Mystery Writers of America presents the Edgar Awards

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Footsteps rang through the dark ... on the way to the Mystery Writers of America’s annual Edgar Awards in New York on Thursday night. OK, I’m guessing about the footsteps -- Jacket Copy wasn’t there. But hopefully there was something mysterious or creepy at the annual awards, named for Edgar Allen Poe.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal noted that it’s hard to win more than one Edgar; John Hart proved the newspaper wrong by winning the best novel Edgar for ‘The Last Child.’ He last won in 2008 for ‘Down River.’

It was the first win for longtime mystery editor Otto Penzler, who quipped, ‘I never knew what pleasure you could get from holding a small bust.’ Penzler, who owns the Mysterious Bookshop in New York, was awarded the best critical/biographical Edgar for his anthology ‘The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives’

Two authors who aren’t thought of as mystery writers per se also took home Edgar awards. Journalist Dave Cullen’s ‘Columbine’ won the best fact crime Edgar -- the book was also a nominee for the L.A. Times book prize in current interest. And Luis Alberto Urrea -- who was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction -- won the Edgar award for best short story. Urrea’s ‘Amapola’ appeared in the collection ‘Phoenix Noir,’ part of indie publisher Akashic Books’ noir series.
Other Edgar winners include Stefanie Pintoff for best first novel, ‘In the Shadow of Gotham’; ‘Body Blows’ by Marc Strange for best paperback original; ‘Closed for the Season’ by Mary Downing Hahn for best juvenile; ‘Reality Check’ by Peter Abrahams for best young adult; and “Place of Execution” by Patrick Harbinson for best television teleplay. Oakmont, Pennsylvania’s Mystery Lovers Bookshop and Poisoned Pen Press also received awards.


-- Carolyn Kellogg