Reprint of the Year Award 2019: Let the Voting Commence!

After two weeks of canvassing and persuading it is now time for the voting to begin, to see which reprint of 2019 will be crowned Reprint of the Year. Below are the final 17 nominations which have been selected for the vote. 14 of these were nominated by myself and 6 other bloggers, but the other 3 were blog reader choices, (randomly selected by a generator). Like last year you are allowed to vote for up to 3 texts.

If you haven’t made your mind up on which titles to vote for, then check out my Nomination 1 and Nomination 2 posts, as they also include links to all the blogger chosen books.

The poll is now open and will close on the 30th December.

So get voting!


  1. Some strong contenders, and I have read more of them than I had last year. So

    She Died A Lady, Carr
    The biggest hole in GAD is the lack of most of John Dickson Carr’s best book. SDAL is one of his best and now it is back in both paper and electronic form. Not only that the publisher has a stylish and fitting cover, about JJ had an interesting blog post, and has plans for more. So this simply has to be the top pick.

    The Greene Murder Case, van Dine
    The importance of Philo Vance in the history of GAD would be hard to overstate, and this is probably the best Vance book (the other possibility is The Bishop Murder Case). A lovely puzzle, good atmosphere, one amusing stroke, and some GAD cliches in their nascent form. An easy second choice.

    Death in Captivity, Gilbert
    A dandy book, mixing an interesting POW escape story with a finely crafted locked room mystery. Not a book for those looking for a complex puzzle but a really enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve voted and I’m sure one of my votes will place or show, but not come in first. Too many of these books are not at all scarce and do not deserve reprinting, IMO, because they exist in multiple previous versions that are still readily available in used editions. New editions and digital books are in demand, yes. But why bother when you can pick up a real book for less than the price of a digital edition or new book? [grumble, grumble]. Plus I can’t stand the updating by some of these revisionist (translation: censoring) publishers. You can’t read And Then There Were None with the genuine location of Indian Island anymore. All the new editions have eradicated that so-called un-PC name. (rolls eyes) What ‘s worse is that some of the books nominated never deserved to be revived in the first place. George Bellairs? Ugh. Middling writer, frequently dull, unimaginative plots, and often glaringly condescending and snobbish. I know that the majority of the voters are Carr fanatics so it will not surprise me when She Died A Lady takes first prize. […sigh…]

    Apart from your blog and the author of the eclectic and exciting Dead Yesterday blog there is little interest anymore in truly exploring the genre and in discussing a wide spectrum of crime fiction — all nationalities, all subgenres, neglected writers, and books worth reading for interesting ideas and complex human characters not just puzzling plots with manipulated puppets. 2020 is probably my last year for vintage mystery blogging. I see no point in doing what I do anymore.


    • I certainly hope 2020 is not your last year, as long as you keep enjoying blogging of course. You review books that I would never otherwise know about and sometimes I am even lucky enough to track down a copy of some of them. If you stopped then there would definitely be a gap and I think there are many who would agree with me. I enjoy how all the various blogs I follow focus on a wide range of different subgenres. It’s not all puzzle plots, though I appreciate domestic suspense and hard to categorise books can sometimes get a little marginalised.
      I actually think reprinting some of the bigger titles/names can serve a purpose, as I’ve seen a number of people drawn in by them, people who hitherto haven’t explored classic crime very much, and have then gone on to discover the less well known authors. Consider reprints like She Died a Lady as bait! I would also have to disagree about Bellairs, as I have read a few which I thought were quite good. Not knock your socks off good, but still reliably entertaining. In titles such as The Body in the Dumb River and A Knife for Harry Dodds, I would say GB is being less snobbish and portrays the more snobbish middle class characters as the “baddies.”
      Votes for the reprint have already exceeded the total submitted last year and it has been very interesting watching how the voting has progressed.


    • Well I hope you continue to blog but I think you have the wrong end of the stick here. Not everyone haunts, or even has access to, good used book stores. I do, I make special trips, and it still took me years to find SDAL, or Til Death Do Us Part, or Black Spectacles. Perhaps there are bigger stores in Chicago, but you perhaps overestimate the abundance of such books, which grow scarcer every year. These too need replenishing, and their reappearance is a great thing. Especially since, if an interest in crime fiction is to flourish we need fresh meat. Most of the available fresh meat is in the new bookstore or perusing Amazon.

      Further, the kind of books you seem to prefer are being reprinted en masse. I just quickly looked at Amazon and found at least 50 of the Fawcett Gold medal titles, even excluding John D MacDonald, in print from various publishers such as PlanetMonk. Pure puzzlers are lagging behind noir and psychological crime the last few years. Even a real oddball favorite of mine, The Order of Death by Hugh Fleetwood, is back in print.


    • Like Kate, I very much hope that 2020 will not be your last year of blogging, since you discuss books not covered elsewhere, provide keen insights, and kindly provide recommendations when asked. I agree that many of the books nominated for the award can be found as used copies, but not everyone interprets the award as about “being the most in need of a reprint” or “being the most deserving of a reprint given scarcity.” And as Kate notes, having reprints made available conveniently may create awareness for less popular titles and even introduce new readers to some famous-only-among-cognoscenti authors.


  3. I, too, sincerely hope that JF Norris will continue his invaluable work, making pertinent comments and highly useful recommendations, for the sake of those, who, like me, are relatively new to the crime fiction genre.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.