Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Crime Fiction, part 79: Gumshoe Award (Mystery Ink) winners: Laura Lippman, Joseph Finder, Robert Wilson, Randall Hicks, Ed McBain,

Wandering around the blogosphere trolling for crime fiction sites, I came across Crime Fiction Dossier, operated by novelist, newspaper writer and critic David J. Montgomery.

Montgomery's site tipped me to the fifth annual Gumshoe Awards, given by Mystery Ink.

Drumroll, please ...

  • Best Mystery: To the Power of Three (William Morrow), by Laura Lippman
  • Best Thriller: Company Man (St. Martin's), by Joseph Finder
  • Best European Crime Novel: The Vanished Hands (Harcourt), by Robert Wilson. (Gotta ask: Do they steal and kill differently in France?)
  • Best First Novel: The Baby Game (Wordslinger), by Randall Hicks
  • Lifetime Achievement: The late Ed McBain
  • Best Crime Fiction Website:, operated by crime fiction aficionado Graham Powell
I'll have to check the archives to see if my newspaper friends Tim Dorsey or Ace Atkins have ever received kudos from Mystery Ink. Same question regarding Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke, Carl Hiaasen and a few other favorites.

I'm also wondering if Patricia Highsmith, the brilliant and underappreciated author of Strangers On a Train (famously adapted to the screen in 1951 by Alfred Hitchcock) and the series sparked by The Talented Mr. Ripley (also made into a worthwhile movie), has notched a posthumous award.

I began reading Highsmith after seeing the above movies, and I was surprised by the psychological/emotional depth of her writing. She's really able to take a reader deep inside her characters, and she doesn't at all mind making one feel complicit in her evildoers' activities. Really compelling stuff -- so much so that I even made a reference to Highsmith in the introduction of my thesis (short story collection).

1 comment:

Doc said...

And who (co)wrote that brilliant screenplay for Strangers on a Train? Oh, yeah! Raymond Chandler!