Penny Wins Fourth Agatha

The Agatha Awards, given to books that best exemplify the Agatha Christie tradition, (i.e., no explicit sex, excessive gore or gratuitous violence) were announced this weekend. Canadian author Louise Penny picked up her fourth for Bury Your Dead, giving her Armand Gamache the most Agatha’s  ever for  books in a single series.

Winners in the book categories are:

Best Novel

Bury Your Dead, Louise Penny (Minotaur, 9780312377045; Large Type, Thorndike); the sixth in Penny’s series about Quebec Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The audio already won an AudioFile award (Macmillan Audio and AudioGo). The seventh in the series, A Trick of the Light, (Minotaur, 9780312655457) arrives in August.

Best Children’s/Young Adult
The Other Side of Dark, Sarah Smith (Atheneum, 9781442402805) is the adult author’s debut novel for teens. Horn Book said of this story about a girl who communes with the dead, thus unearthing some painful truths about Boston and the slave trade, “well-researched historical detail weaves seamlessly into a contemporary mystery that’s also a head-on confrontation of the ongoing repercussions of racism and slavery.”

Best First Novel
The Long Quiche Goodbye, Avery Aames (Berkley, pbk original, 9780425235522); the first in a series set in a cheese shop. The second, Lost and Fondue (Berkley, pbk original, 9780425241585), releases tomorrow.

Best Non-fiction
Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making, John Curran (Harper, 9780061988363). Christie’s 73 notebooks are painstakingly pieced together here. PW warned that even fans might be overwhelmed at the amount of detail, but also said it offers a “rare glimpse … into the mind of a writer, especially one as imaginative as Christie, who, though not a prose stylist, was expert at devising intricate plots.”

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