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Gumshoe Awards

The Gumshoe Awards were an American award for popular crime fiction literary works. The Gumshoe Awards were awarded annually by the American online magazine Mystery Ink (no longer active) to recognize the best achievements in crime fiction. The nominated books were chosen from those published for the first time in the United States in English (or English translation). They were awarded from 2002 to 2008 in several categories: Best Mystery, Best Thriller, Best First Novel, Best European Crime Novel (2005-2007 only), Best Crime Fiction Website and a Lifetime Achievement Award. The year listed is the year the award was presented, for works published in the previous year.

Book titles “hotlinked” in the list below are owned by the Lincoln City Libraries, and the link will take you to the holdings screen in our catalog, where you can check on the current availability of that title. The cover image shown for each year is for the “Best Mystery” winner (except in 2002 and 2003, when the category was “Best Novel”).


Best Mystery – James Lee Burke – The Tin Roof Blowdown
Best Thriller – Robert Crais – The Watchman
Best First Novel – Sean Chercover – Big City, Bad Blood
Best Crime Fiction Website – Kevin Burton Smith – The Thrilling Detective website
Lifetime Achievement Award – Donald E. Westlake


Best Mystery – Julia Spencer-Fleming – All Mortal Flesh
Best Thriller – Robert Ferrigno – Prayers for the Assassin
Best First Novel – John Hart – The King of Lies
Best European Crime Novel – Karin Fossum – When the Devil Holds the Candle (Norwegian)
Best Crime Fiction Website – Demolition Magazine * (no longer exists)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Robert B. Parker


Best Mystery – Laura Lippman – To the Power of the Three
Best Thriller – Joseph Finder – Company Man
Best First Novel – Randall Hicks – The Baby Game
Best European Crime Novel – Robert Wilson – The Vanished Hands (British)
Best Crime Fiction Website – Graham Powell’s blog *
Lifetime Achievement Award – Ed McBain (U.S.)


Best Mystery – Jim Fusilli – Hard, Hard City
Best Thriller – Barry Eisler – Rainstorm
Best First Novel – Dylan Schaffer – Misdemeanor Man
Best European Crime Novel – Henning Mankel – The Return of the Dancing Master (Swedish)
Best Crime Fiction Website – January Magazine’s Crime Fiction Section
Lifetime Achievement Award – Lawrence Block (U.S.)


Best Mystery – Steve Hamilton – Blood is the Sky
Best First Novel – P.J. Tracy – Monkeewrench
Best Crime Fiction Website – Sarah Weinman’s blog – Confessions of Idiosyncratic Mind
Lifetime Achievement Award – Ruth Rendell (U.K.)


Best Novel – George P. Pelecanos – Hell to Pay
Best First Novel – Eddie Muller – The Distance
Best Author Website – Official website of best-selling author Michael Connelly *
Lifetime Achievement Award – Dick Francis (U.K.)


Best Novel – Thomas Perry – Pursuit
Best First Novel – C.J. Box – Open Season
Best Author Website – Official site of Lee Child and Jack Reacher *
Lifetime Achievement Award – Ross Thomas (U.S.)

* — please be aware that websites on the internet change on a regular basis, and although these sites may have been selected for their content and useful at the time the awards were being presented, they may have changed since that time.
Last updated March 2022 sdc