The Shamus Awards dinner, hosted by Private Eye Writers of America, is my favorite part of the annual Bouchercon world mystery convention. All those authors of P.I. fiction, from the big names to a sprinkling of newbies, crowded into one room. They’re not quite as seedy as their print creations, but they do have a certain swagger that sets them apart.
This year’s bash was at Big Ed’s City Market in Raleigh, NC. No shots were fired.
Henry and I enjoyed the chance to become acquainted with Canadian thriller writer Grant McKenzie and his wife Karen, both former journalists. Grant’s novel Beauty with a Bomb, part of the Dixie Flynn series which he writes under the name M.C. Grant, was a finalist in the Best Paperback Original category. I had trouble putting it down, and am now a firm fan of this series featuring a kick-ass young investigative journalist for a news website.
It was my pleasure to present the Shamus Award for Best Indie P.I. Novel of 2014 to Trace Conger for his novel The Shadow Broker. He’s shown here receiving the award, and in the audience with his wife Beth.
Here are this year’s finalists and winners in the various categories. *=winner
BEST HARDCOVER P.I. NOVEL
The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman
The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
Toyko Kill by Barry Lancet
* Hounded by David Rosenfelt
Peter Pan Must Die by John Verdon
BEST FIRST P.I. NOVEL
* Invisible City by Julia Dahl
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie
Last of the Independents by Sam Wiebe
Wink of an Eye by Lynn Chandler Willis
City of Brick and Shadow by Tim Wirkus
BEST ORIGINAL PAPERBACK P.I. NOVEL
The Detective and the Pipe Girl by Michael Craven
Beauty With A Bomb by M.C.Grant
Critical Damage by Robert K. Lewis
Street Justice by Kris Nelscott
* Moonlight Weeps by Vincent Zandri
BEST P.I. SHORT STORY
* “Clear Recent History” by Gon Ben Ari in Tel Aviv Noir
“The Ehrengraf Fandango ” by Lawrence Block in Defender of the Innocent
“Fear Is The Best Keeper of Secrets ” by Vali Khalili in Tehran Noir
“Mei Kwei, I Love You” by Suchen Christine Lim in Singapore Noir
“Busting Red Heads” by Richard Helms in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
BEST INDIE P.I. NOVEL
* The Shadow Broker by Trace Conger
Nobody’s Child by Libby Fischer Hellmann
Played To Death by BV Lawson
The Kids Are All Right by Steve Liskow
Get Busy Dying by Ben Rehder
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Parnell Hall.
M. Ruth Myers writes the Maggie Sullivan mystery series.