Oh, to be in Ireland now that Shamus time is here...
Nah, not really.
This year's Shamuses were announced at the Bouchercon and Ken Bruen nabbed the Best Novel for THE DRAMATIST and fellow Irishman Declan Hughes picked up the Best First Novel for THE WRONG KIND OF BLOOD.
And tag-team sister act P.J. Parrish grabbed the Best PBO award, while O'Neil De Noux grabbed Best Short Story.
Let's see... two Micks, two women and a guy with a suspiciously French (FRENCH!) last name. If they all walked into a bar together, it would probably be the start of a helluva joke.
But it's proof, if anything, that the "American" private eye is up for grabs to just about anyone willing to "storm the citadel," as Chandler put it. The authors' gender, nationality and all the rest of that crap isn't really what excites me, so much as the books and stories themselves. These are fresh voices, new experiences, new styles and tones, stuff that pushes what is and is not a "private eye" story; stuff that not just honours but builds on a tradition.
Pretty cool, if you ask me.
And I've been lucky enough to correspond or meet with most of the winners (usually in bars) over the years, so believe me, it's coming from the heart when I say congrats all around. Next one's on me.