This year’s contenders are as follows:Best Mystery:• Tin Roof Blowdown, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)• The Unquiet, by John Connolly (Atria)•Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin (Putnam)• The Shotgun Rule, by Charlie Huston (Ballantine)• What the Dead Know, by Laura Lippman (Morrow) [info from The Rap Sheet]
This is an incredibly strong lineup and I have three of these on my shelf and one on order.
After a great deal of discussion, we decided to eliminate the category for Best European Crime Novel. It was never a strength of the Gumshoes, and I'm not a fan in general of that type of niche award. (Same thing goes for Best Paperback, etc.)
Well after reading the phrase "It was never a strength of the Gumshoes" I just had to look up who had won the Gumshoe Best European Crime Novel in the three years it was awarded.
Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum and Robert Wilson were the winners, and nominees included Arnaldur Indridason, Fred Vargas and Gianrico Carofiglio.
It seems to me that the judges for that Gumshoe Award really knew their stuff and this is one award that should have been retained.
Are there too many awards for crime fiction?
What about niche awards?
I am in favour of these as long as the niche is strictly defined, and "historical" mysteries are not set in the 1950s or 1960s in order to make me feel very old.
So it is well done to Ariana Franklin for setting her historical novels in the 12th century.
What do you think are there now too many awards so that it would take weeks just to read the winners yet alone the nominees?
Or is it all the more the merrier, and eventually will we have a Best Mystery Novel written by a Male over the age 60 set north of Watford Gap prize?
[The photo shows that while Devon is a great holiday destination and a lovely place to live occasionally the tide comes in.]