2020 Agatha Award Nominees

Malice Domestic announced the 2020 Agatha Award nominees on March 26.

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 members of More Than Malice, which will be held virtually July 14-17, 2021. The winners will be announced July 17t.

The Agatha Award Nominees (for works published in 2020)

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Gift of the Magpie by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
  • Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
  • From Beer to Eternity by Sherry Harris (Kensington)
  • All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
  • The Lucky One by Lori Rader-Day (William Morris)

Best Historical Novel

  • The Last Mrs. Summers by Rhys Bowen (Berkeley)
  • The Fate of a Flapper by Susanna Calkins (Griffin)
  • A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
  • Taken Too Soon by Edith Maxwell (Beyond the Page Publishing)
  • The Turning Tide by Catriona McPherson (Quercus)

Best First Novel

  • A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison (Crooked Lane Books)
  • Winter Witness by Tina deBellegarde (Level Best Books)
  • Derailed by Mary Keliikoa (Epicenter Press, Inc.)
  • Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (Kensington)
  • Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker (Crooked Lane Books)

Best Short Story

  • “Dear Emily Etiquette” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Sep/Oct)
  • “The Red Herrings at Killington Inn” by Shawn Reilly Simmons Masthead: Best New England Crime Stories (Level Best Books)
  • “The Boy Detective & The Summer of ‘74” by Art Taylor (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine Jan/Feb)
  • “Elysian Fields” by Gabriel Valjan California Schemin’: The 2020 Bouchercon Anthology (Wildside Press)
  • “The 25 Year Engagement” by James Ziskin In League with Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon (Pegasus Crime)

Best Non-Fiction

  • Sometimes You Have to Lie: The Life and Times of Louise Fitzhugh, Renegade Author of Harriet the Spy by Leslie Brody (Seal Press)
  • American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI by Kate Winkler Dawson (G. P. Putnam)
  • Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)
  • Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press)
  • H. R. F. Keating: A Life of Crime by Sheila Mitchell (Level Best Books)

Best Children’s/YA Mystery

  • Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley (Viking Books for Young Readers)
  • Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Saltwater Secrets by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin)
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks (Katherine Teagen Books)
  • Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richard Narvaez (Piñata Books)

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2 thoughts on “2020 Agatha Award Nominees

  1. I have to say I truly, truly love that the trophy for winning an award for writing what I would term a “cozy” mystery… is a teapot.

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