The Verdict is In!

The Winners of The Strand Critics Awards

By Strand Staff


The Awards Go to…
On Wednesday, July 9, at an invitation-only cocktail party in Manhattan, Lauren Beukes won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for The Shining Girls (Mulholland Books). Roger Hobbs won the Best First Novel award for Ghostman (Knopf). And, R.L. Stine and Peter Lovesey were awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contributions to the genre.Unable to travel to the event and based in South Africa, Beukes was nonetheless elated by the news: “I’m stunned and grinning – like being hit with the Taser of happiness.  Thanks so much to the judges and to the Strand Magazine.  It’s a brilliant honor, especially up against such a killer shortlist.”

R.L_stineRoger Hobbs at the age of 25, is the youngest author to win the Strand Critics Award for best First Novel, “I’m very happy that The Strand chose Ghostman, for Best First Novel. The Strand is a legendary magazine in the crime and mystery community, so you can imagine how surprised and honored I was to hear that I won. The Strand is among our genre’s most revered publications. I never thought that my name might one day grace the same pages that once published such mystery giants as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells and Agatha Christie. Ghostman is far from a traditional mystery—it’s about a professional bank robber on a mission to prevent the police from solving a crime– but this just goes to show just how versatile our genre can be. I’m delighted to be recognized in this way!”


In addition to the Strand Critics Awards, R.L. Stine and Peter Lovesey were both recognized for their contributions to the field of crime fiction with the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Awards. Since his debut novel Wobble to Death in 1970, Peter Lovesey has earned a reputation as master craftsmen of both historical and noir novels, which have won critical acclaim and legions of fans worldwide.
Known to millions of young readers worldwide for creating the Goosebumps series of books, R.L. Stine has also written short stories, novels for adults and has inspired a new generation of fans with his unique talent to combine humor with horror.


Both authors were on hand to accept the awards; Peter Lovesey gave a warm thanks to the judges during his acceptance speech and spoke of a meeting decades ago with one of the editors of the original Strand Magazine and R.L. Stine paid tribute to his publishers as well as the readers who have read his books for the past thirty years and read a rather interesting fan letter from a young reader!


The Critics Awards were judged by a select group of book critics and journalists, including, Julia Keller (Chicago Tribune), Lev Grossman (Time), Larry Gandle (Tampa Bay Tribune), Chuck Leddy (Boston Globe), David Ulin (LA Times), Jack Batten (Toronto Star) and Christian DuChateau (CNN).


“Lauren Beukes and Roger Hobbs have fantastic futures ahead of them and The Shining Girls and Ghostman were wonderful novels,” said Andrew F. Gulli, managing editor of The Strand. “To see Lovesey and Stine collect their awards was a wonderful moment—these two guys collected a lifetime achievement award tonight, but they have so many more great stories to tell and many more years to delight their fans.”


Best Novel:

–  The Shining Girls: A Novel by Lauren Beukes (Mulholland Books)
– Solo: A James Bond Novel by William Boyd (Harper)
– Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook (Mysterious Press)
– A Serpent’s Tooth by Craig Johnson (Viking)
– Ratlines by Stuart Neville (Soho Press)
– The Double by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown and Company)

Best First Novel:
– Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly (Grove Press)
– Ghostman by Roger Hobbs (Knopf)
– A Killing at Cotton Hill by Terry Shames (Seventh Street Books)
– The Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman (Harper)
– Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Lifetime Achievement Awards:

– Peter Lovesey
– R.L. Stine

(Photo of R.L. Stine by Tracy Van Straaten)


Thanks for tuning into The Strand Critics Awards!