From left to right, Elizabeth Duncan (The Cold Light of Mourning), me, Stefanie Pintoff (In the Shadow of Gotham), Lisa Bork (For Better for Murder), and Meredith Cole (Posed for Murder). The fifth nominee, Alan Bradley, had just finished an exhausting tour and couldn't get back here from Malta where he lives with his wife and (according to his publicist) two "calculating cats." He was the absentee winner for his first mystery novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.
What makes his life story so interesting is that he's in his 60s and only now trying his hand at our genre. Reminds me of Virginia Lanier of the Bloodhound series, who didn't start writing at all until she was past 60.
Happily, the rest of the nominees are well under 60, so we can expect many more books from all of them.