January 19th is an exciting day for readers of Mystery and Suspense Fiction. What happens every January 19th? I'll give you a hint. Each year, this event falls on the birthday of the undisputed "Father of the Detective Story" (think beating hearts and ravens).
Yes, it's the annual announcement of the Edgar Award Nominees, named after Edgar Allen Poe, and honoring the previous year's best Mystery and Suspense.
Every year, I entertain the fantasy that I will have guessed correctly and read most, if not ALL, of the nominees for Best Novel. Every year I come crashing back to earth when I learn that I didn't even come close.
Out of the 100 plus books I read last year, how many were nominated in 2015? One. Sad, but better than last year's total. (Zero. Zippo. Not one.)
So now begins the delightful task of reading the rest of the books on the list, to see all the wonderful things I have missed. Won't you join me? You can find the complete list of Edgar Award Nominees - 2015
Best Novel Nominees
"After their mother's unexpected death, Easter and her sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night. Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due."
"When a vagrant--the Walking Man--finds a dog wandering alone with a scrap of paper with the words "HELP US" attached to its collar, he's sure it's a desperate plea from someone in trouble and calls on Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to investigate. Caffery is reluctant to get involved--until the Walking Man promises new information regarding the childhood abduction of Caffery's brother in exchange for the detective's help tracking down the dog's owners. Caffery has no idea who or what he is searching for, but one thing he is sure of: it's a race against time. Meanwhile a wealthy local family is fighting for their lives, held hostage in their remote home. As their ordeal becomes increasingly bizarre and humiliating, the family begins to wonder: Is this really a random crime?"
"In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy."
"In Belfast, Northern Ireland, Rea Carlisle--daughter of influential Stormont politician Graham Carlisle--has inherited a house from an uncle she never knew. It doesn't take her long to clear out the dead man's remaining possessions, but one of the upstairs rooms remains stubbornly locked. When Rea finally forces it open, she discovers inside a chair, a table, and a leather-bound book, its pages filled with a host of chilling mementos, locks of hair, fingernails: a catalogue of victims. Horrified, Rea wants to go straight to the police but her father intervenes. Thwarted by her father, Rea turns to the only person she can think of: disgraced police inspector Jack Lennon. Lennon will risk everything to get to the bottom of this grisly conspiracy"-- Provided by publisher.
"Rebus and Malcolm Fox go head-to-head when a 30-year-old murder investigation resurfaces, forcing Rebus to confront crimes of the past. Allegiances are being formed, enemies made, and huge questions asked. Who are the saints and who the sinners? And can the one ever become the other?"
"Atlanta, 1974. It's Kate Murphy's first day on the job and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she's not cut out for the job as a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can't handle a gun, and she's rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt, he'll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind (and a brother and uncle already on the force)--a strategy meant to isolate Kate and Maggie from the action. But the move will backfire, putting them right at the heart of it."