Monday, April 22, 2024


Alafair Burke, Margot Douaihy, and Sascha Rothchild
are the recipients of the Pinckley Prizes in Crime Fiction for 2022 and 2023. The prizes, named to honor the memory of Diana Pinckley, were presented on March 22nd in New Orleans. 
The Pinckley Prizes partner with the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, of which Diana Pinckley was a founding member.

Alafair Burke is the winner of the 2023 Pinckley Prize for Distinguished Body of Work. 

Burke is the New York Times, Edgar Award nominated author of twenty crime novels. Published in more than twenty languages, her books have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the Today Show, Entertainment Weekly, People, O (Oprah Magazine), The Boston Globe, Washington Post, Sun Sentinel, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and numerous other outlets. She has been called “a genius for plot” and “one of our greatest contemporary mystery writers.” She is the current President of Mystery Writers of America and the first woman of color to be elected to that position. In addition to the standalone novels that have earned her a reputation as “a virtuoso” of domestic suspense, she authors “two power house series” featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. In addition to her own work, Alafair also co-authored the "Under Suspicion” series with Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark. Alafair traces a lifelong fascination with crime to the fact that she grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where a serial killer was active during her formative years. In a world where the killer could be anyone, Alafair found comfort in crime fiction. Her mother, a school librarian, helped her navigate from Encyclopedia Brown to Nancy Drew to Agatha Christie and eventually to Sue Grafton.

Margot Douaihy is the winner of the 2023 Pinckley Prize for Debut Fiction for her lyrical crime novel Scorched Grace. The second book in the Sister Holiday Mystery series, Blessed Water, will be released March 12, 2024.

The judges selected Scorched Grace for the novel’s delightful new vision of the noir sleuth: Sister Holiday is lavishly tattooed and plays lead guitar in her punk band Original Sin. She also happens to be a novitiate in the order of the Sisters of the Sublime Blood. She came to New Orleans to make amends for her past transgressions and solves crimes along the way. Douaihy’s writing is playful, the language as luscious as the setting, while the true heart of the story emerges with blazing warmth and compassion for troubled souls.

Sascha Rothchild is the winner of the 2022 Pinckley Prize for Debut Novel for her first book Blood Sugar.

The 2023 judges were impressed with the smart plotting and distinctive voice of Sascha Rothchild's Blood Sugar. Its protagonist, Ruby Simon, is one of the most seductive of psychopaths—clever, self-justifying, and so inventive that the reader can't wait to see what she does next. Rothchild's screenwriting skills translate beautifully to this novel, which also rises to its Miami setting, from Ruby's South Beach days of clubbing to her practice as a therapist. And who wouldn't love a serial killer who meets her best friend when he leaves a note in her Abnormal Psych textbook? Fast, funny, and sharp, Blood Sugar is filled with memorable moments and characters.


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