2019 Agatha Award Nominees

Malice Domestic announced the 2019 Agatha Award nominees on January 21.

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

A ballot listing each category’s nominees will be given to all attendees of Malice Domestic 32, which will be held May 1-3, 2020. Attendees will vote by secret ballot and the winners will be announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet.

The Agatha Award Nominees (for works published in 2019)

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
  • The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)
  • Fair Game by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
  • The Missing Ones by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
  • A Better Man by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
  • The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

Best First Mystery Novel

  • A Dream of Death by Connie Berry (Crooked Lane Books)
  • One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House, a division of Harlequin)
  • Murder Once Removed by S. C. Perkins (Minotaur)
  • When It’s Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano (Encircle Publications)
  • Staging for Murder by Grace Topping (Henery Press)

Best Historical Mystery

  • Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen (Penquin)
  • Murder Knocks Twice by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur)
  • The Pearl Dagger by L. A. Chandlar (Kensington)
  • Charity’s Burden by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink) 
  • The Naming Game by Gabriel Valjan (Winter Goose Publishing)

Best Nonfiction

  • Frederic Dannay, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and the Art of the Detective Short Story by Laird R. Blackwell (McFarland)
  • Blonde Rattlesnake: Burmah Adams, Tom White, and the 1933 Crime Spree that Terrified Los Angeles by Julia Bricklin (Lyons Press)
  • Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep (Knopf)
  • The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt)

Best Children/Young Adult

  • Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers by Shauna Holyoak (Disney Hyperion)
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen MacManus (Delacorte Press)
  • The Last Crystal by Frances Schoonmaker (Auctus Press)
  • Top Marks for Murder (A Most Unladylike Mystery)
  • by Robin Stevens (Puffin)
  • Jada Sly, Artist and Spy by Sherri Winston (Little Brown Books for Young Readers)

Best Short Story 

  • “Grist for the Mill” by Kaye George in A Murder of Crows (Darkhouse Books)
  • “Alex’s Choice” by Barb Goffman in Crime Travel (Wildside Press)
  • “The Blue Ribbon” by Cynthia Kuhn in Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible (Wildside Press)
  • “The Last Word” by Shawn Reilly Simmons, Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible (Wildside Press)
  • “Better Days” by Art Taylor in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

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