The 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalists

The finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced, and aside from a new graphic novel category and the inaugural Innovator’s Award going to Dave Eggers, there’s a shortlist for the mystery/thriller category, which I judged alongside Oline Cogdill and Dick Adler:

As was the case last year, the judging process was an incredibly rewarding and pleasurable one. There were debates about who should make it, some of them fairly impassioned, but ultimately, whatever personal tastes were reflected or were not, the three of us wanted to have the best possible list, and we’re pretty pleased with the final five. It’s interesting, too, to see the variance of taste across awards shortlists so far, and taken together they encompass the rather good year for crime fiction that was 2009.

But as with any list of finalists, this one offers plenty of room for discussion and debate – at least until the winner is picked on April 23 as part of the Festival of Books.