Devil House by John Darnielle nominated for the 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Award for “Best Novel”


The Mystery Writers of America just announced its 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Award nominations and it includes a book by John Darnielle, my favorite musician turned novelist. The Mystery Writers of America website explains:

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 214th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, the nominees for the 2023 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best crime, non-fiction, and television novels published or produced in 2022. The 77th Edition of the annual Edgar® Awards will be celebrated on April 27, 2023 at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square.

The Edgar Awards, or “Edgars,” as they are commonly known, are named after MWA’s patron saint Edgar Allan Poe and are awarded to distinguished authors of work in various categories. MWA is the premier organization for crime writers, professionals related to the field of crime writing, aspiring crime writers, and those devoted to the genre. The organization comprises approximately 3,000 members including fiction and non-fiction book authors, film and television writers, as well as editors, publishers and literary agents.

Mystery Writers of America would like to highlight our commitment to diversity and equity in judging the Edgar Awards. Judges are selected from every region of the country, every subcategory of our gender, and every demographic group to ensure fairness and impartiality.

by John Darnielle House of the Devil (Farrar, Straus and Giroux – MCD) was nominated for best novel, along with Like a sister by Kellye Garrett (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books); Ganglands by Chuck Hogan (Hachette Book Group – Grand Central Publishing); The devil takes you home by Gabino Iglesias (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown & Co./Mulholland Books); Notes on an execution by Danya Kukafka (HarperCollins – William Morrow); And The maid by Nita Prose (Penguin Random House – Ballantine Books)

If you’ve never read anything by John Darnielle, you’re missing out. Dwight Garner, who writes for The New York Timesdescribes his work:

John Darnielle launches his novels from the fringes of American life. They are solitary books and they always strike me.

Darnielle is best known as the songwriter behind the indie band Mountain Goats, which has been around since the mid-1990s. Since 2008 she has also published fiction. Silently, as if she were sneaking up on a cat’s paws, you have become, as a novelist, unignorable.

His third novel, “Devil House,” is great: confident, haunting, powerful, and soulful. I had no idea where she was going, in the best possible sense.

“Devil House” is about a true crime writer who moves into a house in Milpitas, California, where a pair of infamous and rumored, satanic murders took place in the late 1980s. The suspects were disaffected teenagers, just as they were in a 1981 Milpitas murder and cover-up that was fodder for the darkly powerful film “River’s Edge” (1987).

I have read his previous novels Universal Reaper (2017) e Wolf in white van (2014), and I loved them both. Congratulations, John, for being so talented in so many arenas! Can’t wait to read House of the Devil!

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