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The Hungry Detective's 2009 Bouchercon Award Predictions Spectacular.

The Hungry Detective has made the decision to group all of his predictions into one uber-prediction post for the multiple award ceremonies that will be occurring during the Bouchercon weekend. I'm predicting the Barry, Macavity, PWA Shamus, and Anthony Awards. My picks will be in Blue.

Barry Awards

Best Novel:
Trigger City - Sean Chercover
The Draining Lake - Arnaldur Indridason
Envy the Night - Michael Koryta
Red Knife - William Kent Krueger
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny
The Dawn Patrol - Don Winslow

Ms. Penny is my safe bet here. My heart wants me to go with Mr. Chercover, but I think THE CRUELEST MONTH is the winner.

Best First Novel:
The Kind One - Tom Epperson
Stalking Susan - Julie Kramer
City of the Sun - David Levien
Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith
A Carrion Death - Michael Stanley
Sweeping Up Glass - Carolyn D. Wall

Going with the book that made the biggest noise last year. Everyone seemed to enjoy CHILD 44. I just never found the story to be compelling.

Best British Novel:
A Simple Act of Violence - R.J. Ellory
Ritual - Mo Hayder
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Shatter - Michael Robotham
Bleeding Heart Square - Andrew Taylor
Bruno, Chief of Police - Martin Walker

Although within the guidelines of the award, I have to think that THE GIRL WITH DRAGON TATTOO inclusion here only provides confusion. It is probably the best book on the list, but I'll go with Mr. Taylor's haunted house thriller BLEEDING HEART SQUARE.

Best Paperback Original:
The First Quarry - Max Allan Collins
Money Shot - Christa Faust
State of the Onion - Julie Hyzy
The Black Path - ├ůsa Larsson
Severance Package - Duane Swierczynski
Echoes from the Dead - Johan Theorin

SEVERANCE PACKAGE is a high octane blast, and the easiest pick of all the Barry's. STATE OF THE ONION is a distance number two for me.

Best Thriller:
Collision - Jeff Abbott
The Deceived - Brett Battles
The Survivor - Tom Cain
Finder - Colin Harrison
Night of Thunder - Stephen Hunter
Good People - Marcus Sakey

Tough, tough pick. I really dig Mr. Sakey's work. Mr. Hunter has the long history. Mr. Battles or Mr. Cain are new-ish writers to the genre. I threw a mythical dart at my computer monitor... because a real one would be idiotic... and come up with COLLISION.

Best Short Story:
“The Drought,” by James O. Born (from The Blue Religion, edited by Michael Connelly; Little, Brown)
“The Fallen,” by Jan Burke (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine [EQMM], August 2008)
“A Trace of a Trace,” by Brendan DuBois (from At the Scene of the Crime, edited by Dana Stabenow; Running Press)
“A Killing in Midtown,” by G. Miki Hayden (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, January/February 2008)
“Proof of Love,” by Mick Herron (EQMM, September/October 2008)
“The Problem of the Secret Patient,” by Edward D. Hoch (EQMM, May 2008)

Mr. Hoch was a Rochesterian, and beloved as one of the greatest short story writers Crime Fiction has ever seen. This award will not only salute his long career, but the man himself.

Macavity Awards
Best Mystery Novel
Trigger City - Sean Chercover - Wm. Morrow
Where Memories Lie - Deborah Crombie - Wm. Morrow
The Dying Breed (UK)/ The Price of Blood (US) - Declan Hughes - John Murray/ Wm. Morrow
The Draining Lake - Arnaldur Indridason - Minotaur
Curse of the Spellmans - Lisa Lutz - Simon & Schuster
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny - Minotaur
The Fault Tree - Louise Ure - Minotaur

I think this is a horse race between TRIGGER CITY and THE CRUELEST MONTH. Went with TRIGGER CITY because I love the book. Either could win. The dark horse here is WHERE MEMORIES LIE.

Best First Mystery
Finding Nouf - Zoe Ferraris -- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson -- Knopf
Death of a Cozy Writer - G.M. Malliet - Midnight Ink
Calumet City - Charlie Newton - Simon & Schuster
An Innocent Client - Scott Pratt - Onyx
A Carrion Death - Michael Stanley - Harper; Headline
The Blood Detective - Dan Waddell - Minotaur

Lots of good first books here, but this is DRAGON TATTOO all the way. However, if you haven't yet, you should definitely check out FINDING NOUF, CALUMET CITY, and A CARRION OF DEATH.

Best Nonfiction/Critical
African American Mystery Writers: A Historical & Thematic Study - Frankie Y. Bailey - McFarland
Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories - Leonard Cassuto - Columbia Univ.
How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries - Kathy Lynn Emerson - Perseverance Press
Scene of the Crime: The Importance of Place in Crime and Mystery Fiction - David Geherin - McFarland
Edgar Allan Poe : An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories - Harry Lee Poe - Metro
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective - Kate Summerscale - Walker

Best Mystery Short Story
"The Night Things Changed" - Dana Cameron - Wolfsbane & Mistletoe, ed. by Harris & Kelner, Penguin
"A Sleep Not Unlike Death" - Sean Chercover - Hardcore Hardboiled, ed. by Todd Robinson, Kensington
"Keeping Watch Over His Flock" - Toni L. P. Kelner - Wolfsbane & Mistletoe, ed. by Harris & Kelner, Penguin
"Scratch a Woman" - Laura Lippman - Hardly Knew Her, Wm. Morrow
"Between the Dark and the Daylight" - Tom Piccirilli - EQMM, Sep/Oct 2008

Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery
A Royal Pain - Rhys Bowen - Berkley
Stealing Trinity - Ward Larsen - Oceanview
The Whiskey Rebels - David Liss - Thorndike/ Random House UK
Veil of Lies - Jeri Westerson - Minotaur
Company of Liars - Karen Maitland - Michael Joseph/ Delacorte
Nox Dormienda - Kelli Stanley - Five Star

PWA Shamus Awards
Best Hardcover
Salvation Boulevard - Larry Beinhart - Nation Books
Empty Ever After - Reed Farrel Coleman - Bleak House Books
The Blue Door - David Fulmer - Harcourt
The Price of Blood - Declan Hughes - Wm. Morrow
The Ancient Rain - Domenic Stansberry - St. Martins Minotaur

Mr. Hughes is a favorite with both fans and authors a like. The safe bet here is always Mr. Coleman, but THD is never about the safe bet!

Best First PI Novel
Stalking Susan - Julie Kramer - Doubleday
Swann’s Last Song - Charles Salzberg - Five Star
The Eye of Jade - Diane Wei Liang - Simon & Schuster
In the Heat - Ian Vasquez - St. Martins Minotaur
Veil of Lies - Jeri Westerson - St Martins Minotaur

I'll be honest this is a toss up. The only book I recognize here is Ms. Kramer's book. My strongest reaction to this list is the weak titles of some of these books. IN THE HEAT and VEIL OF LIES are little to 'on the nose' if you ask me. SWANN'S LAST SONG has some credibility as titles go so I am throwing my wight behind this one.

Best Paperback Original
Snow Blind - Lori Armstrong - Medallion
Shot Girl - Karen Olson - Obsidian
The Stolen - Jason Pinter - MIRA
The Black Hand - Will Thomas - Touchstone/Simon &Schuster
The Evil That Men Do - Dave White - Crown/Three Rivers Press

I went with Mr. White's book because it was one of the best books I read last year. Mr. Pinter would be a close second, but both books are a personal preference, not reasoned handicapping by yours truly.

Best Short Story
“Family Values” - Mitch Alderman - Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2008
“Last Island South” - John C. Boland - Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Sep/Oct 2008
“The Blonde Tigress” - Max Allan Collins - Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, June 2008
“Discovery” - Kristine Kathryn Rusch - Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Nov 2008
“Panic on Portage Path” - Dick Stodghill - Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Jan/Feb 2008

Mr. Collins is another guy who gets a lot of respect. A writer's writer. He is able to shift gears effortlessly in this field. He has done it all, and done it well.

Anthony Awards
Trigger City by Sean Chercover - William Morrow
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly - Little, Brown and Company
Red Knife by William Kent Krueger - Atria
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Knopf
The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny - Minotaur

Mr. Krueger has been a machine in this category over the last 5-6 years. Ms. Penny has a devoted following. DRAGON TATTOO is as big a book as the Crime Fiction genre has seen in the last decade. I think THE BRASS VERDICT gets the award, and not just because he is the Guest of Honor. It is a book I like a lot. Again my heart want's to go with TRIGGER CITY, and I would if I had any guts.

Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris - Minotaur
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer - Doubleday
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - Knopf
Death of a Cozy Writer by G.M. Malliet - Midnight Ink
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith - Grand Central

Ms. Kramer's book is nominated for three of the four award covered here, and that certainly speaks to the quality of the novel. I don't think she is going to have the same success Ms. French had last year with INTO THE WOODS, but I do think she could pick up one. I'm going with DRAGON TATTOO primarily because I think people want to see this book win.

The First Quarry by Max Allan Collins - Hard Case Crime
Money Shot by Christa Faust - Hard Case Crime
State of the Onion by Julie Hyzy - Berkley
In a Dark Season by Vicki Lane - Dell
South of Hell by P.J. Parrish - Pocket Star

When these awards were announced I stated I knew who was going to win this award. A few months on and I have no idea what I was referring too. I think it is going to be STATE OF THE ONION.

"The Night Things Changed" by Dana Cameron from Wolfsbane and Mistletoe - Ace
"A Sleep Not Unlike Death" by Sean Chercover from Hardcore Hardboiled - Kensington
"Killing Time" by Jane K. Cleland from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine - November
"Skull and Cross Examination" by Toni L. P. Kelner from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine - February
"Scratch a Woman" by Laura Lippman from Hardly Knew Her -William Morrow
"The Secret Lives of Cats" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine - July

African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey - McFarland
How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries by Kathy Lynn Emerson - Perseverance Press
Anthony Boucher: A Bibliography by Jeffrey Marks - McFarland
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale - Walker & Company

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein - Random House
Paper Towns by John Green - Dutton Juvenile
Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson - Delacorte
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Lee Stewart - Little, Brown
Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash by Wendelin Van Draanen - Knopf


Death Was the Other Woman designed by David Rotstein and written by Linda L. Richards - Minotaur
Death Will Get You Sober designed by David Rotstein and written by Elizabeth Zelvin - Minotaur
The Fault Tree designed by David Rotstein and written by Louise Ure - Minotaur
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo designed by Peter Mendelsund and written by Stieg Larsson - Knopf
Money Shot designed by Steve Cooley and written by Christa Faust - Hard Case Crime


Jon and Ruth Jordan
Ali Karim
David Montgomery
Gary Warren Niebuhr
Sarah Weinman

No pick here, just a well deserved salute to these exceptional ambassadors to this thing of ours.

The Hungry Detective extends their congratulations and best of luck to all the nominees.


Charles said…
Man, I sure hope your powers of prediction are good. I won't be there, but I have instructed someone who will be to stand up and pull a Shania Twain if I don't win, "WTF."
But thanks for giving me hope.
Charles Salzberg
Swann's Last Song
No argument with most of the picks, but the Barry for Best Novel, NOT Louise Penny. It's the weakest of her four books by far, has plot holes and obvious give-aways. It's almost as if she'd written it first, and so it's full of those "first novel problems". I think the winner there will be Chercover or Krueger.

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