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St. Louis writer wins Mary Higgins Clark Award for mystery novel

St. Louis writer wins Mary Higgins Clark Award for mystery novel

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elsa hart

Author Elsa Hart

Elsa Hart of St. Louis was honored April 29 by the Mystery Writers of America.

Her 2020 novel, "The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne," won the Mary Higgins Clark Award, which goes to a novel that mostly eschews violence and features an independent and "nice young woman whose life is suddenly invaded." Hart's novel is set in 18th-century England among a group of artifact collectors, one of whom is stabbed in his own house.

She's previously written a set of novels featuring a 18th-century Chinese librarian/amateur investigator. Her first novel, "Jade Dragon Mountain," was published in 2015, when Hart was 30.

Nominees for the mystery prize, sponsored by publisher Simon & Schuster, also included "Death of an American Beauty" by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur Books); "The Lucky One" by Lori Rader-Day (HarperCollins); "The First to Lie" by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Forge Books); and "Cold Wind" by Paige Shelton (Minotaur Books). 

Other awards were also announced by the Mystery Writers today, marking the 75th anniversary of the Edgar Allan Poe Awards

BEST NOVEL

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara (Penguin Random House – Random House)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR

Please See Us by Caitlin Mullen (Simon & Schuster – Gallery Books)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (HarperCollins Publishers - William Morrow)

BEST FACT CRIME

Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies that Delivered the Opioid Epidemic by Eric Eyre (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL

Phantom Lady: Hollywood Producer Joan Harrison, the Forgotten Woman Behind Hitchcock by Christina Lane (Chicago Review Press)

BEST SHORT STORY

“Dust, Ash, Flight,” Addis Ababa Noir by Maaza Mengiste (Akashic Books)

BEST JUVENILE

Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Workman Publishing - Algonquin Young Readers)

BEST YOUNG ADULT

The Companion by Katie Alender (Penguin Young Readers – G.P. Putnam’s Sons BFYR)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY

“Episode 1, Photochemistry” – Dead Still, Written by John Morton (Acorn TV)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

“The Bite,” Tampa Bay Noir by Colette Bancroft (Akashic Books)

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne by Elsa Hart (Minotaur Books)

THE G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS SUE GRAFTON MEMORIAL AWARD

Vera Kelly Is Not a Mystery by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House Books)

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