Macavity Awards

The Macavity Awards are a literary award for mystery writers. Nominated and voted upon annually by the members of the Mystery Readers International, the award is named for the “mystery cat” of T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.[1]
The award is given in four categories—best novel, best first novel, best nonfiction, and best short story. In recent years a new award, the Sue Feder Historical Mystery, has been given in conjunction with the Macavity Awards.
Best Mystery Novel
Best First Mystery
Best Nonfiction
Best Short Story
Sue Feder Historical Mystery
Best Mystery Novel
               2014 – Ordinary Grace, William Kent Krueger
               2013 – The Beautiful Mystery, Louise Penny
               2012 – Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, Sara Gran 2011 – Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny
               2010 – Tower, Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman
               2009 – Where Memories Lie, Deborah Crombie
               2008 – What the Dead Know, Laura Lippman
               2007 – The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickard
               2006 – The Lincoln Lawyer, Michael Connelly
               2005 – The Killing of the Tinkers, Ken Bruen
               2004 – The House Sitter, Peter Lovesey
               2003 – Winter and Night, S. J. Rozan
               2002 – Folly, Laurie R. King
               2001 – A Place of Execution, Val McDermid
               2000 – The Flower Master, Sujata Massey
               1999 – Blood Work, Michael Connelly
               1998 – Dreaming of the Bones, Deborah Crombie
               1997 – Bloodhounds, Peter Lovesey
               1996 – Under the Beetle’s Cellar, Mary Willis Walker
               1995 – She Walks These Hills, Sharyn McCrumb
               1994 – The Sculptress, Minette Walters
               1993 – Bootlegger’s Daughter, Margaret Maron
               1992 – I.O.U., Nancy Pickard
               1991 – If Ever I Return Pretty Peggy-O, Sharyn McCrumb
               1990 – A Little Class on Murder, Carolyn Hart
               1989 – A Thief of Time, Tony Hillerman
               1988 – Marriage is Murder, Nancy Pickard
               1987 – A Taste for Death, P. D. James
Best First Mystery
               2014 – A Killing at Cotton Hill, Terry Shames
               2013 – Don’t Ever Get Old, Daniel Friedman
               2012 – All Cry Chaos, Leonard Rosen
               2011 – Rogue Island, Bruce DeSilva
               2010 – The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley
               2009 – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
               2008 – In the Woods, Tana French
               2007 – Mr. Clarinet, Nick Stone
               2006 – Immoral, Brian Freeman
               2005 – Dating Dead Men, Harley Jane Kozak
               2004 – Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear
               2003 – In the Bleak Midwinter, Julia Spencer-Fleming
               2002 – Open Season, C. J. Box
               2001 – A Conspiracy of Paper, David Liss
               2000 – Inner City Blues, Paula L. Woods
               1999 – Sympathy for the Devil, Jerrilyn Farmer
               1998 – Dead Body Language, Penny Warner
               1997 – Death in Little Tokyo, Dale Furutani
               1996 – The Strange Files of Fremont Jones, Dianne Day
               1995 – Do Unto Others, Jeff Abbott
               1994 – Death Comes as Epiphany, Sharan Newman
               1993 – Blanche on the Lam, Barbara Neely
               1992 – (tie) Murder on the Iditarod Trail, Sue Henry
                          and Zero at the Bone, Mary Willis Walker
               1991 – Postmortem, Patricia Cornwell
               1990 – Grime and Punishment, Jill Churchill
               1989 – The Killings at Badger’s Drift, Caroline Graham
               1988 – The Monkey’s Raincoat, Robert Crais
               1987 – (tie) The Ritual Bath, Faye Kellerman
                          and A Case of Loyalties, Marilyn Wallace
Best Nonfiction
Note: Until 2004, this category was named “Best Critical/Biographical Mystery Work”
               2012: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion by Charlaine Harris (Ace)
               2011: Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: Fifty Years of Mysteries in the Making by John Curran (HarperCollins)
               2010: Talking about Detective Fiction by P. D. James (Alfred A. Knopf)
               2009: African American Mystery Writers: A Historical & Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey (McFarland)
               2008: The Essential Mystery Lists: For Readers, Collectors, and Librarians edited by Roger Sobin (Poisoned Pen Press)
               2007: Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today’s Mystery Writers edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)
               2006: Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak (Harcourt)
               2005: Forensics for Dummies by D. P. Lyle, MD (Wiley Publishing)
               2004: Make Mine a Mystery: A Reader’s Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction by Gary Warren Niebuhr (Libraries Unlimited)
               2003: They Died in Vain: Overlooked, Underappreciated, and Forgotten Mystery Novels, edited by Jim Huang (Crum Creek Press)
               2002: Writing the Mystery: A Start to Finish Guide for Both Novice and Professional by G. Miki Hayden (Intrigue)
               2001: The American Regional Mystery by Marvin Lachman (Crossover Press)
               2000: Ross Macdonald by Tom Nolan (Scribner)
               1999: Killer Books by Jean Swanson & Dean James (Berkley)
               1998: Deadly Women by Jan Grape, Dean James and Ellen Nehr (Carroll & Graf)
               1997: Detecting Women 2 by Wiletta Heising (Purple Moon Press)
               1996: Detecting Women by Willetta Heising (Purple Moon)
               1995: By a Woman’s Hand by Dean James & Jean Swanson
               1994: The Fine Art of Murder edited by Ed Gorman
               1993: Doubleday Crime Club Compendium by Ellen Nehr
               1992: Talking Mysteries: A Conversation with Tony Hillerman by Tony Hillerman & Ernie Bulow
               1991: Agatha Christie: The Woman and Her Mysteries by Gillian Gill
               1990: The Bedside Companion to Crime by H. R. F. Keating
               1989: Silk Stalkings by Victoria Nichols & Susan Thompson
               1988: Son of Gun in Cheek by Bill Pronzini
               1987: 1001 Midnights by Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
Best Short Story
               2012: “Disarming” by Dana Cameron (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, June 2011)
               2011: “Swing Shift” by Dana Cameron (Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side, edited by Charlaine Harris; Berkley)
               2010: “On the House” by Hank Phillippi Ryan (in Quarry: Crime Stories by New England Writers, edited by Kate Flora, Ruth M. McCarty and Susan Oleksiw; Level Best Books)
               2009: “The Night Things Changed” by Dana Cameron (in Wolfsbane & Mistletoe, edited by Charlaine Harris & Toni L. P. Kelner; Penguin Books)
               2008: “Please Watch Your Step” by Rhys Bowen (The Strand Magazine, 21/2007)
               2007: “Til Death Do Us Part” by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben; Little, Brown)
               2006: “There Is No Crime on Easter Island” by Nancy Pickard (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Sept-Oct 2005)
               2005: “The Widow of Slane” by Terence Faherty (EQMM, March/April 2004)
               2004: “The Grass Is Always Greener” by Sandy Balzo (EQMM, March 2003)
               2003: “Voice Mail” by Janet Dawson (Scam and Eggs, Five Star)
               2002: “The Abbey Ghosts” by Jan Burke (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Jan 2001)
               2001: “A Candle for Christmas” by Reginald Hill (EQMM, January 2000)
               2000: “Maubi and the Jumbies” by Kate Grilley, in Murderous Intent, Fall 1999
               1999: “Of Course You Know That Chocolate Is a Vegetable” by Barbara D’Amato in EQMM, Nov. 98
               1998: “Two Ladies of Rose Cottage” by Peter Robinson in Malice Domestic 6 (Pocket Books)
               1997: “Cruel & Unusual” by Carolyn Wheat from Guilty as Charged (Pocket)
               1996: “Evans Tries an O-Level” by Colin Dexter from Morse’s Greatest Mystery and Other Stories (Crown)
               1995: (tie) “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by Deborah Adams and “Unharmed” by Jan Burke
               1994: “Checkout” by Susan Dunlap
               1993: “Henrie O’s Holiday” by Carolyn Hart
               1992: “Deborah’s Judgement” by Margaret Maron
               1991: “Too Much to Bare” by Joan Hess
               1990: “Afraid All the Time” by Nancy Pickard
               1989: “Deja Vu” by Doug Allyn
               1988: “The Woman in the Wardrobe” by Robert Barnard
               1987: “The Parker Shotgun” by Sue Grafton
Sue Feder Historical Mystery
               2012: Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains, Catriona McPherson (Thomas Dunne/Minotaur)
               2011: City of Dragons, Kelli Stanley (Minotaur)
               2010: A Trace of Smoke, Rebecca Cantrell (Forge)
               2009: A Royal Pain, Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
               2008: Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin (Putnam)
               2007: Oh Danny Boy, Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)
               2006: Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear (Henry Holt)
External link’s…
.        Home page of the Macavity award (

1. ^ Macavity awards page, Mystery Readers International website,

accessed Feb. 2, 2011.


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