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Agatha Awards

Agatha Awards

Best First Novel

1980s

Winner

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

Finalists

  • The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham

  • The J. Alfred Prufrock Murders by Corinne Sawyer

  • Goodbye Nanny Grey by Susannah Stacey

  • Dead Men Don't Give Seminars by Dorothy Sucher

Winner

Grime and Punishment by Jill Churchill

Finalists

  • Working Murder by Eleanor Boylan

  • A Question of Guilt by Frances Fyfield

  • The Mother Shadow by Melanie Johnson Howe

  • The Mark Twain Murders by Edith Skom

1990s

Winner

The Body in the Belfry by Katherine Hall Page

Finalists

  • Screaming Bones by Pat Burden

  • Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson

  • The Chartreuse Clue by William F. Love

  • Sea of Troubles by Janet L. Smith

Winner

Zero at the Bone by Mary Willis Walker

Finalists

  • Carpool by Mary Cahill

  • Just Desserts by Mary Daheim

  • The Bulrush Murders by Rebecca Rothenberg

  • Flowers for the Dead by Ann Williams

Winner

Blanche on the Lam by Barbara Neely

Finalists

  • All the Great Pretenders by Deborah Adams

  • Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert

  • Decked by Carol Higgins Clark

  • Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Monfredo

Winner

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr

Finalists

  • Goodnight, Irene by Jan Burke

  • A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

  • Death Comes as Epiphany by Sharan Newman

  • Child of Silence by Abigail Padgett

Winner

Do Unto Others by Jeff Abbott

Finalists

  • One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

  • Fool's Puzzle by Earlene Fowler

  • Writers of the Purple Sage by Barbara Burnett Smith

  • Until Death by Polly Whitney

Winner

The Body in the Transept by Jeanne M. Dams

Finalists

  • A Far and Deadly Cry by Teri Holbrook

  • Horse of a Different Killer by Jody Jaffe

  • Death in Bloodhound Red by Virginia Lanier

  • Murder in Scorpio by Martha C. Lawrence

Winner

Murder on a Girl's Night Out by Anne George

Finalists

  • Death in Little Tokyo : a Ken Tanaka Mystery by Dale Furutani

  • Somebody Else's Child by Terris Grimres

  • The Grass Widow by Teri Holbrook

  • Hearts and Bone : a Novel of Historical Suspense by Margaret K. Lawrence

  • Riding for a Fall by Lillian M. Roberts

Winner

The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey

Finalists

  • Quieter Than Sleep by Joanne Dobson

  • The Butter Did It by Phyllis Richman

  • Dead Body Language by Penny Warner

  • Death Brims Over by Barbara Jaye Wilson

Winner

The Doctor Digs a Grave by Robin Hathaway

Finalists

  • Sympathy for the Devil by Jerrilyn Farmer

  • Tiger's Palette by Jacqueline Fiedler

  • Dying to Get Published by Judy Fitzwater

  • Fax Me a Bagel by Sharon Kahn

Winner

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews

Finalists

  • Circles of Confusion by April Henry

  • Revenge of the Gypsy Queen by Kris Neri

  • By Blood Possessed by Elena Santangelo

  • Sing It to Her Bones by Marcia Talley

2000s

Winner

Death on a Silver Tray by Rosemary Stevens

Finalists

  • Three Dirty Women and the Garden of Death by Julie W. Herman

  • Death of an Amiable Child by Irene Marcuse

  • Murder of a Small Town by Denise Swanson

Winner

Bubbles by Sarah Strohmeyer

Finalists

  • Innkeeping with Murder by Tim Myer

  • Mute Witness by Charlie O'Brien

  • A Witness Above by Andy Straka

Winner

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Finalists

  • Not All Tars Are Apple by Pip Granger

  • Six Strokes Under by Roberta Isleib

  • Beat Until Stiff by Claire M. Johnson

  • How to Murder a Millionaire by Nancy Martin

  • Shadows at the Fair by Lea Wait

Winner

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Finalists

  • Dealing in Murder by Elaine Flinn

  • Haunted Ground by Erin Hart

  • Take the Bait by S. W. Hubbard

  • Alpine for You by Maddy Hunter

  • Murder off Mike by Joyce Kreig

  • O' Artful Death by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Winner

Dating Dead Men by Harley Jane Kozak

Finalists

  • Till the Cows Come Home by Judy Clemens

  • Arson and Old Lace by Patricia Harwin

  • God Speed the Night by Dorothy Salisbury Davis and Jerome Ross

  • I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kendel

  • The Clovis Incident : a Mystery by Pari Noskin Taichert

Winner

Better Off Wed by Laura Durham

Finalists

  • Jury of One by Laura Bradford

  • Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard

  • Knit One, Kill Two by Maggie Sefton

  • Blood Relations by Lisa Tillman

Winner

The Heat of the Moon by Sandra Parshall

Finalists

  • Consigned to Death by Jane Cleland

  • The Chef Who Died Sauntering by Honora Finkelstein and Susan Smily

  • Feint of Art by Hailey Lind

  • Murder on the Rocks by Karen MacInerney

Winner

Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Finalists

  • A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

  • A Real Basket Case by Beth Groundwater

  • Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn

  • "The Light in the Cellar" by Sarah Master Buckey

Winner

Death of a Cozy Writer by G. M. Malliet

Finalists

  • Through a Glass, Deadly by Sarah Atwell

  • The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis

  • Pushing Up Daisies by Rosemary Harris

  • Paper, Scissors, Death by Joanna Campbell Slan

Winner

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Finalists

  • For Better, for Murder by Lisa Bork

  • Posed for Murder by Meredith Cole

  • The Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth J. Duncan

  • In the Shadow of Gothan by Stefanie Pintoff

2010s

Winner

The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames

Finalists

  • Murder at the PTA by Laura Alden

  • The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum

  • Maid of Murder by Amanda Flower

  • Full Mortality by Sasscer Hill

  • Diamonds for the Dead by Alan Orloff

Winner

Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry

Finalists

  • Dire Threads by Janet Bolin

  • Choke by Kaye George

  • Who Do, Voodoo? by Rochelle Staab

  • Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend

Winner

Lowcountry Boil by Susan M. Boyer

Finalists

  • Iced Chiffon by Duffy Brown

  • A Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan

  • A Killer Read by Erika Chase

  • Faithful Unto Death by Stephanie Jaye Evans

Winner

Death Al Dente by Leslie Budewitz

Finalists

  • You Cannoli Die Once by Shelley Costa

  • Board Stiff by Kendel Lynn

  • Kneading to Die by Liz Mugavero

  • Front Page Fatality by LynDee Walker

Winner

Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

Finalists

  • Circle of Influence by Annette Dashofy

  • Tagged for Death by Sherry Harris

  • Finding Sky by Susan O'Brien

  • Murder Strikes a Pose by Tracey Weber

Winner

On the Road with Del and Louise by Art Taylor

Finalists

  • Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

  • Macdeath by Cindy Brown

  • Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron

  • Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes

Winner

The Semester of Our Discontent by Cynthia Kuhn

Finalists

  • Terror in Taffeta by Marla Cooper

  • Murder in G Major by Alexia Gordon

  • Decanting a Murder by Nadine Nettmann

  • Design for Dying by Renee Patrick

Winner

Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett

Nominees

  • Adrift by Micki Browning

  • The Plot is Murder by V. M. Burns

  • Daughters of Bad Men by Laura Oles

  • Protocol by Kathleen Valenti

Winner (tie)

A Ladies Guide to Etiquette and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Curses, Boiled Again by Shari Randall

Nominees

  • Little Comfort by Edwin Hill

  • What Doesn't Kill You by Aimee Hix

  • Deadly Solution by Keenan Powell

Little Comfort
What Doesn't Kill You

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

  • A Dream of Death by Connie Berry

  • Murder Once Removed by S. C. Perkins

  • When It's Time for Leaving by Ang Pompano

  • Staging is Murder by Grace Topping

A Dream of Death
Murder Once Removed
When It's Time for Leaving
Staging is Murder

2020s

WINNER

Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth

FINALISTS

  • A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

  • Winter Witness by Tina deBellegarde

  • Derailed by Mary Keliikoa

  • Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jenson Walker