Monday, May 6, 2013

The Best Mystery Novel of the Year is ...

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny is the winner by a landslide in the Newport Library’s Best Mystery Novel of 2012 contest.

Newport voters gave the book three times more votes than any other contender.

(Interestingly, Penny was also the clear winner the last time we held this contest, in 2011. That year her novel Bury Your Dead got more than twice the votes of its nearest competitor.)

The Beautiful Mystery, part of the popular Canadian author’s Chief Inspector Gamache series, deals with the murder of the choir director of a famously reclusive monastery. Only reluctantly do the monks of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups open their doors to admit the police. Gamache uncovers deep conflicts in the silence of the cloister.

Three novels tied for a distant second place. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn is the suspenseful story of a missing woman and a marriage gone horribly wrong. The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron tells of an ornithologist who discovers a body while studying the habits of vultures - or so he claims. And The Lost Ones by Ace Atkins links small-town crime with big-time drug cartels in the hills of northern Mississippi.

This weekend major awards were given to mystery novels, not just by Newport Library, but also by the Mystery Writers of America and by Malice Domestic.

The Edgar Award, presented by MWA, went to Live By Night by Dennis Lehane, a story of gangsters and crooked cops set in Boston in the 1920s.

Malice Domestic agreed with Newport voters by granting the Agatha Award to Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.

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