Robert Crais and Carolyn Hart Win 2014 Edgar Award Grand Masters Award

Robert Crais and Carolyn Hart have been chosen as the 2014 Grand Masters by Mystery Writers of America (MWA). MWA's Grand Master Award represents the pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing and was established to acknowledge important contributions to this genre, as well as for a body of work that is both significant and of consistent high quality. Mr. Crais and Ms. Hart will be presented with their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, May 1, 2014.

When told of being named a Grand Master, Crais said, "I am happy, proud, and more than a little humbled to be chosen for this high honor by Mystery Writers of America. The list of Grand Masters is a list of my literary heroes. I may never accept that my name is now on this list, but I will be forever grateful for the kindness and generosity of MWA for placing me among these esteemed writers."

Robert Crais hails from a blue-collar family in Louisiana. In 1976, after years of amateur film-making and short story writing, he moved to Hollywood and found work as a screenwriter, crafting scripts for such major TV crime shows as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice. In the mid-eighties he left television and began writing novels full-time. Upon the death of his father in 1985, he was inspired to create his main character Elvis Cole using elements of his own life as the basis of the story. It resulted in his breakout novel, The Monkey's Raincoat, and was nominated for The Best First Novel Edgar Award.

Eleven books followed in the Elvis Cole series including Free Fall, L.A. Requiem, and The Watchman. Joe Pike, Elvis' partner, and Carol Starkey, an LAPD bomb expert, are recurring characters and also have their own books. Crais is known for his thought provoking plots and his ability to weave present day issues and social commentary into his mysteries. He has been nominated for every major award in the mystery field. Crais lives in Southern California with his wife.

Carolyn Hart is a native of Oklahoma City, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oklahoma, and began her writing career at her local newspaper. In 1964 Hart won a contest looking for a mystery novel that would appeal to adolescent girls which resulted in her first published book. She wrote a number of books for young adults over the course of the next seven years.

In 1972, she turned to writing for an adult audience and has published fifty novels, a remarkable achievement for any author. Hart's series Death on Demand contains twenty-three novels, including:

Southern Ghost, Death Walked In and Dead Days of Summer. The most recent is Dead, White and Blue published in 2013. She writes two other series (the Henrie O mysteries and the Bailey Ruth Raeburn series), and has published a total of eleven books in both. She has written numerous stand-alone suspense novels including Letter From Home, which was awarded the Agatha for the Best Mystery Novel of 2003 and was a New York Times notable book. She has been nominated for many writing awards, and is a past president of Sisters in Crime.

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