For those of you interested in writing mysteries or at leat books with a strong mystery element, here is a reading list to help you learn how to do it right. Mystery Writers of America have announced the nominees for the 2017 Edgar Awards. You can see the entire list here — the only two categories I’m giong to discuss deal with books for tweens and teens.
The first is for Best Juvenile (middle grade) novel. The five nominees are:
Summerlost by Ally Condie (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton BFYR)
OCDaniel by Wesley King (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
The Bad Kid by Sarah Lariviere by (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (Simon & Schuster – Simon & Schuster BFYR)
Framed! by James Ponti (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
Things Too Huge to Fix by Saying Sorry by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)
I’m almost ashamed to admit that I have read only one of these books so far — Some Kind of Happiness which I really liked. I’ve talked to some authors who really disliked it. They felt it was too heavy for middle grade. And it did deal with a lot but the worst of it, in fact most of it, didn’t happen “on-screen.”
The nominations for best Teen (Young adult) novel are:
Three Truths and a Lie by Brent Hartinger (Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse)
The Girl I Used to Be by April Henry (Christy Ottaviano Books/Macmillan)
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown BFYR)
My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier (Soho Press – Soho Teen)
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (Penguin Random House – Penguin Young Readers – Dial Books)
Admittedly, I haven’t read a single one of these books but I have a reason. I’m writing a young adult novel. I tend not to read novels of the same level that I’m reading. For me, it is a necessary step to keep my voice true. Sometimes I can read something that is very dissimilar to what I am writing but it is a risk.
Still, these books are definitely going on my reading list. If you are considering writing a mystery, check them out.