...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Im just SO damn glad that my buddy Harley Jane Kozak won the Agatha for her first mystery. I then have to back up and talk about how bummed I am that Laura didn't go home to Baltimore with a few more awards tucked up HER sleeve, or Margaret Maron for her lovely book, but I'm going to skip almost all my Edgar ranting (and I'll just say once more that I cannot BUH-LEEVE that SJ's ABSENT FRIENDS did not even appear on the Edgar ballot. don't TALK to me about Edgar juries and hi, yes, i have friends who've been on them and I know it's a difficult job and I. Don't. Care.

Breathe, two three four.

So ANYWAY, Harley's DATING DEAD MEN was up against Judy Clemens' TILL THE COWS COME HOME, another excellent first mystery. AND it was up against Pari Taichert's first one as well and Pari is just cool as HELL and I like her a lot. But but but. well, I get to do my happy chair dance because Harley won. I don't vote on the Agathas, i don't attend Malice Domestic. Many of hte books up for this award aren't my cup of double-tall, blah, blah, but many ARE. But MD is too far for me to travel and if i'm going to do a con, it's going to be Bouchercon or LCC. But I watch all the awards and for several years now, I've maintained my own "best of" lists so that when the Anthonys come around or the Macavitys or the Barrys, if it's appropriate, I nominate and vote. And the Edgars baffle me more often than not and I'm not in MWA and so they will continue to baffle me. And of all my choices for "best first mystery of 2004" ONLY Harley Jane Kozak's book made it to any ballot so far (hmph).

But but but when someone like Harley wins, it's chair dance time. She's a really good writer, has created a remarkable character, did NOT suffer from sophomore slump with DATING IS MURDER, and she's terrifically talented (and yes, we're talking acting as well as writing) and funny and warm and simply one of the neatest people I've met in mystery in years. (it's been a good couple of years what with meeting Harley, Louise and Cornelia). And one of her kids and I have the same birthday. So there.

So I sat there today and several times (where no one could hear me) intoned "go, Harley, go Harley" so as to send good Andi vibrations through the ether to the Malice Domestic folks. And obviously it worked.

This makes me happy.

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