The Edgar Awards

1992

 

Winner

The Weirdo by Theodore Taylor  YA Taylor, T.
They call Chip Clewt, who tracks bears, The Weirdo. But no one knows much about him. Only that he lives in the eerie swamp where Samantha Sanders found a body and where she saw another body get dumped.
  Finally, she meets The Weirdo, sees his scarred face, looks into his tortured soul, and becomes his friend. Together, they begin the nightmare search for the killer who has stalked innocent victims, through the murky waters and dangerous marshes of the swamp.

Nominees

Calling Home by Michael Cadnum YA Cadnum, M.
Everybody thinks that Peter's best friend has disappeared, but only Peter knows the truth--Mead is dead, and Peter himself is to blame. He tells no one what he knows. Instead, Peter calls Mead's distraught parents from pay phones, impersonating their son. As time passes, daily life becomes a nightmare for Peter. Can he tell the truth before it destroys him?

We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier YA Cormier, R.
They entered and trashed their way through the Cape Cod cottage shortly after 9 p.m. At 9:48, Karen makes the mistake of coming home early. Thrown down the basement stairs, Karen slips into a coma, while the trashers slip away. But the Avenger has seen it all.

Scarface by Peter Nelson
To save her uncle’s family resort, Sylvia Smith sends a story to a newspaper. This brings in treasure seekers, money and Scarface himself.

The Christmas Killer by Patricia Windsor YA MYSTERY Windsor, P.
We care about Windsor's Rosecleer more than we do about the protagonists of most of the recent YA whodunits. She's not a superstudent sleuth, and that's a nice change. It's the Christmas season, but things are not peaceful. A serial killer is haunting the small town where Rose lives with her parents and twin brother, Jerram. The victims, all teenage girls, have been stabbed to death, and Rosecleer's violent dreams and visions tell her where they're buried. Can they tell her who the killer is as well? Windsor's not shy about incorporating grisly details, though she never goes overboard.

1991

Winner

MOTE by Chap Reaver
Chris Miller and his best friend Billy rely on the guidance and influence of Mote, a mysterious Vietnam veteran and father figure, as they face a sadistic teacher and a white supremacist group.


Nominees

ZACHARY by Ernest Pintoff
When he's not busy with schoolwork or bar mitzvah rehearsals, 12-year-old Zachary Silver moonlights as a detective. Zach witnessed ``Big Lew'' Heinz, chief cop and anti-Semitic ogre of Oakville, Conn., stab a history teacher to death. Now the adolescent narrator-hero is helping soft-spoken Lt. Harry Roth nab Heinz and ferret out the high-ranking ex-Nazi whom Heinz may be protecting in this old industrial town, where the Silvers are practically the only Jewish family. The time is 1945, just after the war; filmmaker Pintoff wonderfully captures period details in his first novel. Zach's crush on his art teacher, who might be tied to the killer, typifies the growing pains explored in this often affecting coming-of-age novel, with its acutely realistic sociological portrait of a town but unconvincing and unsuspenseful plot.


Guilt Trip by Stephen Schwandt 
YA Schwandt, S.
Teenaged Eddie Lymurek falls into the clutches of attractive, rich Angela Favor, which almost costs him everything. Angela is involved in a theater troupe that lost its director, Corey Howe-Browne, when his immoral acts with some of the young players were revealed and he disappeared. His body is pulled from the bottom of Lake Minnetonka. Eddie's relationship with Angela changes as she reveals more of her deceptive, narcissistic nature and finally prompts the police to question Eddie as a suspect in Howe-Browne's murder.

The Secret Keeper by Gloria Whelan  YA Whelan, G.
As ``keeper,'' or babysitter, for 10-year-old Matt, Annie is at first impressed with the Beaches, a prestigious summer community on Lake Michigan. But before long, she begins to see something disturbing behind the resort's clannish unity. The wealthy families have been coming to the Beaches every summer for generations, and she and Matt are outsiders. Matt's mother was from one of the Beaches' prominent families, but she married a local and later died in a car crash. Matt's father is hated and feared by the Beaches' residents, which puzzles Annie at first when she secretly allows Matt to see him. The older man proves dangerous and charming, and ultimately kidnaps his son. The men of the Beaches rescue Matt, but Annie realizes in horror that they have dealt with the ``problem'' permanently . Fearing for her life, Annie flees the security of the exclusive resort, uncertain that she has made the right decision. Containing many elements of a modern-day Gothic, Whelan's thoroughly satisfying novel is sure to produce shivers. Ages 12-up.

1990

Winner

Show Me the Evidence by Alane Ferguson 
Two best friends are living a nightmare. Three babies are dead. There is no evidence, just empty caskets. Nothing to prove the babies died of anything but a crib death. Lauren Taylor and Janaan Kashad race against time to solve the mystery and to save themselves.

Nominees

Fell Back by M. E. Kerr
Fell is back: in private school; in the secret Sevens club; in love, maybe; and in trouble, definitely. A murder suspect, drug dealers, a two-timing romantic interest, and the FBI keep our hero occupied.

Remember Me by Christopher Pike  YA Pike, C.
Shari Cooper was a typical teen with boyfriend trouble and cravings for chocolate cake. Now she's a ghost trying to solve her own murder.

Sniper by Theodore Taylor YA Taylor, T.
Fifteen-year-old Ben must cope alone when a mysterious sniper begins shooting the big cats in his family's private zoological preserve. 

The Man Who Was Poe by Avi YA Mystery, AVI
In Providence, R.I., in 1848, Edgar Allan Poe reluctantly investigates the problems of eleven-year-old Edmund, whose family has mysteriously disappeared and whose story suggests a new Poe tale with a ghastly final twist.

1989

Winner

Incident At Loring Groves by Sonia Levitin
A gripping, well-written problem novel that is based on a true story. The ``incident'' at Loring Groves is the disappearance and murder of a teenage girl. A group of her high-school classmates stumble across her body during a party at an unoccupied cottage that they have broken into. Concerned only for themselves, they decide not to report the body and do their best to forget that the incident ever happened. Two students can't forget, however, and Cassidy Keaton and Ken Farquar struggle with their fears, their consciences, and peer pressure in an effort to come to grips with what the murder has taught them about their classmates and themselves. This is a disturbing and all too believable look at teenagers growing up today. Cassidy and Ken are bright, highly motivated, decent teens who barely notice the drinking and drugs that are commonplace in their group. Both are well aware that the right thing to do is to call the police, but both are desperately concerned with how this could affect their futures, their chances at getting into the best schools, the best clubs, etc.

Nominees

Second Fiddle by Ronald Kidd
Prudence Szyznoski is "Sizzle" and Arthur Hadley Reavis Pauling III is "Splat". They are both part of the Los Angeles Philharomic Orchestra, which was recently being troubled by a merry prankster, playing pranks on the orchestra. Sizzle and Splat are determined to find who the merry prankster really is, but every time they think they are closer to the answer, they are actually further away. Sizzle is the one with the brains and Splat...maybe the one with no brains. They had quite a few suspects to question, and almost solved the mystery when they interrogate each one.
Though they had gone through a lot of investigation and all of their theories made perfect sense, and I had thought they solved the mystery wach time the suspect someone in the orchestra, they had never guess who was the merry prankster. They also didn't know that trying to solve the case could get in so much danger, they could have been killed...


Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman YA Pullman, P.
The year is 1878 and Sally Lockhart has just started her own financial consulting business when one of her clients loses a fortune in the unexpected collapse of a British shipping firm. As she struggles to learn why, she comes closer to the answers--and her own demise.


The Accident by Todd Strasser  YA Strasser, T.
Eighteen-year-old Matt Thompson's close friend, Bobby Stewart, the son of a rich philanthropist and the nephew of a popular candidate for governor, dies with three other classmates in a late night auto accident following a drinking party. News reports blame Matt's neighbor, Chris Walsh, who was also killed in the accident, because he was a known alcoholic. But Matt, tipped off about the blood alcohol counts of the four dead teenagers, begins to suspect that all is not what it appears to be. With the help of the only black policemen on the town force and Chris' younger brain-damaged sister, Matt uncovers the truth. There's a big catch, however, and Matt must decide whether to tell the truth or keep quiet. Amidst the didactic lessons about racism on the police force and drunk driving, Strasser raises the questions of whether the end justifies the means and the importance of the public's right to have information.

The Falcon Sting by Barbara Brenner
Set in Arizona, The Falcon Sting is an entertaining mystery with a touch of romance. Marina Cassidy meets Nick Menaker, an attractive, troubled young man with a past he doesn't want to talk about. They share an interest in observing wild birds, particularly falcons, and before long these two loners find themselves in the midst of a federal investigation into the extremely profitable smuggling of falcons (an endangered species) out of the country.