The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars), named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. They honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theatre published or produced in the previous year. Below are just some of the Edgar Best Novel winners.
2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel
From one of the most acclaimed authors in the thriller genre—praised as a “maestro of the sinister” by the New York Daily News—Mo Hayder delivers her most excruciatingly suspenseful novel to date. By turns thrilling and horrifying, Gone follows the investigation of a brilliant and twisted carjacker with a disturbing game to play.
Detective Jack Caffery’s newest case seems like a routine carjacking, a crime he’s seen plenty of times before until he realizes the sickening truth: the thief wasn’t after the car, but the 11-year-old girl in the backseat. Meanwhile police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, half-submerged tunnel could put her in grave danger. The carjacker is always a step ahead of the Major Crime Investigation Unit, and as the chances for his victims grow slimmer, Jack and Flea race to fit the pieces together in time.
Gone is Mo Hayder at her terrifying best. Each dark and captivating twist reveals a new dimension to this tight-knit plot, burrowing deeper into the chilling and clever world Mo Hayder creates.
2011 Edgar Award for Best Novel "I was the Miracle Boy, once upon a time. Later on, the Milford Mute. The Golden Boy. The Young Ghost. The Kid. The Boxman. The Lock Artist. That was all me.But you can call me Mike." Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe ... he can open them all. It's an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever close to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long. Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you've ever seen in the world of crime fiction.
2010 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he’d been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is---confident in a way that he can never fully explain.
Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene.
Then a second child goes missing . . .
Undeterred by Hunt’s threats or his mother’s pleas, Johnny enlists the help of his last friend, and together they plunge into the wild, to a forgotten place with a history of violence that goes back more than a hundred years. There, they meet a giant of a man, an escaped convict on his own tragic quest. What they learn from him will shatter every notion Johnny had about the fate of his sister; it will lead them to another far place, to a truth that will test both boys to the limit.
Traveling the wilderness between innocence and hard wisdom, between hopelessness and faith, The Last Child leaves all categories behind and establishes John Hart as a writer of unique power.
2009 Edgar Award for Best Novel
A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother are on the run in the Idaho woods, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder—four men who know exactly who William and Annie are. And where their mother lives.
Retired policemen from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the local sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children. Now there’s nowhere left for William and Annie to hide…and no one they can trust. Until they meet Jess Rawlins.
Rawlins, an old-school rancher, knows trouble when he sees it. But he is only one against four men who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses. What these ex-cops do not know is just how far Rawlins will go to protect William and Annie…and see that justice is done.
2008 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Adam Chase is passionate and misunderstood, a fighter. When narrowly acquitted of a murder charge, he disappears for five long years: not a clue, not a trace. Now, he’s back and nobody knows why—not his family or the cops, not the women he left behind. But Adam has his reasons.
When more bodies surface, Adam must unravel a web of deceit and violence so dense it staggers the imagination. Old secrets rise, lives collapse, and more than one person crosses the brink as author Hart probes the timeless, destructive power of deception and vengeance.
1976 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Since being forced into retirement by the CIA, Miles Kendig had tried everything in an effort to satisfy his hunger for excitement. But he could not recreate the ultimate conflict of life or death with no rules, the experience of pitting himself against the enemy with no holds barred.
Despite his bitterness at being shelved by the CIA, Miles was still scrupulously American--so when he found himself tempted by an offer from the Russians, he realized the time had come for him to put up or give up.
Miles has been waiting, carefully planning, for years--and, finally, he's ready. By threatening to expose the espionage secrets of the major powers, he set himself up as the quarry of an international manhunt. Now he would either prove to himself that after twenty-five years of playing the game he was still a winner, or he would meet his death at the hands of younger men.
2003 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Private detective Bill Smith is hurtled headlong into the most provocative-and personal-case of his career when he receives a chilling late night telephone call from the NYPD, who are holding his fifteen-year-old nephew Gary. But before he can find out what's going on, Gary escapes Bill's custody and disappears into the dark and unfamiliar streets...
Bill and his partner, Lydia Chin, try to find the missing teen and uncover what it is that has led him so far from home. Their search takes them to Gary's family in a small town in New Jersey, where they discover that one of Gary's classmates was murdered. Bill and Lydia delve into the crime-only to find it eerily similar to a decades-old murder-suicide...
Now, with his nephew's future-and perhaps his very life-at stake, Bill must unravel a long-buried crime and confront the darkness of his own past...
1999 Edgar Award for Best Novel
"As thrilling as it is unnerving . . . Could have been written by Dashiell Hammett or James Crumley--at their best."--Greil Marcus, Esquire
St. Paul, Minnesota, 1939. A grisly discovery is made. On a hillside, the dead body of a beautiful dime-a-dance girl is found, and an investigation opens. Assigned to the case is Police Lieutenant Wesley Horner, a man troubled and alone after his wife's recent death, a man with his own demons. He soon narrows his sights on Herbert White, an eccentric recluse and hobby photographer with a fondness for snapping suggestive photographs of the dime-a-dance girls. As Horner discovers, White is also a man with no memory, who must record his life in detailed journal entries and scrapbooks. For every interrogation Horner has, Herbert White has few answers, pushing the murder investigation into unknown territory and illuminating the complex relationship between truth and fiction, past and present, faith and memory.
1995 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Texas-based crime reporter Molly Cates has just published her first book, describing the blood-curdling exploits of serial killer Louie Bronk. Now on death row, Louie's sentence is about to be carried out. Molly will be there as a witness, and she wants to write about it--the final coda to Louie's story. But suddenly, she's being strongly discouraged by her boss at the "Lone Star Monthly" and by Charlie McFarland, the millionaire real estate developer whose first wife, Tiny, was Bronk's most famous victim--and the only one whose murder is a capital offense. Then Molly starts to receive dark hints that Louie may not have killed Tiny after all. There is another murder following Louis's M.O.--one he could not have committed. The veracity of Molly's book is threatened--and then her very life. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Molly realizes that by attempting to save Louis she is putting her own life on the line, and discrediting her own work. Mary Willis Walker brings a lusty new voice to the mystery scene. Already recognized for her first novel, she has now created a character just cheeky and gusty enough to take her place among the top ranks of female protagonists such as Kinsey Millhone and Kay Scarpetta.
1992 Edgar Award for Best Novel
There is no accolade or major mystery award that has not already been bestowed upon Lawrence Block. His acclaimed crime novels are asintelligent, provocative, and emotionally complex as they are nerve-tighteningly intense. And perhaps the most respected of his myriad works are the Matthew Scudder books -- masterworks of suspenseful invention featuring a remarkable protagonist rich in conscience and character, with all the flaws that his humanity entails. This is the detective novel as high art.
A Dance At The Slaughterhouse
In Matt Scudder's mind, money, power, and position elevate nobody above morality and the law. Now the ex-cop and unlicensed p.i. has been hired to prove that socialite Richard Thurman orchestrated the brutal murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. During Scudder's hard drinking years, he left a piece of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case is more depraved and more potentially devastating than anything he experienced while floundering in the urban depths. Because this investigation is leading Scudder on a frightening grand tour of New York's sex-for-sale underworld -- where an innocent young life is simply a commodity to be bought and perverted ... and then destroyed.
1974 Edgar Award for Best Novel
Two Native-American boys have vanished into thin air, leaving a pool of blood behind them. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police has no choice but to suspect the very worst, since the blood that stains the parched New Mexican ground once flowed through the veins of one of the missing, a young ZuÑi. But his investigation into a terrible crime is being complicated by an important archaeological dig . . . and a steel hypodermic needle. And the unique laws and sacred religious rites of the ZuÑi people are throwing impassable roadblocks in Leaphorn's already twisted path, enabling a craven murderer to elude justice or, worse still, to kill again.
1972 Edgar Award for Best Novel
He is known only as “The Jackal”—a cold, calculating assassin without emotion, or loyalty, or equal. He’s just received a contract from an enigmatic employer to eliminate one of the most heavily guarded men in the world—Charles De Gaulle, president of France.
It is only a twist of fate that allows the authorities to discover the plot. They know next to nothing—only that the assassin is on the move. To track him, they dispatch their finest detective, Claude Lebel, on a manhunt that will push him to his limit, in a race to stop an assassin’s bullet from reaching its target.
1971 Edgar Award for Best Novel
The incredible fourth novel in the Martin Beck mystery series by the internationally renowned crime writing duo Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, finds Martin Beck heading a major manhunt in pursuit of a mass-murderer.
On a cold and rainy Stockholm night, nine bus riders are gunned down by a mysterious assassin. The press portrays it as a freak attack and dubs the killer a madman. But Superintendent Martin Beck thinks otherwise—one of his most ambitious young detectives was among those killed—and he suspects it was more than coincidence. Working on a hunch, Beck seeks out the girlfriend of the murdered detective, and with her help Beck reconstructs the steps that led to his murder. The police comb the country for the killer, only to find that this attack may be connected to a case that has been unsolved for years.
1968 Edgar Award for Best Novel
* mark n. An easy victim; a ready subject for the practices of a confidence man, thief, beggar, etc.; a sucker.-Dictionary of American Slang, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1960
That's the long definition of a mark. But there's a shorter one. It goes:
* mark n. Fred Fitch
What, you ask, is a Fred Fitch? Well, for one thing, Fred Fitch is the man with the most extensive collection of fake receipts, phony bills of sale, and counterfeit sweepstakes tickets in the Western Hemisphere, and possibly in the entire world. For another thing, Fred Fitch may be the only New York City resident in the twentieth century to buy a money machine. When Barnum said, "There's one born every minute, and two to take him," he didn't know about Fred Fitch; when Fred Fitch was born, there were two million to take him.
Every itinerant grifter, hypester, bunk artist, short-conner, amuser, shearer, short-changer, green-goods worker, pennyweighter, ring dropper, and yentzer to hit New York City considers his trip incomplete until he's also hit Fred Fitch. He's sort of the con-man's version of Go: Pass Fred Fitch, collect two hundred dollars, and move on.
What happens to Fred Fitch when his long-lost Uncle Matt dies and leaves Fred three hundred thousand dollars shouldn't happen to the ball in a pinball machine. Fred Fitch with three hundred thousand dollars is like a mouse with a sack of catnip: He's likely to attract the wrong kind of attention.
Add to this the fact that Uncle Matt was murdered, by person or persons unknown, and that someone now seems determined to murder Fred as well, mix in two daffily charming beauties of totally different types, and you have a perfect setup for the busiest fictional hero since the well-known one-armed paperhanger. As Fred Fitch careers across the New York City landscape-and sometimes skyline-in his meetings with cops, con men, beautiful girls, and (maybe) murderers, he takes on some of the loonier aspects of a Dante without a Virgil. Take one part comedy and one part suspense and shake well-mostly with laughter.
1965 Edgar Award for Best Novel
In this classic, John le Carré's third novel and the first to earn him international acclaim, he created a world unlike any previously experienced in suspense fiction. With unsurpassed knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carré brings to light the shadowy dealings of international espionage in the tale of a British agent who longs to end his career but undertakes one final, bone-chilling assignment.
When the last agent under his command is killed and Alec Leamas is called back to London, he hopes to come in from the cold for good. His spymaster, Control, however, has other plans. Determined to bring down the head of East German Intelligence and topple his organization, Control once more sends Leamas into the fray -- this time to play the part of the dishonored spy and lure the enemy to his ultimate defeat.
1964 Edgar Award for Best Novel
The Light of Day was the basis for Jules Dassin’s classic film, Topkapi.
When Arthur Abdel Simpson first spots Harper in the Athens airport, he recognizes him as a tourist unfamiliar with city and in need of a private driver. In other words, the perfect mark for Simpson’s brand of entrepreneurship. But Harper proves to be more the spider than the fly when he catches Simpson riffling his wallet for traveler’s checks. Soon Simpson finds himself blackmailed into driving a suspicious car across the Turkish border. Then, when he is caught again, this time by the police, he faces a choice: cooperate with the Turks and spy on his erstwhile colleagues or end up in one of Turkey’s notorious prisons. The authorities suspect an attempted coup, but Harper and his gang of international jewel thieves have planned something both less sinister and much, much more audacious.
1958 Edgar Award for Best Novel
First appearance of Toussaint Moore, a black private investigator from New York, framed in his own city for a white man's murder. Moore ends up in a small Ohio town, close to the Kentucky border, trying to prove his own innocence and dealing the attitudes of the time. Fascinating novel, written by Lacy (Len Zinberg), a politically active author from the '30s whose knowledge of the culture is derived from his marriage to an African-American woman. Toussaint "Touie" Moore is considered the first credible black detective.
1979 Edgar Award for Best Novel
One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin—code name: "The Needle"—who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory. Only one person stands in his way: a lonely Englishwoman on an isolated island, who is coming to love the killer who has mysteriously entered her life.
Ken Follett's unsurpassed and unforgettable masterwork of suspense, intrigue, and the dangerous machinations of the human heart—Eye of the Needle