It’s my pleasure this week to herald the return of our photo gallery of events surrounding the Edgar Allan Poe Awards in New York City and the Malice Domestic convention in Bethesda, Maryland! The festivities all kicked off for the Dell Mystery Magazines with our pre-Edgars party, at which it’s been our custom for many years to present the EQMM Readers Awards. The Readers Awards presentation had to be done virtually in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, we held an in-person gathering, but it was a scaled-down celebration, with few guests attending from out of town and only two of the year’s four Readers Award winners present. As you’ll see from the photos below, last week’s party filled the house (which was, as in several previous years, the library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, on 44th Street in Manhattan). Attendees included third-place Readers Award winner Anna Scotti, who flew in from California to receive her scroll for “Schrödinger, Cat” (EQMM March/April 2022); Doug Allyn, whom we hadn’t seen since our 2019 pre-Edgars party, who took second-place honors for “Blind Baseball” (EQMM May/June 2022); and W. Edward Blain, who captured readers’ votes with his pandemic-inspired story “The Secret Sharer” (EQMM July/August 2022), which took first place from a field of more than a hundred stories published in the magazine in 2022.
Also with us at our pre-Edgars party was this year’s winner of the Robert L. Fish Award for best short story by a new American author, Mark Harrison, who took that prize with his September/October 2022 EQMM story “Dogs in the Canyon.” Mark’s debut came under the banner of EQMM’s Department of First Stories. Two other Department of First Stories “graduates” also made their mark at this year’s Edgars—albeit in categories other than the short story. Martin Edwards, who got his start in EQMM in 1991, won the Edgar for best critical/biographical work for The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators, and Eli Cranor, whose Department of First Stories debut was just last year, took home the Edgar this year for best first novel for Don’t Know Tough.
Three of this year’s Edgar-nominated stories—those by Gregory Fallis, William Burton McCormick, and Charles John Harper—came from the pages of our sister publication, AHMM. All three of those names will be very familiar to EQMM readers, for all three authors have also had stories published in EQMM on multiple occasions. Bill and Charlie were with us for the party and the subsequent banquet, making it feel all the more like old times. Greg—who won the Edgar for “Red Flag” (AHMM March/April 2022)!—was, unfortunately, unable to attend.
As you scroll through the photos below, you’ll see a few more authors who’ve been nominated for awards this year, including Carol Goodman, a nominee for this year’s Mary Higgins Clark Award (and someone who will be making her EQMM debut this fall) and Rob Osler, last year’s Robert L. Fish Award winner for his debut EQMM story and a nominee this year for the Agatha Award for best first novel.
On our way from our party to the Edgar Awards banquet, the Dell Mystery Magazines staff, accompanied by John Landrigan and Doug and Eve Allyn, made a literary stop. The Algonquin Hotel, meeting place of the famous Algonquin Round Table in the 1920s, is right down the street from our party venue. Wanting to kill some time before the banquet and have a quiet place to chat, we claimed a large round table (the only one of its kind) in that hotel’s illustrious lobby. Whether it was the same round table at which literary figures such as Dorothy Parker and Harold Ross (of the New Yorker) lunched together each day for a decade, exchanging witticisms and collaborating on projects, I don’t know. It’s unlikely, of course, a hundred years having passed. What I do know is that Dorothy Parker had a special connection to EQMM. She was known to be a regular reader, and when I began my tenure at EQMM I inherited some papers I can no longer find that contained quotes about the magazine from various literary luminaries. Dorothy Parker’s contribution—no doubt phrased more eloquently—was something like: “The only thing that could make EQMM better would be for it to come out more often.” A comment that I’m sure warmed the heart of then-editor Fred Dannay.
Once the Edgars were over, many of us were on our way to the Malice Domestic convention. For me and at least one EQMM author, Rob Osler, that meant the 5:30 A.M. train to Washington, D.C. We arrived to drenching rain, but in good time. I was able to make a breakfast appointment with an author who goes way back with EQMM, one of the convention’s guests of honor, Ann Cleeves; Rob tells me he made the deadline for Malice’s “speed dating” event, at which authors move from table to table, with two minutes in each spot in which to convince readers to try their work.
After a four-year absence from Malice, I had the pleasure this year of reconnecting with some old friends and making some new ones: Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, Stacy Woodson, and our Blog Bytes columnist Kristopher Zgorski joined me for lunch, along with a bright new star on the mystery scene, Ashley-Ruth M. Bernier. At dinner Friday night I caught up on the news of EQMM contributor Dana Cameron and previous EQMM Readers Award winner and this year’s Malice Domestic toastmaster, Barb Goffman, as well as meeting for the first time Smita Harish Jain, a current nominee for the ITW Thriller Award for her September/October 2022 EQMM story “Publish or Perish.”
For me, Malice came to an end on Saturday morning. I needed to get back to New York, but not before breakfasting with EQMM’s invaluable translator Josh Pachter and his wife Laurie, our esteemed Jury Box columnist (and translator!) Steve Steinbock, and authors Gigi Pandian, James Lincoln Warren, and Michael Bracken.
Of course, I haven’t been able to mention here all the many wonderful writers and mystery lovers I ran into while at the Edgars and in Bethesda. You’ll spot some of them in the photos. An important event I had to miss was Saturday’s short-story panel (photo below contributed by Josh Pachter), but I heard it had a big audience and generated lots of interest. That’s a good sign for our magazines and for short-story lovers!—Janet Hutchings
So wonderful to see these photos!! Wish I could have been with you at all three…
Nice photos! It’s like attending the cocktail party without having to make the small talk. Perfect for introverts!