MWA Announces 2019 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Award Recipients

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NEW YORK, Nov. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ Linda Fairstein and Martin Cruz Smith have been chosen as the 2019 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.Ms. Fairstein and Mr. Smith will receive their awards at the 73 rd Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on April 25, 2019.

Martin Cruz Smith, the son of a jazz musician and a Native American chanteuse, is perhaps best known for his eight-novel series featuring Arkady Renko, who first appeared in Gorky Park. That book was turned into an award-winning motion picture starring William Hurt and Lee Marvin. Even before his breakout with the Arkady series, Smith had received two Edgar nominations for books in his Roman Gray series, Gypsy in Amber (1971) and Canto for a Gypsy (1972). Both books were originally published under his birth name, Martin Smith, but when he learned that there were six other Martin Smiths who wrote novels he adopted Cruz, his paternal grandmother's surname, to differentiate himself. Smith also received an Edgar nomination in 1978 for Nightwing, a standalone that drew upon his own tribal ancestry, and has written more than thirty novels in a career that spans nearly five decades.

"When I was a mere strip of a 'gunsel,' I attended the 1971 Mystery Writers Edgar Award dinner," Smith said when informed of the honor. "I was overwhelmed to be in the presence of talents like Dick Francis, Donald Westlake and Ross McDonald. Once again, I find myself in the company of wonderful mystery writers at the height of their talent. I'm knocked out, floored and honored. Spasibo."

Linda Fairstein became a sex-crimes prosecutor during a time when sex crimes were almost impossible to prosecute. In her 30-year tenure at the Manhattan DA's Office, she was a pioneer in the war against rape, fighting for historic changes to the criminal justice system and for justice on behalf of victims of the most heinous crimes. When she left the District Attorney's office in 2002, she became a novelist writing about her alter-ego, Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Alexandra Cooper. Ms. Fairstein's first novel, Final Jeopardy, was a New York Times bestseller and made into an ABC Movie of the Week starring Dana Delaney. Ms. Fairstein has since written twenty Alexandra Cooper mysteries, most of which have become instant New York Times bestsellers, and which have been translated into dozens of languages. Her novels draw on Ms. Fairstein's legal expertise as well as her knowledge of and affection for the rich history of the city of New York.

On learning that she'd been named a Grand Master, Fairstein said, "From the time in my youth that my father placed the great stories of Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allan Poe in my hands, I aspired to become a writer of crime fiction. As I look at the list of MWA's Grand Masters, I know there is no greater honor than to be placed in their company with this award an experience that is both humbling and thrilling, and one for which I am profoundly grateful."

Previous Grand Masters include William Link, Peter Lovesey, Jane Langton, Max Allan Collins, Ellen Hart, Walter Mosley, Lois Duncan, James Ellroy, Robert Crais, Carolyn Hart, Ken Follett, Margaret Maron, Martha Grimes, Sara Paretsky, James Lee Burke, Sue Grafton, Bill Pronzini, Stephen King, Marcia Muller, Dick Francis, Mary Higgins Clark, Lawrence Block, P.D. James, Ellery Queen, Daphne Du Maurier, Alfred Hitchcock, Graham Greene, and Agatha Christie.

The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.Marilyn Stasio will receive the 2019 Raven Award. Ms. Stasio has been the mystery critic for the New York Times Book Review (and other magazines) for thirty yearssince 1988with hundreds of books coming under her loving, unforgiving eye. Whether her judgment is elegiac or brutal, when it comes to the mystery genre, a Stasio review is a thing to be treasured or feared, but always learned from.

"Goodness, I feel like Sally Field. ("Wow! You like me! You actually like me!") When I think of the great people the MWA has honored in the past people like Edward Gorey and Vincent Price I want to duck behind the door.My only wish is that those great guys were still around to hand me the Raven, which I promise to treasure."

Previous Raven winners include the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, Dru Ann Love, Kris Zgorski, Sisters in Crime, Margaret Kinsman, Kathryn Kennison, Jon and Ruth Jordan, Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Oline Cogdill, Molly Weston, The Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, Once Upon a Crime Bookstore in Minneapolis, Mystery Lovers Bookstore in Oakmont, PA, Kate's Mystery Books in Cambridge, MA, and The Poe House in Baltimore, MD.

The Ellery Queen Awardwas established in 1983 to honor "outstanding writing teams and outstanding people in the mystery-publishing industry." This year the Board chose to honor Linda Landrigan. Ms. Landrigan came to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine in 1997 as an associate editor and has been its editor since 2002. Under her leadership, the magazine has not only continued to thrive but has also navigated dramatic changes in the publishing industryshe has overseen the introduction of AHHM in digital formats as well as the creation of a podcast series featuring audio recordings of stories from the magazine as well as interviews with authors.

On learning she would receive the Ellery Queen Award, Landrigan said, "This is such a great honor, and I am really humbled to be in the company of the other Ellery Queen Award recipients who have come before. At Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine we strive to publish the best mystery and crime stories to satisfy our readership. It's gratifying that so many people are producing great stories and that so many people are eager to read them. I am happy that we can introduce new voices in the genre, and continue to offer our readers stories from their favorite authors as well. Thanks to MWA for this honor and for your support of the community of mystery writers, publishers, and readers."

Previous Ellery Queen Award winners include Robert Ppin, Neil Nyren, Janet Rudolph, Charles Ardai, Joe Meyers, Barbara Peters and Robert Rosenwald, Brian Skupin and Kate Stine, Carolyn Marino, Ed Gorman, Janet Hutchings, Cathleen Jordan, Douglas G. Greene, Susanne Kirk, Sara Ann Freed, Hiroshi Hayakawa, Jacques Barzun, Martin Greenburg, Otto Penzler, Richard Levinson, William Link, Ruth Cavin, and Emma Lathen.

The Edgar Awards, or "Edgars," as they are commonly known, are named after MWA's patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are presented to authors of distinguished work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for mystery writers, professionals allied to the crime-writing field, aspiring crime writers, and those who are devoted to the genre. The organization encompasses some 3,000 members including authors of fiction and non-fiction books, screen and television writers, as well as publishers, editors, and literary agents. For more information on Mystery Writers of America, please visit the website:www.mysterywriters.org

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

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SOURCE Mystery Writers of America

MWA Announces 2019 Grand Master, Raven & Ellery Queen Award Recipients


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