2021 Lefty Award Nominees

The 2021 Left Coast Crime convention may have postponed till 2022, but they still announced the finalists for their 2021 awards, the Lefties:

The 2021 Lefty Award nominees were selected by members of the last in-person convention in San Diego and the next one scheduled for Albuquerque in April 2022. The awards will be voted on virtually and presented April 10, 2021. Here are the nominees:

Lefty for Best Humorous Mystery Novel

  • Ellen Byron, Murder in the Bayou Boneyard (Crooked Lane Books)
  • Jennifer J. Chow, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (Berkley Prime Crime)
  • Carl Hiaasen, Squeeze Me (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Cynthia Kuhn, The Study of Secrets (Henery Press)
  • J. Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (Aakenbaaken & Kent)
  • Sung J. Woo, Skin Deep (Agora Books)

Lefty for Best Historical Mystery Novel

(Bruce Alexander Memorial) for books covering events before 1970

  • Susanna Calkins, The Fate of a Flapper (Minotaur Books)
  • Dianne Freeman, A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Murder (Kensington Books)
  • Laurie R. King, Riviera Gold (Bantam Books)
  • Catriona McPherson, The Turning Tide (Quercus)
  • Ann Parker, Mortal Music (Poisoned Pen Press)
  • James W. Ziskin, Turn to Stone (Seventh Street Books)

Lefty for Best Debut Mystery Novel

  • Daisy Bateman, Murder Goes to Market (Seventh Street Books)
  • Mary Keliikoa, Derailed (Camel Press)
  • Erica Ruth Neubauer, Murder at the Mena House (Kensington Books)
  • Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club (Viking)
  • Halley Sutton, The Lady Upstairs (Putnam)
  • David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Winter Counts (Ecco)

Lefty for Best Mystery Novel

  • Tracy Clark, What You Don’t See (Kensington Books)
  • S.A. Cosby, Blacktop Wasteland (Flatiron Books)
  • Matt Coyle, Blind Vigil (Oceanview Publishing)
  • Rachel Howzell Hall, And Now She’s Gone (Forge)
  • Louise Penny, All the Devils Are Here (Minotaur Books)

To be eligible for the 2021 Lefty Awards, titles must have been published for the first time in the United States or Canada during 2020, in book or ebook format. (If published in other countries before 2020, a book is still eligible if it meets the US or Canadian publication requirement.)

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.]

2 thoughts on “2021 Lefty Award Nominees

  1. The criteria for the Bruce Alexander award specifies stories set before 1970, which makes me ponderous…my first instinct is to say 1990 is the threshold for historical versus contemporary…and yet…who remembers beanie babies? Pay phones and pagers? Is will and Grace still relevant? How about Ab Fab? What’s a magazine? Who is Boris Yeltsin? What’s a TCBY? PC? You mean politically correct?

    Even the early naughties seem out of date now. So maybe 2007 is the current contemporary horizon? Is that horizon getting closer the longer things go on? Things change awful fast.

    At any rate, 1970 seems awful early. Like another world to me. Heck, 1990 seems like it happened to someone long ago and far away.

  2. Apparently, they are going by the “50 years ago is historical” rule. Of course, one can debate that and make the limit 30 years.

    Though in practice, historical mysteries set in the 1970s and beyond are rare.

    Of the six finalists, two are Victorian mysteries, two are set in the 1920s, one in the 1930s and one in the 1960s.

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