|Casper Journal Articles
From the Natrona County Public Library
By Kate Mutch, Public Services Librarian and
Hilery Walker, Community Relations Coordinator
May 17, 2006
For television, it’s the Emmys; for cinema, the Oscars and Golden Globes; and for music, the Grammy’s. Literature also has a number of awards paying tribute to the best of the best, including the Pulitzer Prize, Newberry and Caldecott awards. For those of you mystery fans, you might be intrigued to learn that the mystery genre has its own set of prestigious awards known as the Agathas and Edgars. The 2006 winners have only recently been announced and your Natrona County Public Library has all of them available for check out!
The Agatha Awards honor the traditional mystery—books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre, often defined as “cozy mysteries,” is characterized by tales of suspense that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence and usually star an amateur detective in a confined setting dealing with characters who know one another.
When the votes were tallied the following titles received an Agatha Award:
-“Best First Novel” -- “Better Off Wed,” by Laura Durham. Wedding planner Annabelle is forced to turn detective when a difficult mother-of-the-bride is murdered. It doesn’t matter that the victim is a hated socialite, Annabelle’s business is in danger if she can’t find the culprit.
-“Best Novel” -- “The Body in the Snowdrift,” by Katherine Hall Page. In this 15th installment of the Faith Fairchild series, Faith’s family gathers for their father-in-law’s 70th birthday, but nothing is going smoothly. Family drama combined with a disappearing cook and a dead lawyer all keep Faith hopping to figure out “whodunit.”
-“Best Non-Fiction” -- “Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her,” by Melanie Rehak. This book not only tells the story of the renowned heroine Nancy Drew, but also features the several women who brought this beloved sleuth to life and the cultural changes they had to address to keep Nancy relevant.
The Edgar Awards are presented by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) and are named for the MWA’s patron saint, Edgar Allan Poe. The first Edgar was given in 1946 to Julius Fast for “Watchful at Night.” Celebrating their 60th anniversary, the Edgars are still going strong and the following list highlights some of this year’s winners:
-“Best Novel” -- “Citizen Vince,” by Jess Walter. In this suspenseful story of crime and politics set in Seattle, Vince, a criminal on the run, must face the mobsters he wronged as dead bodies pile up around him.
-“Best First Novel By An American Author” -- “Officer Down,” by Theresa Schwegel. Gritty and fast-paced, Schwegel’s debut novel features a tough but believable female cop dealing with the aftermath of a bungled bust of a child molester.
-“Best Fact Crime” -- “Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece,” by Edward Dolnick. This is a compelling account of the 1994 theft and recovery of one of the world’s most famous paintings, Edvard Munch's “The Scream.”
Solve the mystery for yourself -- check out one of these titles from your Natrona County Public Library and see if YOU agree with the judges.
Back to Table of Contents