It comes as no surprise to those who follow Bouchercon's annual Anthony Awards that Louise Penny won the 2013 Best Novel Anthony Award yesterday, Sept. 21, for "The Beautiful Mystery," her eighth "Chief Inspector Armand Gamache" mystery. Penny has received the same prize for other titles in this series during each of the past three years.
Penny won the 2012 Best Novel Anthony for "A Trick of the Light," her seventh "Inspector Gamache" title. She preceded this with wins in 2011 for "Bury Your Dead" (book 6) and in 2010 for "The Brutal Telling" (book 5). Bouchercon 2007 recognized Penny's series debut novel, "Still Life," with its Anthony for Best First Novel. "Still Life" currently provides the basis for a television series being broadcast in Canada.
Penny's 2013 Best Novel Anthony paralleled her earlier achievement at Bouchercon 2013 of a Best Mystery Novel Macavity Award. Again, this was not lacking in precedent. "Bury Your Dead" received both these awards at Bouchercon 2011.
A second work to win both Macavity and Anthony Awards at Bouchercon 2013 was the Best Critical/Non-Fiction Work Anthony Award winner. "Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels" took this prize. The book was edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke.
Other 2013 Anthony Award winners, as listed on Mystery Fanfare, included Chris Pavone, who received the Best First Novel Award for "The Expats," Johnny Shaw, whose "Big Maria" took the Best Paperback Original Award, and Dana Cameron, who won the Best Short Story Award for "Mischief in Mesopotamia." "Mischief in Mesopotamia" first appeared in the November 2012 issue of the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
Cameron and Penny's 2013 Anthony Award winners also received similar prizes at the Malice Domestic 2013. That conference's 2012 Agatha Award for Best Short Story went to "Mischief in Mesopotamia;" and its 2012 Best Novel Agatha, to "The Beautiful Mystery."