Here’s some news that got us off to a great start this week–The Mystery Writers of America just announced its annual recognition of the mystery, crime, suspense, and intrigue genres. The annual list memorializes the anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, and this year’s nominees for the 2021 Edgar Allan Poe Awards honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, and television published or produced in 2020. The 75th Annual Edgar Awards will be celebrated on April 29, 2021.  And who is on the 2021 nominations shortlist? Our own borg contributor Elizabeth C. Bunce, for her 2020 novel Premeditated Myrtle

The Mystery Writers of America has been recognizing works in the mystery genres since the 1940s.  According to the MWA, 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.

Premeditated Myrtle was previously named to Amazon’s Top 20 Children’s Books of 2020, and the second book in the series, How to Get Away with Myrtle, was a #1 Amazon New Release.  Online webzines Netflix Life and Fansided included the Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery Series on its list of “7 Books to Read if You Like Enola Holmes on Netflix.”  The third novel in the mystery series, Cold-Blooded Myrtle, is now available for pre-order here at Amazon, arriving in bookstores in October.

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In Premeditated Myrtle, readers meet the quick-witted and fearless Myrtle Hardcastle, a twelve-year-old girl with an unseemly obsession with forensic science and criminology.  When Myrtle’s wealthy neighbor dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle is the first to notice anything amiss.  With the help of her unflappable governess and opinionated cat Peony, Myrtle takes it upon herself to follow the clues investigators overlooked.  As more evidence emerges, she begins to believe that the town prosecutor, her own father, is pursuing the wrong man.  Myrtle pores over toxicology textbooks, interrogates suspects, and does the one thing no Young Lady of Quality is ever supposed to do: she Goes Outside Alone After Dark.  Myrtle Hardcastle may be just a twelve-year-old girl, but she is not the type to sit by while grown men botch a murder investigation. 

Elizabeth’s first novel, A Curse Dark as Gold, won the American Library Association’s inaugural William C. Morris Award for a young adult debut novel and was named a Smithsonian Notable Book.  Her high fantasy Thief Errant series includes the novels StarCrossed, A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book for 2010, and Liar’s Moon, one of Kirkus Blog’s Favorite YA Novels of 2011.  StarCrossed and A Curse Dark as Gold have appeared on Oprah’s Kid’s Reading List.  Her novels have been named to the ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list, and she is a three-time Kansas Notable Book winner.  Elizabeth completed her eighth novel and third novel in the Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery Series, Cold-Blooded Myrtle, in October and is currently writing the fourth novel in the series.  Learn more about the series and major industry reviews of Elizabeth’s books here.

Elizabeth C. Bunce’s Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery Series is published by Algonquin Young Readers, a division of Workman Publishing Company.  Artwork and design for the series is created by Brett Helquist (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Laura Williams, and Carla Weise.

Read the full list of nominations for the Mystery Writers of America’s 2021 Edgar Awards at its website here.

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg