The Mystery Writers of America have announced all nominees in their annual Edgar Awards categories, but we’re most interested in true-crime investigations. Here’s a reliably good, yearly list of nonfiction to pore over with your magnifying glass. Winners will be announced at the banquet in NYC on April 28, and also online. For viewing info: edgarawards.com.
The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History by Margalit Fox
During WWI, two British prisoners of war–Harry Jones, a lawyer, and Cedric Hill, a magician–spirited their way out of a Turkish camp.
The Last Call: Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York by Elon Green
The rampage of a serial killer who picked up gay men in the ’80s and ’90s in New York City was eclipsed by the AIDS epidemic.
Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn
Did George Koval, All-American boy and socialist, pass on our atomic secrets to Moscow, allowing them to come up with an identical bomb?
Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice by Ellen McGarrahan
A journalist for the Miami Herald covered the execution of Jesse Tafero, who might not have killed two police officers. Here, she investigates his case as the P.I. she became.
The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade by Benjamin T. Smith
How the drug trade established modern-day Mexico and its relationship with the U.S., by a writer who had access to leaked DEA, Mexican police reports and cartel documents–and some scary interviewees.
When Evil Lived in Laurel: The ‘White Knights’ and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer by Curtis Wilkie
A black activist for voting rights was murdered by the KKK in 1960s Mississippi, and an FBI agent went undercover to bring his killers to a reckoning. Also an NPR‘s Best Books of the Year.