Dilys Awards

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The Dilys Awards, named after Dilys Winn, the founder of the first mystery-specialty bookstore in the United States, were prestigious literary honors presented annually by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) from 1992 to 2014.

Dily opened Murder Ink, which was the first bookstore dedicated to mystery novels in America.

The Dilys Awards recognized exceptional mystery novels that were a favorite among independent booksellers and played a significant role in celebrating and promoting the mystery genre.

Only one Dilys Award was handed out each year, which was for the best mystery novel.

Carl Hiaasen was the first ever winner of the Dilys Award in 1992. Michael Connelly was the first multiple winner as he won in 1996 with The Last Coyote, and then again in 1997 with The Poet. Multiple winners since then include William Kent Krueger and Louise Penny.

Here is a list of all winners and nominations for the Dilys Awards:

Dilys Awards

1992Best Mystery NovelCarl HiaasenNative TongueWon
1992Best Mystery NovelElizabeth GeorgeA Suitable VengeanceNominated
1992Best Mystery NovelStephen GreenleafBook CaseNominated
1992Best Mystery NovelJ.A. JanceHour of the HunterNominated
1992Best Mystery NovelValerie WolzienWe Wish You a Merry MurderNominated
1993Best Mystery NovelJohn DunningBooked to DieWon
1993Best Mystery NovelMichael ConnellyThe Black EchoNominated
1993Best Mystery NovelMargaret MaronBootlegger's DaughterNominated
1993Best Mystery NovelMinette WaltersThe Ice HouseNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelPeter HøegSmilla's Sense of Snow / Miss Smilla's Feeling for SnowWon
1994Best Mystery NovelMarcia MullerWolf in the ShadowsNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelSharan NewmanDeath Comes As EpiphanyNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelSandra West ProwellBy Evil MeansNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelSteven SaylorCatilina's RiddleNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelMinette WaltersThe SculptressNominated
1994Best Mystery NovelDon WinslowWay Down on the High LonelyNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelJanet EvanovichOne for the MoneyWon
1995Best Mystery NovelJeff AbbottDo Unto OthersNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelNancy AthertonAunt Dimity and the DukeNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelNevada BarrA Superior DeathNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelMichael ConnellyThe Concrete BlondeNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelCarol O'ConnellMallory's OracleNominated
1995Best Mystery NovelSusan WadeWalking RainNominated
1996Best Mystery NovelMichael ConnellyThe Last CoyoteWon
1996Best Mystery NovelRobert CraisVoodoo RiverNominated
1996Best Mystery NovelG.M. FordWho In Hell Is Wanda Fuca?Nominated
1996Best Mystery NovelSharyn McCrumbIf I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...Nominated
1996Best Mystery NovelTom ToporThe CodicilNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelMichael ConnellyThe PoetWon
1997Best Mystery NovelHarlan CobenFade AwayNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelMargaret LawrenceHearts and BonesNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelDennis LehaneDarkness, Take My HandNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelMichael McGarrityTularosaNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelSteve OliverMoody Gets the BluesNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelThomas PerryDance for the DeadNominated
1997Best Mystery NovelCharles ToddA Test of WillsNominated
1998Best Mystery NovelJanet EvanovichThree to Get DeadlyWon
1998Best Mystery NovelLee ChildKilling FloorNominated
1998Best Mystery NovelHarlan CobenBack SpinNominated
1998Best Mystery NovelDennis LehaneSacredNominated
1998Best Mystery NovelKathy ReichsDéjà DeadNominated
1998Best Mystery NovelKate RossThe Devil in MusicNominated
1999Best Mystery NovelDennis LehaneGone, Baby, GoneWon
1999Best Mystery NovelNevada BarrBlind DescentNominated
1999Best Mystery NovelRichard BarreThe Ghosts of MorningNominated
1999Best Mystery NovelJames Lee BurkeSunset LimitedNominated
1999Best Mystery NovelWilliam Kent KruegerIron LakeNominated
1999Best Mystery NovelCharles ToddWings of FireNominated
2000Best Mystery NovelRobert CraisL. A. RequiemWon
2000Best Mystery NovelRennie AirthRiver of DarknessNominated
2000Best Mystery NovelDonna AndrewsMurder With PeacocksNominated
2000Best Mystery NovelWilliam Kent KruegerBoundary WatersNominated
2000Best Mystery NovelDon WinslowCalifornia Fire and LifeNominated
2001Best Mystery NovelVal McDermidA Place of ExecutionWon
2001Best Mystery NovelTim CockeyThe Hearse You Came in OnNominated
2001Best Mystery NovelRobert CraisDemolition AngelNominated
2001Best Mystery NovelJanet EvanovichHot SixNominated
2001Best Mystery NovelSarah CaudwellThe Sibyl in Her GraveNominated
2002Best Mystery NovelDennis LehaneMystic RiverWon
2002Best Mystery NovelDavid HandlerThe Cold Blue BloodNominated
2002Best Mystery NovelCharlaine HarrisDead Until DarkNominated
2002Best Mystery NovelWilliam Kent KruegerPurgatory RidgeNominated
2002Best Mystery NovelPeter LoveseyThe ReaperNominated
2003Best Mystery NovelJulia Spencer-FlemingIn the Bleak MidwinterWon
2003Best Mystery NovelDonna AndrewsYou've Got MurderNominated
2003Best Mystery NovelLee ChildWithout FailNominated
2003Best Mystery NovelJasper FfordeThe Eyre AffairNominated
2003Best Mystery NovelGeorge PelecanosHell to PayNominated
2004Best Mystery NovelJasper FfordeLost in a Good BookWon
2004Best Mystery NovelDonna AndrewsCrouching Buzzard, Leaping LoonNominated
2004Best Mystery NovelWilliam BrodrickThe Sixth LamentationNominated
2004Best Mystery NovelP.J. TracyMonkeewrench / Want to Play?Nominated
2004Best Mystery NovelJacqueline WinspearMaisie DobbsNominated
2005Best Mystery NovelJeff LindsayDarkly Dreaming DexterWon
2005Best Mystery NovelLee ChildThe EnemyNominated
2005Best Mystery NovelJasper FfordeSomething RottenNominated
2005Best Mystery NovelLeslie SilbertThe IntelligencerNominated
2005Best Mystery NovelJacqueline WinspearBirds of a FeatherNominated
2005Best Mystery NovelCarlos Ruiz ZafonThe Shadow of the WindNominated
2006Best Mystery NovelColin CotterillThirty-Three TeethWon
2006Best Mystery NovelTerence FahertyIn a TeapotNominated
2006Best Mystery NovelCraig JohnsonThe Cold DishNominated
2006Best Mystery NovelMorag JossHalf Broken ThingsNominated
2006Best Mystery NovelMark SchweizerThe Tenor Wore TapshoesNominated
2006Best Mystery NovelDon WinslowThe Power of the DogNominated
2007Best Mystery NovelLouise PennyStill LifeWon
2007Best Mystery NovelJames R. BennBilly BoyleNominated
2007Best Mystery NovelSteve HockensmithHolmes on the RangeNominated
2007Best Mystery NovelJohn J. LambThe Mournful TeddyNominated
2007Best Mystery NovelNancy PickardThe Virgin of Small PlainsNominated
2007Best Mystery NovelDiane SetterfieldThe Thirteenth TaleNominated
2008Best Mystery NovelWilliam Kent KruegerThunder BayWon
2008Best Mystery NovelRhys BowenHer Royal SpynessNominated
2008Best Mystery NovelLisa LutzThe Spellman FilesNominated
2008Best Mystery NovelDeanna RaybournSilent in the GraveNominated
2008Best Mystery NovelMarcus SakeyThe Blade ItselfNominated
2009Best Mystery NovelSean ChercoverTrigger CityWon
2009Best Mystery NovelChristopher FowlerThe Victoria VanishesNominated
2009Best Mystery NovelDeanna RaybournSilent in the SanctuaryNominated
2009Best Mystery NovelTom Rob SmithChild 44Nominated
2009Best Mystery NovelDon WinslowThe Dawn PatrolNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelAlan BradleyThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieWon
2010Best Mystery NovelR.J. ElloryA Quiet Belief in AngelsNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelCraig JohnsonThe Dark HorseNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelStieg LarssonThe Girl Who Played with FireNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelStuart NevilleThe Twelve / The Ghosts of BelfastNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelLouise PennyThe Brutal TellingNominated
2010Best Mystery NovelS.J. RozanThe Shanghai Moon / Trail of BloodNominated
2011Best Mystery NovelLouise PennyBury Your DeadWon
2011Best Mystery NovelColin CotterillLove Songs from a Shallow GraveNominated
2011Best Mystery NovelSteve HamiltonThe Lock ArtistNominated
2011Best Mystery NovelDennis LehaneMoonlight MileNominated
2011Best Mystery NovelKeith ThomsonOnce a SpyNominated
2011Best Mystery NovelDon WinslowSavagesNominated
2012Best Mystery NovelS.J. RozanGhost HeroWon
2012Best Mystery NovelTim DorseyWhen Elves AttackNominated
2012Best Mystery NovelG.M. MallietWicked AutumnNominated
2012Best Mystery NovelArcher MayorTag ManNominated
2012Best Mystery NovelLouise PennyA Trick of the LightNominated
2013Best Mystery NovelPeter RobinsonBefore the PoisonWon
2013Best Mystery NovelColin CotterillGrandad, There's a Head on the BeachNominated
2013Best Mystery NovelTana FrenchBroken HarbourNominated
2013Best Mystery NovelSusan Elia MacNealMr. Churchill's SecretaryNominated
2013Best Mystery NovelChris PavoneThe ExpatsNominated
2014Best Mystery NovelWilliam Kent KruegerOrdinary GraceWon
2014Best Mystery NovelLyndsay FayeSeven for a SecretNominated
2014Best Mystery NovelAlex GrecianThe Black CountryNominated
2014Best Mystery NovelAnne HillermanSpider Woman's DaughterNominated
2014Best Mystery NovelVidar SundstølThe Land of DreamsNominated
2014Best Mystery NovelG.M. MallietPagan SpringNominated

Dilys Winn, a passionate mystery aficionado, opened the Murder Ink bookstore in New York City in 1972. Her dedication to the genre and her innovative store inspired the creation of the IMBA, an organization that sought to unite and support independent mystery bookstores across the United States. In 1992, the IMBA established the Dilys Awards as a tribute to Winn and her vision, aiming to highlight mystery novels that were not only critically acclaimed but also beloved by booksellers.

Dilys Awards F.A.Q.

When did the Dilys awards end?

The final Dilys Awards were in 2014. Dilys Winn passed in 2016.

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