The Nevermore Awards


1997 "NEVERMORE" AWARDS GALA ROASTS WRITERS

A send-up of Mystery Writers of America's annual Edgar Awards ceremonies, the "Nevermore" Awards Gala takes place the night before at Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers in Greenwich Village, New York City. The five partners, longtime crime enthusiasts, give raven statuettes "...to real authors for inadvertent achievement in a variety of categories neither dreamt nor dared by MWA." As Partner John Douglas explained at the opening of the festivities, "Some have referred to the Nevermore raven - unjustly - as the Death-Dingus, the Horn of Plenty Lousy, The Mortal Remainder, The Clueless Bird. We want to spend the evening pointing out the beneficial effects of this veritable Bird of Paradise. Other award competitions vaunt one, dis' all. For every 1 winner, there are 999 losers. But with the Nevermores, these dismal percentages are exactly reversed. As we'll later elucidate, even the loser is a winner."

Harlan Coben and John Gilstrap enjoy an exciting evening...

In its third year, the industry-insiders' roast drew a crowd of 250 authors, editors, agents and mystery fans on Wednesday, May 30th, 1997, some sporting the Nevermore t-shirts with "NOT A NOMINEE" emblazoned on the back. The nominees are notified beforehand by mock rejection letters from a fictitious publishing house, "Whippenham, Hout & Flytton," but the categories and winners are kept dark until the show. A list of highlights (not including faux commercial breaks hawking the likes of legal-thriller wallpaper) follows below. Please note: winners are identified by a *.

Who said Sparkle doesn't glow in the dark?


The "Graphic Violence" Award for the Most Egregiously Destructive Cover Art:

HARDCOVER DIVISION

Evan Hunter's "Privileged to Visit Hale-Bopp" from PRIVILEGED CONVERSATION

William G. Tapply's "Flushed with Victory" from CLOSE TO THE BONE

Peter Hernon's "It Just SCREAMS Paperback" from THE KINDLING EFFECT

Kate Flora's "B Movie Car Crash" from DEATH AT THE WHEEL

*Leslie Glass' "Move Over Judith Krantz" from LOVING TIME

Despite Ms. Flora's charming letter (excerpt below), the bird went to Leslie Glass for a cover too easily mistaken for a romance novel. Kate Flora wrote:

"Dear Partners,
I was of course thrilled and humiliated (combined emotions like these making for more character complexity) to receive notice that I had been nominated for a Nevermore Award. As any writer would, I immediately began a mental scan of my work, trying to deduce in which category I might be being considered. The first one that came to mind was an award which might properly be named after my own character, the Thea Kozak award for most stitches in an amateur female sleuth. As a friend of mine remarked, after waiting eight years for me to get published, "Oh, Kate. It was so violent!" And, as Thea herself says, she's had more stitches than a baby quilt, more stitches than a baseball. Just mumble the words, "emergency room" in her presence and she breaks into a cold sweat.

Then I considered an alternative possibility, the Wendy Hornsby Award for Most Creative Sex Scene Using Handcuffs, for the scene in Death at the Wheel. Readers are naturally curious about whether we mystery writers do a lot of research. For the record, I don't own a pair of handcuffs, I just have a vivid imagination (or perhaps several friends who are cops?) but as a writer, I enjoy imagining couples all over this great country of ours getting out their handcuffs and practicing life imitating art. We must all do our part to encourage reading.

Still blushing a week later, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Kate Clark Flora"

PAPERBACK DIVISION

Joan Hess for "Explanatory In-sets" from her series culminating in TICKLED TO DEATH

Susan Holtzer for "Looming Gumby" from CURLY SMOKE

*Sarah J. Mason for "Kitchen in Brobdingnag" from CORPSE IN THE KITCHEN

Joseph Klempner for "Broken Column Defies Gravity" from FELONY MURDER

John Miles for "No Windows for You, Oldster!" from A PERMANENT RETIREMENT

Amid this very tough competition (read Susan Holtzer's and Joan Hess' letters below), Sarah J. Mason won - if that's the word - for bizarre perspective problems which begin with a cetacean-sized flour bag and culminating in a microscopic corpse. As acceptance of her award, Sarah Mason wrote:

"I am Trewley [name of her protagonist] sorry that commitments elsewhere prevent my attending the Nevermore Awards Ceremony today. "Corpse in the Kitchen" has done more than any other book of mine to advance the sales of red tiles for kitchen floors, even if its publication did result in a temporary dip in the popularity of baking flour and (in some instances) a more permanent dislike of home-made bread. Critics throughout the world have united in their response to this work. Booksellers have reported an unprecedented demand from the Publisher's Returns Department -- and several readers remember seeing it on a shelf once when they were buying something else.

In closing, I would like to thank you all for the honour you have paid me by considering my little contribution to the mystery oeuvre worthy of such knowledgeable abuse and humiliation, and venture to draw to your attention examples of the reactions it has provoked elsewhere:

"Allegations about our product have been grossly inflated" - I Love Ewe Co.
"Whaddya mean, there are no recipes?" - Hannibal Lecter, possibly.
"Gimme the dough!" - Anon.

Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!
Sarah J. Mason aka Hamilton Crane"

As a nominee, Susan Holtzer wrote:

"Wow, a Nevermore nomination! Forget the Edgar; forget the Anthony; THIS is the true pinnacle of a mystery writer's career. You like me! You really like me! (Or... well, maybe I'd better wait to see what the category is.)

I'm crushed that I can't attend in person, but unfortunately I have a previous commitment deep in the wilds of south Florida. I do wish I could be there for the fun.

Thanks very much,
Susan Holtzer"

Covering all bets, Joan Hess sent us both an acceptance speech as well as a rejection letter. Both were too funny not to pass along; so here they are:

Acceptance speech:

"Dearly beloved friends, fans, and drifters off the street:
I am moved by this honor. I am so unbelievably moved that...No, wait -- I moved, literally. The mere thought of clutching a Nevermore to my heaving bosom has inspired me to move to Guam in order to further my career through diligent research into such highly topical issues such as the societal realities of guano. I realize that many other of my esteemed colleagues have explored this subject at great length (and earned much higher advances than I), but I feel as though I can give it an original spin. To arrange to ship the trophy and, of course, the check, please contact me at <prozac@ remote.com>.

Evermore, ~&$#@ (the author formerly known as Joan Hess)"

Rejection speech:

"Dear spiteful sleazes:
Well, I guess it's time to go off my medication, isn't it? I mean -- you don't care, so I don't care. Thorazine ain't all that much fun anyway. This award could have paid for my children's college education, kept them from having to sell Amway in back alleys to buy their pathetic psych 101 textbooks, let my elderly parents have ESPN 2 on Fridays and dog food every Sunday, paid the pool boy for all those chlorinated afternoon delights -- but what do I care? I'm moving to Guam. There's lots of organic fertilizer in Guam, you know.

Phooey, ~&$#@ (the author hereafter to be known as "That Blonde Coconut Slut")"


  Harlan Coben & Partner Maggie Griffin taunt nominees -- only to be immediately overcome with guilt and remorse ...

The "UnSound Byte" Award for Lamest Jacket Endorsement:

HARDCOVER DIVISION

R. Darryl Fisher for "...the Amazing Black Market for Organs" from THE BROKER

Jessie Pritchard Hunter for "...a page non-turner" from BLOOD MUSIC

* Jonnie Jacobs for ",,,a welcome addition to the long line of female sleuths..." from SHADOW OF DOUBT

Sabrina Wylly for the critique from the Ph.D. stuntman for "Deliverance" from SUMMER GAMES

Jonnie Jacobs accepted her award by email, which read in part:

"While I'd rather be an Edgar nominee...what's a little more humiliation - isn't that what mystery writers thrive on? If the category happens to be doggy cover art, you've got my vote.

Jonnie Jacobs, who sure hopes that there's truth to the saying that any publicity is better than none."

PAPERBACK DIVISION

Geraldine Evans for "...competent"

Triss Stein for "...Pleasant fare"

Dev Stryker for "...I suspect she'll be back" from DEATHRIGHT

*Dorian Yeager for whom Library Journal raves "...humorous characters, witty lines...not bad."
for EVICTION BY DEATH

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Yeager enthusiastically announced,

"Gee, the last time I was nominated for anything was Class Flirt of 1967, and I lost. So, thank you for restoring my self-esteem."


Dorian Yeager being consoled by Joyce Christmas and Katherine Hall Page

A special "Nevermore" for Most Adorable Quadruped Sleuth went to Carol Lea Benjamin (THIS DOG FOR HIRE) and her real-life pet Dexter. After two weeks of daily practice on complex amusing dog tricks, Dexter sensibly made a much better effect by simply dashing throughout the crowded room accepting love pats from all. Ms. Benjamin remarked,"I am so overcome, I can hardly speak."  So she asked Dexter to speak for her and he did -- one short, loud bark.  "He will be back." Benjamin said.
Jay Finkelstein and Carol Lea Benjamin with top dog and Nevermore winner Dexter  

The Sensitive New Age Guy (S.N.A.P.) Award was jettisoned this year in favor of the "Testosterone on the Rise" Award now that macho heroics are in vogue again. The nominees were:

Peter Blauner for THE INTRUDER

Lee Child for KILLING FLOOR

Stephen Hunter for BLACK LIGHT

Douglas Kennedy for THE BIG PICTURE

*Charles Knief for DIAMOND HEAD

Randy Wayne White for CAPTIVA

DIAMOND HEAD took the prize: all in one scene, his protagonist survives being hand-cuffed, tossed into shark-infested waters and shot before swimming two and one-half miles to shore. Accepting the award for Mr. Knief was author Doug Allyn. Leaning into the mic, Mr. Allyn stated that he had never actually met Mr. Knief but since they shared the same literary agent, he was happy to accept the award for him. Pulling the torn remains of a #10 envelope out of his impeccable tuxedo pocket, Allyn read Knief's comments:

"Dear Jim," ("That's our agent," Allyn said.) "I hear I've been nominated for a Nevermore Award. whoopee." (At this point, Allyn insisted the writing was smudged and there might possibly be an exclamation point, so Knief might have expressed "WHOOPEE!") Allyn then continued: "Please find some dumb jer..." Allyn paused briefly and concluded with a subdued "Mr. Knief thanks you for this award," took the bird statuette, stepped down from the podium, and disappeared into the audience.

Incidentally, as of May 26th, Mr. Knief has not received his statuette. Anyone with knowledge of its whereabouts, please contact Partners & Crime.

Doug Allyn commiserates with former Nevermore winner S. J. Rozan and her editor Keith Kahla.

A new category spotlighted the recent trend for sleuths with serious chronic physical or emotional disabilities. The "Hole-in-One (Lung)" Award:

Michael McGarrity for his torso-scarred, limping ex-police detective in TULAROSA

John Ramsey Miller for his eye-patched, nightmarishly scarred, ex-DEA agent who is also subject to fits in THE LAST FAMILY

Randall Silvis (AN OCCASIONAL HELL) for his series featuring a colostomy bag-toting protagonist

Charles Todd for his shell-shocked protagonist in A TEST OF WILLS

* Abigail Padgett for her Manic Depressive sleuth in MOONBIRD BOY

Ms. Padgett was in attendance and graciously accepted her award. Unfortunately, same as last year, Harlan Coben didn't bring a pencil, so we have no record of what Abigail said. However, although Michael McGarrity didn't win, we wanted to include his response:

"Dear Partners,

You will be contacted by my representative, Hilary Hinzmann, who, because of matters pertaining to my personal safety, will require completion of the following protocols in the above-referenced event scheduled for 30 April:

1. Premises must be swept for electronic surveillance and explosive devices prior to start time. Hinzmann will direct the sweep.
2. A list of all invitees must be provided to Hinzmann no later than 5 PM on 19 April. Deep background checks will be accomplished by Hinzmann and his team. Anyone not receiving clearance will be barred.
3. Clear any and all informational and/or press releases which reference me through Hinzmann.
4. A safe room on the premises for myself and eight armed security staff members is required. Hinzmann will contact you with particulars.
5. As an additional precaution you are to assume that I will not attend the event. It is in your best personal interest to inform all I am not present.
6. Direct any and all requests for a public statement by me to Hinzmann. He has authorization to speak on my behalf but can only be quoted as an unnamed source close to the author.
7. Hinzmann may require additional cooperation from you in related matters. Be so kind as to comply.

The honor of the Nevermore Award nomination means a great deal to me and I thank you for it. I hope you continue to remain in good health after the names of the winners have been announced.

Sincerely,
Michael McGarrity"


A special award, The Dumb Conundrum, was contemplated to salute the final sentence of a dustjacket plot precis which most numbingly conforms to the formula "Now Kate must unmask a cunning killer before she's the next victim!" Five close variants were read aloud from books by:

Jo Dereske (MISS ZUKAS & THE ISLAND MURDERS)

Gini Hartzmark (FINAL OPTION),

Louise Hendricksen (LETHAL LEGACY)

Kate Kingsbury (RING FOR TOMB SERVICE)

Shelley Singer (FOLLOWING JANE)

but so nearly identical were they that selecting a winner proved impossible.


MWA Grand Master Donald Westlake threatens photographer while Spouse Abby and Partner Kizmin look on in horror ...  

  R. D. Zimmerman and Margaret Maron giddy with relief (neither was nominated this year ...)

Citing the art for David Prill's SERIAL KILLER DAYS in a special tribute to St. Martin's covers provoked this response from the author:

"In the unfortunate event I should win one of them there Nevermores, please feel obligated to read the following brief acceptance thang, which I keep handy for an event such as this: 'Dear Nominating Committee, Fellow Nominees, Guests and Friends of the _________ (fill in blank) Award. Thank you for presenting me with the ___________ (fill in blank) Award. The ________ (fill in blank) is one of greatest honors a writer can attain. I never expected to be nominated for a __________ (fill in blank) Award, and it is certainly a shock and a delight to have won, especially in the __________ (fill in blank) category! My thanks again to everyone, and please go _________ (fill in blank) yourselves.
Sincerely,
David Prill.
' Thank you! Staying high and dry, David Prill"


Other winners: Winning out over Lizbie Brown (TURKEY TRACKS), Earlene Fowler (IRISH CHAIN) got the bird for capitalizing on the rise of mysteries about quilting; and Tamar Myers (NO USE DYING OVER SPILLED MILK) for most bonehead-friendly recipe depicted on the cover in a foodie mystery - slices of cheese on an otherwise empty plate. Dorothy Cannell won a special "Beddie-Bye" Award for being first to spot the logical next step in the trend toward crime novels (such as cat books, quilt books, food books) concentrating on items we actually take to bed with us. Her HOW TO MURDER THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS has a Fabio lookalike bare-chested on the cover.

The evening, which also included a quick stop at "Mystery Rogers'" Neighborhood Bookshop (with an implacably obtuse puppet-customer), concluded with "Nevermore Awards of the Future" hyped as valuable tips for becalmed authors about tomorrow's likeliest bandwagon trends. If Fine Art mysteries are in demand, why not an award for the best "Over-the-Sofa-Art" mystery, the "Velvet Elvis" Award? If National Parks are hot right now, why not a "Your Lot is Death" Award for best trailer park mystery? Exotic culinary venues suggest a "Greased Coffin" Award for best fast-food-restaurant-inspector...or combine that with the boom in clergyperson sleuths for "The Frying Nun" Award ...and on...and on. Press photos afterward flattered no one but the performing dog. 250 people in a shop this size was high drama - just the way the Partners like it!

   
 

Riotous crowd anticipates
Nevermore Gala Awards Ceremony

 

 

Maggie G. and Laurie R. King

 

Steven Brewer and St. Martins Press Publicist Kelly Ragland


NEVERMORE AWARDS FROM YEARS PAST...

The Nevermore Awards gala at Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers in Greenwich Village, New York City, is an annual send-up of the Edgar Allan Poe Awards banquet sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America. The spoof evening zeroes in on a wide variety of ephemeral trends in the crime-novel business. Awards are given to real authors for (mostly inadvertent) achievement in a variety of categories. The Nevermore Awards were inaugurated in 1995 and have taken on a life of their own. The Partners Nevermore Nominating Committee is hypervigilant in their quest for award candidates and categories and we welcome suggestions from all interested parties. E-mail your 1997 nominees to partners@crimepays.com. Already under consideration for 1997 are Tales from the Crypt for the dead author with the most new releases and Noms de Plume for the author using the largest number of concurrent pseudonyms.

Nevermore Awards - 1995

I Graphic Violence
for the most egregiously destructive cover art

II Belles Lettres
for the best transliteration of a guttural noise, gurgle or protracted shriek

III Police Escort
for the best book in a series featuring an amateur sleuth under 60 who is constantly involved in a droll sideline flirtation with a policeman or private detective

IV S.N.A.G.  (sensitive new age guy)
for the best attempt by a straight male author to grapple with a plot involving gay men

V  Robert L Fighting Fish
for the most innovative fight scene

VI Harper Hillerman
for the most perfectly ill-timed cancellation of an author's earlier novels and the publication date of that author's new release

VII Travis McGee Bridal Shower
for the most dead girlfriends in a single series

VIII Prince Harold
For an entire series of backstage mysteries none of which involve productions of Macbeth

IX Firm Maybe
for the most blatantly derivative courtroom thriller cover

X Nun Too Soon
for the most irritatingly adorable clergyperson sleuth

XI De Trops of Yesteryear
for a crime novel set in a different historical era that somehow manages to sustain formulaic banality

XII Wampum Wagon
for the most superficial injection of Native American lore


1996 Nevermore Award Categories and Nominees (winners are starred):

The "Graphic Violence Award" for the most egregiously destructive cover art:

Hardcover division:
*Lawrence Block and Ernie Bulow for After Hours: Conversations with Lawrence Block
Lawrence Gough for Heartbreaker
Richard A. Lupoff for The Cover Girl Killer
Eugene McEldowney for A Stone of the Heart
David Ramus for Thief of Light
Tom Topor for The Codicil

Paperback division:
*Harlan Coben for Deal Breaker
Ron Faust for The Burning Sky
Connie Fedderson for Dead in the Melon Patch
Julia Grice for Pretty Babies

The "Dis Can't Be Love" Award for the most off-putting book jacket quote which, though intended to encourage sales, is so qualm-inducing as to have the opposite effect. Please note that we must disqualify the merely unemphatic in favor of the stupefyingly tepid. We do allow for nomination the overly avid quote, when we feel sure that a child of five would snicker:

Ralph Arnote for Evil's Fancy
"...a sure instinct for lurid scandal, brutal violence and sexual excess!"
Susan Conant for Black Ribbon, a Dog Lovers Mystery
"Toss Ms. Conant a biscuit."
Jo Dereske for Miss Zukas and the Island Murders
"...a quick read..."
M.D. Lake for Grave Choices
"...a way with language that's rarely matched."
*Ralph McInerny for Abracadaver
"...readable to the end..."
"...fans won't be disappointed..."
"...a pretty good book."
Ted Wood for Snow Job
"solid genre fare"

Last year's "S.N.AG." Award for the male author we deemed most sensitive new-age guy has, we're sorry to say, been withdrawn. It's not that there aren't sensitive guys out there...why, we've personally wept with many of these authors more times that we can count when, with supreme delicacy, they all say to us: "They're just not buying male P.I. books anymore!"

Instead, the committee has devised a replacement award: the "S.N.A.P., the Sensitive New-Age Pragmatist" Award for the best detective series by a male author featuring a woman series protagonist:

Dick Belsky for Summertime News
Michael Kahn for Death by Due Diligence
*
Thomas Perry for Vanishing Act

The "Belles Lettres" Award for the best transliteration of a gurgle, guttural noise or protracted shriek.
This award featured five memorable quotes:

"Bluh!" he choked. "Ahk! Bluh!"
"Caw!" the cop said urgently. "Caw! Fuh! Bah-up!"
"The crickets sang and hummed, `reep, reep, reep.'"
"Norrr-munnnn...don't you want to taaalllk to me?"
"Norrr-munnnn...don't you want to taaalllk to me?"

The quotes are all by one writer, all from one book! The Nevermore Award goes to the man who keeps the Saturday Matinee Scream alive in all of us:

*Stephen King for Rose Madder

New category honoring a mushrooming trend no bookseller can ignore: The "Couldn't Wait To Rip It Open" Award for the hardback shipped direct from the publisher with the greatest percentage of  impossibly battered jackets:

*George Pelecanos for Down By the River Where the Dead Men Go
*
S.J. Rozan for Concourse
*
Walter Satterthwait for Escapade

and since they're all St. Martin's Press titles, the committee has decided to draw the line and let 3 stand for all! The award goes to all authors in the hopes that each of you will spread the good news far and wide throughout your publishing house!

Ms. Rozan was present to accept her award and Mr. Pelecanos sent the following letter:

Dear Whippenham Hout Publishers:

Thank you for the invitation to the Nevermore Awards on Wednesday, April 24. While I would normally take any opportunity to lampoon the hallowed "Edgar" awards, I will be in Washington that night premiering a film which I produced. In other words, as opposed to doing something related to my novels, I am trying to do something that actually brings money IN to my family.

But thanks for the invite. And of course, I accept in advance any awards which might come my way.

Sincerely,

George Pelecanos

The "Kama Sutra" Award

As writers, you're all aware that marketability must influence an editor's selection. In fact, hot marketing hooks drive sales so decisively that it can seem foolish to write without regard for them. Well, if ONE marketing hook can so dramatically enhance an author's chance to sell, shouldn't AN ENTIRE BATCH of hot marketing hooks be still more desirable?

It's this idea of a single book which can be positioned in lots of ways that inspires our "Kama Sutra" Award:

Linda Amey's At Dead of Night:
you got yer stalker
you got yer arson
you got yer Southwest
you got yer female protagonist AND she's a funeral director.
Bruce Alexander for Murder in Grub Street:
you got yer courtroom
you got yer historical
you got yer child narrator AND the protagonist isn't female but he IS blind!
Sarah Lovett for Dangerous Attachments:
got yer serial killer
got yer Southwest
got yer prison riot
got yer female protagonist AND she's a forensic psychologist!
*Steve Thayer for The Weatherman:
yer serial killer
yer courtroom
yer Vietnam memories angle
and yer protagonist isn't female but has an eerie sense of snow.
And the last nominee, Denise Vitola's The Winter Man:
you got yer serial killer with an eerie sense of snow
you got yer Washington, D.C., power politics
and the protagonist is a woman, a forensic hematologist AND a vampire!

In acceptance, Mr. Thayer writes:

I was so thrilled to find I had been nominated for a prestigious NEVERMORE AWARD.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the annual spring gala--mostly because I don't want to spend the money to get there.

However, since there appears little doubt THE WEATHERMAN will be a winner, please lock up this valuable award in your vault, or under the floor boards, or behind a brick wall, whatever...I will be in New York in June and will be down to claim the gem.

Thank you.

Steve Thayer

The "Collective Unconscious" Award

Most crime writers will agree that fresh ideas, fresh plot hooks, are damnably difficult to find. But every once in a blue moon, one comes along--and several writers get it at the same time! This happened in 1995--twice, in fact. So, we have split the final award of the evening, the "Collective Unconscious" Award, into two sub-headings:

First, the "Sic-Transit" Award for the Best Novel about a kidnapped bus:

Philip Caputo for Equation for Evil
*
Jeffrey Deaver for A Maiden's Grave
Mary Willis Walker for Under the Beetle's Cellar

Our second sub-heading is the "Bound for Glory" Award for the Best Novel where, in order to avenge the killing of a sister, colleague or loved one at the hands of a sexual sadist, the protagonist deliberately becomes involved in the villain's darkly enticing games, cleverly double-bluffing him by letting him tie her up:

Susanna Moore for In the Cut
Laura Reese for Topping From Below
*
Elise Title for Romeo

In acceptance, Ms. Title writes:

Dear "Partners" and Fellow Authors,

I would have killed to get nominated for an award this year for my debut thriller, Romeo. So, for saving a life, my warmest thanks to the diabolical pranksters at PARTNERS & CRIME. And thanks to my co-nominees for helping to create so unique and original a category.

It pains me not to be with all of you tonight to share in the fun and glory, but needless to say, I'm all tied up!

From the heart,

Elise Title

Sunset Series of Awards

This section of the program is our annual salute to past trends as well as current trends we wish would pass. For those bandwagons whose time has definitely come and gone, and for which we will no longer present awards...and we know some of these may be your favorites...the Nevermore Nominating Committee has removed the following from competition:

The "Himmler Maneuver" Award for the book containing the best cabal of resurgent Nazis

The "Menendez Family" Award for the best surprise ending involving incest

The "Sub-Standard" Award for high-tech underwater espionage...a sub-genre that hasn't surfaced much lately...

The "'Plot THIS, Bozo!'" Award also know as the P Soup Award for the plot with the most pervasive pedestrian personal problems....You know, I'm having so much trouble working through my feelings about the divorce...Maybe I'll write a mystery story about a woman going through a divorce, and there could be all these pointed scenes--you know, perky but REAL POINTED about how she's hurt, and then gradually becomes strong with the help of her madcap next-door neighbor who wears magenta tights...and makes macrame plant hangers...

The "Wampum Wagon" Award for the most superficial injection of Native American lore into an otherwise mediocre story--and who could forget last year's touching speech delivered by our guest presenter in this category - Marlon Brando

The "Rhesus Pieces" Award. All those horrific viruses spreading globally from darkest Africa ... unfortunately, this award has been delayed until we reach the nominees who are presently quarantined in the Philippines

The "St. Mary Mead of Malibu" Award for the best faux Brit. This award will be presented in California this coming autumn and broadcast live on BBC 2.

Future Sunset Awards

And for the first time this year a new series of Sunset Awards. In an effort to reduce the number of books we consider in our deliberations, particularly those that typify the newest and worst trends, the Nevermore Nominating Committee has created a new class of award - The Future Sunset Awards.  These are trends that have yet to find their way into popular crime novels, and we hope they never will. The categories currently under consideration that are most likely to appear in future mystery stories are the following:

I  The Jack in the Box Award
 for the worst story about physician-assisted suicide

II  I Left My Heart in San Francisco Award
for the worst plot concerning organ donor theft

III  I Think I Can Remember Mama Award
for the worst mystery that has anything to do with Alzheimer's disease

And a special new category for all you high tech afficianados

IV  The Blatant Self-Promotion (BSP) Award
for the most tireless flogging of one's own book on the Internet

And remember--the Nevermore Nominating Committee is watching Y-O-U!

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Copyright 1996, 1997 by Partners & Crime, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Revised:  June 21, 1997
Email: partners@crimepays.com