2021 Edgar Awards

The Edgar Awards, presented by Mystery Writers of America 

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 212th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2020.

This year's Edgar Award winners were on April 29th . Check out the winners and finalists below!


Best Novel


Book cover: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line.  Amidst black and purple swirls, small faint figures and a dog run towards the right.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara



 Book Cover: Before She Was Helen by Caroline B. Cooney.  Shattered sunglasses sit on a shifting blue background.   Book cover: The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.  A simple red and black painting of a fox on top of a hill   Book cover: These Women by Ivy Pochoda. A red and green tinted photograph of a curly-haired woman smoking a cigarette.

 Book cover: The Missing American by Kwei Quartey. The cover is split into triangles, revealing half a Black woman's face, a yellow-tined photo of a port city (with a green stripe), and a black triangle with the text: "The First Emma Dian Investigation"   Book cover: The Distant Dead by Heather Young.  Headlights of a car illuminate a stretch of desert beneath a starry sky.


Best First Novel by an American Author


Book cover: Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen.  Behind the title, grass waves amid fog, and the moon shines hazily through a dark sky.  A bright green strip at the right reads (vertically): "'This book is a stunner'-Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers"

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen



Book cover: Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March.  Beyond the curving black title is a warm, bright illustration of a busy town with palm trees, a tall tower, and a crowded marketplace with people in bright clothing and animals pulling carts.   Book cover; Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas.  Pink detail of a front gate, with swirling pink metal in front of a dark backgound.   Book Cover: Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden.  A buffalo stands in front of a red background   Book cover: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. "darling" is written in a black, cursive font over a photo of warping wall paper, with the words ROSE GOLD pressing out through its pink pattern.  In the center of the cover is a black butterfly with white dots on its wings.


Best Paperback Original


    Book cover: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole.  Art of a brick townhouse, with decorative white trim around the entrance and ivy crawling up its three floors.  It is night time, and the house is tinted dark blue, with a single window (2nd floor, to the right) glowing bright yellow.

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole



Book cover: The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman. A faded photograph of a woman walking through snowy woods.   Book cover: Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey. A bike sits on its side in a field, in front of a dark evergreen forest and a brown-orange sky.   Book cover: The Keeper by Jessica Moor.  A high-contrast photograph of a woman looking to the right, with her eyes blacked out.   Book cover; East of Hounslow: From Small-time Drug Dealer to MI5's Reluctant Secret Weapon by Khurrum Rahman.  Modern, blocky art of a cityscape in black (with a suspension bridge, large ferris wheel, and clocktower) in front of a bright blue sky.  Horizontal, silhouetted against the sky, is a falling figure with a smoking cigarette and a sparking object.


Best Fact Crime


Book cover: Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre.  The title, subtitle, and author are laid out on torn pieces of paper, in front of a photograph of a small town between foggy hills and a muddy lake.

Death in Mud Lick by Eric Eyre



Book cover: Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America by Mark A. Bradley.  The title is bold and black, in front of a photograph of a bright sky above rolling hills.   Book cover: The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia by Emma Copley Eisenberg.  A photograph of light streaming through the gab in two evergreen trees.   Book cover: Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian's Justice.  Above the white square with the title is a photo of cement and streetlights against a sunset sky. Below, and Indigenous woman stands against the same sky, in an empty plain.   Book cover: Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man, and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife by Ariel Sabar.  At night, the light from old-fashioned buildings reflect in a  body of water.


 Best Critical/Biographical


Book cover: Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane.  In a dark movie theater, a woman in a checkered dress sits with her legs folded.  Behind her, a projector shows the words "phantom lady" on the wall.

Phantom Lady by Christina Lane



Book cover: Howdunit: A Masterclass in Crime Writing by Members of the Detection Club edited by Martin Edwards.  Small text swirls in the pattern of a fingerprint.   Book cover: Ian Rankin: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction by Erin E. MacDonald.  In between blue banners with the title and author is a photograph of townhouses beneath a blue sky.   Book cover: Guilt Rules All: Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction (Irish Studies) (Paperback) Guilt Rules All: Irish Mystery, Detective, and Crime Fiction by  Elizabeth Mannion (Editor) and Brian Cliff (Editor)   Book cover: This Time Next Year Well Be Laughing by Jacqueline Winspear


Best Juvenile


Book cover: Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce.  A pencil-style illustration of a girl with chin-length hair in a fancy blue shirt, with a leather bag and a magnifying glass. Behind her, a the roof of a large manor rises in the moonlit sky.

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce



 Book cover: Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi.  The title and author are spraypainted in blue against a textured yellow background, along with a pink squirrel, which has googly eyes.   Book cover: From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks.  Illustration: in a orange room, a brown-skinned teenage girl in a red shirt and grey pants leans back with her feet on her desk, holding a piece of paper and a pen.   Book cover: Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor.  Cover art: A boy stands holding a figurine.  Behind him an obscured, large, muscled figure, looms menacingly. 

Book cover: Nessie Quest by Meslla Savage.  A green, long-necked head sticks out of water and points down at a yellow periscope.   Book cover: Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders.  Three children on bikes approach a dark playground at night, lit by a sole lantern and the stars above.



Best Young Adult


Book cover: The Companions by Katie M. Flynn.  A blurry photograph of a face is overlaid with curving, rainbow lines.

The Companions by Katie M. Flynn



Book cover: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.  The title is set in gold against an ornate green background. A candle, knife, gun, and jewel are prominent against the swirls. A banner interweaving with the title reads: She came from nothing. They have everything. Let the games begin.   Book cover: They Went Left by Monica Hesse. An illustration of a figure standing in a broken down town. Across the top of the picture lies a needle and thread, tucked through the paper.   Book cover: The Silence of Bones by June Hur.  A painted (or paint-emulating) illustration features a closeup on a face, presented in blues and blacks. On the cheek, another face looks down.   Book cover: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus.  Three framed photographs stand on a wooden floor, in front of fancy wallpaper.  The faces in the photographs are X'd out with red, and the phrase "Family First, Always" is scrawled on the wall.


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