The Agatha Awards honor the "traditional mystery." That is to say, books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie as well as others. For our purposes, the genre is loosely defined as mysteries that:Another thing which makes them different from most awards is that there isn’t a panel of judges who chooses the winners. The voting is done by secret ballot by the attendees at the Malice Domestic conference each year. In other words, mystery writers, readers, and lovers – people like you and I.
• contain no explicit sex
• contain no excessive gore or gratuitous violence
• usually feature an amateur detective
• take place in a confined setting and contain characters who know one another
Novels and stories featuring police officers and private detectives may qualify for the awards, but materials generally classified as "hard-boiled" are not appropriate.
In case you missed this, here’s a list of the newly announced Agatha winners:
Best Children’s/Young Adult
“The Crossroads,” by Chris Grabenstein (Random House)
Best Short Story
“The Night Things Changed,” by Dana Cameron (Penguin Group)
“How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries,” by Kathy Lynn Emerson (Perseverance Press)
Best First Novel
“Death of a Cozy Writer, by G.M. Malliet (Midnight Ink)
“The Cruelest Month” by Louise Penny (St. Martin’s Press)
You can find the full list of the nominees on the Malice Domestic site.
Congratulations to all the winners!