The results are in! On April 30th, the Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2020 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, popularly known as the Edgar Awards. Their selections honor the best mystery stories to hit shelves in all of 2019. Have you gotten a chance to explore these acclaimed books that everyone’s been buzzing about? We’re here to catch you up to speed!
This year’s winners include Tracy Clark’s nail-biter of a detective novel Borrowed Time, Elly Griffiths’ modern Gothic tale The Stranger Diaries, and more. With different categories ranging from “Best First Novel” to “Best Short Story,” there’s something here to suit the tastes of every kind of mystery lover. Read more about each book below to see what all the hype is about. You might even discover a new favorite!
The Stranger Diaries
A high school teacher of Gothic literature, Clare Cassidy is able to find poetic beauty in dark subjects like fear and death. But when her colleague is murdered, Clare begins to fear that one of her favorite sinister tales has come to life.
Best First Novel By An American Author
In Angie Kim’s gripping debut novel, a horrific explosion kills two of the patients at a special treatment center in Virginia. It’s clear that this was no accident, and the small group of remaining patients is hiding more secrets than first meets the eye.
Best Paperback Original
The Hotel Neversink
The grand Hotel Neversink opened to great success—until a young boy disappeared within its halls. Three generations later, with the hotel coming apart at the seams, Alice Sikorsky inherits the mysterious building and sets out to discover what really happened that fateful night.
Best Fact Crime
The Less People Know About Us: A Mystery of Betrayal, Family Secrets, and Stolen Identity
A shocking true crime memoir: When an identity thief ruthlessly targeted Betz-Hamilton’s parents, her family became obsessed with hiding in plain sight. But the whole time, the culprit was much closer to home than they could have imagined.
Hitchcock and the Censors
Throughout Alfred Hitchcock’s career, he had to grapple with censorship boards who wished to redact indecencies in his work, both real and imagined. This study of the Master of Suspense explores the clever ways in which he managed to evade censorship and push the boundaries of filmmaking.
Best Short Story
"One of These Nights" from Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers
In this collection of feminist crime tales, 16 women put forth their own unique interpretations of noir. Livia Llewellyn’s "One of These Nights" is a twisty read featuring two cunning adolescent girls with a dangerous agenda up their sleeves.
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse
This book introduces young readers to Jesse, a lovable neurodiverse sleuth with a canine sidekick. When money goes missing from the school library and Jesse’s dad is considered the #1 suspect, she goes on a madcap adventure to clear his name.
Best Young Adult
Catfishing on CatNet
Lonely teenage outsider Steph feels most at home in an online community of cat lovers. What she doesn’t know is that the site’s admin is a sentient A.I.—a fact that will come in handy when a threat from Steph’s past catches up to her.
Robert L. Fish Memorial Award
"There's a Riot Goin' On" from Milwaukee Noir
The seedy underbelly of Milwaukee is exposed in this collection of short fiction. Derrick Harriell’s "There's a Riot Goin' On" explores the aftermath of a racially charged protest, when a young participant explores the streets and his newfound freedom.
The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award
The Night Visitors
Carol Goodman’s psychological thriller takes place in Delphi, New York, where a social worker in her fifties takes in a battered woman and her precocious son. As a snowstorm worsens around them, leaving them utterly isolated, each woman reveals dark secrets from her buried past.
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award
When private investigator Cassandra Raines agrees to look into a suspicious death as a favor to a friend, at first she finds nothing out of sorts. However, she soon uncovers a number of puzzling coincidences about the case—an observation that may make her a killer’s next target.