Ivy Pochoda and Sheena Kamal win Strand Critics Awards for Best Novel and Best Debut Novel, and J.A. Jance and Jonathan Gash are awarded lifetime Achievement Awards and the first Publisher of the Year Award goes to Tom Doherty…
On Wednesday, July 11, at an invitation-only cocktail party in Manhattan, Ivy Pochoda won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Wonder Valley (Ecco) and Sheena Kamal won the Best First Novel award for The Lost Ones (William Morrow). And, J.A. Jance and Jonathan Gash were awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to the genre.
Ivy Pochoda took home the top prize for Wonder Valley a timely thriller which addressed the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles, “I am thrilled and delightfully surprised to have won The Strand Award,” said Pochoda. “It’s not just an honor, but a wonderful affirmation of the warmth and acceptance I’ve received from the mystery community.
Sheena Kamal burst onto the scene last year with her debut novel The Lost Ones a suspenseful missing-person thriller, which received rave reviews from critics. “I was stunned when my name was called as winner of a Strand Award for Best Debut Novel, and I’m still stunned today,” said Kamal. “Thank you Strand Magazine for this incredible honor, and for all you do to support the mystery community.
J.A. Jance was recognized for her contributions to the field of crime fiction with the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Since her debut J.P. Beaumont novel Until Proven Guilty was published in 1985, Jance has earned the reputation as one of the most prolific and inventive practitioners of the modern crime novel. Her books have been translated in over two-dozen languages and have sold millions of copies. Jance was on-hand to accept the award and paid tribute to her family for encouraging her to read from a very young age.
Jonathan Gash received the Strand’s Lifetime Achievement award. Gash is the author of a highly successful series of Lovejoy books, which were notably adapted as a popular TV series starring Ian McShane. In addition to his successful writing career Gash is noted doctor of tropical medicine and authority on antiques. Gash published his first novel The Judas Pair in 1977 which featured the loveable rogue Lovejoy and has gone on to write nearly two-dozen novels.
The Strand’s tenth annual Critics Awards featured for the first time the Publisher of the Year Award, which was presented to Tom Doherty the founder of Tor/Forge books. “We continue to grow in print and on-line,” said Doherty. “We did it because of the people involved. I’m proud of our staff and the things they accomplish—so many wonderful authors have trusted us with their work.”
“Ivy and Sheena are highly talented authors, we were happy to see them take the top prizes,” said Andrew F. Gulli, the managing editor of the Strand. “And in terms of the other awards, Jonathan and Judy are two authors who are kind to the core and incredible talents. Also, Tom Doherty is a fantastic publisher, he started out in the 50s, yet his enthusiasm and love for the printed word has never waned. He’s a legend.”
The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics The LA Times, NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.
Nominees for Best Novel
The Late Show by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Company)
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
My Darling Detective by Howard Norman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda (Ecco)
Nominees for Best First Novel
My Sister’s Bones: A Novel of Suspense by Nuala Ellwood (William Morrow)
Quicksand by Malin Persson Giolito (Other Press)
August Snow by Stephen Mack Jones (Soho Press)
The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal (William Morrow)
Lola: A Novel by Melissa Scrivner Love (Crown)
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Publisher of the Year Award