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The Dilys Award

The IMBA is pleased to announce that Colin Cotterill's THIRTY-THREE TEETH received the 14th annual Dilys Award, presented in recognition of the books chosen by the members as the ones they most enjoyed selling throughout the year.

Cotterill's first book in his Dr. Siri series, The Coroner's Lunch, was chosen as a Killer Books selection in December 2004.  The New York Times Book Review praised Thirty-Three Teeth as "a perfect balance between the modern mysteries of forensic science and the ancient secrets of the spirit world"  and Entertainment Weekly called it "Magically sublime."

The series hero, the national coroner of Laos, Dr Siri Paiboun, is no respecter of persons or Party; at his advanced age he can afford to be independent. With the assistance of his helpers, the autistic Mr Geung and Nurse Dtui ("Fatty") who has dubbed him "Super Spirit Doc," he elucidates the causes of mysterious deaths. But he also communes with the deposed King whose special channel with the occult has left him, and attends a conference of shamans called by the Communist government to give the spirits an ultimatum: obey Party orders or get out.

COLIN COTTERILL was born in London in 1952. He has taught in Australia, the U.S., and Japan, and has lived in Thailand, on the Burmese border, and in Laos. For the last several years he has worked for UNICEF and local non-governmental agencies to prevent child prostitution and to rehabilitate abused children. He lives in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand.

When notified of the award, Cotterill responded: 

It isn't often I'm stuck for words. This is the first thing i've won since the hair curler at the twentieth Wimbledon Boy Scouts raffle in '65. I'm flattered
and flattened. When I consider all the great books out there, I feel very humble, no, wait, that sounds too Miss World... I'm bloody delighted. Thank you all so very much. It's made my head so big I'm not sure I'll be able to get it out of the door in the morning. I should put it on ice. In fact I'll fill it with something on the rocks right now. Dr. Siri and I appreciate this more than we can say. Expect a visitation tonight.

Previous Dilys Winner announcements:

The winner of the 2005 Dilys award was announced on February 26 at Left Coast Crime in El Paso, Texas. This year’s winner, DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER by Jeff Lindsay, was announced at the Saturday night banquet by Barbara Peters of the Poisoned Pen. Mr. Lindsay was not present, but will received his physical award - a handblown glass paperweight -on July 16th at the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. The Award was presented by Joanne Sinchuk of Murder on the Beach Mystery Bookstore.

Jeff Lindsay receiving the 2005 Dilys Award from Joanne Sinchuk


Darkly Dreaming Dexter
by Jeff Lindsay
Reviewed by Tom and Enid Schantz, Rue Morge, Lyons, Colorado.

Dexter Morgan was adopted at the age of four after having
undergone an unspeakably traumatic experience of which he has no
memory. His adoptive father, a policeman, realizes when Dexter is
about ten that he’s not like other boys; he is, not surprisingly, a
psychopath who kills because he can’t help it. Knowing that Dexter can
never be rehabilitated, what Harry Morgan does is to teach his son to
choose who he kills, and to kill so efficiently that he’ll never be

And Harry was a good teacher. Dexter is very careful only
to kill bad people—really bad people, like murderous pedophile priests
and snuff filmmakers who prey on young girls. And since he lives in
Miami, he’s not likely ever to run out of worthy targets. Harry has
also taught Dexter how to behave like a real human being, so he’s
become quite a likable fellow, and attractive to the ladies, although
he’s totally unable to respond to their advances.

Dexter is also a good brother to his sister Deborah, who
has followed in Harry’s footsteps and become a cop. But the only
assignments she gets are working vice and dressing up like a hooker,
which she hates. Dexter, who also works for the Miami police as a
blood spatter technician (although he /hates/ blood), wants to help
Deborah get ahead, so when a serial killer whose work is eerily like
Dexter’s own starts making headlines, he determines to help Deborah
bag him.

Although he may not be quite human himself, Dexter is an
astute observer of the human condition in general and police
department politics in particular, and the book, despite its grisly
subject matter, is often hilarious. We weren’t prepared to like
it—psychopathic killers are definitely not our thing—but in the end
Dexter and his unique world view completely won us over.

Jasper Fforde's LOST IN A GOOD BOOK Wins the IMBA 2004 Dilys Award

Monterey, California - February 21, 2004 - The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association (IMBA) announced Jasper Fforde's LOST IN A GOOD BOOK as the winner of the annual Dilys award for 2004. The announcement was made by member store owner, Kathy Harig of Mystery Loves Company, on Saturday afternoon at an awards presentation and luncheon at the Left Coast Crime 2004 conference in Monterey, California. Mr. Fforde will receive a specially-made art glass sculpture in recognition of this achievement.


Mr. Fforde has been a favorite recommendation of the mystery booksellers association since the arrival of THE EYRE AFFAIR, a nominee for the Dilys in 2003. Mr. Fforde, though not present at Left Coast Crime, when contacted said he was "surprised and delighted". Director Hart presented Mr. Fforde with the sculpture and his award certificate when he visited Mysterious Galaxy in March. (see photo) Mr. Fforde's Tuesday Next, literary detective, mysteries are a splendid example of cross-genre work with a broad appeal. His new title, THE WELL OF LOST PLOTS, is a March / April BookSense 76 pick

The Dilys Award has been given annually since 1993 by the IMBA to the mystery titles of the year which the member booksellers have most enjoyed selling. The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, the founder of the first specialty bookseller of mystery books in the United States. Previous winners of the Dilys Award include Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen, Dennis Lehane, and Julia Spencer-Fleming.

The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association is comprised of a network of independently owned retail bookstores across North America and the United Kingdom, devoted to the sale of mystery books. The IMBA has won several awards for The 100 FAVORITE MYSTERIES OF THE CENTURY and THEY DIED IN VAIN, published by the Crum Creek Press/Drood Review Books. For more information on the IMBA and the Dilys Awards, including past nominees and winners, visit

Independent Mystery Booksellers Association Dilys Award Nominees

The Dilys Award is named in honor of Dilys Winn, founder of the first bookshop devoted to mysteries. The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association, a trade association devoted to selling mysteries, has presented this award each year since 1993. The award recognizes the books chosen by the members as the ones they most enjoyed selling throughout the year. Modeled after the American Booksellers Association's ABBY, the award is traditionally announced at Left Coast Crime.

The Nominees for the 2004 Dilys Award are:

THE SIXTH LAMENTATION, William Brodrick (Viking)
LOST IN A GOOD BOOK, Jasper Fforde (Viking)
MAISIE DOBBS, Jacqueline Winspear (Soho)

The winner will be announced in Monterey at Left Coast Crime, February 19-22.





2005 Jeffrey Lindsay. Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Lee Child; The Enemy, Jasper Fforde; Something Rotten, Leslie Silbert; The Intelligencer, Jacqueline Winspear; Birds of a Feather, Carlos Ruiz Zafon; Shadow of the Wind.

2004 Jasper Fforde. Lost in a Good Book

Donna Andrews; Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon, William Brodrick; The Sixth Lamentation. PJ Tracy; Monkeewrench, Jacqueline Winspear; Maisie Dobbs


Julia Spencer-Fleming. In the Bleak Midwinter

Donna Andrews, You've Got Murder
Lee Child, Without Fail
Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair
George Pelecanos, Hell to Pay


Dennis Lehane. Mystic River

David Handler, The Cold Blue Blood
Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark
William Kent Krueger, Purgatory Ridge
Peter Lovesey, The Reaper


Val McDermid. A Place of Execution

Sarah Caudwell, The Sibyl in Her Grave
Tim Cockey, The Hearse You Came in On
Robert Crais, Demolition Angel
Janet Evanovich, Hot Six


Robert Crais. L.A. Requiem

Rennie Airth, River of Darkness
Donna Andrews, Murder with Peacocks
William Kent Krueger, Boundary Waters
Don Winslow, California Fire and Life


Dennis Lehane. Gone, Baby, Gone


Nevada Barr, Blind Descent
Richard Barre, The Ghosts of Morning
James Lee Burke, Sunset Limited
William Kent Krueger, Iron Lake
Charles Todd, Wings of Fire


Janet Evanovich. Three to Get Deadly

Lee Child, The Killing Floor
Harlan Coben, Backspin
Dennis Lehane, Sacred
Kathy Reichs, Deja Dead
Kate Ross, The Devil in Music


Michael Connelly. The Poet

Harlan Coben, Fade Away
Margaret Lawrence, Hearts and Bones
Dennis Lehane, Darkness, Take My Hand
Michael McGarrity, Tularosa
Steve Oliver, Moody Gets the Blues
Thomas Perry, Dance for the Dead
Charles Todd, A Test of Wills


Michael Connelly. The Last Coyote

Robert Crais, Voodoo River
GM Ford, Who in Hell is Wanda Fuca?
Sharyn McCrumb, If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him
Tom Topor, The Codicil.


Janet Evanovich. One for the Money

Jeff Abbott, Do Unto Others
Nancy Atherton, Aunt Dimity and the Duke
Nevada Barr, A Superior Death
Michael Connelly, The Concrete Blonde
Carol O'Connell, Mallory's Oracle
Susan Wade, Walking Rain


Peter Hoeg. Smilla's Sense of Snow

Sharan Newman, Death Comes As Epiphany
Marcia Muller, Wolf in the Shadows
Sandra West Prowell, By Evil Means
Stephen Saylor, Catilina's Riddle
Minette Walters, The Sculptress
Don Winslow, Way Down On The High Lonely


John Dunning. Booked to Die

Michael Connelly, The Black Echo
Margaret Maron, Bootlegger's Daughter
Minette Walters, The Ice House


Carl Hiaasen. Native Tongue

Elizabeth George, A Suitable Vengeance
Stephen Greenleaf, Book Case
J.A. Jance, Hour of the Hunter
Valerie Wolzien, We Wish You A Merry Murder



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