And the nominee’s for the 2017 Agatha Awards are….

If you’ve read any of my previous blogs, looked at my bookshelf, dvds or talked to me at all, you probably know my favorite mystery writer is Agatha Christie. I remember as a teen reading, THE MURDER OF ROGER AKROYD and AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, and I was forever hooked on cozy mysteries. In fact, I still think those books are brilliant. So, when I started writing cozy mysteries, I dreamed of having my name mentioned in the same sentence as Agatha Christie (if you think I’m joking, you’d be wrong). Agatha Christie is the Queen of cozy mysteries. She set the bar and defined the rules of the game. So, imagine my surprise when my agent sent me a message on Monday, January 29th “Did you see your book was nominated for an Agatha?” I nearly wrecked my car. Then I called my sister and ugly cried like a baby. I knew THE PLOT IS MURDER was eligible for an Agatha Award in the Best First Novel category, but there are a lot of really talented authors who have written amazing books in 2017. Dare I even hope that my book would be selected as one of the five (yes, you read that right there are only five) books nominated as Best First Novel?

If you’re not neck deep into cozy mysteries, you may be asking yourself, What’s the big deal?  And What are the Agatha Awards? The Agatha Award is presented at the Malice Domestic Convention, an annual fan convention in Bethesda, Maryland for lovers of traditional mysteries.

“The Agatha Awards honor the “traditional mystery,” books typified by the works of Agatha Christie and others. For our purposes, the genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence, and are not classified as “hard-boiled.” (Malice Domestic Website)

So how does the nomination process work?

Anyone registered to attend Malice Domestic by December 31st of the preceding year receives a ballot and can make their nominations. The decision for the final ballot will be made at Malice Domestic April 27-29th. Anyone registered for the conference can vote and the winners will be announced at the end of the convention. Competition will be tough and all of the authors nominated are amazingly talented writers who will be a credit to the genre.

To anyone who selected, THE PLOT IS MURDER, thank you from the depths of my heart. This is truly an honor. I can say in all honestly, regardless of the outcome, I am overjoyed at receiving this nomination and am immensely grateful. Congratulations to all of the nominees.

The 2017 Agatha Award Nominees

Best Contemporary Novel

Death Overdue: A Haunted Library Mystery by Allison Brook (Crooked Lane Books)

A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)

No Way Home: A Zoe Chambers Mystery by Annette Dashofy  (Henery Press)
Take Out by Margaret Maron  (Grand Central Publishing)
Glass Houses: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny  (Minotaur Books)


Best Historical Novel

In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen  (Lake Union Publishing)

Murder in an English Village: A Beryl and Edwina Mystery by Jessica Ellicott  (Kensington)

Called to Justice: A Quaker Midwife Mystery by Edith Maxwell  (Midnight Ink)
The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal  (Bantam)
Dangerous to Know: A Lillian Frost and Edith Head Novel by Renee Patrick  (Forge)


Best First Novel

Adrift: A Mer Cavallo Mystery by Micki Browning  (Alibi-Random House)  

The Plot is Murder: Mystery Bookshop by V.M. Burns  (Kensington)

Hollywood Homicide: A Detective by Day Mystery by Kellye Garrett  (Midnight Ink)
Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles  (Red Adept Publishing)
Protocol: A Maggie O’Malley Mystery by Kathleen Valenti  (Henery Press)


Best Nonfiction

From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström  (Mysterious Press)

The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards  (Poisoned Pen Press)
American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse  (Liveright Publishing Corp.)
Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction by Jess Lourey  (Conari Press)
Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay  (St. Martin’s Press)

Best Short Story

Double Deck the Halls by Gretchen Archer  (Henery Press)

“Whose Wine is it Anyway” by Barb Goffman  in 50 Shades of Cabernet (Koehler Books)
“The Night They Burned Miss Dixie’s Place” by Debra Goldstein in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine (May/June 2017)
“The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn” by Gigi Pandian  (Henery Press)
“A Necessary Ingredient” by Art Taylor in Cost to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Seat (Down & Out Books)

  Best Children’s/Young Adult

City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino  (Polis Books)
Sydney Mackenzie Knocks ‘Em Dead by Cindy Callaghan  (Aladdin)
The World’s Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson  (HarperCollins)
Audacity Jones Steals the Show by Kirby Larson  (Scholastic Press)
The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley  (Scholastic Press)


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