Thursday, May 3, 2018

The 2018 Edgars and Murder in the Closet

We Happy Few: the Closet Company, if you will
 John Norris, Curtis Evans, Moira Redmond

I think I started reading Edgar Allan Poe when I was in the seventh grade, which would have been about four decades ago.  The stories from the volume I had that I recall tend to be the horror tales--The Masque of the Red Death and The Cask of Amontillado being the ones most memorable to me--but I also recall reading the treasure and coded message story, The Gold Bug.  The canonical Poe mystery stories came later, and by that time I had already started reading Agatha Christie, who became rather the empress of my genre lit domain.

Panel Moderator Sarah Weinman, followed by (l-r) Curtis Evans, Kirby Larson,
Rachel McCarthy James, Brad Ricca, Michael Sims

Well, Malice Domestic didn't nominate Murder in the Closet for an Agatha, though we had essays on Christie, Gladys MitchellJosephine Tey and others of that sort; but the Mystery Writers of America, bless 'em, did nominate Murder in the Closet for an Edgar, in the critical/bio category. And thus I attended my first Edgar Awards, surrounded by busts of Poe and even getting to sit on a panel discussion, to which I hope I managed to contribute intelligently.

Curtis Evans, Michael Moon
On that day and the next, the night of the awards, I got to meet Grand Master Award winner Peter Lovesey, nominee Michael Sims and Joe Goodrich, all of whom I had communicated with over the years but had never met in person.  All were as great as I could have expected, so eloquent and erudite. (Peter could make a living as an after dinner speaker, if he ever decides to give up the the mystery writing gig.)

I did not get to meet Grand Master award winner Bill Link, but he delivered a vastly moving speech about his career in classic crime fiction for television. If you grew up like I did watching Columbo and Ellery Queen you will appreciate the thrill. 

And I got to meet, and sit at table with, bloggers Moira Redmond and John Norris (Clothes in Books and Pretty Sinister Books), both of whom contributed wise and witty essays to Murder in the Closet.  So wonderful to meet blogging colleagues face-to-face!   Another Closet contributor, Michael Moon, I saw on the day before the banquet.  So it was all great fun and a great experience in general. The book didn't win, but who could be disappointed under such circumstances?

the nominees--and the winner is...Chester B. Himes, by Lawrence P. Jackson
Congratulations!  Well, maybe next year, right?

After the Edgars I went to Boston, about which more soon.


  1. What an honor! and the event sounds like it was a wonderful experience.

  2. It must have been great to attend the ceremony, Curt. I'm sorry you didn't get the Edgar, but you already have a "moral Edgar" for Masters of Humdrum Mystery and I'm sure you'll eventually get the real one!