Monday procrastination roundup: And the winner is …

Two of the biggest sets of crime writing awards were announced last week.

On Monday, the Mystery Writers of America announced the 2020 Edgar Awards on Twitter and posted videos from the winners. The Edgars are named for Edgar Allan Poe and honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in the previous year.

Mystery Scene magazine covered the virtual event and has a comprehensive list of the winners and nominees at the bottom.

Mystery Scene also covered the 2020 Agatha Awards, which were announced Saturday night via Zoom. The Agathas are named after Agatha Christie and honor the traditional mysteries that Christie wrote. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries that contain no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence, and are not classified as “hard-boiled.”

While not in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre, the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes for literature will be announced today on the official website.

The current state of P.I. mysteries

The private eye novel is one of the oldest and most popular genres in commercial fiction. As such, it relies somewhat heavily on certain tropes that have been expected by readers for generations.

But P.I. fiction is changing, slowly but surely, and Halley Sutton (The Lady Upstairs, November 17, Putnam’s) breaks down the new trends and provides a list of the best series running.

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Meanwhile, in Texas

Austin author Lawrence Wright of The Looming Tower fame (it won the Pulitzer in nonfiction and was made into a Hulu miniseries) has a new book out about a global pandemic. It’s not his signature nonfiction, though. The novel, The End of October, was already in the works before COVID-19 and has been called “prescient” and “eerily timed.” Lawrence Wright on the Politics of the Pandemic (Texas Monthly)

Lone Star Literary Life posted its May Texas Preview yesterday. It includes the newest from a large swath of Texas authors, including bestsellers like Amarillo’s own Jodi Thomas and award-winners like Reavis Z. Wortham. May Texas Books Preview (Lone Star Literary Life)

The Dallas Virtual Book Festival has been posted online and includes 22 videos of North Texas Authors reading from their works. Dallas Virtual Book Festival (Dallas Public Library)

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