Friday, April 29, 2016

What they said at the 2016 Edgar Awards, or Paretsky-Mosley for president

All photos by your humble blogkeeper, Peter Rozovsky
Star systems sometimes work. Two of the biggest stars at the Mystery Writers of America's 2016 Edgar Awards dinner also cut two of the evening's most impressive figures. Walter Mosley, honored as the organization's 2016 grand master, spoke with exemplary humility, passion, and great good humor, often about subjects this country finds it difficult to discuss.

Sara Paretsky
And Sara Paretsky, named a grand master five years ago and the MWA's outgoing president, reported on her term in a way that suggested she could run any damned thing she wanted to.  I was even more impressed after a discussion with her at a post-awards party. Mosley and Paretsky would make a dynamic, popular, and, for all I know, capable presidential ticket. They could flip a coin to decide who would be president and who vice. W. Paul Coates, who introduced Mosley, would make a fine press secretary.

Martin Edwards
Other speakers were thought-provoking and inspirational in the best possible non-maudlin way. Margaret Kinsman, a scholar who received the MWA's Raven Award, said: "I would like you storytellers to know we in academics are some of your biggest fans."

Martin Edwards, whose book The Golden Age of Murder won the Best Critical/Biographical Edgar, said he had "tried to address the rather patronizing attitude ... to these thoughtful mysteries of the 1920s."

Janet Rudolph
It was good to see Janet Rudolph receive the Ellery Queen Award. I've written for her Mystery Readers Journal, and she's been a friend to Detectives Beyond Borders for going on 10 years and to the crime fiction community at large for two decades before that.  And it was pleasant to see that Reed Farrel Coleman took the loss of his status as crime fiction's best basketball player with something like good grace.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Walter Mosley
(Find a complete list of the 2016 Edgar Award nominees and winners at the Edgars Web site.)

Duane Swierczynski
Megan Abbott
© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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Blogger Bill Crider said...

They have my vote.

April 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Let's draft them.

April 29, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

Good stuff, Peter. Glad you were there to witness it for us.

April 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. It was all good fun, and the party after the awards and before the return to the hotel bar was the first I'd attended in rooms with shelves marked "rare books,"

April 29, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

Yikes. Didn't they know they'd placed these in reach of people who like books and know how to come up with criminal schemes?

April 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Little danger of that, I think. The evening's host, Otto Penzler, loves books too much to let that happen.

That reminds that for years I'd assumed he was a crime fiction fan who one day opened a bookstore and started a publishing company, But I found out recently that he was a collector and bibliophile first and that the crime fiction came later. That was fortunate for the genre.

April 29, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

Nice to hear a bit more about Otto Penzler. He has been a force for good in the crime fiction world.

April 29, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And it looks to me, from the outside, as if he has done a lot of hard and creative work to keep his enterprises going in tough times. He goes to conventions, hosts events at his store, and offers a pretty wide range from Mysterious Press, including special editions.

April 30, 2016  

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