The Edgar Awards, named for the classic American poet and mystery writer, Edgar Allan Poe, are presented to the best mystery writers of the year. Short stories, novels, and so on are all recognized and celebrated at the annual gala held by the Mystery Writers of America. Over time, some of the best and most intriguing mystery novels have been honoured. The following is a list of some of the best books that have won Edgars in the past and are available from Amazon for under ten dollars:
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. Price: $8.99. This 1955 winner of the Edgar for best novel focuses on Chandler’s famous character, Philip Marlowe. While criticisms are split, Chandler considered this his own best work. It is a thrilling novel that is perfect for fans of film noir.
In the Heat of the Night by John Ball. Price: $4.49. This book won the best first novel by an American author category in 1966. This book inspired a film and television spin-off because of its potent civil rights commentary.
Black Cherry Blues by James Lee Burke. Price: $7.99. This 1990 best novel Edgar award winner takes the detective novel to new heights with exciting twists and gruesome turns. Like In the Heat of the Night, it explores racial issues in a mystery format.
The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook. Price: $6.39. The 1997 winner of the Edgar’s best novel is a 1920’s period piece. This novel is an exciting tale full of murder, mystery, and madness. Readers will find this work equally exciting and disturbing.
Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon. Price: $6.39. The 1998 winner of the Edgar for best first novel by an American author is a classic thriller. Centred around the atomic bomb and its creation, this story brings the murder mystery to a topical and intriguing place.
Mr White’s Confession by Robert Clark. Price: $4.95. This 1999 winner of the Edgar for best novel is Clark’s second work. After the murder of several people, the seemingly open and shut case becomes much more complicated than expected. The expected murderer has a memory disorder and is incapable of remembering or confessing to the murder. This unique story is as engulfing as a mystery novel can be.
Bones by Jan Burke. Price: $9.99. The 2000 winner of best novel is one of a number of novels written by Burke about her crime-writing character, Irene Kelly. Kelly becomes involved in the life of a serial killer who targets women just like her, leading her on a shocking adventure.
Winter and Night by S.J. Rozan. Price: $8.96. This book won the 2003 best novel Edgar award and is another on this list that is a part of a detective series. It focuses on the lives of two New York City detectives and the mystery that surrounds one detective’s sister and her son. Unexpected and tragic events unfold as the mystery is explored.
Resurrection Men by Ian Rankin. Price: $7.59. The 2004 best novel winner explores the experiences of several police officers sent back to school for re-training. The lead character, John Rebus, discovers corruption in the ranks. A fantastic story for those who prefer less gruesome and more mysterious work.
Death of a Nationalist by Rebecca Pawel. Price: $9.49. The 2004 winner for best first novel by an American author takes place in Madrid in the 1930’s. This novel takes a more stoic approach to mystery, incorporating emotion and tragedy in a way that the other books on this list may have missed. A great read for history buffs who enjoy the occasional mystery novel.