He's Black. He's White. He's read all over. Who is he?

Edgar Allan Poe, of course, as in the books chosen to receive the Edgar Award, seen here: So here we go again.

In less than a month: Judgment Day. The Edgar Awards are about to be given by twelve judge/members of The Mystery Writers of America. (drum roll, please...) Not that it actually matters to ME (since my name is not on the list and chances are you're name's not either), but it's a way of screening the fourteen hundred or so mysteries printed every year.

And it would be nice of you who can afford it to give the nominees some financial support.

How, you ask? Get off your flakin' rear, stand up and march directly to your local independent bookshop, where you can purchase their books, of course. Support the arts. Support free speech. But buy at your local independent, please. In case you've been in jail for the past twenty years and haven't heard, the chains have almost entirely eliminated the little guys -- and that is NOT good for literature since the bigboys are after the bottom line, above all. Why does it matter, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. You know that Michael Connelly book you love? Guess where he got his start. The little guys are the ones that carry upcoming new original authors. The little shopkeepers sell by word of mouth bringing you unconventional talent, so they are the ones you need to support, you crime fiction afficianado, you. Big Brother is watching you. Remember 1984? *end of rant*

Now for the *ahem* awards. (No offense nominees, but every committee has its own chemistry and any decent cartel can be corrupted by seduction and gold and quite honestly, since Raymond Chandler never won an Edgar and neither did Agatha Christie or James Crumley, the committee doesn't exactly share my opinion, so that's my confession.)

And hello!!! Why didn't this get a nomination this 2007? It's one of the year's best crime stories, so this committee can just BITE ME.

Let's just say I'm sometimes disappointed when the final hour descends and the jury foreman reads the verdict. For me and my cell partner, this is not good news.

I will say however, that last year's CITIZEN VINCE and OFFICER DOWN were wholly deserving efforts -- but the former was up against Pelecanos, Connelly, Cook, so how can a mere mortal committee judge be objective with such a superstar shortlist?

Sure. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, You're upset because verdicts never go *your* way and *you* spend too much time in anger management group in stead of dealing with life on life's terms. Right? I know. My bad! So, I'll bring it up in the yard where I can vent my frustrations on those who could care less. Then we'll all feel a whole lot better.

In the meantime, here is the MWA link to this year's nominees*: http://www.mysterywriters.org/pages/awards/nominees07.htm

*I'll see if I can get away with listing them below as well. And we'll all see how they stack up in a few weeks when most m will get THE AXE (which is the fitting title of a great book by Donald Westlake, *segway alert* who happens to be giving Steve King his Grand Master Award this year by special request from Steve himself). Now there's a winning title that has stood the test of time. P.S. If you haven't read Steve King's "Quitters Inc." you're missing a helluva short story.

  • The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard (HarperCollins)
  • The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)
  • Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
  • The Dead Hour by Denise Mina (Hachette Book Group - Little, Brown and Company)
  • The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard (Random House - Ballantine Books)
  • The Liberation Movements by Olen Steinhauer (St. Martin's Minotaur)

  • The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson (Random House)
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (Crown - Shaye Areheart Books)
  • King of Lies by John Hart (St. Martin's Minotaur - Thomas Dunne Books)
  • Holmes on the Range by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin's Minotaur)
  • A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (Warner Books - Mysterious Press)

Best Paperback Original

  • The Goodbye Kiss by Massimo Carlotto (Europa Editions)
  • The Open Curtain by Brian Evenson (Coffee House Press)
  • Snakeskin Shamisen by Naomi Hirahara (Bantam Dell Publishing - Delta Books)
  • The Deep Blue Alibi by Paul Levine (Bantam Dell Publishing - Bantam Books)
  • City of Tiny Lights by Patrick Neate (Penguin Group - Riverhead Books)

Best Critical/Biographical

  • Unless the Threat of Death is Behind Them: Hard-Boiled Fiction and Film Noir by John T. Irwin (Johns Hopkins University Press)
  • The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear by E.J. Wagner (John Wiley & Sons)

Best Fact Crime

  • Strange Piece of Paradise by Terri Jentz (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
  • A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger (W.W. Norton and Co.)
  • Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine by Capt. Joseph K. Loughlin & Kate Clark Flora (University Press of New England)
  • Ripperology: A Study of the World's First Serial Killer by Robin Odell (The Kent State University Press)
  • The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder by Daniel Stashower (Dutton)
  • Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson (HarperCollins - William Morrow)

Best Short Story

  • "The Home Front" - Death Do Us Part by Charles Ardai (Hachette Book Group - Little, Brown and Company)
  • "Rain" - Manhattan Noir by Thomas H. Cook (Akashic Books)
  • "Cranked" - Damn Near Dead by Bill Crider (Busted Flush Press)
  • "Building" - Manhattan Noir by S.J. Rozan (Akashic Books)

Best Young Adult

  • The Road of the Dead by Kevin Brooks (Scholastic - The Chicken House)
  • The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson (Penguin YR - Sleuth/Viking)
  • Crunch Time by Mariah Fredericks (Simon & Schuster - Richard Jackson Books/Atheneum)
  • Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready (Penguin YR - Dutton Children's Books)
  • The Night My Sister Went Missing by Carol Plum-Ucci (Harcourt Children's Books)

Best Juvenile

  • Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison (Penguin Young Readers - Sleuth/Dutton)
  • The Stolen Sapphire: A Samantha Mystery by Sarah Masters Buckey (American Girl Publishing)
  • Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • The Bloodwater Mysteries: Snatched by Pete Hautman & Mary Logue (Penguin Young Readers - Sleuth/Putnam)
  • The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer (Penguin Young Readers - Philomel/Sleuth)

Best Play

  • Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure by Steven Dietz (Arizona Theatre Company)
  • Curtains by Rupert Holmes (Ahmanson Theatre)
  • Ghosts of Ocean House by Michael Kimball (The Players' Ring)

Best Television Episode Teleplay

  • The Closer - "Blue Blood", Teleplay by James Duff & Mike Berchem (Turner Network Television)
  • Dexter - "Crocodile", Teleplay by Clyde Phillips (Showtime)
  • House - "Clueless", Teleplay by Thomas L. Moran (Fox/NBC Universal)
  • Life on Mars - Episode 1, Teleplay by Matthew Graham (BBC America)
  • Monk - "Mr. Monk Gets a New Shrink", Teleplay by Hy Conrad (USA Network/NBC Universal)

Best Television Feature/Mini-Series Teleplay

  • Conviction, Teleplay by Bill Gallagher (BBC America)
  • Cracker: A New Terror, Teleplay by Jimmy McGovern (BBC America)
  • Messiah: The Harrowing, Teleplay by Terry Cafolla (BBC America)
  • Secret Smile, Teleplay by Kate Brooke, based on the book by Nicci French (BBC America)
  • The Wire, Season 4, Teleplays by Ed Burns, Kia Corthron, Dennis Lehane, David Mills, Eric Overmyer, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon & William F. Zorzi (Home Box Office)

Best Motion Picture Screen Play

  • Casino Royale, Screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis, based on novel by Ian Fleming (MGM)
  • Children of Men, Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, based on a novel by P.D. James (Universal Pictures
  • The Departed, Screenplay by William Monahan (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • The Good Shepherd, Teleplay by Eric Roth (Universal Pictures)
  • Notes on a Scandal, Screenplay by Patrick Marber (Scott Rudin Productions)

Robert L. Fish Memorial Award

  • William Dylan Powell "Evening Gold" - EQMM November 2006 (Dell Magazines)

Grand Master

Stephen King


  • Books & Books (Mitchell Kaplan, owner)
  • Mystery Loves Company Bookstore (Kathy & Tom Harig, owners)

The Simon & Schuster - Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • Bloodline by Fiona Mountain (St. Martin's Minotaur)

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