Yes, over a hundred and fifty years after his death, it appears that Edgar Allen Poe is smoking Victorian crack again.
Or at least his namesake is.
While being a whole-hearted student of the Master Detective, I must admit that the mystery genre as a whole is usually disappointing to me. When you start with the top of the field, which Sherlock Holmes definitely is, it's hard to be thrilled about lesser lights who stumble through mysteries with a little personality and colorful details alone. And that being the case, I've never gotten too excited about the Edgar Awards, a sort of mystery Oscars handed out by the Mystery Writers of America. Their field of self-congratulations is so small that the nominee list always holds some clunkers, just to fill out the field. But this year . . . oh, this year . . .
Edgar is back on the opium, to be sure.
All you have to do is look at their nominees for "Best Television Episode Teleplay." And the nominees are:
"Pilot" -- Longmire
"Slaughterhouse" -- Justified
"New Car Smell" -- Homeland
"A Scandal in Belgravia" -- Sherlock
"Child Predator" -- Elementary
Seriously, Edgar? You're going to put Elementary up against the likes of Homeland and Sherlock, two TV shows that actually got nominated for Emmys . . . you know, the REAL television awards done by people who actually know television? All for having one cheesey "the kid is the killer and not the pervy old guy" twist that wasn't hard to see coming?
But it's more than that. The Mystery Writers of America have fallen so far from the flagship character of their genre that they think Mr. Elementary, the Sherlock-In-Name-Only, deserves an award for his exercise in identity theft? That's just sad.
No, wait. The fact that major mystery novel series are based around cats or alphabet titles. That's sad. And it kind of explains how faux Sherlock got on that nominees list.
Read the Canon, folks. There's a reason it's the only mystery series called "the Canon."
And, Mystery Writers of America? I know you like Edgar Allen Poe, but stay off the drugs!