Annal: 2011 Anthony Award for Best Critical Work

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2011.

Book:Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks

Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making

John Curran

A fascinating exploration of the contents of Agatha Christie’s seventy-three private notebooks, including illustrations and two unpublished Poirot stories

When Agatha Christie died in 1976, aged 85, she had become the world’s most popular author. With sales of more than two billion copies worldwide in more than 100 countries, she had achieved the impossible—more than one book every year since the 1920s, every one a bestseller.

So prolific was Agatha Christie’s output—66 crime novels, 20 plays, 6 romance books under a pseudonym and over 150 short stories—it was often claimed that she had a photographic memory. Was this true? Or did she resort over those 55 years to more mundane methods of working out her ingenious crimes? …[more]

Book:Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History

Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History

Yunte Huang

This is the first biography of the cinematic hero Charlie Chan, whose character was inspired by the real-life story of Chang Apana, a bullwhip-wielding, five-foot-tall Chinese immigrant detective whose raids on opium dens and gambling parlors made him into a legend. Emerging against the backdrop of racially riven early-twentieth-century Hawaii, Apana’s bravado inspired mystery writer Earl Derr Biggers, a Harvard graduate, to write six best-selling Charlie Chan novels. The resulting Hollywood character was not a stereotypical “Chinaman” but a wisecracking sleuth with a knack for turning Oriental wisdom into soup-alley Chinatown blues.

Yunte Huang’s exploration of this remarkable story asks whether Chan is a “Yellow Uncle Tom” or a “swell dish of chop suey mystery.” Examining Charlie Chan in fact and fiction, Huang follows this untold story from the glittering beaches of Waikiki to the movie studios of Hollywood.

Book:Sherlock Holmes for Dummies

Sherlock Holmes for Dummies

Steven Doyle, David A. Crowder

Get a comprehensive guide to this important literary figure and his author.

A classic literary character, Sherlock Holmes has fascinated readers for decades—from his repartee with Dr. Watson and his unparalleled powers of deduction to the settings, themes, and villains of the stories. Now, this friendly guide offers a clear introduction to this beloved figure and his author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, presenting new insight into the detective stories and crime scene analysis that have has made Sherlock Holmes famous.

Inside you’ll find easy-to-understand yet thorough information on the characters, recurring themes, and locations, and social context of the Sherlock Holmes stories, the relationship of these stories to literature, and the forensics and detective work they feature. You’ll also learn about the life of the author. …[more]

Book:Thrillers: 100 Must Reads

Thrillers: 100 Must Reads

David Morrell, Hank Wagner

The most riveting reads in history meet today’s biggest thriller writers. Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as: David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, Michael Palmer, James Rollins, R. L. Stine, and many more. Features 100 works—from Beowulf to The Bourne Identity, Dracula to Deliverance, Heart of Darkness to The Hunt for Red October—deemed must-reads by the International Thriller Writers organization.

Much more than an anthology, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads goes deep inside the most notable thrillers published over the centuries. Through lively, spirited, and thoughtful essays that examine each work’s significance, impact, and influence, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads provides both historical and personal perspective on those spellbinding works that have kept readers on the edge of their seats for centuries.

Book:The Wire: Truth Be Told

The Wire: Truth Be Told

Rafael Alvarez

Widely regarded as one of the greatest television shows ever made, The Wire, often called a novel-as-television, is a Dickensian masterpiece that weaves together complex stories and complicated characters into a sprawling, textured portrait of an American city in decline. The Wire: Truth Be Told is the ultimate companion to this spectacular show. Essays from David Simon, George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, William F. Zorzi, and others join interviews with the show’s creators, entertaining summaries of all sixty episodes and overviews of each of its seasons. Above all, The Wire: Truth Be Told offers a captivating behind the scenes look at the show, from the struggle to get it on the air, to the response from Baltimore’s residents and politicians, to the fascinating true stories and real life inspiration behind favorite scenes and characters. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photos, this is a must have book and a fitting guide to, and celebration of, a monumental show.

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