And the Nominees Are… The Nominees for the 2019 Strand Critics Awards
Michael Connelly, Tana French, and Laura Lippman headline the nominees for the Strand Critics Awards while Heather Graham and Donna Leon receive Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks receives the Publisher of the Year Award.
Recognizing excellence in the field of mystery fiction and publishing, the annual Strand Critics Awards are judged by a select group of book critics and journalists. This year’s judges include talent from Time, Associated Press, The Seattle Post, NPR, and The Washington Post.
Best Mystery Novel
Lullaby Road by James Anderson (Crown)
Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown and Company)
November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
The Witch Elm by Tana French (Viking)
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
Best Debut Novel
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus)
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor (Crown)
The Other Side of Everything by Lauren Doyle Owens (Touchstone)
The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (Sourcebooks Landmark)
Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward (Park Row Books)
“A lot of the usual suspects were up this year, such as Lippman, Connelly, and French,” said Andrew F. Gulli, managing editor of The Strand Magazine. “And it’s also great to see some relative newcomers such as Lou Berney, James Anderson, and Kate Atkinson.”
Past recipients of Critics Awards include Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Richard Price, Megan Abbott, George Pelecanos, Joseph Finder, Lauren Beukes, and William Landay.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
In a career spanning several decades, Heather Graham has a firm reputation among millions of fans as one of the finest practitioners of the romantic suspense thriller. Her versatility and inventiveness has earned her scores of novels hitting the bestseller list and continuing to provide inspiration for aspiring authors. “I’m incredibly honored and grateful to be granted this award by The Strand,” said Graham. “And so grateful as well to The Strand for their support of writers and the mystery genre.
For the past 25 years, Donna Leon has been credited with helping reinvigorate the international mystery genre with her Guido Brunetti novels, which are set in Venice. Along the way, she has earned plaudits from critics for her character-driven, well-researched novels that have been translated into over twenty languages.
“I accept this honor with great pleasure,” said Leon. “It’s wonderful that it comes from The Strand: to read the names of the writers who have been published, I blush to be in such company.”
Publisher of the Year
The Strand Magazine’s Publisher of the Year Award recognizes excellence in publishing.
“One of the things we’re looking for is a publisher that is innovative and at the same sticks with the some of the tried and true formulas of success,” said managing editor Gulli. “For the past few years, when it’s come to the category
of mysteries and thrillers, Dominique and the team at Sourcebooks have made a huge impact on the industry and in an ever-competitive and ever-changing world of publishing, from my personal experience I can say that every author published by Sourcebooks is a happy author.”
This year’s recipient is Dominique Raccah, publisher, and CEO Sourcebooks. Raccah founded the company in 1987 and over the years has published scores of critically acclaimed novels, which have hit the New York Times Bestsellers list. “It’s incredibly exciting to be recognized as Publisher of the Year by Strand Magazine!” said Raccah. “We started publishing mysteries just three years ago, and the impact on behalf of authors and readers has been remarkable. The legendary Poisoned Pen Press became our mystery/suspense/thriller imprint this year and represents our commitment to making great books for many years to come.”