Michael Connelly, Anthony Horowitz, and Attica Locke headline the nominees for the Strand Critics Awards, and J.A. Jance and Lovejoy author Jonathan Gash receive Lifetime Achievement Awards and Tom Doherty 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 The Associated Press, National Public Radio, USA Today, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.
Nominees for Best Novel
The Late Show by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
My Darling Detective by Howard Norman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco)
Nominees for Best First Novel
My Sister’s Bones: A Novel of Suspense by Nuala Ellwood (William Morrow)
Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito (Other Press)
August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Press)
The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (William Morrow)
Lola: A Novel by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown)
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press)
“It was great to see newcomers make the list such as Howard Norman, and Ivy Pochoda alongside Michael Connelly, who is a favorite among critics,” said Andrew F. Gulli, managing editor of The Strand Magazine. “And of course Attica, who was nominated for Best Debut in 2009 for Blue Water Rising. We also have a soft spot for Anthony, since we’ve published several of his stories in The Strand.”
Past recipients of Critics Awards include Michael Connelly, Laura Lippman, Richard Price, Megan Abbott, George Pelecanos, Joseph Finder, Lauren Beukes, and William Landay.
This year, for the second straight year, a majority of nominees were female authors.
“I’m very happy to see this trend continue and, if you count the Lifetime Achievement Awards, that means that eight female authors have made the list,” Gulli said.
Lifetime Achievement Awards
In a career spanning four decades, J.A. Jance has a firm reputation among millions of fans as one of the finest practitioners of the suspenseful thriller. Not only are her works a constant presence on the New York Times best-sellers list, but they have also earned rave reviews as character-driven thrillers that tackle timely and relevant issues.
“As a girl who came from a small mining town in the West, I couldn’t be more thrilled.” Jance said of the award. “And it’s wonderful to have more than thirty years of writing recognized by people who know everything about mysteries.”
English author and Lovejoy creator Jonathan Gash has also been awarded the Strand Lifetime Achievement Award. Originally a physician and director of bacteriology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Gash wrote a debut novel, The Judas Pair, which won the Crime Writers’ Association award for best first novel and introduced readers to the lovable rogue Lovejoy. From 1986-1994, the BBC aired a highly successful TV series based on several of Gash’s books starring Ian McShane.
Publisher of the Year Award
The Strand Magazine’s Publisher of the Year Award recognizes excellence in publishing.
“One of the things we were looking at with this award is recognizing and rewarding publishers who are not only finding new, talented authors, but those publishers who give the kind of support that new authors need to establish themselves,” said managing editor Gulli. “The industry has undergone some major changes over the last decade and we also want to recognize the publishers who have been able to navigate those changes in a positive way, those who have a measured realistic vision of what the future of book publishing will entail, which means embracing what the digital age has to offer and understanding and continuing to support print. Because despite earlier trends and predictions, print is here to stay.”
This year’s recipient is Tom Doherty, publisher of Tor/Forge books. Doherty founded the company in 1979 and over the years has published scores of best-selling novels by authors such as William R. Forstchen, Robert Jordan, Candice Fox, George R. R. Martin, Loren Estleman, Douglas Preston, F. Paul Wilson, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Eric Lustbader to name a few.
“Tom Doherty and the Tor/Forge team have built a solid reputation as loyal incubators of talent,” Gulli said. “They fit the criteria of what makes a publisher widely respected and an asset to the industry. Despite the fact that for the last thirty years we’ve seen independent publishers merging with multinationals, Tom and his team have made sure that Tor/Forge remained independent and extremely successful, as they joined the Macmillan group, a sister company to St. Martins Press, Henry Holt, and Farrar, Straus & Giroux.”
The awards will be presented at an invitation-only cocktail party in New York City, hosted by The Strand Magazine, on July 11, 2018.