Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense
The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is named for Daphne du Maurier, the author of REBECCA, a suspense novel with romantic and gothic overtones and a precursor to today's romantic suspense. The Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense is a writing contest for published and unpublished authors of romantic suspense, mystery, suspense and thrillers with romantic subplots and mainstream mystery, suspense and thrillers.
The contest provides helpful feedback by trained judges, and winning or placing in the competition adds a boost to the entrant's writing career. There are two divisions within the contest: Published and Unpublished. Entries are received January 15th - March 15th each year. Finalists for each division are announced in May [Unpublished] and June [Published]. Winners are announced at the RWA® National Conference in July.
We are excited to announce the Winners and Finalists for the Published Division. For the PDF file, click here.
Overall Winner for the Daphne Published 2017 Division is: In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White !
CATEGORY (SERIES) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: Deep Cover Detective by Lena Diaz
- Man of Action by Janie Crouch
- Ace in the Hole by Ava Drake
- Protecting Her Daughter by Lynette Eason
- Urgent Pursuit by Beverly Long
- Navy Seal Seduction by Bonnie Vanak
HISTORICAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: The Devil May Care by Lara Archer
- The Viscount Always Knocks Twice by Grace Callaway
- Angel Comes to the Devil's Keep by Regina Jeffers
- Murmuration by TJ Klune
- Six Degrees of Scandal by Caroline Linden
INSPIRATIONAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: The Stronghold by Lisa Carter
- Rocky Mountain Pursuit by Mary Alford
- The Dragon Roars, Book Two of The Seven Trilogy by Sara Davison
- Classified Christmas Mission by Lynette Eason
- Deception by Elizabeth Goddard
- Blindsided by Katy Lee
PARANORMAL (PARANORMAL/TIME TRAVEL/FUTURISTIC) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti
- Glisten by Tricia Cerrone
- Don't Let Me Forget You by Cara Crescent
- Deader Homes and Gardens by Angie Fox
- From This Fae Forward by AE Jones
SINGLE TITLE ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: Betrayed by Kaylea Cross
- Wanted by Marissa Garner
- Hard Silence by Mia Kay
- Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
- Killing Game by Chandler Steele
MAINSTREAM MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
Winner: In the Barren Ground by Loreth Anne White
- Notorious by Carey Baldwin
- Death Among the Doilies (A Cora Crafts Mystery) by Mollie Cox Bryan
- Elegy in Scarlet by BV Lawson
- Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan
We are equally excited to announce the Winners and Finalists for the Unpublished Division. For the PDF file, click here.
The Overall Winner for the Daphne Unpublished 2017 Division is: Fair Haven by Laura Conner Kestner !
CATEGORY (SERIES) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE -
First: Smash & Grab by Lori Matthews
Second: Reid's Diamond by Cheryl Rabin
Third: Blood Rights by A.L.R. Court
Honorable Mention: Confide In Me by Kathryn Denman
Honorable Mention: Villa Marco Polo by H. S. Stavropoulos
HISTORICAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
First: Lovely Digits by Jeanine Englert
Second: The Secrets Within the Towers by Abigail Wilson
Third: Hidden Depths by Pamala Knight
Honorable Mention: Whitecliff by Valen Cox
INSPIRATIONAL ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
First: Fair Haven by Laura Conner Kestner
Second: Incentives by Sharee Stover
Third: Stolen Vows by Darlene L. Turner
Honorable Mention: Breathing Shadows by Loretta Eidson
Honorable Mention: Fatal Assignment by Loretta Eidson
PARANORMAL (PARANORMAL/TIME TRAVEL/FUTURISTIC) ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
First: The Transformation of Alexis Doe by Jilly Wood
Second: Haunted by Shani Lynne
Third: The Last Descendent by Kristina Kairn
Honorable Mention: Goldilocks Nine by Christine Gunderson
Honorable Mention: Affliction by Pamela Varnado
SINGLE TITLE ROMANTIC MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
First: Voice for the Dead by SB Woodson
Second: The Hustler by Angie Hockman
Third: Shadowplay by Shannyn Jordan w/a Jordyn Jacobs
Honorable Mention: Shot Down by Tracy Brody
Honorable Mention: Criminal Heat by Jan Jackson
First: Stosh and the Devil by Michele Reed
Second: Inherent Lies by Alicia Anthony
Third: The End of Youth by Tammy Euliano
Honorable Mention: SEmerald Drone by Alan Chaput
Honorable Mention: Ghosts of Harvard by Jeff Cooper
Honorable Mention: It Hurts by Robbin Luckett
Thank you so much to everyone who entered the contest and to all our wonderful judges as well as our very hard-working coordinators.
- Category (Series) romantic mystery/suspense: any manuscript that fits into series romance similar to those stories found in the Harlequin Intrigue or Harlequin Romantic Suspense lines.
- Historical romantic mystery/suspense: any manuscript set in a time that predates the end of World War II.
- Inspirational romantic mystery/suspense: any manuscript in which religious or spiritual beliefs form a significant part of the story.
- Mainstream mystery/suspense: any manuscript where the mystery/suspense is the main plot.
- Paranormal/Time travel/Futuristic (PTTF) romantic mystery/suspense: any manuscript in which paranormal elements play a significant role.
- Single Title romantic mystery/suspense: any manuscript where the romance is the main plot but which contains elements of mystery/suspense.
Sample Score Sheets
- Category (Series) romantic mystery/suspense
- Historical romantic mystery/suspense
- Inspirational romantic mystery/suspense
- Mainstream mystery/suspense
- Paranormal/Time travel/Futuristic (PTTF) mystery/suspense
- Single title romantic mystery/suspense
Previous Winners and Finalists
- 2016 Published and Unpublished
- 2015 Published and Unpublished
- 2014 Published and Unpublished
- 2013 Published and Unpublished
- 2012 Published and Unpublished
For questions, please contact the Daphne Contest Chairman here.
Tread lightly...But know that while we are all working together here, the conversation can turn quickly to death, destruction and mayhem. And we are fine with that. We'll even abet you as you work to do the same, to become the best spinner of romantic mysteries and thrillers that you can be. So come on in, the water's warm...as blood.