2019 Agatha Award Winners

Malice Domestic announced the 2019 Agatha Awards on May 2.

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.” 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak prevented fans from gathering for Malice Domestic 32 this weekend, the awards were revealed during a ceremony streamed on Zoom.

The Agatha Awards (for works published in 2019)

Best Contemporary Novel

  • The Long Call by Ann Cleeves (Minotaur)

Best First Mystery Novel

  • One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House, a division of Harlequin)

Best Historical Mystery

  • Charity’s Burden by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink) 

Best Nonfiction

  • The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women by Mo Moulton (Basic Books)

Best Children/Young Adult

  • The Last Crystal by Frances Schoonmaker (Auctus Press)

Best Short Story 

  • “The Last Word” by Shawn Reilly Simmons, Malice Domestic 14: Mystery Most Edible (Wildside Press)

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

2018 Agatha Awards

Malice Domestic announced the 2018 Agatha Award winners on May 4.

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.” 

The winners were selected by a vote of the attendees at Malice Domestic 31, held May 3-5, 2019.

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)

Best Historical Novel  

  •  The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)

Best First Novel

(tie)

  • A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
  •  Curses Boiled Again by Shari Randall (St. Martin’s)

Best Short Story

(tie)

  • “All God’s Sparrows” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
  • The Case of the Vanishing Professor” by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

Best Young Adult Mystery

  • Potion Problems(Just Add Magic) by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin) 

Best Non-fiction

  • Mastering Plot Twists by Jane Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)

2018 Agatha Award Nominees

Malice Domestic has announced the 2018 Agatha Award nominees.

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 31, which will be held May 3-5, 2019. Attendees will vote by secret ballot, the ballots will be tabulated and the winners will be announced at the Agatha Awards Banquet to be held on Saturday May 4, 2019.

Best Contemporary Novel

  • Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron (Crooked Lane Books)
  •  Beyond the Truth by Bruce Robert Coffin (Witness Impulse)
  •  Cry Wolf by Annette Dashofy (Henery Press)
  •  Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
  •  Trust Me by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge)

Best Historical Novel  

  • Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
  •  The Gold Pawn by LA Chandlar (Kensington)
  •  The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (Soho Crime)
  •  Turning the Tide by Edith Maxwell (Midnight Ink)
  •  Murder on Union Square by Victoria Thompson (Berkley)

Best First Novel

  • A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
  •  Little Comfort by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
  •  What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
  •  Deadly Solution by Keenan Powell (Level Best Books)
  •  Curses Boiled Again by Shari Randall (St. Martin’s)

Best Short Story

  • “All God’s Sparrows” by Leslie Budewitz (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
  •  “A Postcard for the Dead” by Susanna Calkins in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
  •  “Bug Appetit” by Barb Goffman (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)
  • The Case of the Vanishing Professor” by Tara Laskowski (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)
  •  “English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine)

Best Young Adult Mystery

  • Potion Problems(Just Add Magic) by Cindy Callaghan (Aladdin) 
  • Winterhouse by Ben Guterson (Henry Holt)
  •  A Side of Sabotage by C.M. Surrisi (Carolrhoda Books)

Best Non-fiction

  • Mastering Plot Twists by Jane Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)
  • Writing the Cozy Mystery by Nancy J Cohen (Orange Grove Press)
  •  Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox (Random House)
  •  Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson (Pegasus Books)
  •  Wicked Women of Ohio by Jane Ann Turzillo (History Press)

[Thanks to Cora Buhlert for the story.] y