Annal: 2008 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2008.

Book:How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries

How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries: The Art and Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past

Kathy Lynn Emerson

The core of the book is Emerson’s personal take on writing and selling historical mysteries, but it also includes contributions from over forty other historical mystery writers —practical advice, anecdotes, and suggestions for research—and input from assorted editors, booksellers, and reviewers. For both historical mystery writers and readers.

Book:African American Mystery Writers

African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study

Frankie Y. Bailey

This ambitious study examines the works of modern African American mystery writers within the social and historical contexts of African American literature on crime and justice. It begins with a historical overview that describes the movement by African American authors from slave narratives and antebellum newspapers into fiction writing, the work of early genre writers, such as Pauline Hopkins and Rudolph Fisher, the protest writers of the 1940s and 1950s, and the authors who followed in the 1960s. The historical section concludes with a discussion of works by late twentieth-century writers such as Toni Morrison and Ernest Gaines and the expansion of the audience for works by African American writers.

The heart of the book is an analysis of works by modern African American mystery writers, focusing on sleuths, the social locations of crime, victims and offenders, the notion of “doing justice,” and the role of African American cultural vernacular…[more]

Book:Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography

Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography

Jeffrey Marks

American author, editor, and critic William Parker White, better known to most as Anthony Boucher, made countless contributions to the fields of mystery and science fiction. After beginning his career as a mystery writer at 16, Boucher went on to become a New York Times mystery critic, a host for several radio programs, and the founding editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

This comprehensive biobibliography places particular emphasis on the writings and edited publications that established his reputation among readers of science fiction. Several appendices include complete bibliographic citations for Boucher’s novels, articles, short stories, unpublished works, reviews, radio plays, anthologies, translations, and other written works.

Book:Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion

Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories

Harry Lee Poe

Edgar Allan Poe has become so strongly associated with the dark nature of his work that, in some minds, its as if hes the central characterrather than the authorof the many horror and mystery tales that bear his name. And yet, well over a century after his death, his story remains as fascinating as those he wove, largely because the shadow cast by Poe was not one of his own design.

In Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories, Poe’s biography comes to life through images and fascinating memorabilia, including: a portion of his handwritten manuscript for the poem “A Dream Within a Dream”; contentious letters he exchanged with his foster father, John Allan; the bon indicating his intention to marry his cousin Virginia; his controversial obituary as it appeared in the New York Daily Tribune.

After touring his visual, interactive biography, fans of Poe will read “The Raven” and countless other classics with new appreciation.

Book:The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or The Murder at Road Hill House

Kate Summerscale

It is a summer’s night in 1860. In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet. Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep. At some point after midnight a dog barks. The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery: an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home. The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them. Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later. He faces an unenviable task: to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects.

In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

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