Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009 Edgar Awards

The Mystery Writers of America announced the 2009 Edgar Award winners this week! The Edgars are awarded annually to the best of the best in mystery writing. Take a look at some of our favorite winners below...

Best Novel: Blue Heaven, by C.J. Box

Twelve-year-old Annie and her younger brother William are on the run after witnessing a murder committed by four men--who also happen to be retired policemen. The men easily convince the local Idaho sheriff to let them manage the search for the missing children, who seem to have no way out.

Until, that is, they Meet Jess Rawlins, a rancher who quickly becomes determined to protect the children at all costs--and to make sure that justice is served.

Best First Novel by an American: The Foreigner, by Francie Lin

Emerson Chang is a mild mannered bachelor on the cusp of forty, a financial analyst in a neatly pressed suit, a child of Taiwanese immigrants who doesn't speak a word of Chinese, and, well, a virgin. His only real family is his mother, whose subtle manipulations have kept him close--all in the name of preserving an obscure idea of family and culture.

But when his mother suddenly dies, Emerson sets out for Taipei to scatter her ashes, and to convey a surprising inheritance to his younger brother, Little P. Now enmeshed in the Taiwanese criminal underworld, Little P seems to be running some very shady business out of his uncle's karaoke bar, and he conceals a secret--a crime that has not only severed him from his family, but may have annihilated his conscience. Hoping to appease both the living and the dead, Emerson isn't about to give up the inheritance until he uncovers Little P's past, and saves what is left of his family.

Best Paperback Original: China Lake, by Meg Gardiner

Santa Barbara attorney Evan Delaney is gutsy and tough, but she has a tender side, too. She dotes on her nephew, Luke, who’s staying with her while his fighter-pilot father, Brian, is deployed overseas. (Brian, who’s stationed at the Mojave Desert naval weapons-testing center, China Lake, has been divorced from Luke’s mother, Tabitha, for years.) Evan’s peaceful cohabitation with Luke is thrown into chaos when Tabitha returns to town under the spell of the Remnant, a fundamentalist sect arming itself for the apocalypse with artillery and biological weapons. Tabitha wants Luke back—no questions asked. Brian comes home, and when the sect’s eerie leader is found dead in Brian’s backyard, the career military man is thrown in jail with little hope of release. Evan and her boyfriend, Jesse, come to Brian’s defense, prompting a flood of memories for Evan, who grew up in China Lake." ~ Allison Block, Booklist

Best Fact Crime: American Lightning, by Howard Blum

It was an explosion that reverberated across the country—and into the very heart of early-twentieth-century America. On the morning of October 1, 1910, the walls of the Los Angeles Times Building buckled as a thunderous detonation sent men, machinery, and mortar rocketing into the night air. When at last the wreckage had been sifted and the hospital triage units consulted, twenty-one people were declared dead and dozens more injured. But as it turned out, this was just a prelude to the devastation that was to come.

In American Lightning, acclaimed author Howard Blum masterfully evokes the incredible circumstances that led to the original “crime of the century”—and an aftermath more dramatic than even the crime itself.

Best Young Adult: Paper Towns, by John Green

"Quentin—or 'Q.' as everyone calls him—has known his neighbor, the fabulous Margo Roth Spiegelman, since they were two. Or has he? Q. can’t help but wonder, when, a month before high-school graduation, she vanishes. At first he worries that she might have committed suicide, but then he begins discovering clues that seem to have been left for him, which might reveal Margo’s whereabouts. Yet the more he and his pals learn, the more Q. realizes he doesn’t know and the more he comes to understand that the real mystery is not Margo’s fate but Margo herself—enigmatic, mysterious, and so very alluring." ~ Michael Cart, Booklist

Best Juvenile: The Postcard, by Tony Abbott

"Thirteen-year-old Jason is heading to St. Petersburg to help clean out the house of a deceased grandmother whom he’s never met. As soon as he arrives, mystery meets him. Who are those odd people at the funeral? And what about the strange phone call that leads him to a tinted postcard of a Florida landmark about to be demolished? The postcard points Jason to several old manuscripts that tell the story of his grandparents’ romance. Or do they? Abbott plays with style as he alternates between the contemporary mystery of finding the manuscripts with the manuscripts themselves, written in a hard-boiled detective style." ~Ilene Cooper, Booklist

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! For a complete list of all winners and nominees, click here.

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