Hello friends! Please pardon my lateness in blogging. I’ve been shuttling to and from Toronto with a wee infant, who, while being the best baby companion imaginable, is still a bit boggled by her late nights and lack of routine. (As am I.)
We were in Toronto for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s annual awards gala, and I came away with the best news possible: A Spy in the House won the inaugural John Spray Mystery Award! Here’s what the judges had to say: ““In A Spy in the House Lee has got Victorian London right; this is what Dickens’ world really smelled like, literally and morally… Interesting and unique, Mary Quinn is a strong character who can think on her feet… I loved this book from the first line to the very last… A great read for a young adult of any age…”
I’m astounded, and thrilled, and humbled, and so grateful to a long list of people:
- John Spray of the Mantis Investigation Agency, who created and funds the award;
- My husband, Nicholas Woolley, who is my first and best and most ruthless reader;
- My agent, Rowan Lawton of PFD, who first envisioned the book as a YA novel;
- My editors, Mara Bergman of Walker Books UK and Deborah Noyes Wayshak of Candlewick Press, for honing my manuscript to its present form;
- All the booksellers, librarians, and teachers who are its passionate advocates;
- And finally, I am so very grateful to you, my readers, who are fervent about Mary Quinn and her circle. It’s a joy and a privilege to write these books. Thank you for your support.
Warmest congratulations to my fellow finalists Jan Markley, Allan Stratton, Marty Chan, and Norah McClintock. Long may mystery novels for young people continue to flourish!