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editorial pixDon't expect to see a Crescent Blues update on May 7. The senior staff and many of the writers plan to be otherwise engaged, cheering Senior Gargoyle Donna Andrews on to another award.

In March, Malice Domestic registrants nominated Donna's first published mystery, Murder With Peacocks, for an Agatha as 1999's best first mystery. The premier awards for traditional mysteries, Agathas hold a special place in our hearts because of their affiliation with Malice Domestic, the Washington, D.C., area's hometown mystery convention. In addition, the con sponsors the Malice Domestic/St. Martin's Award that brought Murder With Peacocks and so many other fine mysteries to the attention of St. Martin's Press.

Of course, the hometown connection means the Agatha competition often becomes a contest between friends. This year's list of first novel nominees includes fellow Chesapeake Chapter Sisters-in-Crime member Marcia Talley for Sing It To Her Bones. But we figure if Baltimore writers Laura Lippman and Sujata Massey can remain friends after years of competing nominations, so can the rest of us.

Naturally, we hope Donna's Lefty Award for 1999's funniest novel will sway voters in her direction. But regardless of the results, our writers and readers still have much to celebrate.

Kim D. Headlee seems poised to match Donna's number of awards and nominations. In March, Kim won the 1999 Blue Boa Award for excellence in historical romance for Dawnflight, her novel about Guinevere. And just as the Crescent Blues staff began putting the final touches on this issue, Kim sent word that Romantic Times magazine nominated Dawnflight for its 1999 Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Innovative Historical Romance.

The Godmother Sanction by Patricia White, a past Sapphire Award Winner for A Wizard Scorned, scored second place in the 1999 Sapphire Awards. Keeping Pat's novel company in the winners' circle were the 1999 offerings of two of SF/Romance's heaviest hitters: Lois McMasters Bujold and Catherine Asaro. Pat's humorous short, "Dinner Date" published in Millenium Science Fiction and Fantasy, also placed second in the Sapphire's short story category. And voters in the 1999 Zine Awards named Pat herself as one of their five favorite writers working on the Web.

Congratulations to all the winners -- and to you. You win too. You get to read some of the best fiction writers anywhere writing some of the best non-fiction around. That sounds like cause for a real May Day of a celebration to me. Let the cyber-champagne flow and the fireworks begin!

Jean Marie Ward

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