2019 Anthony Award Nominees

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Bouchercon and the nominees for the 2019 Anthony Awards are just in.

The awards won’t be given until Nov. 2, during Bouchercon 2019 Oct. 31 to Nov. 3 in Dallas, so you still have time to read and pick your favorites. Award winners are chosen by the conference’s attendees. The theme of this year’s Bouchercon is “Denim, Diamonds, and Death.”

Anthony Awards are given for works published in 2018. Nominees are selected by a vote of the Bouchercon membership.

The awards are named in honor of the late Anthony Boucher (rhymes with “voucher_, a California writer and critic who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times Book Review.  He also helped found the Mystery Writers of America. The first Anthony Awards were given in 1986.

Because award nominations are an excellent way to expand your reading list, I’m providing the full list of nominees below. Winners were announced on Nov. 2, 2019, and are noted in red.

Best Novel

  • Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
  • November Road by Lou Berney (William Morrow) 
  • Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
  • Sunburn by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
  • Blackout by Alex Segura (Polis Books)

Best First Novel

  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
  • Broken Places by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
  • Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
  • What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
  • Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco). This book won the 2019 Edgar for Best First Novel. 

Best Paperback Original Novel

  • Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink).
  • If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow Paperbacks). This book won a 2019 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.
  • Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books). This book was a nominee for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.
  • Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (William Morrow Paperbacks). This book was a nominee for the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.
  • A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Short Story

  • “The Grass Beneath My Feet” by S.A. Cosby, in Tough (blogazine, August 20, 2018)
  • “Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November/December 2018)
  • “Cold Beer No Flies” by Greg Herren, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)
  • “English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (July/August 2018)
  • “The Best Laid Plans” by Holly West, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work

Bouchercon was founded in 1970 and is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization celebrating the mystery genre.  It is the largest annual meeting the world for readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers and other lovers of crimerfiction.


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