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The Best in Mystery: Announcing the 2024 Edgar Awards Finalists


Mystery lovers, rejoice! Mystery Writers of America has announced the 2024 Edgar Allan Poe Awards nominees and eleven Penguin Random House titles are recognized across six categories. 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. They honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction and television published or produced in 2023. 

Find out what the publishers had to say about the recognitions below and make sure to get to the bottom of these mysteries before we celebrate The 78th Annual Edgar® Awards on May 1, 2024, at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square.   

Big congratulations to the nominees and their publishers! 

Best Novel 

THE MADWOMEN OF PARIS by Jennifer Cody Epstein (Ballantine Books

Two women fall under the influence of a powerful doctor in Paris’s notorious nineteenth-century women’s asylum—a gripping novel inspired by true events, from the bestselling author of WUNDERLAND.

CROOK MANIFESTO by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday

The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of HARLEM SHUFFLE continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.

Best First Novel by an American Author 

THE LAST RUSSIAN DOLL by Kristen Loesch (Berkley

A haunting, epic novel about betrayal, revenge, and redemption that follows three generations of Russian women, from the 1917 revolution to the last days of the Soviet Union, and the enduring love story at the center.


A lonely shopkeeper takes it upon herself to solve a murder in the most peculiar way in this captivating mystery by Jesse Q. Sutanto, bestselling author of DIAL A FOR AUNTIES.

“We’re excited and proud of our award nominees. The books selected illustrate the breadth of Berkley’s mystery program from a talented debut author to several accomplished veterans, and they highlight our commitment to diverse voices. “Tom Colgan, VP & Editorial Director for Berkley

Best Fact Crime 

I KNOW WHO YOU ARE: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever by Barbara Rae-Venter (Ballantine Books) – Brianna Kusilek 

In I KNOW WHO YOU ARE, Barbara Rae-Venter reveals how she went from researching her family history as a retiree to hunting for a notorious serial killer—and how she became the nation’s leading authority on investigative genetic genealogy, the most dazzling new crime-fighting weapon to appear in decades.


The “rollicking” (The Economist), “masterfully written” (The Washington Post) account of the crypto delusion, and how Sam Bankman-Fried and a cast of fellow nerds and hustlers turned useless virtual coins into trillions of dollars—hailed by Ezra Klein in The New York Times as “One of the Best Books that Explain Where We Are in 2023”

“Zeke Faux’s quest to get to the bottom of the global crypto grift took him everywhere from a harrowing scammer compound in Cambodia to Sam Bankman-Fried’s loft in the Bahamas. And now it will take him to the Edgar’s gala. Number Go Up is my favorite kind of book—insightful and hilarious in equal measure—and everyone at Crown Currency is thrilled to see the intrepid journalism of this hard-working debut author recognized with this prestigious nomination in the Fact Crime category.”
-Paul Whitlatch, Executive Editor, Crown

Best Young Adult  

STAR SPLITTER by Matthew J. Kirby (Dutton Books for Young Readers

Survival and self-determination collide in this haunting, pulse-pounding science fiction novel from Edgar Award–winning author Matthew J. Kirby that spans both space and time.

JUST DO THIS ONE THING FOR ME by Laura Zimmerman (Dutton Books for Young Readers

Hilarious, heartbreaking, and sneaky suspenseful, Just Do This One Thing for Me is a timely novel about a rule-following daughter trying to hold her family together after her scammer mother disappears.

“Dutton is thrilled that the committee recognized two of our YA novels that took daring, unconventional approaches to mystery and suspense.”
-Julie Strauss-Gabell & Andrew Karre

The Simon & Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award 

PLAY THE FOOL by Lina Cherr (Bantam) – Brianna Kusilek 

A cynical tarot card reader seeks to uncover the truth about her friend’s mysterious death in this delightfully clever whodunit, “a delicious blend of suspense and madcap humor” (Library Journal, starred review).

Play the Fool is a wickedly fun, tarot-themed mystery for everyone who grew up with the indefatigable Veronica Mars and now binges Dead to Me. It celebrates amateur ‘sleuth-dom’, so I’m especially grateful it’s recognized by the Edgar committee as a contender for the esteemed Mary Higgins Clark Award.”
-Jenny Chen, Executive Editor, Random House

MURDER IN POSTSCRIPT by Mary Winters (Berkley) 

When one of her readers asks for advice following a suspected murder, Victorian countess Amelia Amesbury, who secretly pens the popular Lady Agony column, has no choice but to investigate in this first book in a charming new historical mystery series.

The Lillian Jackson Braun Memorial Award – Endowed by the estate of Lilian Jackson Braun. 

HOT POT MURDER by Jennifer J. Chow (Berkley

Trouble is brewing for cousins Yale and Celine Yee after a hot pot dinner gets overheated and ends in murder in this second novel of the L.A. Night Market series by Jennifer J. Chow.

About Mystery Writers of America 

Mystery Writers of America 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. 

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