I attended the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus Award dinner at The Slippery Noodle blues club in Indianapolis this past Friday. Bob Randisi and the PWI usually puts on a good evening and this was one of the best. The music was very good (but then I am a long-time fan of Chicago style blues), the food was above average and the setting was great. The Noodle is in the oldest commercial building in Indianapolis (circa 1850) and its been a blues club for better than three decades.
Reed Farrel Coleman won the Shamus for best hardback novel EMPTY EVER AFTER. It was his second such award in a row (winning last year for SOUL PATCH) and as he noted in his acceptance, he was three for three. Off the top of my head I do not recall his other win but I am sure someone out there can enlighten me. Notwithstanding his string of wins, Coleman was clearly elated by the latest award.
Best First Novel award went to IN THE HEAT by Ian Vasquez. Best Paperback Original award went to SNOW BLIND by Lori Armstrong and Best Short Story went to "Family Values" by Mitch Alderman from the June 2008 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Randisi was given the Lifetime Achievement award both for his writing and his founding of PWA. It was a surprise to Bob and was presented by Max Allen Collins. The Hammer Award for Best Character was given to Matthew Scudder.
The dinner came during the annual Bouchercon, which was great fun as usual. All of this prodded my return from lurkdom.
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