Re: RARA-AVIS: William Arden's Almost Edgar

Date: 30 May 2005


Re your question below:

> This makes me curious about the Edgars: first
> novels don't have to be
> first novels? They don't take pseudonyms into
> account? That's actually
> kind of amusing. I picture an author like Donald
> Westlake winning 8 or
> 9 of them, or a battle between 5 writers who have
> decades of experience
> among them.

For many years, the Edgar for Best First Mystery Novel didn't necessarily have to be for a first novel, just for a first MYSTERY novel.

This is why Gregory McDonald was eligible to win in this category for FLETCH in 1975, despite having been the author of the straight novel RUNNING SCARED in 1964. And also why Dennis's military novel, COMBAT SOLDIER, didn't make ACT OF FEAR ineligible despite having been published several years earlier.

I believe the rules have since been changed so that it has to actually be a first novel.

There have also been at least two authors who have won the First Novel Edgar despite having written mystery novels under other names prior to the books that won them the award. Presumably, the MWA was unaware of this.

Since COMBAT SOLDIER has come up, it seems appropriate to remind Rara-Avians, this being Memorial Day, that Dennis recently arranged for Iuniverse to publish a reprint edition of his first-ever book-length work.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 30 May 2005 EDT