#MyrtleMondays: An Edgar nomination for Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity!

Dear friends, I’m fair gobsmacked to share the incredible news that the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries have received a third Edgar nomination! Book 5, Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity joins Premeditated Myrtle (which won the award in 2021) and Cold-Blooded Myrtle for this amazing honor.

Gettin’ intae the spirit…

This week, Mystery Writers of America released their annual Edgar Award nominations, honoring the best in mystery writing. I am so honored to be included again.

Read More: Myrtle & The Rue Morgue 

Read More: Another Edgar Nomination! (a look at Poe’s “The Purloined Letter”)

This week, I have more fun tales of America’s father of mystery fiction. Edgar Allan Poe is known as an American author, and rightly so, with roots in Boston and much of his career spent around Baltimore. But his poetry and stories are cosmopolitan, set in France, Italy, and the Near East, and reflect an early life spent traveling. In fact, some of young Poe’s years were spent just a hop, skip, and a ferry ride from the very setting of Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity: Ayrshire, Scotland!

Ayrshire and Argyll, both in the southwest of Scotland, are neighbors separated by the Clyde.

Poe’s parents both died when he was very young, and he was raised by the Allan family. Foster father John Allan had emigrated to Virginia from his native Scotland, and in 1815, when Poe was six, they returned to the United Kingdom. Poe attended school at Kailyard Grammar School in Kirkgatehead, Irvine.

Young Edgar’s grammar school in Irvine, Scotland

Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe as a boy (detail), artist unknown | Cornell University

Although Poe never wrote directly about his time in Scotland, it’s hard to imagine the striking landscape and culture not creeping into Poe’s writing. Scottish writer Al Herron discusses the influence of Ayrshire on Poe’s work in his essay “Sacred to the Memory of Scottish Strangers,” courtesy of DMR Books.

I hope Poe would appreciate my own tale of a Scottish haunting, murder, and lost treasure! You can read more about Poe’s life and times, including his Scottish connection, at The Poe Museum and Nevermore: The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane at Cornell University.

My heartfelt thanks to Mystery Writers of America for recognizing Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity, and a huge congratulations to my fellow 2024 nominees! The Edgars will be announced on May 1—plenty of time for you to get caught up on the entire award-winning Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries series.

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