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Edgar 2010 Predictions Spectacular

What amounts to Crime Fiction Oscar's...although it plays more like the Tony's*.... occurs tomorrow night.  I had such high hopes to read more of the Edgar nominees, but this is a yearly lament. I guess in the way of full disclosure is that I don't read all the books nominated. Big surprise, I know. These picks are 80% gut reaction, 15% sense of history, and 5% percent based on some unpronounceable French philosophy.

I do this post for two reasons. First, the analytics bounce is nice for my ego. Two, because it is fun to be right just as much as it is fun to be wrong about these picks. In any case The Hungry Detective extends their congratulations and best wishes to all of the nominees.

I'll post the winners as soon as someone's twitter account tells me.

BEST NOVEL
THE MISSING by Tim Gautreaux - Random House - Alfred A. Knopf
THE ODDS by Kathleen George - Minotaur Books
THE LAST CHILD by John Hart - Minotaur Books
MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH by Charlie Huston - Random House - Ballantine Books
NEMESIS by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett - HarperCollins
A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE by Malla Nunn - Simon & Schuster – Atria Books

Huh.  Why MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH? It is a fantastic book and one of the best I read last year. Given Mr. Hart's tremendous success with Edgar it seems a bit foolish, but two time winners are rare. Winning twice in three years even rarer. Second choice would be THE ODDS.

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR
THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE by David Cristofano - Grand Central Publishing
STARVATION LAKE by Bryan Gruley - Simon & Schuster - Touchstone
THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE by Heather Gudenkauf - MIRA Books
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY by Sophie Littlefield - Minotaur Books – Thomas Dunne Books
BLACK WATER RISING by Attica Locke - HarperCollins
IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM by Stefanie Pintoff - Minotaur Book

I have not had much luck picking this category. It seems The Hungry Detective pick is the kiss of death. So sorry Ms. Locke, but I'm sticking with BLACK WATER RISING. Ms. Littlefield or Mr. Gruley are a toss up for second choice.

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
BURY ME DEEP by Megan Abbott - Simon & Schuster
HAVANA LUNAR by Robert Arellano - Akashic Books
THE LORD GOD BIRD by Russell Hill - Pleasure Boat Studio – Caravel Books
BODY BLOWS by Marc Strange - Dundurn Press – Castle Street Mysteries
THE HERRING-SELLER'S APPRENTICE by L.C. Tyler - Felony & Mayhem Press

I mentioned before that this category is full of books produced by authors and publishers I was unaware of. I went with Mr. Hill because of the intriguing title of his book and the fact that he was nominated in 2008 for his Hard Case Crime book, ROBBIE'S WIFE. Again this is a case of it being foolish to bet against Ms. Abbott given here track record, but it has to be done. Big risk, for big reward. Second choice is HAVANA LUNAR.

BEST FACT CRIME
COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen - Hachette Book Group - Twelve
GO DOWN TOGETHER: THE TRUE, UNTOLD STORY OF BONNIE AND CLYDE by Jeff Guinn - Simon & Schuster
THE FENCE: A POLICE COVER-UP ALONG BOSTON'S RACIAL DIVIDE by Dick Lehr - HarperCollins
PROVENANCE: HOW A CON MAN AND A FORGER REWROTE THE HISTORY OF MODERN ART by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo - The Penguin Press
VANISHED SMILE: THE MYSTERIOUS THEFT OF MONA LISA by R.A. Scotti - Random House - Alfred A. Knopf

I said previously that rare is the book that comes along and redefines how we see an event. COLUMBINE is that book. I'm sure the others are all fine, but I'll be stunned if Mr. Cullen's book does not win.

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL
TALKING ABOUT DETECTIVE FICTION by P.D. James - Random House - Alfred A. Knopf
THE LINEUP: THE WORLD'S GREATEST CRIME WRITERS TELL THE INSIDE STORY OF THEIR GREATEST DECTECTIVE edited by Otto Penzler - Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company
HAUNTED HEART: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF STEPHEN KING by Lisa Rogak - Thomas Dunne Books
THE TALENTED MISS HIGHSMITH: THE SECRET LIFE AND SERIOUS ART OF PATRICIA HIGHSMITH by Joan Schenkar - St. Martin’s Press
THE STEPHEN KING ILLUSTRATED COMPANION by Bev Vincent - Fall River Press

Two books detailing Mr. King's career lead me to believe that they will cancel each other out. Ms. Schenkar's book is exhaustive in detail and not surprising because of that a bit exhausting to read. I wouldn't be surprised if the Ms. James' primer on Crime Fiction takes the award.

BEST SHORT STORY
"LAST FAIR DEAL GONE DOWN" – Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins - Busted Flush Press
"FEMME SOLE" – Boston Noir by Dana Cameron - Akashic Books
"DIGBY, ATTORNEY AT LAW" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Jim Fusilli - Dell Magazines
"ANIMAL RESCUE" – Boston Noir by Dennis Lehane - Akashic Books
"AMAPOLA" – Phoenix Noir by Luis Alberto Urrea - Akashic Books

I am big fan of Mr. Atkins' and Mr. Lehane's work. ? Last year I went with Mr. Chercover's short story and was disappointed not to see it win. So this pick is essentially to protect my fragile ego. Mr. Lehane is second choice here.

BEST JUVENILE
THE CASE OF THE CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY by Mac Barnett - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
THE RED BLAZER GIRLS: THE RING OF ROCAMADOUR by Michael D. Beil - Random House Children’s Books – Alfred A. Knopf
CLOSED FOR THE SEASON by Mary Downing Hahn - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books
CREEPY CRAWLY CRIME by Aaron Reynolds - Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE by Nancy Springer - Penguin Young Readers Group – Philomel Books

Let's not pretend I know anything about this or the following category. My sister seems to read a lot from these categories, maybe she should be handicapping this section?

BEST YOUNG ADULT
REALITY CHECK by Peter Abrahams - HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen
IF THE WITNESS LIED by Caroline B. Cooney - Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press
THE MORGUE AND ME by John C. Ford - Penguin Young Readers Group – Viking Children’s Books
PETRONELLA SAVES NEARLY EVERYONE by Dene Low - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Books
SHADOWED SUMMER by Saundra Mitchell - Random House Children’s Books – Delacorte Press

Actually a little hard not to pick PETRONELLA SAVES NEARLY EVERYONE. What a fantastic title! I mean serious who does she save? And who doesn't she save?

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY
“PLACE OF EXECUTION,” Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson - PBS/WGBH Boston
“STRIKE THREE” – The Closer, Teleplay by Steven Kane - Warner Bros TV for TNT
“LOOK WHAT HE DUG UP THIS TIME” – Damages, Teleplay by Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler & Daniel Zelman - FX Networks
“GRILLED” – Breaking Bad, Teleplay by George Mastras - AMC/Sony
“LIVING THE DREAM” – Dexter, Teleplay by Clyde Phillips - Showtime

Season 4 of DEXTER really was quite special.... especially after a lackluster third.... sorry Jimmy Smits. Second choice is whichever LAW AND ORDER episode is nominated. What? There is no LAW AND ORDER episode nominated? Still LAW AND ORDER is my second choice here. I'm predicting a write-in.

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD
"A DREADFUL DAY" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by Dan Warthman - Dell Magazines

GRAND MASTER
Dorothy Gilman

RAVEN AWARDS
Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
Zev Buffman, International Mystery Writers’ Festival

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD
Poisoned Pen Press (Barbara Peters & Robert Rosenwald)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER - MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD
AWAKENING by S.J. Bolton - Minotaur Books
CAT SITTER ON A HOT TIN ROOF by Blaize Clement - Minotaur Books
NEVER TELL A LIE by Hallie Ephron - HarperCollins – William Morrow
LETHAL VINTAGE by Nadia Gordon - Chronicle Books
DIAL H FOR HITCHCOCK by Susan Kandel - HarperCollins


(*I almost wrote CableACE awards instead of the Tony's, but I didn't want to be that dismissive or mean spirited. I do find it funnier though.)

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