With all in attendance dressed to kill, the 58th annual Edgar Awards gala drew a power publishing crowd on April 28. Among those in attendance were HarperCollins chief Jane Friedman; Hyperion's Robert Miller; Little, Brown publisher Michael Pietsch; author Dominick Dunne and New York City district attorney Robert Morgenthau.

After two cocktail parties and dinner, the formal presentation of winners and accompanying entertainment moved briskly. "I was especially pleased about bringing in the show under two hours," commented event chair Robert S. Levinson. "Credit for that goes to our great presenters and the Edgar winners, who stuck to the script."

Among the highlights of the evening were brief opening remarks by Levinson and Mystery Writers of America president Michael Connelly; the congenial hosting by veteran actor William Windom (of Murder, She Wrote fame); and the guitar-accompanied singing of original Edgar-oriented songs by mystery author Don Bruns. The announcement of the event's top award, for Best Novel, brought two pleasures: a Penn & Teller-ish routine by presenters S.J. Rozan and Don Winslow (who, like Teller, remained silent throughout), and a clever acceptance riff by winner Ian Rankin (Resurrection Men, Little, Brown), who enumerated a string of fortuitous happenings leading up to his victory and concluded, "So tomorrow I think I should take up gambling."

Other major winners included Rebecca Pawel for Best First Novel by an American Author (Death of a Nationalist, Soho); Sylvia Maultash for Best Paperback Original (Find Me Again, Dundurn Group); Erik Larson for Best Fact Crime (The Devil in the White City, Crown); and G. Miki Hayden for Best Short Story ("The Maids"). The Grand Master Award went to Joseph Wambaugh.