Grave Endings won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. (I'm tempted to use an exclamation point, but my parents, of blessed memory, instilled in my brother and me the importance of being humble, and I worry that the punctuation mark will be overly exuberant and unseemly.)
I found out this morning when I read an e-mail from Edgar Award winnning mystery writer G. Miki Hayden. The subject line of her post was "Mazal tov." Naturally, I was curious. Miki invited me to take a vicarious trip on the cruise ship where the MWA Agents & Editors party was held yesterday.
I read about the event, about the fellow mystery writers Miki encountered. Then I read:
...Very soon, the always delightful Mary Higgins Clark presented her award to a novel that best represents the spirit in which she herself writes. Underwritten for the last few years by Simon & Schuster, the Mary Higgins Clark Award this time went to Rochelle Krich for her novel Grave Endings. Congrats, Rochelle
I was thrilled. And surprised, since the award winner was announced last night on the cruise, and, not having heard anything, I had figured that I hadn't won (see yesterday's blog, "Pass Over.").
"I had a feeling you'd win," says my husband.
He is sitting next to me, drinking a cup of coffee and eating a slice of chocolate cake. (The recipe is from my friend Anita in New York. The cake, for a reason she can't explain, is called "Ludmilla." It's amazingly moist, too tempting.) I cut a slice for myself and reread Miki's post.
Then I receive the official congratulatory call from Rhys Bowen, who chaired the award committee and is up for an Edgar for Evan's Gate.
Sarah Weinman had this to say yesterday about the MWA party and the Mary Higgins Clark Award:
Unlike previous years, the annual Agents & Editors Party has been moved to Tuesday, and will be held on a cruise ship docked at Chelsea Piers which will circle the harbor during the allotted time (4:30 to 6 PM.) But if it's anything like previous years, the ship will be crowded as hell, so be warned. And for god's sake, don't pitch anyone in a bathroom...
Also, the Mary Higgins Clark Award will be given out during the party, so remember to congratulate the winner because for some reason, she (and it's usually a she, even if some men have been nominated in years past) is usually forgotten amidst the other awards given out a couple of days later.
Sarah is probably right.
But I am ecstatic.
It dawns on me that Grave Endings is my thirteenth book.
"Thirteen" is an unlucky number in American culture, but "thirteen" in Judaism isn't unlucky at all. It's the age when a boy assumes the responsibilities of manhood--and I don't mean writing thank-you notes for the gifts he receives.
More significantly, it's the number of essential principles of Jewish faith, according to Maimonides, a renowned twelfth-century Talmudic scholar who served as physician to the sultan of Egypt and authored the Mishna Torah, a systemic codification of Jewish Law, and The Guide to the Perplexed.
Thirteen has, apparently, been lucky for me.
At Left Coast Crime this February in El Paso, Grave Endings won the Calavera Award. I wasn't at the awards dinner to accept. I was speaking at an event sponsored by the Jewish Federation of El Paso, at Martin's Funeral Home, and learned the news when I returned to the convention hotel.
Maybe I do better in absentia.