I’m not often in the room when awards are announced, but I was there this time. On Saturday, at the Love Is Murder conference in Chicago, the winners of the Lovey Award received their very substantial (weapons-grade?), green marble columns. Shortly before the banquet, I had picked up a copy of the Best First Novel winner based on a back-cover blurb alone (“This book does for the pot trade what Melville did for whaling”)–but the award win, and Bill Ott’s review, provide even better reasons for the purchase.
Accepting for Best Series, Rhys Bowen, who seems perfectly pleasant, nonetheless offered an inadvertent slight by saying she’d never even heard of the Lovey before winning one. Whoops. Seems like the perfect moment to craft a little more award-winning fiction and say that it’s the culmination of a lifelong dream.
I had a perfectly lovely time.
Best First Novel
Stein, Stoned, by Hal Ackerman
Best Traditional/Amateur Sleuth
Grace Under Pressure, by Julie Hyzy
Best PI/Police Procedural
Hostile Takeovers, by Michael Black
Dangerous to Know, by Tasha Alexander
Running Dark, by Jamie Freveletti
Best Romantic Suspense
Red, White, and Dead, by Laura Caldwell
Royal Spyness, by Rhys Bowen (see Royal Blood, 2010)
Best Short Story
“The Sugar Cure,” by Carolyn Haines (from Delta Blues, 2010)