Last week's winner of the Edgar for Best Novel of 2008, C.J. Box is the author of eight novels including the award-winning Joe Pickett series. He’s the winner of the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and an Edgar Award and L.A. Times Book Prize finalist. Open Season was a 2001 New York Times Notable Book. Box lives with his family outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Of the winning book, BLUE HEAVEN, Box's first stand-alone thriller. Publishers Weekly says, "In the rural Idaho town of Kootenai Bay, 12-year-old Annie Taylor and her younger brother, William, witness a brutal murder. Immediately the two find themselves being hunted by killers who will stop at nothing to ensure the children's silence. The two find refuge with an old rancher, Jess Rawlins, and recently retired police detective Eduardo Villatoro. Together, the two men make a desperate stand against the murderers despite being outnumbered and outgunned... He portrays his villains (a band of dirty ex-cops) with just the right amount of ruthless menace without going overboard, and he perfectly captures the essence of the aging rancher, imbuing him with the quiet strength and dignity of an iconic western hero.
Winner of Malice Domestic's Agatha last week for Best Novel was (for the second year in a row) LOUISE PENNY, an award-winning journalist who worked for many years for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She lives in a small village south of Montréal where she writes, skis, and volunteers. Her bestselling first mystery, Still Life, was the winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards; and her second, A Fatal Grace, won the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel.
Of the winner, THE CRUELEST MONTH, Publishers Weekly says, "Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Québec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a séance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Sûreté du Québec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name.