The Mystery Writers of America just announced its 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominations, and they include a book by John Darnielle, my favorite musician-turned-novelist. The Mystery Writers of America website explains:
Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 214th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the nominees for the 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2022. The 77th Annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on April 27, 2023, at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square.
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.
Mystery Writers of America would like to emphasize our commitment to diversity and fairness in the judging of the Edgar Awards. Judges are selected from every region of the country, from every sub-category of our genre, and from every demographic to ensure fairness and impartiality.
John Darnielle's Devil House (Farrar, Straus and Giroux – MCD) was nominated for Best Novel, along with Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books); Gangland by Chuck Hogan (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing); The Devil Takes You Home by Gabino Iglesias (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books); Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka (HarperCollins – William Morrow); and The Maid by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House – Ballantine Books)
If you've never read anything by John Darnielle, you're missing out. Dwight Garner, writing for The New York Times, describes his work:
John Darnielle lobs his novels in from the margins of American life. They're lonely books, and they always get to me.
Darnielle is best known as the singer-songwriter behind the indie band the Mountain Goats, which has been around since the mid-90s. Since 2008, he's also published fiction. Quietly, as if stealing in on cat's paws, he's become, as a novelist, unignorable.
His third novel, "Devil House," is terrific: confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense.
"Devil House" is about a true-crime writer who moves into a house in Milpitas, Calif., where a pair of notorious and, it's whispered, satanic murders occurred in the late 1980s. The suspects were disaffected teenagers, just as they were in a Milpitas murder and cover-up in 1981 that was fodder for the bleakly potent movie "River's Edge" (1987).
I've read his previous novels Universal Harvester (2017) and Wolf in White Van (2014), and loved them both. Congrats, John, for being so talented in so many arenas! I can't wait to read Devil House!