Macavity’s a Mystery Cat: he’s called the Hidden Paw— For he’s the master criminal who can defy the Law. He’s the bafflement of Scotland Yard, the Flying Squad’s despair: For when they reach the scene of crime—Macavity’s not there!

T.S. Eliot

The Macavity Awards, established in 1987, are a literary award for mystery writers. Winners are nominated and voted upon annually by members of the Mystery Readers International, the award is named for the “mystery cat” of T. S. Eliot‘s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. The award is given in four categories—best novel, best first novel, best nonfiction, and best short story.   Congrats to all this year’s nominees!!  Winners will be announced at the San Diego Bouchercon which runs from August 30 to September 3.

Like to vote for your favorite but don’t know if you’re  eligible?  Send an email to

Here are the 2023 MACAVITY NOMINEES:

Best Myster Novel

  • Back to the Garden by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
  • Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone (MCD)
  • A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
  • A Heart Full of Headstones by Ian Rankin (Little, Brown)
  • Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
  • Secret Identity by Alex Segura (Flatiron Books)

Best First Mystery

  • Before You Knew My Name by Jacqueline Bublitz (Atria/EmilyBestler) 
  • Shutter by Ramona Emerson (Soho Crime)Devil’s Chew Toy by Rob Osler (Crooked Lane Books)
  • The Verifiers by Jane Pek (Vintage Books)
  • The Maid by Nita Prose (Ballantine)

Best Mystery Short Story

  • “The Landscaper’s Wife” by Brendan DuBois (Mystery Tribune, Aug/Sep 2022)
  • “Beauty and the Beyotch” by Barb Goffman (Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Jan 2022)
  • “First You Dream, Then You Die” by Donna Moore (in Black is the Night, Titan Books)
  • “Schrödinger, Cat” by Anna Scotti (Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Mar/Apr 2022) 
  • “Stockholm” by Catherine Steadman (Amazon Original Stories)
  • “The Angel of Rome” by Jess Walter (in The Angel of Rome and Other Stories, Harper)
  • “My Two-Legs” by Melissa Yi (Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Sep/Oct 2022)

Best Mystery Critical/Biographical

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