I’m back from New York, where I had the most amazing fun at the Edgar Awards Banquet. Mystery Writers of America hosted this black tie event to award these coveted trophies to writers from across the business of crime.
Mary Anna Evans and I were there as the book we edited, The Bloomsbury Handbook to Agatha Christie, was nominated for Best Critical/Biographical – and in some very illustrious company! That award went to the very deserving Martin Edwards, for his incredible feat, The Life of Crime. Congratulations, Martin!
Another highlight of the banquet/ceremony was a room-stopping acceptance speech from Kellye Garrett of Crime Writers of Color, who told a room full of mostly white, often self-important VIPs exactly why diversity and representation are important – and lacking – in crime fiction. She received a standing ovation; the only other person to receive one was Michael Connelly, receiving his Grandmaster Award.
It was very exciting to catch up with people and meet – or, in more cases, because I’m shy – see people I know online or through reputation. It was, to borrow a tagline from an old film, the who’s who of whodunits.
Immediately after the Edgars, several delegates went over to Maryland for Malice Domestic, including the presentation of Agatha Awards, for which our book was also nominated. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend that one, and decided instead to make the most of my first trip to New York!
As well as seeing the Statue of Liberty with Mary Anna and her lovely family, who looked after me splendidly, I took myself to Broadway (literally just across the road from my hotel, to the Shubert Theatre) to see Some Like it Hot. My first Broadway show and it was transporting. I loved it so much. Going to the theatre alone can be daunting but I made friends with the people next to me who enjoyed my British accent. This isn’t the place for a review, but I was buzzing from the experience and want to give up everything and be an actor (that feeling does occur a lot).
The book has also been nominated for an H.R.F. Keating Award, and I’ll be attending the reception at CirmeFest in Bristol in May. Attending these events is a great experience, and being nominated for awards is a good impetus to go. It is also a phenomenal honour and testament to the hard work of Mary Anna and me, but also the excellent calibre of contributions to this volume and of course the enduring genius of Agatha Christie.