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2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations

Here are the nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction and non-fiction published or produced in 2020. Brought to you by the Mystery Writers of America, the 75th Annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on April 29, 2021.

Playlist Tags: topic: mystery awards: edgar allan poe

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Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

A Novel

By Deepa Anappara
Narrated by: Indira Varma, Himesh Patel & Antonio Aakeel
Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

Discover the “extraordinary” (The Washington Post) debut novel that “announces the arrival of a literary supernova” (The New York Times Book Review),“a drama of childhood that is as wild as it is intimate” (Chigozie Obioma).

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Before She Was Helen

A Novel

By Caroline B. Cooney
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Length: 11 hours 12 minutes

Her life didn't turn out the way she expected―so she made herself a new one

When Clemmie goes next door to check on her difficult and unlikeable neighbor Dom, he isn't there. But something else is. Something stunning, beautiful and inexplicable. Clemmie photographs the wondrous object on her cell phone and makes the irrevocable error of... Read more »

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The Thursday Murder Club

A Novel

By Richard Osman
Narrated by: Lesley Manville
Length: 12 hours 25 minutes

The Thursday Murder Club

“Witty and sharp and twisty, this mystery will be just your cup of tea! At a posh retirement community, an elderly group of crime enthusiasts meet on Thursdays to go over old cold cases. When several current murders happen practically on their front stoop, these silver haired sleuths start digging for clues. There are a lot of secrets and hidden motives to unearth, which will keep the reader guessing until the last page. The narration by Lesley Manville is superb!”

Fountain Bookstore image Kate, Fountain Bookstore
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These Women

A Novel

By Ivy Pochoda
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin & Frankie Corzo
Length: 9 hours

These Women

“Three words: Feminist. Serial Killer. Noir. (Okay, so that was four words.) These Women reads like classic L.A. noir, but Ivy Pochoda adds a level of sensitivity that elevates it far above typical crime fiction, giving voice to a grieving mom, current and former sex workers, and a female police detective whose career is falling apart. In one way or another, all of them are victims, but none of them are just victims. Unlike so many books in the genre, the women are fully formed, complex characters, who are making difficult choices with their eyes open, even as they are constantly being cornered by their circumstances. This book is as powerful as any work of literary fiction, and as gripping as any mystery novel.”

The Book Table image Rachel, The Book Table
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The Missing American

Emma Djan Investigation: Book #1

By Kwei Quartey
Narrated by: Robin Miles
Length: 13 hours 14 minutes

Accra private investigator Emma Djan's first missing persons case will lead her to the darkest depths of the email scams and fetish priests in Ghana, the world's Internet capital. When her dreams of rising through the Accra police ranks like her late father crash around her, 26-year-old Emma Djan is unsure what will become of her career. Through... Read more »

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The Distant Dead

A Novel

By Heather Young
Narrated by: Charlie Thurston, Jim Meskimen, Eva Kaminsky & Cassandra Campbell
Length: 11 hours 13 minutes

A People magazine Best Book of Summer ? A Parade Best Book of Summer

A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of Summer

“[A] second stunning piece of redemptive fiction… An ideal recommendation for fans of Kate Atkinson and Jodi Picoult.” – Booklist, Starred Review

A body burns in the high desert hills. A boy walks into a fire station, pale with the... Read more »

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Murder in Old Bombay

A Mystery

By Nev March
Narrated by: Vikas Adam
Length: 16 hours 1 minutes

In 19th century Bombay, Captain Jim Agnihotri channels his idol, Sherlock Holmes, in Nev March’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning debut.

In 1892, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier,... Read more »

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Please See Us

By Caitlin Mullen
Narrated by: Corey Brill, Piper Goodeve, Hillary Huber & Dara Rosenberg
Length: 11 hours 53 minutes

A 2021 Edgar Nominee for Best First Novel

In this sophisticated, suspenseful debut reminiscent of Laura Lippman and Megan Miranda, two young women become unlikely friends during one fateful summer in Atlantic City as mysterious disappearances hit dangerously close to home.

Summer has come to Atlantic City but the boardwalk is empty of tourists,... Read more »

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Social Purpose Annual Report

Social Purpose Annual Report

As we look to the future as a Social Purpose Corporation, we’re committed to serving readers and independent bookstores. Read our 2020 Annual Report to see an overview of the year.

Read the Report

Catherine House

A Novel

By Elisabeth Thomas
Narrated by: Inés del Castillo
Length: 11 hours

Catherine House

“Getting into Catherine House is the key to success. Spend three years here completely removed from the outside world, separate yourself from your life before Catherine House, and when the three years are over, you’ll be unstoppable. That’s the premise for this evocative and gripping gothic novel. Elisabeth Thomas’ ability to create at once an elusive yet highly practical world makes her a stunning new literary voice. Inspired by secret societies, scientific experimentation, and the mysteriousness of finding ourselves, Catherine House is sure to haunt readers.”

The Novel Neighbor image Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor
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Winter Counts

A Novel

By David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Narrated by: Darrell Dennis
Length: 8 hours 17 minutes

Winter Counts

“Weiden’s book is a thriller with an important social and political message. Following a Lakota ‘enforcer’ who enacts extrajudicial punishment to fill the gaps in the legal system, Winter Counts is a twisty new addition to the growing Indigenous literature canon. While some of the action may fall into somewhat predictable territory, Weiden’s exploration of the injustices of reservation life are vital.”

Briars & Brambles Books image Ashley Baeckmann, Briars & Brambles Books
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Darling Rose Gold

By Stephanie Wrobel
Narrated by: Megan Dodds & Jill Winternitz
Length: 10 hours 17 minutes

Darling Rose Gold

“I listened to the audio version and read the ebook as well, that was how un-put-downable this book was. It was so unique and intriguing and suspenseful up until the very end. You never knew who was telling the truth or who wasn't. I highly recommend this title”

As the Page Turns image Amy, As the Page Turns
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When No One Is Watching

A Thriller

By Alyssa Cole
Narrated by: Susan Dalian & Jay Aaseng
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes

When No One Is Watching

“Cole’s thriller exposes the underbelly of gentrification and prosperity, taking a searing look at systemic racism. When a pharmaceutical firm plans to move its headquarters to a historically Black Brooklyn neighborhood, an influx of rich white people displace Black residents from their homes and their roots. Timely, groundbreaking, and thought-provoking, When No One Is Watching is essential reading for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.”

Copper Dog Books image Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books
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Unspeakable Things

By Kathleen Spivack
Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
Length: 10 hours 23 minutes

The setting: New York, the early 1940s, with the spectre of a red-hot Europe at war.

At the center of Kathleen Spivack’s Unspeakable Things: Anna (known as the Rat), an exotic Hungarian countess with the face of an angel, beautiful eyes and a seraphic smile, with a passionate intelligence, an exquisite ugliness, and the power to enchant…Her... Read more »

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Blood Runs Coal

The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America

By Mark A. Bradley
Narrated by: Perry Daniels
Length: 10 hours 51 minutes

In the early hours of New Year's Eve 1969, in the small soft coal mining borough of Clarksville, Pennsylvania, longtime trade union insider Joseph "Jock" Yablonski and his wife and daughter were brutally murdered in their old stone farmhouse. Seven months earlier, Yablonski had announced his campaign to oust the corrupt president of the United... Read more »

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The Third Rainbow Girl

The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

By Emma Copley Eisenberg
Narrated by: Emma Copley Eisenberg
Length: 10 hours 32 minutes

The Third Rainbow Girl

“The facts are that in the summer of 1980, two young women were hitchhiking in Pocahontas County, West Virginia en route to the annual Rainbow Festival. Their murdered bodies were found in a remote clearing on a remote road. Over the years, multiple people confessed to the murders. Was it a local as many thought? Or an itinerant mass murderer traveling the country, raging against blacks and others? Eisenberg dives deeply into the case after spending time there years later as a Vista volunteer. This engaging book tells the story of the people of this rural county, the history of the area, and the officials who would not let the case die. It is also Emma's story: her time with these people, her loves, and her discontent. It is a stirring addition to the Appalachian story.”

Blue Willow Bookshop image Valerie, Blue Willow Bookshop
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Death in Mud Lick

A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic

By Eric Eyre
Narrated by: Michael David Axtell
Length: 8 hours 7 minutes

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times
Nominated for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Award

From a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter from the smallest newspaper ever to win the prize in the investigative reporting category, an urgent, riveting, and heartbreaking investigation into the corporate greed that pumped millions of pain pills into... Read more »

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Yellow Bird

Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country

By Sierra Crane Murdoch
Narrated by: Sierra Crane Murdoch
Length: 14 hours 56 minutes

The gripping true story of a murder on an Indian reservation, and the unforgettable Arikara woman who becomes obsessed with solving it—an urgent work of literary journalism.
“I don’t know a more complicated, original protagonist in literature than Lissa Yellow Bird, or a more dogged reporter in American journalism than Sierra Crane... Read more »

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A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife

By Ariel Sabar
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 15 hours 32 minutes

From National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Ariel Sabar, the gripping true story of a sensational religious forgery and the scandal that shook Harvard.

In 2012, Dr. Karen King, a star professor at Harvard Divinity School, announced a blockbuster discovery at a scholarly conference just steps from the Vatican: She had found an ancient... Read more »

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Phantom Lady

Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman behind Hitchcock

By Christina Lane
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
Length: 11 hours

Phantom Lady chronicles the untold story of Hollywood’s most powerful female writer-producer of the 1940s.

In 1933 Joan Harrison was a twenty-six-year-old former salesgirl with a dream of escaping her stodgy London suburb and the dreadful prospect of settling down with one of the local boys. A few short years later, she was Alfred Hitchcock’s... Read more »

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This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing

By Jacqueline Winspear
Narrated by: Jacqueline Winspear
Length: 10 hours 7 minutes

This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing

“As a fan of her Maisie Dobbs novels, I couldn’t wait to learn more about Jacqueline Winspear herself. This memoir takes the reader through the early and adolescent years of the author’s life as well as the history of her parents. Winspear’s memoir of an English country childhood is also a love letter to her parents, whose choices and outlook shaped her life. She paints a vivid picture of postwar England, and her story is engaging, vivid, and hopeful.”

The Bookman image Scott Lange, The Bookman
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