Monday, February 24, 2014

It's no mystery: Award-winning authors part of Mystery Book Club's list

The Mystery Book Club does not usually compile its annual reading list based on a theme, but this year the members wanted to try something new. 

We were discussing whether or not people chose books to read based on the stature of the author within a genre. As a result we printed the list of authors who have been given Lifetime Achievement recognition by Malice Domestic (which awards the Agatha) and Grand Master recognition by the Mystery Writers of America (which awards the Edgar).

Our members decided to choose at least half of our selections for 2014 from these lists. The first Agatha for Lifetime Achievement was awarded in 1990 to Phyllis A Whitney. Mystery Writers of America began decades earlier, awarding Grand Master status for the first time in 1955 to Agatha Christie. So our group did have many authors to choose from, some still writing and some long dead and even out of print.

There are three authors that appear on both lists that we had not included on previous reading lists, so we will definitely be discussing books by Sue Grafton, Mary Higgins Clark, and Mignon Eberhart in 2014. 

Margaret Maron was awarded Grand Master status in 2013 and will be a co-recipient of the Agatha for Lifetime Achievement in 2014. Tony Hillerman became a Grand Master in 1991 and received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2002. The Mystery Book Club had enjoyed reading the works of these authors in previous years. 

We will be reading Spider Woman’s Daughter by Tony’s daughter, Anne Hillerman, in September and looking forward to the continuation of his wonderful series about the Navajo Tribal Police. Also included will be selections by Donald Westlake, Ken Follett, John D MacDonald, Dorothy Gilman and Robert B Parker, with a few newer authors in between. 

With this blending of new and not so new, it should be another year of great reading and lively discussion for the Mystery Book Club. If you enjoy mysteries, consider stopping by one of our meetings. Or check out the full list of books we will be reading for ideas to add to your reading list. 

Happy reading! 

Maryellen @ Warrenton

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