Annal: 2007 Anthony Award for Best Critical Nonfiction

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2007.

Book:Mystery Muses

Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today's Mystery Writers

Jim Huang, Austin Lugar

We asked 100 published writers: “Did a mystery set you on your path to being a writer? Is there a classic mystery that remains important to you today?” This book is the result.

The writers we contacted represent the entire spectrum of the mystery genre, from cozy to hardboiled, from acclaimed veterans to some of the field’s most intriguing newcomers. Young or old, each of these writers reminds us of a basic truism: great writers are great readers first. Their essays reveal the extent to which the discovery of these seminal texts was not just literary inspiration but a life-altering event.

We found it especially endearing to see how often contributors referred not just to a book’s text but to its literal form as well: a particular copy of a particular edition. We are reminded that the power of the printed word derives in part from…[more]

Book:The Beautiful Cigar Girl

The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe and the Invention of Murder

Daniel Stashower

A gruesome murder, a stunned city, and Edgar Allan Poe come to life with vivid detail in this shocking true story by award-winning author Daniel Stashower.

On July 28, 1841, the battered body of a young woman was found floating in the Hudson River. It was soon discovered to be the lovely Mary Rogers, a twenty-year-old cigar salesgirl who had gone missing three days earlier. By nightfall, news of the girl’s death had spread and sent Manhattan into a spasm of horror and outrage.

In the months that followed, the gruesome details of the murder pushed American journalism into previously unimagined realms of lurid sensationalism. But despite media pressures, New York City’s unregulated and disjointed police force proved unable to mount an effective investigation, and the crime remained unsolved. …[more]

Book:Don't Murder Your Mystery

Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript from Turning Up D.O.A.

Chris Roerden

A career editor demonstrates why most fiction manuscripts are rapidly rejected. Loaded with positive examples from 140 mystery authors, this well-researched volume shows numerous ways that all writers can dramatically improve their craft and put forth the fresh new voice publishers demand.

Even multi-published pros Margaret Maron, P.J. Parrish, Phil Hardwick, and Kathryn Wall admit to learning new techniques from Don't Murder Your Mystery.

Book:Read 'Em Their Writes

Read 'Em Their Writes: A Handbook for Mystery and Crime Fiction Book Discussions

Gary Warren Niebuhr

Who says there’s nothing to discuss about mysteries? Mystery readers unite—you can now read mysteries guiltlessly, and extend the pleasure through lively and informed discussions. Here is the guide for mystery book clubs. Award-winning author, librarian, and avid mystery fan Gary Niebuhr proves that “mystery book club” is no misnomer, and that when it comes to the mystery genre, there is indeed a great deal to talk about. He also reveals how to organize your group, get participants, select book club titles, prepare for the meeting, and conduct discussions. Book club themes, inside tips, and background material and sample questions for 100 of the best mystery titles for discussion are included—from Margaret Atwood’s Blind Assassin, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, and James Lee Burke’s Cimarron Rose to Dashiell Hammet’s Maltese Falcon, Tony Hillerman’s Dance Hall of the Dead, and Elizabeth Inness-Brown’s Burning Marguerite. You’ll find a wonderful assortment of classic and contemporary mysteries…[more]

Book:The Science of Sherlock Holmes

The Science of Sherlock Holmes: From Baskerville Hall to the Valley of Fear, the Real Forensics Behind the Great Detective's Greatest Cases

E.J. Wagner

From autopsies to zoology, how Holmes eliminated the impossible

This unique book uses the legendary adventures of Sherlock Holmes as a jumping-off point to discuss the growth of forensic science during the Victorian era. The book explores the emergence of science from superstition, how forensic autopsies evolved from anatomical dissection, the huge advances in blood chemistry and poison detection, and the early use of fingerprints, photography and trace evidence. It also provides new insights into landmark criminal cases that influenced the forensic world, such as Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden, and includes rare period illustrations.

E. J. Wagner (Stony Brook, NY) is a crime historian and lecturer who specializes in forensic roles. She is the organizer and moderator of the annual Forensic Forum at the Museum of Long Island Natural Sciences, SUNY Stony Brook. Her work has been published in the New York Times and the Lancet.

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