The Edgar Award nominees were announced by the Mystery Writers of America on Jan. 19 (Edgar Allan Poe's birthday, of course), and the list was a bit of a conundrum for me.There are some good books nominated, but I was more interested in what was not included. In the year of serious Nordic Noir, why isn't there one book from that genre?
Some of the best writing of 2011 could be found in those books, so I'm surprised that books like The Hypnotist, The Snowman, or The Keeper of Lost Causes are not included. It isn't that the nominees have to be American, after all Japanese writer Keigo Higashino is nominated for his terrific book The Devotion of Suspect X.
I'm also disappointed not to see A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block, an incredible story of a hard-boiled detective. There was also a return to greatness by Sue Grafton in her latest book V for Vengeance, honestly one of the best mysteries I read last year.
I think the nominees are more on-target in the category for television (the Edgars recognize mysteries and thrillers on stage, screen, and in print). I loved Whitechapel on BBC America. If you haven't seen it, try finding it on Netflix.
As with most award lists, I did find some new books that I want to read. But I think the Edgar judges might want to get a clue and investigate how some of the top mysteries of the year didn't make the cut.
The Edgar Awards will be held on April 26.