Steve Hamilton (author)

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

Steve Hamilton is a mystery novelist. He is one of only two authors (along with Ross Thomas) to win Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards for both best novel and best first novel. His Alex McKnight series[1] includes two New York Times notable books and spots on the New York Times bestseller list. Additionally, he has won or been nominated for such awards as the Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus Award, the Anthony, the Barry, the Gumshoe, and both the British Crime Writers' Association's Gold and Steel Daggers.


His 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A Cold Day in Paradise, won the Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin's Press Award for best first mystery by an unpublished writer, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for best first novel, and the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for best first novel, the only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 the latter two awards.[2] That book introduced Alex McKnight, an ex-cop who rents out cabins in the small town of Paradise in Michigan's isolated Upper Peninsula for a living and 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). To date, ten books and one short story in the Alex McKnight series have been published[1] and they have been translated into 12 languages.[3] Hamilton anticipates more McKnight titles in the future.[4]

Night Work is a stand-alone novel featuring a probation officer in upstate New York. Night Work was nominated for the Crime Writers' Association top award, The Duncan Lawrie Dagger. In 2006, Hamilton also won the Michigan Author Award for his body of work.[3]

His standalone novel The Lock Artist won an Edgar Award for best novel, a CWA Steel Dagger for best thriller in the UK, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association, which recognizes 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, including Japanese, 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.[5]


Hamilton lives in upstate New York with his wife Julia and their two children Nicholas G. and Antonia.[5] He wrote his first twelve books while working for IBM, writing at night after his family had gone to bed.[4]


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)
  • The Second Life of Nick Mason (2016)


  1. ^ a b c ""Books"". Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  2. ^ ""Interview with Steve Hamilton"". Murder Ink. July 2, 2003. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b ""Steve Hamilton Creates a Different Kind of Private Eye"". BookLoons. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 
  5. ^ a b ""About Steve Hamilton"". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Kono Mystery ga Sugoi! 2013 (in Japanese). Takarajimasha. December 2012. ISBN 978-4-8002-0527-8.