Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Much for the Gumshoes

I was extremely proud in 2005 when January Magazine’s crime-fiction department--of which I was (and still am) the editor--won the Gumshoe Award for Best Web Site. That was the fourth year in which the Gumshoes were dispensed by the Web site Mystery Ink and its editor, David J. Montgomery. Since 2002, George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, Henning Mankell, Julia Spencer-Fleming, Robert Crais, and Sarah Weinman have all picked up Gumshoe Awards.

But, after realizing yesterday that there had not yet been an announcement of Gumshoe nominees for 2009, I wrote Montgomery to ask when that might come. His response:
No Gumshoe Awards this year. Given the glut of mystery/thriller awards that now exists, we probably won’t be doing them anymore.
This is too bad. Although there are certainly abundant commendations given out these days to people laboring in the mystery/crime fiction/thriller field, tastes and reading experiences always differ among judges. Reducing the number of prizes will consequently limit the range of books and authors being applauded--and thus promoted to readers. I’d hate to see a day when all of the smaller awards programs disappear, and only the big-name writers receive recognition.



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