differs from the International Thriller Writers in that regard. The ITW is open to ANY published work, from anywhere. Everything that comes over the transom gets a reading by a distinguished panel. They weed out the chaff in short order, and it means that a brilliant gem from some obscure corner can actually make it through. I’m not saying it’s better than the MWA, just different. I like the democracy.
    PS Sandra runs an informative blog packed with market news and opportunities for writers.

    Comment by ashedit — January 23, 2012 @ 5:38 am

  5. My hair stylist collects mysteries. She has a huge bookcase full of them at her shop. That’s all she reads. It’s so disappointing to me as a writer of crime fiction because all she reads are best sellers.

    None of the Edgar nominees would be familiar to her. I read A LOT, trying out new crime writers all the time, and almost none of the nominees are familiar to me.

    Perhaps that says more about me than the MWA committees. It’s also a comment on how huge the mystery/thriller market is and how difficult for someone new to make a mark.

    Comment by Mar Preston — February 1, 2012 @ 8:13 am

  6. I think the Edgar Award’s Nominations don’t necessarily reflect quality. “Girl Wanted, The Chase for Sarah Pender” is an extremely poor choice for the “Best fact crime category”.

    While there is controversy over Sarah Pender’s case, The author choose to make a completely one sided story. To do so, he deliberately hides important information from the readers to mislead them. He misquotes some important documents and never mentions important aspects of the case. At times, the truth is so bent out of shape that it amounts to lies. There are many inaccuracies in the book, some that are clearly the result of poor research.

    Please read “Debunking Girl Wanted” at the following URL to know more about this.
    Debunking Girl Wanted

    Another problem is how members of MWA will judge the book. Here’s a telling anecdote : In august 2011, Burl Barer, an Edgar Award winning author, did an interview of Steve Miller. He praised the book and trashed Sarah Pender. (the audio interview can be found here : ) But for those who know the case and have read the book, it soon becomes clear that Barer haven’t even read the book ! At times, he appears to quote from the book but is actually reading from a wikipedia page ! Thus, he mentions information that isn’t even in the book !!! (exemples : Rockville Correctional Facility’s hiring of a mass murderer, the absence of Sarah pender’s fingerprints on a letter used as evidence against her).

    If the Edgar Award are granted the way this interview was conducted, there aren’t worth much…

    Comment by Justice for Sarah pender — February 20, 2012 @ 12:13 am

  7. Hello, thank you for not deleting my previous comment about “Girl Wanted” and letting us have our say.

    I want to mention that there are new developements in Sarah Pender’s case. Larry Sells, the prosecutor who got her convicted, had a change of heart. He now believes her conviction was a terrible mistake . He has contacted Sarah Jo Pender’s mother and offered his help to free Sarah. Today, You can listen an audio interview of Bonnie Prosser, Sarah Pender’s mom, on our campaign website. In this audio interview, she explains how Larry Sells contacted her.

    Comment by — December 22, 2012 @ 3:41 am

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