Monday, May 01, 2017

At the 2017 Edgar Awards, with acceptance speeches!

Last year's Edgar Awards speeches by Sara Paretsky and Walter Mosley so impressed me that I thought the two authors would make a good presidential ticket. The only problem, I wrote, would be deciding who would take the top spot.

"It would have to be Sara Paretsky," Mosley said as we collected drinks at the Edgars bar (one of several bars, really) this year, which is one example of why I enjoy this annual gala: Mingling is fun for we fans, and sometimes the stars say entertaining things.

Max Allan Collins
Mosley was named a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master at last year's Edgars; Max Allan Collins was one of this year's honorees, and a chat with him before the awards dinner was a highlight of the evening. I first met Max at the 2014 Bouchercon in Long Beach, where he was a panelist on a discussion I moderated on "Beyond Hammett and Chandler: Lesser Known Writers of the Pulp and Paperback Original Eras." Max was on that panel to talk about other authors, but I read one of his Quarry novels out of curiosity and liked it so much that I read in short order the rest of the books then available. (One more Quarry title has appeared since, and another is due later this year from Hard Case Crime, which has republished the entire series.)

Lawrence Block,
winner of the Best
Short Story Edgar
Max discussed Roy Huggins and Ennis Willie on that 2014 panel, and he was pleased to talk about Huggins with me again this year, about Huggins' influence on subsequent generations of crime writers through his co-creation of The Rockford Files. He also had some nice things to say about one of his publishers, complete with examples to back up his praise. Collins' appreciation of the crime genre and its history is bracing, and you should talk with him if you get the chance. In the meantime, hear and see his Grand Master acceptance speech on the MWA website at

Lisa Lutz, Megan Abbott
The evening's other new Grand Master, Ellen Hart, exemplified something I love about crime conventions and other events: the chance to get acquainted with authors and genres out of my wheelhouse.  Hart is a lesbian, and she writes mysteries with lesbian protagonists that sound to me like cozies. Neither has been a part of my reading experience, and I found quite moving Hart's statement that her protagonists had been criticized for not being gay enough. That, I would imagine, is one more burden she has to bear that most other authors do not. You can hear and watch Hart's speech at

Donna Andrews
Among the awards, Adrian McKinty's capture of the Best Paperback Original award for Rain Dogs was a highlight. McKinty was home in Melbourne, but his wife, Leah, did a nice job accepting his prize. I've been a McKinty fan for years. You should be, too.

Charles Todd, Hank Phillippi
Ryan, Wendy Corsi Staub, nom-
inees for the Mary Higgins
Clark Award. Todd won.
Visit the MWA website at for a complete list of the Edgar Award winners and nominees.

© Peter Rozovsky 2017

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Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Thank you for saying hi to the Mrs. She was nervous as all hell so it was nice to meet a couple of friendly faces in there.

HUGE thrill for me of course!!!

May 04, 2017  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It was a pleasure meeting her, and I'm sorry she had to cut out early. She'll have told you by now that the evening included more excitement than is usual for Edgar Awards dinners. And there was a good selection of books available at the post-ceremony books table, too.

May 04, 2017  

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