Sarah Reidy, Director of Publicity from Soho Press, reports from Baltimore on the Malice Domestic Agatha Awards.
I had the pleasure of attending the Agatha Awards Banquet for Malice Domestic XX on Saturday, alongside Soho’s Marketing Director, Ailen Lujo. Despite the fact that the organizers had forgotten to assign Ailen and I seats, all worked out for the best. We found ourselves at table 44, alongside Jim Huang – owner of The Mystery Bookshop in Carmel, IN and a great Soho supporter. Later on, Margaret Maron – author of the Deborah Knott mystery series – and friends dropped in to occupy the empty seats. I had the pleasure of chatting with Ms. Maron’s husband, who recounted stories of mystery conventions past for me.
Find out who the award winners were and what was for dinner after the jump
After a pretty decent dinner (although, according to the menu, our chicken was supposed to have rice – perhaps the recent grain shortage?), the ceremonies began. Dan Stashower – author of Dutton’s A Beautiful Cigar Girl and Agatha-nominee – served as our toastmaster for the evening, and I have to say, he nailed it. Speeches were made by the Fan Guests of Honor Ron and Jean McMillen (owners of the Mystery Bookshop in Bethesda, MD) and Elizabeth Foxwell (mystery historian), and then came the part of the evening that Ailen and I had been eagerly awaiting â€“ the presentation of the Malice Lifetime Achievement Award to Soho Crime Author (and one of my favorites – both as a writer and a person) Peter Lovesey.
Peter has written over thirty books, including this month’s The Headhunters, and has received countless awards, including the British Crime Writers’ Association Silver, Gold, and Diamond (Lifetime Achievement) Daggers. In the U.S., he has received Edgar and Dilys nominations, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and the Ellery Queen Readers Award. His speech was utterly charming, especially with his British accent, and in a touching moment, acknowledged his wife, who he called “my inspiration, first editor, and main reader.”
As far as the Agatha Award winners: Sarah Masters won the Best Children/Young Adult Fiction for A Light in the Cellar; Donna Andrews won the Short Story Award for “A Rat’s Tale”; Jon Lellenberg, Charles Foley, and toastmaster Dan Stashower won the Best Nonfiction for Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters; Hank Phillippi Ryan won Best First Novel for Prime Time; and Louise Penny’s A Fatal Grace won Best Novel of the Year. In addition, the Poirot Awards (honoring “individuals other than writers who have made outstanding contributions to the Malice Domestic genre”) went to Linda Landrigan, the editor of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and Janet Hutchings, editor of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.