Friday, September 27, 2013

Pay attention to the Anthony Awards

The Anthony Awards are a group of awards given to the best mystery books of the year at Bouchercon (The World Mystery Convention).  This includes CRIME FICTION.  You can only read so much vintage crime fiction, so for the last two years I have been paying attention to the winners of the Anthony Awards.

I have been concentrating on the winners of best FIRST NOVEL because reading can get a little stale, and it is nice to pick up something new every once in a while.

Last year's winner was Hilary Davidson for The Damage Done, which by now already has three novels in the series (did she already have them written?!?).  After solving the mysterious death of her sister in the first novel, the books follow the story of a travel writer who tends to get into trouble on trips around the world.  The books are a refreshing look at crime fiction, and it's kind of strange to read a crime novel from a woman's perspective.

This year's winner for best first novel was Black Fridays by Michael Sears.  This is a new type of novel for me.  The story revolves around a fresh out of jail former wall street trader hired to dissect a possible fraudulent scheme in an investment bank (is that right?  I don't know much about wall street!).  Once again, it's great to hear a new voice in crime fiction, and the novel is unlike anything I've read in the past.  The secondary character in the story is an autistic boy, which adds another dimension to the story, but at times it does feel a little too much like an autism text book.

So, finding good OLD crime fiction is easy, because everyone has already read it!  But finding new fiction is hard, but the Anthony Awards make it easier.  Pay attention in the future!  Hint:  Lee Child won for Killing Floor in 1998, so you know how I feel!

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