Reprint of the Year Awards 2022: The Results

Step 1: Scroll down the post until you hit the point where I reveal who won the award. [Presumably read who won]

Step 2: Scroll back up and start from the … Oh wait… everyone’s gone now.

Well for the few individuals who always like to read all the instructions before beginning, let’s commence with a big thank you for everyone who voted in the award (there was a 20% increase in votes this year) and of course to the bloggers who gave up precious space on their blogs to nominate two reprints for the final poll. Thanks to one voter in the Republic of South Africa we managed to get votes from 5 of the 6 continents (alack and alas there was no votes from a scientist on a penguin research station in Antarctica). Twenty-five different countries took part in the awards, which is not bad given how niche the award and the poll itself is. This is 6 more countries than last year. However, the same number of North American states took part, twenty-three, and California once again cast the most votes, although this year they do not share this achievement with Illinois. Well done, California! In the first hour of voting 11 countries had already participated, with Australia being the most frequent and in just little over an hour 124 votes were cast. Here are the top ten voting countries:

  1. USA
  2. UK
  3. India
  4. Australia
  5. Netherlands
  6. France
  7. Germany
  8. Malaysia
  9. Canada
  10. Sweden

Every year I keep an eye on the poll results during the voting period and I think this year’s poll was the most unpredictable, particularly over the first few days.

Cat with a tiara on head sitting on a purple cushion with gold tassels at the corners.
Bonus points to everyone who has made an effort and dressed up for the awards ceremony.

So starting in last place is unfortunately one of my favourite authors…

Verse Chorus Press edition of June Wright's Faculty for Murder. It has a nun and a university building in the background, waves in the foreground. The colour scheme is blue, black and brown.
Faculty for Murder by June Wright

Next in joint 17th place are…

Now into double figures, voting totals wise, and once more jointly held, in 16th place are…

All on their lonesome in 15th place is…

Stark House Press cover for a twofer by Edna Sherry: The Defense Does Not Rest and No Questions Asked.
No Questions Asked by Edna Sherry

It is quite cosy in 14th place with three books holding the position...

I was surprised that Gardner did not rise higher in the results, given his popularity, and of the two books I nominated I was sure this one would do the best. Just goes to show how much I know!

Another twosome in 13th place…

I am not sure we have had a year where so many results have been paired up but in 12th place are…

Our final pair of titles can be found in 11th place…

We have now reached the top ten in the results and starting us off in 10th place is…

The Library of Congress Crime Classic cover for Rudolph Fisher's The Conjure-Man Dies. It has an African American man superimposed over a window with wooden shutters.
The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

Just sneaking ahead into 9th place by one more vote is my second nomination…

Galileo Publishing cover for Joan Coggin's Dancing with Death. It shows two ladies in evening dress in a door, with a car visible outside. It is night time.
Dancing with Death by Joan Coggins

I was pleased this quite obscure title got into the top 10. At its best it was in 7th place but unfortunately in the second half of the voting it slipped down two places.

In 8th place are a well-known classic crime writing duo…

American Mystery Classic cover for Ellery Queen's The Spanish Cape Mystery. It has a bold red background with a black cape and a cane lying over a corpse of which we can only see an arm and a bit of two legs.
The Spanish Cape Mystery by Ellery Queen

Following on from that in 7th place is…

British Library Crime Classic cover for E. C. R. Lorac's Post After Post-Mortem. It s a rural scene with a river and bridge in the foreground and small houses in the background with big trees. There is a punt and a tour boat on the river.
Post After Post-Mortem by E. C. R. Lorac

Post After Post-Mortem is the title which gained the single vote in the Republic of South Africa. This title held 5th place on day one, but by day two it had slipped into seventh and remained there for the duration.

In 6th place is…

Galileo Press cover for Clifford Witting's Dead on Time. It shows a town scene.
Dead on Time by Clifford Witting.

From the very first hour of voting this title received votes and was at one point in second place with a John Dickson Carr title. However, by the end of the day it had slipped to 5th place and eventually made it into 6th. This was the second most popular title voted for in Australia.

It is now the top 5 and the options are fewer for who has claimed first place. In 5th place is…

British Library Crime Classic cover for John Dickson Carr's The Seat of the Scornful. It shows a sunny coastal scene with a house near the beach.
The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr

For the first three days this title was in the top three, reaching as high as second place, but it then fell into the fifth place and was unable to muster enough votes to get back into the top three.

There are only three authors left in the top 4 slots and the first of these is…

British Library Crime Classic cover for Christianna Brand's Green for Danger. It shows an operation in progress but nothing gory. The hospital walls are green.
Green for Danger by Christianna Brand

The voting for this one was initially quite surprising as they were slow to come in but eventually the votes began to rise and it maintained a steady position in third or fourth place.

In third place is…

British Library Crime Classic cover for Carter Dickson's The White Priory Murders. A stately home and some trees are depicted with a light covering of snow.
The White Priory Murders by Carter Dickson

For the first four days this mystery held doggedly on to first place and I thought Carter Dickson might win overall, but unfortunately his book was toppled on day 5 and never really recovered.

Now at this stage everyone knows at least one of the titles remaining from the poll, a title I might add which was strongly predicted to win, but which was the other one? You will have to wait to find out as in second place the title with the best odds for winning is…

British Library Crime Classic cover of Christianna Brand's Death of Jezebel. It shows a stone wall in the background and a knight on a horse in the foreground dressed in armous and purple material.
Death of Jezebel by Christianna Brand

For the past few days Brand’s book has been stuck in second place by only one vote. I wondered if an 11th hour vote or two might swing things back in her favour but it did not.

However, this means that in first place, claiming just over 10% of the votes, is our first Japanese winner…

Pushkin Vertigo Press cover for Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo. It has a yellow background and then a white circle. A woman's head of hair and her forearms are draped over the top.
Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo (Trans. Louise Heal Kawai)
Trophy with googly eyes and a mouth moves in a cheering position. Blue background.

This was a very close won victory as there were only two votes between first and second place. One thing I always like about the Reprint of the Year awards is that anything can happen and that no book is secure of its place until the end. Given the voting on the first day I would have never predicted Yokomizo’s book to win and it was not until day 5 that it worked its way up in to first place.

I thought it would be interesting to look at the votes cast by specific countries to see which five titles were the most popular. The results are quite interesting.

In the USA the top 5 titles were:

  1. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo (Trans. Louise Heal Kawai)
  2. Death of Jezebel by Christianna Brand
  3. The Conjure-Man Dies by Rudolph Fisher
  4. Dancing with Death by Joan Coggins
  5. Deadline at Dawn by Cornell Woolrich

In the UK the top 5 titles were:

  1. Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
  2. Death of Jezebel by Christianna Brand
  3. The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr
  4. Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo (Trans. Louise Heal Kawai)
  5. The Sharp Quillet by Brian Flynn

In Australia the top 5 titles were:

  1. The White Priory Murders by Carter Dickson
  2. Dead on Time by Clifford Witting
  3. The Seat of the Scornful by John Dickson Carr
  4. Post after Post-Mortem by E. C. R. Lorac
  5. The Conjure-man Dies by Rudolph Fisher

In India the top 5 titles were:

  1. The Spanish Cape Mystery by Ellery Queen
  2. The White Priory Murders by Carter Dickson
  3. Death of Jezebel by Christianna Brand
  4. Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
  5. The Sharp Quillet by Brian Flynn

Death of Jezebel was also the top choice in the Netherlands and in Malaysia. Death on Gokumon Island was the top title in France and second and third place in Sweden both went to Freeman Wills Crofts titles.

So I hope everyone has enjoyed following this year’s awards. Thank you to all the publishers who have been reprinting so many classic crime fiction titles for us to enjoy. Without you the awards would not be possible and I am sure our reading would be all the more poor without you.

Which results surprised you the most? Which books have made it on to your TBR pile? I have two on mine: R in the Month by Nancy Spain and Dead on Time by Clifford Witting.

Here’s hoping we have another strong year of reprints in 2023. Which titles are you looking forwarding to reading?

31 comments

  1. My last crime fiction read for this year (finished this morning – even I will struggle to complete another in the 7 hours left of 2022!) was Till Death Us Do Part, which has also been my highest rated crime fiction book of the year, so I’ll definitely be trying to get my hands on The Seat of the Scornful and The White Priory Murders to see how they compare. As for the rest, it will depend how many I can track down second-hand as I don’t have an e-reader, but most of them look like good reads. I doubt I’ll be trying the Freeman Wills Crofts though – I know he’s an extremely popular author, but I’ve read two of his books so far and find most shopping lists make more interesting reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You could always read an novella or a Garfield! Novella wise I have really enjoyed The Library of Unrequited Library – really good example of a monologue. Not a mystery though. Glad you enjoyed Till Death Do Us Part – it came second in last year’s ROY I think. It is one of Carr’s best if not his best work. Look forward to hearing what you make of the other Carr books. I don’t blame you for sidestepping Crofts – I have read three by him and they are not my cup of tea.

      Like

  2. I honestly expected either Brand or Carr would take home this year’s ROY award, but I’m incredibly pleased to see Yokomizo blindsiding everyone to take the first place. And deservingly so! Justice for the past two years!

    Let’s see if Yokomizo can defend his title with the upcoming reprint of The Devil’s Flute Murders. See you back next year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes it is kinda of fun how the ROY award results tend to completely override expectations and predictions. No author has won two years yet, so it will indeed be interesting to see if Yokomizo can manage.

      Like

  3. A decent winner, even if I did not vote for it. I think Carr’s books and Green for Danger are better books, but maybe there is a sense when we judge it specifically as a “reprint” that the winner really deserves its title, by making a title that was completely inaccessible to most non-Japanese readers available.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Can we give a little credit to the translators who work so hard to make these works available, then? Without the likes of Ho-Ling Wong, John Pugmire, and — in this case — Louise Heal Kawai, these works would remain inaccessible to many of us who find so much to enthuse about. I agree that it’s wonderful to see publishers taking a chance on putting them out, but don’t forget the extra work that goes on behind the scenes where translating is involved.

      Like

  4. Long live Reprint of the Year! I have voted on all five occasions and this is the first time I was completely surprised by the results. Definitely didn’t see that coming!

    BLCC-not-winning-but-finishing-second trend also continues. It has happened 5/5 times!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, I’m thrilled by this news. Thank you to everyone who voted for Death on Gokumon Island! So may I boast about it on Twitter now? (Could you possibly add my name as translator so I can have more bragging rights?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha yes boast away! I have added your name into the post. The book certainly seems to have made a hit in America and in the UK looking at the results. By far the most votes for the titles came from the former, even more than from Japan, though based on my Twitter feed, Yokomizo’s win seems to have understandably gone down well there. With another Yokomizo coming out this year, it will be interesting to see if we can have a ROY first and have an author/translator win twice.

      Like

  6. I will confess that I voted the maximum three times. Once for a book I nominated and the other votes went to the first and second place winners! Though I may try my best to nominate the most obscure writers and books, I always know who the winners will be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ll have to run a book for next year’s awards lol
      The wider aim of the awards is to celebrate the variety of mysteries being reprinted so I always think it is important to nominate less well-known and obscure reprints, as you never know who might be inspired to try that author out. I think a few people based on your Cockin post bought the book for example.

      Like

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