The 2016 MWA Edgar Award Nominees and Winners

The Edgar Award statue, coveted by mystery writers
••• The Edgar Award statue, coveted by mystery writers. Matthew Peyton / Getty Images Entertainment

2016 Edgar Award Nominees and Winners

On January 19, 2016 — what would've been Edgar Allan Poe's 207th birthday — the Mystery Writers of America announced the finalists for the 2016 Edgar® Awards and other annual honors. Winners will be noted after they are announced at the Edgar® Banquet on April 28, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Read about the awards and this year's nominees:


Grand Master - Walter Mosley

Traditionally, the Grand Master gives a speech at the Edgar® Awards Dinner.

This honor “represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to the genre, as well as a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality.”

The Grand Master Award was established in 1954 and first given in 1955 to the illustrious mystery writer and the best-selling writer of all time, Dame Agatha Christie, the same year she won the Edgar Award for Best Play for Witness for the Prosecution.


Raven Awards

  • Margaret Kinsman – scholar, teacher, editor
  • Sisters in Crime – organization that promotes the advancement, recognition, and professional development of women crime writers

Named for the Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "The Raven," this award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Past recipients of the Raven Award have included mystery bookseller and publisher Otto Penzler, as well as “First Readers,” Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bill Clinton.


Ellery Queen Award

  • Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International

This award honor “outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry."


2016 Edgar® Award Nominees for Best Novel

Only hardbound novels are considered. There are many types of mystery novels — read more about mystery categories and mystery subgenres.


  • The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam's Sons) 
  • The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – A Marian Wood Book)
  • Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
  • Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House - Dutton)
  • Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
  • Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best First Novel

Must be a mystery by an American author.

  • Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
  • Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin Random House - Viking)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best Paperback Original

Paperback first novels are not eligible for this category and must be submitted under Best First Novel.

  • The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books
  • What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
  • Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
  • The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best Fact Crime


  • Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the Armenian Genocide
  • by Eric Bogosian (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
  • Where The Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him
  • by T.J. English (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully
  • by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers - Harper)
  • Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime
  • by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
  • American Pain: How a Young Felon and his Ring of Doctors Unleashed 
  • America's  Deadliest Drug Epidemic 
  • by John Temple (Rowman & Littlefield – Lyons Press)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best Critical / Biographical Book

Regarding works or authors in the literary genre.

  • The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers - HarperCollins)
  • The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue 
  • by Frederick Forsyth (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald
  • by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan (Arcade Publishing)
  • Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica
  • by Matthew Parker (Pegasus Books)
  • The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett 
  • by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury Publishing – Bloomsbury USA)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best Short Story

Works of up to 22,000 words from magazines, periodicals, book-length anthologies and web sites.

  • "The Little Men" – Mysterious Bookshop by Megan Abbott (Mysterious Bookshop)
  • "On Borrowed Time" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Mat Coward (Dell Magazines)
  • "The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday" –  Providence Noir 
  • by Peter Farrelly (Akashic Books)
  • "Family Treasures" – Let Me Tell You  by Shirley Jackson (Random House)
  • "Obits" – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
  • "Every Seven Years" – Mysterious Bookshop by Denise Mina (Mysterious Bookshop)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Best Juvenile Mystery

Written for ages 5 - 11.

  • Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi (Algonquin Young Readers - Workman)
  • If You Find This by Matthew Baker 
  • (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C.Chester
  •  (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins Children's Books)
  • The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands  (Simon & Schuster - Aladdin)
  • Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for Young Adult

Written for ages 12 -18.

  • Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children's Books - HarperTeen)
  • A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers - Workman)
  • Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Clarion Books)


2016 Edgar® Awards Nominees for TV Episode Teleplay

To be eligible, episodes must have been produced and aired.

  • "Episode 7" - BroadchurchTeleplay by Chris Chibnall (BBC America)
  • "Gently with the Women" - George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)
  • "Elise - The Final Mystery" - Foyle's War, Teleplay by Anthony Horowitz (Acorn TV)
  •  "Terra Incognita" - Person of Interest, Teleplay by Erik Mountain & Melissa Scrivner Love (CBS/Warner Brothers)
  • "The Beating of her Wings" - Ripper Street, Teleplay by Richard Warlow (BBC America)


2016 Robert L. Fish Memorial Award

  • "Chung Ling Soo's Greatest Trick" – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Russell W. Johnson (Dell Magazines)


2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award

Award is selected by a Special Mystery Writers of America Committee "for the book most closely written in the Mary Higgins Clark Tradition." The guidelines for the Mary Higgins Clark Award were established by the author herself. The Mary Higgins Clark Award is give during the MWA's Authors and Agents cocktail party, generally the night before the Edgar Awards. 

  •  A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
  • The Masque of a Murderer by Susanna Calkins (Minotaur Books)
  • Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
  • The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
  • Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)