Crime novel awards. Edgar award winners.

Crime fiction authors are in the midst of award season. In this article, I’ll talk about national-level crime fiction prizes, the selection process, and why being named a “winner” is or isn’t a huge deal for authors and readers.

Crime novel awards
Crime novel awards

And this article will help you answer the question of Crime novel awards.

  • Crime novel awards 2021
  • Edgar award winners
  • Macavity awards
  • Agatha awards
  • Crime fiction lover awards
  • Detective awards

Genre Groups Sponsored Awards

The Edgar family

The Edgar Awards, named after Edgar Allan Poe, are given out yearly in New York City by the Mystery Writers of America. Stories may be submitted for consideration by both publishers and authors. Nominees and winners for the following prize categories are chosen by committees: Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Fact Crime, Best Critical/Biographical, Best Short Story, Best Juvenile, Best Young Adult, and Best TV Episode Teleplay.

There are also two speciality awards: the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award, which recognizes the greatest published mystery short story by a previously undiscovered American author, and the Mary Higgins Clark Award, which recognizes an author who works in the Mary Higgins Clark style.

Nominees are revealed close Poe’s birthday (January 19th), and winners are announced at the Edgar Banquet during the Edgar Week Symposium. The award ceremony is the culmination of a year-long selection process that receives an average of 2000 entries and includes roughly 68 judges.

The Thriller Prizes

The International Thriller Writers (ITW) sponsors the Thriller Awards, which are awarded annually ThrillerFest. Stories may be submitted for consideration by both publishers and authors. Nominees and prize winners are chosen by committees for the following categories: Best Hardcover Novel, Best First Novel, Best Short Story, Best Paperback Original Novel, Best Young Adult Novel, and Best E-Book Original.

There are also three special service awards: ThrillerMaster, which is given to a thriller author with a legendary career who has made outstanding contributions to the thriller genre, Silver Bullet, which is given for meritorious achievement in philanthropic endeavors, and Thriller Legend, which is given for extraordinary contributions to ITW.

The Daphne’s

The Daphne Du Maurier Award, given for excellence in mystery/suspense, is named after Daphne Du Maurier, the author of Rebecca, a forerunner of romantic suspense novels. Kiss of Death, a national organization of Romance Writers of America, is sponsoring the contest (RWA). There are published and unpublished categories in the contest, as well as a mainstream mystery/suspense category.

There is a cost to enter. Six prize categories are nominated and selected by committees: Series Romantic Mystery/Suspense, Historical Romantic Mystery/Suspense, Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense, Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal Romantic Mystery/Suspense, and Single Title Romantic Mystery/Suspense. RWA’s national conference is where the winners are revealed.


The Short Mystery Stories Society sponsors the Derringer awards, named after the pocket revolver, which celebrates outstanding short mystery fiction. Members send in their experiences for consideration.

The final nominations are chosen by a committee using a blind selection procedure, and members vote for the winners, who are honoured during Bouchercon. Best Flash Story, Best Short Story, Best Long Story, and Best Novelette are the four prize categories. The Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement is also available.


The Private Eye Writers of America sponsors the Shamus Award (PWA). PWA members contribute stories, which must have a main character who is paid to investigate work but is not hired by the government.

Best PI Hardcover, Best First PI Novel, Best PI Paperback Original, and Best PI Short Story are the four prize categories. A lifetime achievement award is also given. The final nominations and winners are chosen by committees and revealed at the PWA dinner at Bouchercon.

Convention or Conference-Sponsored Awards
Convention or Conference-Sponsored Awards

Convention or Conference-Sponsored Awards


The Malice Domestic—a fan conference that recognizes the finest in the classic and cozy mystery genres—sponsors the Agatha awards, established in honor of English crime fiction writer Agatha Christie. Nominations are accepted for six prize categories: Best First Novel, Best Contemporary Novel, Best Historical Novel, Best Nonfiction, Best Short Story, and Best Children/Young Adult.

Participants at the convention are given a ballot with the final candidates on it, on which they vote. During the conference, the winners are revealed at the Agatha Awards dinner.


The Anthony Awards are named after author and critic Anthony Boucher and are presented by Bouchercon, an international mystery conference. Nominations are accepted from registered convention participants in five categories: Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Short Story, and Best Critical/Non-fiction Work. A Special Service Award is also available. Attendees give their last vote at the conference when the winners are revealed, similar to the Agatha Awards.

Mr. Lefty

Left Coast Crime, an annual mystery conference held in Western North America, sponsors the Lefty Award. Nominees and winners are chosen by convention attendees who have registered. Best Humorous Mystery Novel, Best Historical Mystery Novel, Best Mystery Novel, and Best Debut Mystery Novel are the four prize categories. During the convention, winners are revealed during an awards ceremony.


Killer Nashville, a crime fiction convention, is sponsoring The Claymore. Although the Claymore is traditionally a crime fiction prize, Killer Nashville now welcomes applications from authors of various genres. There is a cost to enter.

The top 20 finalists are chosen by a group of publishers and authors and publicized prior to the conference. The final manuscripts are given to a Kensington Books committee of editors and publicists, who choose the top three finalists. The Killer Nashville Awards Dinner is where the winner is revealed.

The Falchion Award in Silver

Killer Nashville also sponsors the Silver Falchion Award. Stories in sixteen fiction and seven nonfiction categories may be submitted by authors or their publishers. There is an entrance fee to submit, similar to the Claymore, unless you are a conference participant. The cost is then waived.

Publication-Sponsored Awards
Publication-Sponsored Awards

Publication-Sponsored Awards

Mr. Barry’s

The Barry award, named after American mystery reader and critic Barry Gardner, is given by the editors of Deadly Pleasures, an American quarterly journal for crime fiction fans. Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Paperback Original, and Best Thriller are the four prize categories. During the opening ceremonies of Bouchercon, winners are acknowledged.


The McCavity Award is named after T.S. Eliot’s mystery cat in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Subscribers to Mystery Readers Journal nominate and vote on their best mysteries in five categories: Best Novel, Best First Novel, Best Nonfiction, Best Short Story, and Best Historical Novel. Bouchercon is where the winners are announced.

Do These Awards Have Any Importance?

Of course, there is a certain amount of prestige that comes with winning. Unpublished authors may use prizes to garner an agent’s notice and perhaps get a book contract. It broadens the audience for published authors. But do these honors result in a significant rise in book sales? It’s difficult to say. I haven’t discovered any evidence that shows a direct relationship between these particular accolades and sales.

Certainly, prize winners get a marketing boost, which may be beneficial. When I’m looking for anything fresh to read, I often consult the Edgar or Thriller Award nominee lists. It doesn’t mean I’ll choose a book from these lists, and even if I do, there’s no assurance I’ll like it. But, with such a competitive market and so many titles available, it’s helpful to have a reliable spot to start my search.

The Winners of the 2021 Crime Fiction Lover Awards
The Winners of the 2021 Crime Fiction Lover Awards

The Winners of the 2021 Crime Fiction Lover Awards

Elly Griffiths’s The Night Hawks won the award for best novel.
Crime Fiction Lover readers picked UK author Elly Griffiths’ The Night Hawks for the Best Novel Award, and it’s easy to understand why.

The 13th Dr Ruth Galloway novel is gifted with a riveting mystery, a dismal and gorgeous environment, and a plot that has tendrils stretching into Britain’s ancient past while still focusing on a modern inquiry. It’s a novel that will engulf you and force you to read the rest of the series… if you haven’t already. Elly Griffiths and her publishers deserve congratulations.

Razorblade Tears by SA Cosby is the Editor’s Choice for Best Novel.

SA Cosby is rightfully regarded as one of the most significant emerging voices in crime fiction, and with Razorblade Tears, he demonstrates just how relevant the crime novel can be for society. This is an urgent and perceptive reflection on contemporary America, as well as a riveting vengeance story.

This story is lyrical and emotional while being brutal and extremely moving at moments. Cosby writes with such sensitivity that readers empathize with his terribly flawed characters, leading to a comprehension of their predicament. SA Cosby and his publishers deserve congratulations.

Sarah Sultoon’s The Source won Best Debut.

Sarah Sultoon and her book, The Source, won our Best Debut category, which was hotly fought in the reader poll. It’s a novel about a TV news journalist who goes undercover to investigate human trafficking.

Sarah Sultoon, a former journalist, handles it expertly, even when it delves into the horrors of child abuse and sexual exploitation. More than that, the narrative is superbly presented, which is why The Source has received such high marks from our readers. Sarah Sultoon and Orenda Books deserve congratulations.

Editor’s Pick for Best Debut: Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

We respect creativity and like finding authors that transport us to places we haven’t yet discovered. Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden takes place on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, which is home to the Lakota Nation. Virgil Wounded Horse is the rez’s hardboiled badass entrusted with dealing with an opiate ring.

But forget the drugs; this author’s work is an enthralling combination of genre and literary fiction. Winter Counts is a gem of a book that was published last year in the United States and this year in the United Kingdom. David Heska Wanbli Weiden and his publishers deserve congratulations.

The Girl Who Died by Ragnar Jonasson, translated by Victoria Cribb, was named Best in Translation.

Ragnar Jonasson’s The Girl Who Died is the book to read if you appreciate Nordic noir with the temperature set all the way down and the gloomy, lonely atmosphere turned all the way up to 11. This is the story of a teacher who relocates to an outpost hamlet in northern Iceland about the same time as another foreigner comes and then leaves.

Is it Una’s seclusion and drunkenness, a ghost, or the story of this lost stranger that haunts her? Our patrons like the author’s use of horror and criminality in this engrossing standalone. Ragnar Jonasson, Victoria Cribb, and their publishers deserve congratulations.

Translation Excellence Editor’s Pick: Andrea Camilleri’s Riccardino, translated by Stephen Sartarelli

Consider how much pleasure Italy’s best-known crime novelist has provided his readers over the years, not to mention those who have devoured the Montalbano series on television. In this category, our Editor’s Choice award goes to the last volume in a brilliantly entertaining series, and there’s a touch of metafiction as Camilleri and Salvo Montalbano argue about who’s actually in command of the tale.

Riccardino brings the series to a finish and a tear to the eye with its somewhat bizarre and wickedly humorous tones, as well as its profoundly appealing characters. Congratulations to Andrea Camilleri, translator Stephen Sartarelli, and their publishers on their untimely deaths.

The Strangers of Braamfontein by Onjeka Nwelue was named Best Indie Novel.

As you may anticipate, our Best Indie Novel category had a diverse selection. Finally, our readers picked Nigerian novelist Onyeka Nwelue’s The Strangers of Braamfontein, a hard-hitting book set in South Africa.

This Johannesburg thriller has a little bit of everything – a murdered prostitute, violent gangs, corruption, and prejudice as the young Nigerian immigrant Osas struggles to navigate an environment where there are few people he can trust. The characters are true to life, even down to the accent – a moving story of migration and ghetto dwelling. Onyeka Nwelue and his publishers deserve congratulations.

The Quiet People by Paul Cleave is the Editor’s Choice for Best Indie Novel.

Our Editor’s Choice prize in the indie category goes to The Quiet People by Paul Cleave, another book set in the Southern Hemisphere. Man, this man can weave a tale, and he’s written one of the most twisty books we’ve read in a long time.

Crime fiction fans and writers alike can identify with this tale, which is about a husband and wife writing duo who claim that they can arrange the perfect murder. When their kid goes missing, they are inevitably suspects. This is a terrible viewpoint that speaks a lot about our hasty judgment in the era of social media. Congratulations to Paul Cleave and his Orenda Books publishers.

Line of Duty is the winner of the Best Crime Show award.

When Series Six of Line of Duty aired in the United Kingdom, the average viewership for each episode was more over 15 million people. Line of Duty is watched by more Britons than the news, so it’s no wonder that this most compelling of criminal dramas – which regularly has us yelling at our TVs – led the way with our readers.

It’s unusual to claim that a TV program sets the agenda for crime fiction – it’s generally novels that affect the small screen – but press releases connecting books to Line of Duty are common these days. Police interviews have never been more stressful, and creator Jed Mercurio expertly layers one plot on top of another. Intriguing, compelling, and just outstanding. Congratulations to Jed Mercurio, the actors, and the BBC and World Productions producers.

Editor’s Choice for Best Crime Show: Mare of Easttown

Mare of Easttown is both a mystery and a dramatic communal tragedy, and it contains everything a crime fiction fan could desire and then some. Kate Winslet gives a career-defining performance as Mare Sheehan, a police detective in a dilapidated Pennsylvania town who is the glue that holds her family and probably the whole town together.

She’s investigating the death of a single mother as well as the disappearance of a young lady over a year ago. Mare of Easttown, created by Brad Inglesby and directed by Craig Zobel, offers a brilliantly nuanced narrative with a stunningly real location and people. Perfect for watching television. Bravo to Brad Inglesby, Craig Zobel, the actors, and the HBO producers.

Elly Griffiths was named Best Author.

Congratulations to Elly Griffiths, who has not only won the Best Novel award, but has also been picked by our readers as the Best Author. Her stories are intelligent and evocative, with brilliantly described locales, intrigue, elements of comedy, and a sense of history.

With three series on the go – Dr Ruth Galloway (13 novels), The Brighton Mysteries (six books), and Harbinder Kaur (two books), she offers readers a choice between modern mysteries that often delve into the past, Brighton in the 1960s, and complex crimes investigated by a homosexual detective. Every work she writes is eagerly awaited by both ourselves and our fans. It begs the question, “Why aren’t Elly’s tales on TV?” Elly Griffiths has been named our Best Author of 2021.

Editors’ Choice for Best Author: Ian Rankin

When a new Rebus book is out, there is always competition to be the reviewer here at Crime Fiction Lover. Instead of a fresh chapter in the life of John Rebus in Edinburgh this year, Ian Rankin set himself a new task.

He was tasked with finishing a book starring Jack Laidlaw, the Glasgow investigator at the heart of Tartan noir’s defining trilogy, at the request of William McIlvanney’s family. Working with McIlvanney’s archives, Rankin wrote The Dark Remains, a Laidlaw prequel that is a genuine highlight of 2021 for us and thousands of crime fiction fans. Ian Rankin, congratulations.

F.A.Q: Crime novel awards
F.A.Q: Crime novel awards

F.A.Q: Crime novel awards.

What is the most prestigious Mystery Book award?

The Most Prestigious Mystery Book Award is given annually by the Crime Writers Association to the best novel in the mystery genre. The award was created in 1978 and is named for Agatha Christie, who received it eight times.

What is the best selling crime novel of all time?

The best selling crime novel of all time is undoubtedly the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Published between 1997 and 2007, the seven books in the series have sold over 150 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 60 languages.

What awards are given for novels?

The prestigious Edgar Awards are given out annually by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA) to writers of crime fiction. The Anthony Awards are given out by the Anthony Award Committee, a non-profit organization founded in 1954 to honor excellence in the mystery and suspense field.

The Macavity Awards, first given in 1930, are awarded annually by the Mystery Writers of America’s Crime Writers’ Association to the best mystery novel published in English.

Who is the best crime novelist in the world?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as it is subjective. However, some people who are knowledgeable in the genre might say that the best crime novelist in the world is Agatha Christie.

She has written some of the most popular and well-known crime novels ever written, and her plots are always intricate and well-constructed. Other authors who may be considered among the best crime novelists include Michael Connelly, James Patterson, and Lee Child.


We want to conduct the Crime Fiction Lover Awards again in 2022, maybe larger and better.

  • Crime novel awards 2021
  • Edgar award winners
  • Macavity awards
  • Agatha awards
  • Crime fiction lover awards
  • Detective awards

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