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Showing posts from April, 2009

Winner, Winner! Porcelain Figure Dinner!

Another Edgar Awards has come and gone. The Hungry Detective has done its usual bad job of prognostication. 4 out 12 is not good, but I did get Best Novel. WooHoo! As for the rest. Oh well.

I am only listing the winners... and congratulations to them! A complete list of nominees and my picks can be found here.

Special thanks to Ms. Weinman's Twitter account. Cheers!

Best Novel
Blue Heaven - C.J. Box

Best First Novel by an American Author
The Foreigner - Francie Lin

Best Paperback Original
China Lake - Meg Gardiner

Best Fact Crime
American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century - Howard Blum

Best Critical/Biographical
Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories - Dr. Harry Lee Poe

Best Short Story
“Skinhead Central,” - T. Jefferson Parker (from The Blue Religion, edited by Michael Connelly)

Best Juvenile
The Postcard - Tony Abbott

Best Young Adult
Paper Towns - John Green

Best Play
The Ballad of Emmett Till - Ifa Bayeza

Best Television…

Edgar 2009 Predictions

Here we are again, and I'll be honest since their announcement last January I have hardly looked over the list. Elaborate plans to read more of the nominated fell through very quickly. The relative obscurity of some of these titles made it difficult to track down books via the library.

I am sure the books are all fine, written by gifted and talented writers. And I don't think anyone wants the Edgar's to turn into a popularity contest, but many of the noms in the 'Big Three' Fiction category are definite thinkers. They almost seem like a rejection of what was generally agreed as the best books of 2008. Still it awfully easy for me to 'Monday Morning Quarterback' the whole thing. So let me again wish all the nominees the grandest of congratulations and best of luck on the 30th of April.

The Hungry Detective's picks are in RED.

Best Novel
Missing - Karin Alvtegen
Blue Heaven - C.J. Box
Sins of the Assassin - Robert Ferrigno
The Price of Blood - Declan Hughes
The …

Blood's A Rover - Dust Jacket

Book 3 in Mr. Ellroy's Underworld Trilogy is finally nearing publication. The great Chip Kidd has been Mr. Ellroy's designer for many books dating back to, I think, WHITE JAZZ, but I am unsure if that trend continues with this book. It certainly has the look of Mr. Kidd's work

BLOOD'S A ROVER purportedly follows US Government shenanigans post RFK assassination into the early 1970's. As with the past novels in the trilogy Ellroy focuses his gaze on the unknown and unremembered bagmen of history. The tools of corruption fascinate Ellroy more so than the puppet masters.

The book is in stores on September 22, 2009.

The King of Lies - Review

THE KING OF LIES was Edgar nominated for Best First Novel, and the follow up DOWN RIVER won the Best Novel Edgar last year. Mr. Hart's track record is impressive.

THE KING OF LIES is at its core a family drama. The book opens with the discovery of the body of Ezra Pickens, the patriarch of a seriously maladjusted family. Left behind are a son and daughter who were abused by their father in equally dreadful ways. Each thinks the other is responsible for the murder. Work is the son, and it is with him that we discovery the tortured path of this family. It is here where one could use the over used phrase of Southern Gothic, but that would be cheat to imbue this book with kind of mysticism that doesn't suit the book. Family'a are just as screwed up North of the Mason-Dixon Line. Calling this Southern Gothic only serves to distance a reader from the palpable reality of THE KING OF LIES. The chief benefit of this tag is to be able to blurb William Faulkner's name, as if he is…

White Shadow - Review

Location, Location, Location. This dictum rules the realty market, but I would say that it is a less governing principle in the Crime Fiction world. Character is king in Crimelandia. That is not to say location does not have its place, but rarely do I put down a book or fail to read it because of location.

Unless that location is Florida.

Crime Fiction set in the state of Florida had its last big moment in the late 80's and early 90's. This period coincides with my entry into the Crime Novel, but almost all of the great Florida authors did nothing for me. Believe me I tried. When everyone was telling me how much they enjoyed the latest James W. Hall or the newest Carl Hiaasen, it was a bummer that I could only shrug my shoulders and wonder what the heck was wrong with me. If there is a palm tree on the cover and a vague mention of tropic climates in the title I don't even bother cracking the spine.

It was an odd sense of dismay when I discovered that the Ace Atkins had writte…