Diversity in Sameness

At the Villa Rose

So the Best Novel Edgar has gone – what a surprise – to Walter Mosley, the second year in a row that a person of colour wins the award.
“Diversity at last” says Twitter.
“Diversity my ass” says I.
There is no denying that starting last year the MWA have begun opening their doors to people and groups long left behind by mystery awards. This is a good thing as far as symbolism goes but does nothing to solve the Edgars’s real diversity problem; actually it may even worsen it.
One of the reasons why America has more mystery awards than everywhere else in the world – there is virtually one for every subgenre, from traditional mysteries to PI stories to thrillers – is that the Edgars favour an extremely narrow subset of the genre (the so-called “literary mystery” preferably with a noirish bent) and flat out…

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Mr Finchley Discovers His England by Victor Canning

Mr. Edgar Finchley hasn’t had a holiday in ten years, so when he is told that he must take a proper holiday he is not quite prepared for the adventures that await him. At the outset Mr. Finchley’s intent is to spend a quiet three weeks in Margate. His plans quickly go awry when he …

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Watchers of the Dead

Roderick Maclean was going to kill the Queen. Watchers of the Dead opens with an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria and quickly moves to London, where Alex Lonsdale, reporter for the Pall Mall Gazette, finds himself investigating the murders of several prominent men in Victorian London. While the blame has been placed on cannibals who …

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