- Blacklands by Belinda Bauer (Simon and Schuster)
- Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann (Soho Press)
- The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron (Minotaur Books)
- The Sherlockian by Graham Moore (Twelve)
- Snow Angels by James Thompson (Putnam)
The Critics Awards are a little different from the other awards I'm up for in that they are chosen by a panel of book critics and journalists. This year's judges were Dennis Drabelle (The Washington Post), Dich Lochte (Los Angeles Times), Jordan Foster (Publishers Weekly), Jack Batten (Toronto Star), Jeff Ayers (Associated Press), Mary Ann Gwinn (Seattle Times), Jeff Johnson (Chicago Sun Times), Sarah Weinman (Los Angeles Times), and Larry Gandle (Tampa Tribune).
It sounds like a cliche, but it really is just an honor to be nominated for something like this. I'm very grateful to the judges for giving me a shot. Fingers crossed.