2019 Macavity Awards

Mystery Readers International announced the winners of the 2019 Macavity Awards on October 31 at Bouchercon in Dallas, TX.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Novel

  • Lou Berney: November Road (William Morrow)

Best First Novel

  • John Copenhaver: Dodging and Burning (Pegasus Books)

Best Nonfiction

  • Sarah Weinman: The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story

  • Art Taylor: “English 398: Fiction Workshop” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2018)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery

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

2019 Macavity Awards Nominees

Mystery Readers International announced the finalists for the 2019 Macavity Awards on July 25.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Novel:

  • Lou Berney: November Road (William Morrow)
  • Alison Gaylin: If I Die Tonight (William Morrow)
  • Jane Harper: The Lost Man (Flat Iron Books)
  • Jennifer Hillier: Jar of Hearts (Minotaur Books)
  • Naomi Hirahara: Hiroshima Boy (Prospect Park Books)
  • Lisa Unger: Under My Skin (Harlequin – Park Row Books)

Best First Novel:

  • Oyinkan Braithwaite: My Sister, the Serial Killer (Doubleday)
  • John Copenhaver: Dodging and Burning (Pegasus Books)
  • Delia Owens: Where the Crawdads Sing (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Catherine Steadman: Something in the Water (Ballantine)
  • C.J. Tudor: The Chalk Man (Crown)

Best Nonfiction:

  • Laird R. Blackwell: The Metaphysical Mysteries of G.K. Chesterton: A Critical Study of the Father Brown Stories and Other Detective Fiction (McFarland)
  • Margalit Fox: Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World’s Most Famous Detective Writer (Random House)
  • Leslie S. Klinger: Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s (Pegasus Books)
  • Michelle McNamara: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer (HarperCollins)
  • Laura Thompson: Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life (Pegasus Books)
  • Sarah Weinman: The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World (HarperCollins)

Best Short Story:

  • Craig Faustus Buck: “Race to Judgment” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
  • Leslie Budewitz: “All God’s Sparrows” (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/Jun 2018)
  • Barb Goffman: “Bug Appétit” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Nov/Dec 2018)
  • Barry Lancet: “Three-Star Sushi” (Down & Out: The Magazine, Vol.1, No. 3)
  • Gigi Pandian: “The Cambodian Curse” (The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories)
  • Art Taylor: “English 398: Fiction Workshop” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2018)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:

  • Dianne Freeman: A Lady’s Guide to Etiquette and Murder (Kensington)
  • Elsa Hart: City of Ink (Minotaur)
  • Laurie R. King: Island of the Mad (Bantam)
  • Sujata Massey: The Widows of Malabar Hill (Soho Crime)
  • Ann Parker: A Dying Note (Poisoned Pen)
  • Charles Todd: A Forgotten Place (William Morrow)

2018 Macavity Awards


Mystery Readers International announced the winners of the 2018 Macavity Awards during the opening ceremonies at Bouchercon in St Petersburg, FL on September 6.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Novel

  • Anthony Horowitz: Magpie Murders (Harper)

Best First Novel

  • Sheena Kamal: The Lost Ones (Wm. Morrow)

Best Nonfiction

  • Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (Poisoned Pen/British Library)

Best Short Story

  • Paul D. Marks: “Windward” (Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Down & Out Books)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Novel

  • Rhys Bowen: In Farleigh Field (Lake Union Publishing)

2018 Macavity Awards Nominees

Mystery Readers International has announced the finalists for the 2018 Macavity Awards.

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

Best Novel

  • Karen Dionne: The Marsh King’s Daughter (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
  • Anthony Horowitz: Magpie Murders (Harper)
  • Attica Locke: Bluebird, Bluebird (Mulholland)
  • Louise Penny: Glass Houses (Minotaur)
  • Thomas Perry: The Old Man (Mysterious Press)
  • Don Winslow: The Force (Wm. Morrow)

Best First Novel

  • Kellye Garrett: Hollywood Homicide (Midnight Ink)
  • Jane Harper: The Dry (Flatiron)
  • Jordan Harper: She Rides Shotgun(Ecco)
  • Sheena Kamal: The Lost Ones (Wm. Morrow)
  • Kristen Lepionka: The Last Place You Look (Minotaur)
  • Wendall Thomas: Lost Luggage (Poisoned Pen)

Best Nonfiction

  • Mattias Bostrom: From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon (Mysterious Press)
  • Martin Edwards: The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books (Poisoned Pen/British Library)
  • Lawrence P. Jackson: Chester B. Himes: A Biography (W.W. Norton)
  • Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James: The Man From the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery (Scribner)
  • Michael Sims: Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes(Bloomsbury)
  • Tori Telfer: Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History (Harper Perennial)

Best Short Story

  • Craig Faustus Buck: “As Ye Sow” (Passport to Murder: Bouchercon Anthology 2017, Down and Out Books)
  • Matt Coyle: “The #2 Pencil” (Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Down & Out Books)
  • Terence Faherty: “Infinite Uticas” (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, May/June 2017)
  • Barb Goffman: “Whose Wine is it Anyway?” (50 Shades of Cabernet, Koehler Books)
  • Paul D. Marks: “Windward” (Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Down & Out Books)
  • Art Taylor: “A Necessary Ingredient” (Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Down & Out Books)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Novel

  • Renee Patrick: Dangerous to Know (Forge)
  • James R. Benn: The Devouring (Soho Crime)
  • Rhys Bowen: In Farleigh Field (Lake Union Publishing)
  • James W. Ziskin: Cast the First Stone (Seventh Street Books)
  • Charles Todd: Racing the Devil (Wm. Morrow)
  • Abir Mukherjee: A Rising Man (Pegasus)

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]