Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Agatha Awards

Agatha Awards

Best Novel

The "Best Novel" category was renamed the "Best Contemporary Novel" beginning in 2013.  The "Best Novel" category was used from 1988-2012.

1980s

Winner

Something Wicked by Carolyn G. Hart

Finalists

  • The Widow's Club by Dorothy Cannell

  • Mischief in Maggody by Joan Hess

  • Paying the Piper by Sharyn McCrumb

  • Dead Crazy by Nancy Pickard

Winner

Naked Once More by Elizabeth Peters

Finalists

  • The Siren Sang of Murder by Sarah Caudwell

  • A Little Class on Murder by Carolyn G. Hart

  • Corpus Christmas by Margaret Maron

  • Philly Stakes by Gillian Roberts

1990s

Winner

Bum Steer by Nancy Pickard

Finalists

  • Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

  • Deadly Valentine by Carolyn G. Hart

  • The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry

  • The Potter's Field by Ellis Peters

Winner

I.O.U. by Nancy Pickard

Finalists

  • Make No Bones by Aaron Elkins

  • The Christie Caper by Carolyn G. Hart

  • An Owl Too Many by Charlotte MacLeod

  • The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron

Finalists

  • Southern Ghost by Carolyn G. Hart

  • The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter by Sharyn McCrumb

  • Defend and Betray by Anne Perry

  • The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Dead Man's Island by Carolyn Hart

Finalists

  • Old Scores by Aaron Elkins

  • O Little Town of Maggody by Joan Hess

  • Fair Game by Rochelle Majer Krich

  • Southern Discomfort by Margaret Maron

  • To Live and Die in Dixie by Kathy Hogan Trocheck

Winner

She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb

Finalists

  • Scandal in Fair Haven by Carolyn G. Hart

  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

  • Angel of Death by Rochelle Majer Krich

  • Night Train to Memphis by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him by Sharyn McCrumb

Finalists

  • Miracles in Maggody by Joan Hess

  • The Wandering Arm by Sharan Newman

  • Twilight by Nancy Pickard

  • Escapade by Walter Satterthwait

Winner

Up Jumps the Devil by Margaret Maron

Finalists

  • Kansas Troubles by Earlene Fowler

  • Strong as Death by Sharan Newman

Winner

The Devil in Music by Kate Ross

Finalists

  • Hocus by Jan Burke

  • Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie

  • Goose in a Pond by Earlene Fowler

  • Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Butchers Hill by Laura Lippman

Finalists

  • Liar by Jan Burke

  • Dove in the Window by Earlene Fowler

  • Blind Bloodhound Justice by Virginia Lanier

  • Home Fires by Margaret Maron

  • The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Mariner's Compass by Earlene Fowler

Finalists

  • Immaculate Reception by Jerrilyn Farmer

  • Death on the River Walk by Carolyn Hart

  • In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman

  • The Flower Master by Sujata Massey

2000s

Winner

Storm Track by Margaret Maron

Finalists

  • Guns and Roses by Taffy Cannon

  • Killer Wedding by Jerrilyn Farmer

  • The Floating Girl by Sujata Massey

  • He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen

Finalists

  • Arkansas Traveler by Earlene Fowler

  • Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

  • Shadows of Sin y Rochelle Majer Krich

  • The Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey

Winner

You've Got Murder by Donna Andrews

Finalists

  • Death of Riley by Rhys Bowen

  • Blues in the night by Rochelle Majer Krich

  • The Body in the Bonfire by Katherine Hall Page

  • The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters

Winner

Letter From Home by Carolyn Hart

Finalists

  • Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews

  • Mumbo Gumbo by Jerrilyn Farmer

  • Dream House by Rochelle Majer Krich

  • Last Lessons of Summer by Margaret Maron

  • Shop till You Drop by Elaine Viets

Winner

Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Finalists

  • We'll Always Have Parrots by Donna Andrews

  • By a Spider's Thread by Laura Lippman

  • High Country Fall by Margaret Maron

  • The Pearl Diver by Sujata Massey

Winner

The Body in the Snowdrift by Katherine Hall Page

Finalists

  • Owls Well That Ends Well by Donna Andrews

  • Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron

  • The Belen Hitch by Pari Noskin Taichert

  • Trouble in Spades by Heather Webber

  • Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

Winner

The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard

Finalists

  • The Saddle maker's Wife by Earlene Fowler

  • Why Casey Had to Die by L. C. Hayden

  • All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming

  • Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Winner

A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

Finalists

  • The Penguin Who Knew Too Much by Donna Andrews

  • Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

  • Hard Row by Margaret Maron

  • Murder with Reservations by Elaine Viets

Winner

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

Finalists

  • Six Geese A-Slaying by Donna Andrews

  • A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

  • Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry

  • I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming

Winner

A Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

Finalists

  • Swan for the Money by Donna Andrews

  • Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett

  • Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

  • Air Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan

2010s

Winner

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Finalists

  • Stork Raving Mad by Donna Andrews

  • The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

  • Drive Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan

  • Truly, Madly by Heather Webber

Winner

Three-Day Town by Margaret Maron

Finalists

  • The Real Macaw by Donna Andrews

  • The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis

  • Wicked Autumn by G. M. Malliet

  • A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny

Winner

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

Finalists

  • The Diva Digs Up the Dirt by Krista Davis

  • A Fatal Winter by G. M. Malliet

  • The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron

  • The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan