Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Essential Mystery Lists

Editor, scholar, and mystery bookstore owner Otto Penzler published this in the New York Sun.
The Essential Mystery Lists (Poisoned Pen Press, 574 pages, $39.95), edited by Roger M. Sobin.
Here's a book that is properly titled and, if you are at all serious about the mystery genre, you need on your shelves.

Trying to tell you all that can be found between the covers would be like trying to summarize an almanac, but here are a few highlights: Edgar Allan Poe Awards - not just the winners in every category, but the nominees - as well as all the other honors presented by the Mystery Writers of America since it was founded 62 years ago.

Ditto for the Crime Writers' Association (UK), and for Australia; also, the Arthur Ellis Award for Canada.

Awards given by various magazines and conventions, such as the Agatha by the Malice Domestic Convention; the Anthony, by the Bouchercon; the Barry, by Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine and Mystery News, and, heaven help us, the Lovey Award by the Love Is Murder Conference.
"Best" lists of authors or books by such scholars and/or authors as Ellery Queen, Isaac Asimov, Robert Barnard, Jacques Barzun, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Tony Hillerman, Elmore Leonard, Michael Malone, Sara Paretsky, Robert B. Parker, Peter Straub, Donald E. Westlake, and Phyllis Whitney. Classic lists such as Queen's Quorum, the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone Library, MWA's top 100 mysteries of all time, etc., etc., etc. Once you to start browse in this book, it will slit the throat of any other plans you might have had.

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