2011’s Agatha Awards Mean a Long Wait for a Cuppa

The annual Agatha Awards are also known as The Hardest Possible Way to Get a Ceramic Teapot.

If most of us wanted such an item, we’d go to a swanky kitchen shop or even seek out an artisanal potter.

Rather than doing that or stealing someone else’s—which would seem like a natural for crime fans—all of the authors below actually wrote, revised, rewrote….

Won for The Heat of the Moon
Won for The Heat of the Moon
Then they persisted through the lengthy process of seeing the thing actually published sometime in 2011, having it read and appreciated, then nominated by people already registered for the Malice Domestic conference—the 24th—in quantities sufficient to earn a spot in this distinguished shortlist.  (This picture of the real article, won by Sandra Parshall, came from Jungle Red Writers, whose blog members are also authors who know from Agathas.)

Anyway, here’s the list of personages choosing, in our impatient opinion, the most perverse of paths to a nice cuppa:

Best Novel:
The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews
The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis
Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet
Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

Best First Novel:
Dire Threads by Janet Bolin
Choke by Kaye George
Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry
Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab
Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend

Best Non-fiction:
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure by Leslie Budewitz
Agatha Christie: Murder in the Making: More Stories and Secrets from Her
by John Curran
On Conan Doyle: Or, The Whole Art of Storytelling by Michael Dirda
Wilkie Collins, Vera Caspary and the Evolution of the Casebook Novel
by A. B. Emrys
The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris

Best Short Story:
“Disarming” by Dana Cameron, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine – June 2011
“Dead Eye Gravy” by Krista Davis, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology
“Palace by the Lake” by Daryl Wood Gerber, Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology
“Truth and Consequences” by Barb Goffman, Mystery Times Ten
“The Itinerary” by Roberta Isleib, MWA Presents the Rich and the Dead

Best Children’s/Young Adult:
Shelter by Harlan Coben
The Black Heart Crypt by Chris Grabenstein
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby
The Wizard of Dark Street by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
The Code Busters Club, Case #1: The Secret of the Skeleton Key by Penny Warner

Best Historical Novel:
Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
Murder Your Darlings by J.J. Murphy
Mercury’s Rise by Ann Parker
Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson
A Lesson in Secrets by Jacqueline Winspear

To attain at last the coveted cozy-holder, there will be a secret ballot of attendees during the conference itself, tabulated frantically (but conscientiously, we’re certain) before the awards dinner on Saturday night.

Hat tip: Teacups & Couture blog for awesome gun-handled teapot. Psst, Malice organizers, take a look up top. There are plenty of shopping days left. . .


  1. dehart

    i like your articles they give me that warm fuzzy feeling all over i love socialism i love comunism.

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