A couple of people have posted questions on blogs about the absence of a Best European Crime Novel on this year's Gumshoe Awards shortlist. After discussions with my committee, we decided to eliminate that category.
I never thought it was a strength of the Gumshoes, and I also don't like the "ghetto-ization" of books that it implies. (That's why we don't have a category for Best Paperback.) I thought it made sense to divide crime novels into Mystery and Thriller -- but after that point, it seemed like splitting too many hairs.
It also seemed somewhat disrespectful, as if a certain class of books had to be considered on their own because they didn't match up to the rest.
So now all novels, hard or soft, US/UK/European/whatever, are considered in the main categories. I think that by keeping the focus on only three categories of books -- Best Mystery, Best Thriller, Best First Novel -- the awards carry more weight and give greater distinction to those books that are selected.
As for Best Website, we still haven't decided what exactly we want to do with that. I have an idea in the works, but it may not be implemented in time for this year's awards. I'll keep you posted.