Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Edgar Week

The Real Edgar Winners

James O. Born

In two weeks the annual MWA Edgar Awards take place in New York. I’ve been twice. The first time was just before my first novel was even released and the second time two years ago. Each time was an absolute blast.

But it was that first visit in 2004 that really set the standard by which all my trips have been measured. While attending a party at Partners in Crime on the night

Me, Reed, Ken and C.J Box at the 2006 Edgars

before the actual awards, a friendly bald guy and thin Irish guy asked me if I wanted to go for a drink with them and a couple of their friends. Having no plans and a certain attraction to alcohol, I agreed. The bald guy was Reed Coleman and the Irish guy Ken Bruen. We made a night of throwing back beer and a few shots while learning just what a good sport Jason Starr really was. In fact, Bruen and I forged a lasting bond by walking back to our hotels together just as the sun rose over the Big Apple the next day. I remember my agent asking me later in the day why I “looked like shit”. I mumbled something about the flu.

Bruen was nominated for best novel that year and was gracious when the award went to Ian Rankin. Later that year I spent another late night in Toronto with him and Reed celebrating his Shamus win at Bouchercon.

Little did I know back then that Reed and Ken would become two of my best friends and people I sometimes use as a sounding board for publishing matters. And in two weeks they are both Edgar nominees for best novel.

Reed’s fourth Moe Prager book, Soul Patch and Ken’s fifth Jack Taylor novel, Priest should both win. How’s that for staying neutral? I’ll throw in Megan Abbott’s excellent Queenpin as best paperback original. It should be a great night.

The night before this year’s awards I will also miss a book signing for Michael Connelly’s Blue Religion anthology to which I contributed a story. The Drought is partially on an officer-involved shooting I once investigated. Mr. Connelly is another gracious writer I will miss seeing. But he lives in Florida not Ireland or Long Island. At least I run into him occasionally.

This may be the trip I most regret missing but I’ll be there in spirit and no matter which one of these fine writers win the Edgar I’ll be just as proud of the other. I also like the idea of “quality by association”.

It’ll be one hell of a week.

What's your take ont this year's nominees?


  1. This will be my first Edgar attendance and oh man, am I ever looking forward to it! Hope there's some pub crawl and sunrise walks back to hotel rooms in my future, too.

  2. You have excellent taste, Mr. Born; and there is indeed "quality by association."

    Tom, T.O.

  3. Luise, sorry I'll miss the whole thing.

    I appreciate that. I also get it by being on this blog.


  4. My first time too! I can't wait to see what it's all about.

    I'm starting to think you're avoiding me, Jim. I'm getting a complex... ; )