Steve Hamilton (author)

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For other people with this name, see Steve Hamilton (disambiguation).

Steve Hamilton is one of the most acclaimed mystery writers in the world, and one of only two authors (along with Ross Thomas) to win Edgars for both Best First Novel and Best Novel. His Alex McKnight series[1] includes two New York Times notable books, and he’s put two recent titles on the New York Times bestseller list. He's either won or received multiple nominations for virtually every other crime fiction award in the business, from the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award to the Anthony to the Barry to the Gumshoe. But it was his standalone The Lock Artist that made publishing history, his first book to win an Edgar for Best Novel, a CWA Steel Dagger for Best Thriller in the UK, and an Alex Award – which is given out by the American Library Association to those books that successfully cross over from the adult market and appeal to young adult readers. The Lock Artist has been translated into seventeen different languages, and was an especially strong seller in Japan, where it was voted the number one translated crime novel of 2012 by both the annual Kono Mystery Ga Sugoi guide and by Weekly Bunshun magazine. [2]


Hamilton's novels have won numerous awards. His very first book, A Cold Day in Paradise, won the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin's Press Award for Best First Mystery by an Unpublished Writer. After it was published, the novel went on to win the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel and the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best First Novel, the only first novel to win both awards.[3] That book introduced Alex McKnight, an ex-cop now making a living renting cabins in the small town of Paradise in Michigan's isolated Upper Peninsula, who becomes a reluctant private detective.

Hamilton's second Alex McKnight novel, Winter of the Wolf Moon (2000), was named one of the year's Notable Books by The New York Times Book Review and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, as did his next three novels, The Hunting Wind, North of Nowhere and Blood is the Sky (which won the 2004 Gumshoe Award). As of 2011 there are eight books in the Alex McKnight series.[1] and they have been translated into 12 languages.[4]

Night Work is a departure from the Alex McKnight series, featuring instead a probation officer in upstate New York, although Hamilton has indicated that he will return to McKnight at some point.[5] Night Work was nominated for the Crime Writers' Association top award, The Duncan Lawrie Dagger.

In 2006, Hamilton won the Michigan Author Award for his body of work.[4]

His 2010 novel The Lock Artist won him a second Edgar Award, this time for Best Novel. With this second win, Hamilton joins only 4 other authors who have won the award twice.


Hamilton lives in upstate New York with his wife Julia and their two children Nicholas G. and Antonia.[2] He currently works full-time for IBM and does his writing in the evenings after his family has all gone to bed. [5]


A Cold Day in Paradise (1998)

  • 1997 St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America Best First P.I. Novel by unpublished writer[6]
  • 1999 MWA Edgar Allan Poe for Best First
  • 1999 PWA Shamus for Best First
  • 1999 Finalist for Anthony Best First
  • 1999 Finalist for Barry Best First

Winter of the Wolf Moon (2000)

  • 2001 Finalist Barry for Best Novel
  • 2000 New York Times Notable Book List

North of Nowhere (2003)

  • 2003 Finalist Shamus for Best Novel
  • 2003 Finalist Anthony for Best Mystery
  • 2003 Finalist Barry for Best Novel

Blood is the Sky (2004)

  • 2004 Finalist Shamus for Best Novel
  • 2004 Finalist Anthony for Best Mystery
  • 2004 Gumshoe Award

A Stolen Season (2006)

  • 2007 Finalist Nero

Night Work (2007)

  • 2008 Finalist Gold Dagger (Duncan Lawrie Dagger)

The Lock Artist (2010)

  • 2011 Edgar for Best Novel
  • 2011 Barry for Best Novel
  • 2011 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award
  • 2011 Alex Award
  • 2011 Finalist Anthony for Best Mystery
  • 2011 Finalist Gold Dagger (Duncan Lawrie Dagger)
  • 2010 Finalist Dilys Award
  • 2013 The Best Translated Mystery of the Year in Japan (2013 Kono Mystery ga Sugoi!)[7]


Alex McKnight series[edit]

  • A Cold Day in Paradise (1998)
  • Winter of the Wolf Moon (2000)
  • The Hunting Wind (2002)
  • North of Nowhere (2003)
  • Blood is the Sky (2004)
  • Ice Run (2005)
  • A Stolen Season (2006)
  • Beneath the Book Tower: An Alex McKnight Short Story (2011)
  • Misery Bay (2011)
  • Die a Stranger (2012)
  • Let It Burn (2013)


  • Night Work (2007)
  • The Lock Artist (2010)


  1. ^ a b c ""Books"". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  2. ^ a b ""About Steve Hamilton"". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  3. ^ ""Interview with Steve Hamilton"". Murder Ink. July 2, 2003. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  4. ^ a b ""'Alex McKnight' Mysteries Author Steve Hamilton Captures 2006 Michigan Author Award"". State of Michigan, Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  5. ^ a b ""Steve Hamilton Creates a Different Kind of Private Eye"". BookLoons. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2013 (in Japanese). Takarajimasha. December 2012. ISBN 978-4-8002-0527-8.