Book Awards Season Mysteriously Continues

Earlier in October, approximately 1500 authors and fans gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the 2012 Bouchercon World Mystery Convention. This year’s event featured appearances by a number of mysterious luminaries such as John Connolly, Elizabeth George, Robin Cook and Mary Higgins Clark. A number of annual prizes are awarded at Bouchercon, including the Anthony, Macavity, Barry, Shamus and Dilys Awards. Here is a roundup of all of the winners. Congratulations to all!


The Anthony Awards are literary awards for crime and mystery fiction. The winners are selected by Bouchercon attendees. They are named for the author, editor and critic Anthony Boucher, who is also the namesake for the convention. Fun fact: Anthony Boucher was born in Oakland!



  • Best Novel
    A Trick of the Light
    by Louise Penny
    Investigating a murder at a solo artist's Quebec village home, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team encounter deceptive nuances in the art world that distort every clue they find with tales of duality and broken hearts.

  • Best First Novel
    Learning to Swim
    by Sara J. Henry
    Witnessing a small boy being thrown into the middle of Lake Champlain, Troy Chance rescues the child only to discover that he had been kidnapped and is at the center of a bizarre and violent plot. (Currently available through the library as an eBook; a print copy will be available for holds in the catalog in early November.)

  • Best Paperback Original
    Buffalo West Wing
    by Julie Hyzy
    No way is White House Executive Chef Olivia Paras handing over a suspicious box of barbecue chicken wings to Abigail and Josh Hyden, children of the country's new commander in chief and her new boss, with no clue as to who provided the culinary gift. With the First Lady giving her the cold shoulder for her decision and the family's personal chef being brought in, Ollie starts to fear for her job. But then it turns out that the chicken was poisoned... (Currently available through the library in Large Type; a standard edition will be available for holds in the catalog in early November.)

  • Best Non-Fiction
    The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
    by Charlaine Harris, editor
    A tour of Bon Temps, Louisiana, provides a definitive guide to the family, friends, enemies, adventures, and lovers of clairvoyant waitress Sookie Stackhouse, heroine of the bestselling novels and HBO series "True Blood."

  • Best Short Story
    "Disarming" in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
    by Dana Cameron
    Read it online here.

The Macavity Awards are selected by the members of Mystery Readers International, an organization of fans of mystery fiction founded in Berkeley by Janet Rudolph.



  • Best Mystery Novel
    Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    by Sara Gran
    Augmenting her brilliant deductive skills with dream analysis, marijuana, and the written work of a mysterious French detective, private investigator Claire DeWitt reluctantly returns to post-Katrina New Orleans to solve the disappearance of an unpopular prosecutor.

  • Best First Mystery Novel
    All Cry Chaos
    by Leonard Rosen
    When 30-year-old math genius James Fenster is blown up in his Amsterdam hotel room, via the precise detonation of military-grade rocket fuel, shortly before he was due to address a World Trade Organization conference, Henri Poincaré, aging Interpol agent and great-grandson of a legendary mathematician, investigates.

  • Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction
    The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
    by Charlaine Harris, ed.
    A tour of Bon Temps, Louisiana, provides a definitive guide to the family, friends, enemies, adventures, and lovers of clairvoyant waitress Sookie Stackhouse, heroine of the bestselling novels and HBO series "True Blood."

  • Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award
    Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains
    by Catriona McPherson
    After receiving a letter from a woman who fears that her husband is planning to kill her, Dandy Gilver goes undercover as a maid and uses her aristocratic connections and prowess to discern the truth.

  • Best Mystery Short Story
    "Disarming" in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
    by Dana Cameron
    Read it online here.

The Barry Awards are presented by Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, and selected by their subscribers.



  • Best novel
    The Keeper of Lost Causes
    by Jussi Adler Olsen
    Chief detective Carl Mørck, recovering from what he thought was a career-destroying gunshot wound, is relegated to cold cases and becomes immersed in the five-year disappearance of a politician.

  • Best first novel
    The Informationist
    by Taylor Stevens
    Dealing information to wealthy clients throughout the world, Vanessa Munroe hopes to leave her unconventional past behind her until a mission to find the missing daughter of a Texas oil billionaire forces her to return to the central Africa region of her youth.

  • Best British Novel
    Dead Man’s Grip
    by Peter James
    Carly Chase is still traumatized ten days after being in a fatal traffic accident which kills a teenage student from Brighton University. Then she receives news that turns her entire world into a living nightmare. The drivers of the other two vehicles involved have been found tortured and murdered. Now Detective Superintendent Roy Grace of the Sussex Police force issues a stark and urgent warning to Carly: She could be next. (Currently available through the library as an eBook; a print copy will be available for holds in the catalog in early November.)

  • Best Paperback Original
    Death of the Mantis
    by Michael Stanley
    In the southern Kalahari area of Botswana, three Bushmen are found standing around a ranger who is dying from a severe head wound and Detective David "Kubu" Bengu must figure out, with the help of an old school friend, if the Bushmen were there to help or were the murderers. (A copy will be available for holds in the catalog in early November.)

  • Best Thriller
    The Informant
    by Thomas Perry
    Years after the Butcher's Boy wipes out several mobsters and disappears, Justice Department official Elizabeth Waring is approached by the mythical hit man, who asks her for crucial information in exchange for helping her to crack an unsolved murder case.

  • Best Short Story
    The Gun Also Rises in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
    by Jeff Cohen
    Read it online here.

The Shamus Awards are presented by the Private Eye Writers of America in honor of the best private detective fiction of the year.



  • Best Hardcover P.I. Novel
    A Bad Night's Sleep
    by Michael Wiley
    Infiltrating a burglary crew as part of a mission to identify corrupt police officers, Chicago private investigator Joe Kozmarski encounters unexpected challenges that take him from a spa club for couples to the gang-troubled streets.

  • Best First P.I. Novel
    The Shortcut Man
    by P.G. Sturges
    In the City of Angels, not everyone plays by the rules. Henry is a "shortcut man," someone who find solutions that may not always be legal. When he gets an assignment from porn producer Artie Benjamin, his life becomes more complicated.

  • Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel
    Fun & Games
    by Duane Swierczynski
    Reeling from the revenge killing of his partner's family, ex-cop Charlie befriends an actress who rants about men who specialize in making deaths look like accidents, and tries to protect her when she becomes their next target.

  • The Hammer Award  for Best Series P.I. Character
    Nate Heller by Max Allan Collins
    Books in this series can be found here. 

  • Best P.I. Short Story
    "Who I Am" in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
    by Michael Z. Lewin

The Dilys Award is presented by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, and is awarded to the mystery book that members have most enjoyed promoting to their customers.



  • Ghost Hero
    by S. J. Rozan
    Investigating a rumor about new paintings by a famous contemporary Chinese artist who has been dead for twenty years, private investigator Lydia Chin and her partner, Bill Smith, discover that a new client is not who he claims to be.

Posted on 10/19/12 by Christy Thomas, Librarian, Main Library

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