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The Agatha Awards honor the traditional mystery—-books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The Awards are nominated and voted upon by the members of the annual Malice Domestic mystery convention. Agatha winners are generally characterized as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore, or gratuitous violence; usually featuring an amateur detective, they have a confined setting and characters who know one another. Novels and stories featuring police officers and private detectives may qualify for the Agatha, but materials generally classified as “hard boiled” are not appropriate. Candidates for the Best First Mystery award must be for the first mystery novel by the author. If the author has written novels in any of the subgenres of the mystery field, such as romantic suspense, this author would not be eligible in the Best First Mystery category. In the Best Non-Fiction award category, the Agatha Committee will consider any biography, essay collection, bibliography, or other reference or nonfiction book that is primarily centered on the Malice theme, a Malice-eligible author, or the detective(s) of a Malice-eligible series. True crime works are not appropriate for this award. Novels for the Best Children's/Young Adult category should be aimed at audiences 18 and younger. The first Agathas were presented in 1988 in the categories of Best Novel, Best First Novel and Best Short Story. Best Non-Fiction was added in 1993, and Best Childrens/Young-Adult was added in 2001. Please visit the official Agatha Awards page on the Malice Domestic website for additional information.

The titles in this list are "hotlinked" to our library's catalog, for all those titles currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries. Please note that several of the Agatha-winning novels are no longer in our collection. They appear here for the sake of providing a complete list. If there is a title you are interested in which we no longer own, and you are a Lincoln City Libraries customer, please consider requesting it through our Interlibrary Loan service. With regards to the winners in the Short Stories award category, please note that the Lincoln City Libraries does not own individual issues of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and we only carry limited back issues of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. However, numerous stories which originally saw print in these two periodicals have since been reprinted in anthologies under the Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock banners, and the library does own many of these reprint volumes.

Best Novel

2013  Book Cover  Hank Phillippi Ryan
The Wrong Girl
2012  Book Cover  Louise Penny
The Beautiful Mystery
2011  Book Cover  Margaret Maron
Three-Day Town
2010  Book Cover  Louise Penny
Bury Your Dead
2009  Book Cover  Louise Penny
A Brutal Telling
2008  Book Cover  Louise Penny
The Cruelest Month
2007  Book Cover  Louise Penny
A Fatal Grace
2006  Book Cover  Nancy Pickard
The Virgin of Small Plains
2005  Book Cover  Katherine Hall Page
The Body in the Snowdrift
2004  Book Cover  Jacqueline Winspear
Birds of a Feather
2003  Book Cover  Carolyn G. Hart
Letter From Home
2002  Book Cover  Donna Andrews
You've Got Murder
2001  Book Cover  Rhys Bowen
Murphy's Law
2000  Book Cover  Margaret Maron
Storm Track
1999  Book Cover  Earlene Fowler
Mariner's Compass
1998  Book Cover  Laura Lippman
Butchers Hill
1997  Book Cover  Kate Ross
The Devil in Music
1996  Book Cover  Margaret Maron
Up Jumps the Devil
1995  Book Cover  Sharyn McCrumb
If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him
1994  Book Cover  Sharyn McCrumb
She Walks These Hills
1993  Book Cover  Carolyn G. Hart
Dead Man's Island
1992  Book Cover  Margaret Maron
Bootlegger's Daughter
1991  Book Cover  Nancy Pickard
1990  Book Cover  Nancy Pickard
Bum Steer
1989  Book Cover  Elizabeth Peters
Naked Once More
1988  Book Cover  Carolyn G. Hart
Something Wicked

Best First Novel

2013  Book Cover  Leslie Budewitz
Death al Dente
2012  Book Cover  Susan Boyer
Lowcountry Boil
2011  Book Cover  Sara J. Henry
Learning to Swim
2010  Book Cover  Avery Aames
The Long Quiche Goodbye
2009  Book Cover  Alan Bradley
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
2008  Book Cover  G.M. Malliett
Death of a Cozy Writer
2007  Book Cover  Hank Phillippi Ryan
Prime Time
2006  Book Cover  Hank Phillipi Ryan
Prime Time
2005  Book Cover  Laura Durham
Better Off Wed
2004  Book Cover  Harley Jane Kozak
Dating Dead Men
2003  Book Cover  Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs
2002  Book Cover  Julia Spencer-Fleming
In the Bleak Mid-Winter
2001  Book Cover  Sarah Strohmeyer
Bubbles Unbound
2000  Book Cover  Rosemary Stevens
Death on a Silver Tray
1999  Book Cover  Donna Andrews
Murder With Peacocks
1998  Book Cover  Robin Hathaway
The Doctor Digs a Grave
1997  Book Cover  Sujata Massey
The Salaryman's Wife
1996  Book Cover  Anne George
Murder on a Girl's Night Out
1995  Book Cover  Jeanne M. Dams
The Body in the Transept
1994  Book Cover  Jeff Abbott
Do Unto Others
1993  Book Cover  Nevada Barr
Track of the Cat
1992  Book Cover  Barbara Neely
Blanche on the Lam
1991  Book Cover  Mary Willis Walker
Zero at the Bone
1990  Book Cover  Katherine Hall Page
The Body in the Belfry
1989  Book Cover  Jill Churchill
Grime and Punishment
1988  Book Cover  Elizabeth George
A Great Deliverance

[Honoring the best in shorter mystery works, often reprinted in anthologies or collections in later years]

2013  Art Taylor "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mar/Apr 2013] (available as a PDF online)
2012  Dana Cameron "Mischief in Mesopotamia" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Nov 2012] (available as a PDF online)
2011  Dana Cameron "Disarming" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Jun 2011] (available as a PDF online)
2010  Mary Jane Maffini "So Much In Common" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Sep/Oct 2010] (available on the EQMM website)
2009  Hank Phillippi Ryan "On the House" [in Quarry, 2009]
2008 Dana Cameron "The Night Things Changed" [appeared in Wolfsbane & Mistletoe collection, 2008]
2007  Donna Andrews "A Rat's Tale" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Oct/Nov 2007]
2006  Toni L.P. Kelner "Sleeping With the Plush" [in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, May 2006]
2005  Marcia Talley "Driven to Distraction" [in Chesapeake Crimes II anthology, 2004]
2004  Elaine Viets "Wedding Knife" [in Chesapeake Crimes anthology, 2003]
2003  Elizabeth Foxwell "No Man's Land" [in Blood on Their Hands anthology, 2003]
2002 Margaret Maron "The Dog That Didn't Bark" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dec 2002] [Tie]
2002 Marcia Talley "Too Many Cooks" [in Much Ado About Murder anthology, 2002] [Tie]
2001 Katherine Hall Page "The Would-Be Widower" [in Malice Domestic X anthology, 2001]
2000 Jan Burke "The Man in the Civil Suit" [reprinted in Eighteen collection, 2002/2004]
1999 Nancy Pickard "Out of Africa" [in Mom, Apple Pie and Murder anthology, 1999]
1998 Barbara D'Amato "Of Course You Know That Chocolate is a Vegetable" [reprinted in Of Course You Know That Chocolate is a Vegetable, and Other Stories collection, 2000]
1997 M.D. Lake "Tea for Two" [reprinted in Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories, Vol. 7 anthology, 1998]
1996 Carolyn Wheat "Accidents Will Happen" [in Malice Domestic 5 anthology, 1996]
1995 Elizabeth Daniels Squire "The Dog Who Remembered Too Much" [in Malice Domestic 4 anthology, 1995]
1994 Dorothy Cannell "The Family Jewels" [reprinted in Family Jewels, and Other Stories collection, 2001]
1993 M.D. Lake "Kim's Game" [in Malice Domestic 2 anthology, 1996]
1992 Aaron and Charlotte Elkins "Nice Gorilla" [in Malice Domestic 1 anthology, 1992]
1991 Margaret Maron "Deborah's Judgement" [in A Woman's Eye anthology, 1991]
1990 Joan Hess "Too Much to Bare" [in Sisters in Crime 2 anthology, 1990]
1989 Sharyn McCrumb "A Wee Doch and Doris" [in Mistletoe Mysteries anthology, 1989]
1988 Robert Barnard "More Final Than Divorce" [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine]

Best Non-Fiction

2013  Book Cover  Daniel Stashower
The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War
2012  Book Cover  John Connolly and Declan Burke
Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels
2011  Book Cover  Leslie Budewitz
Books, Crooks and Counselors: How to Write Accurately About Criminal Law and Courtroom Procedure
2010  Book Cover  John Curran
Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making
2009  Book Cover  Elena Santangelo
Dame Agatha's Shorts
2008  Book Cover  Kathy Lynn Emerson
How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries
2007  Book Cover  Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley
Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters
2006  Book Cover  Chris Roerden
Don't Murder Your Mystery: 24 Fiction-Writing Techniques to Save Your Manuscript From Turning Up D.O.A.
2005  Book Cover  Melanie Rehak
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
2004  Book Cover  Jack French
Private Eye-Lashes: Radio's Lady Detectives
2003  Book Cover  Elizabeth Peters and Kristen Whitbread
Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium
2002  Book Cover  Jim Huang
They Died in Vain: Overlooked, Underappreciated and Forgotten Mystery Novels
2001  Book Cover  Tony Hillerman
Seldom Disappointed: A Memoir
2000  Book Cover  Jim Huang
100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century
1999  Book Cover  Daniel Stashower
Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle
1998  Book Cover  Alzina Stone Dale
Mystery Reader's Walking Guide to Washington D.C.
1997  Book Cover  Willetta L. Heising
Detecting Men (Pocket Guide)
1996  Book Cover  Willetta L. Heising
Detecting Women 2
1995  Book Cover  Alzina Stone Dale
Mystery Readers Walking Guide - Chicago
1994  Book Cover  Jean Swanson and Dean James
By a Woman's Hand: A Guide to Mystery Fiction by Women
1993  Book Cover  Barbara D'Amato
The Doctor, the Murder, the Mystery

Best Historical Novel

2013  Book Cover  Charles Todd
A Question of Honor
2012  Book Cover  Catriona McPherson
Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for Murder
2011  Book Cover  Rhys Bowen
Naughty in Nice

Best Children's/Young-Adult

2013  Book Cover  Chris Grabenstein
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library
2012  Book Cover  Penny Warner
The Code Busters Club, Case #2: The Haunted Lighthouse
2011  Book Cover  Chris Grabenstein
The Black Heart Crypt
2010  Book Cover  Sarah Smith
The Other Side of Dark
2009  Book Cover  Chris Grabenstein
The Hanging Hill
2008  Book Cover  Chris Grabenstein
The Crossroads
2007  Book Cover  Sarah Masters Buckley
A Light in the Cellar
2006  Book Cover  Nancy Means Wright
Pea Soup Poisonings
2005 [tie]  Book Cover  Peter Abrahams
Down the Rabbit Hole
2005 [tie]  Book Cover  Carl Hiaasen
2004  Book Cover  Blue Balliett
Chasing Vermeer
2003  Book Cover  Kathleen Karr
The 7th Knot
2002  Book Cover  Daniel J. Hale and Matthew LaBrot
Red Card: A Zeke Armstrong Mystery
2001  Book Cover  Penny Warner
Mystery of the Haunted Caves: A Troop 13 Mystery

Updated December 2014 sdc

Looking for additional novels on this or other subjects? Try out the NoveList database!

Interested in other mystery books? You might want to sign up for the Mystery Book Club at our On-Line Book Clubs page, or take a look at our other mystery-themed lists on our booklists page.
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