This prize is awarded annually by St. Martin's Press and Malice Domestic Ltd. for "The Best First Traditional Mystery" of the year.

Established in 1989, MALICE DOMESTIC Ltd. hosts an annual convention in metropolitan Washington, DC, saluting "mysteries of manners"--books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie. The genre is loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex nor excessive gore or violence; and feature an amateur detective (usually), a confined setting, and characters who know one another. The convention was established in an effort to honor the traditonal mystery which, in the past, had been somewhat marginalized in the mystery world. The name is taken from MacBeth (Act III, Sc. ii).

MALICE attracts an international array of over 700 authors, academics, fans, dealers, editors, agents, and others every year. MALICE recognizes a Guest of Honor (a Malice author with a significant body of work), Toastmaster, Fan Guest of Honor, and a Ghost of Honor (a dead, renowned Malice mystery author) every year. Past Guests of Honor include Dorothy Salisbury Davis, Aaron Elkins, Peter Lovesey, Charlotte MacLeod, Patricia Moyes, Anne Perry, Elizabeth Peters, and Ellis Peters.

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©2003 Robin Hathaway