Groovy Young Adult Novel Wins Another Award
Richie Narvaez’s award-winning novel for teens set in 1970s New York City, Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco, is the recipient of a 2021 Anthony Award in the Best Juvenile/Young Adult category. This action-packed book follows two high-school students as they unravel a dangerous case gripping their school grounds.
The Anthony Awards were established in 1986 to celebrate the best crime/mystery books of the year. Winners of seven categories (Best Hardcover Novel, Best First Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Juvenile/Young Adult, Best Short Story, Best Critical/Non-fiction Work and Best Anthology or Collection) were announced in a ceremony at the virtual Bouchercon mystery convention on August 30, 2021.
The book recently won a 2020 Agatha Award and has received excellent reviews, including:
“The novel alternates between Holly’s and Xander’s perspectives as the danger mounts and the two investigate the case in parallel. This fast-paced, skillfully developed murder mystery offers equal billing to both characters, their separate lives, and their individual problems while also examining gender inequality and social injustice and providing an interesting look at the history of disco as a safe place for queer people and people of color. A fun murder mystery with a side of disco fever.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Readers will find plenty of action and suspense, a complex mystery, as well as humor and a slew of interesting characters. The 1979 setting—with the absence of current technology such as cell phones and laptops—sets a refreshing stage where the characters use other methods to uncover information.”—School Library Journal
“As the clock winds down and the killer prepares to strike, Narvaez expertly juggles several parallel plots. From glittery discotheques to strange passages between classrooms, mystical mysteries are infused into a fun, historical murder case that takes a fresh approach to teenage angst, anxiety, and the need to belong.”—Booklist
RICHIE NARVAEZ is the author of Hipster Death Rattle (Down & Out Books, 2019) and Roachkiller and Other Stories (Beyond the Page, 2012), which won the 2013 Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Latinx Rising: An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Mad Creek Books, 2020), Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery (Arte Público Press, 2009) and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens (Piñata Books, 2011). He served as president of the New York Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Artist in Residence of the Bronx Council on the Arts and a judge for the 2019 PEN America’s Open Book Awards. He teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and lives in the Bronx.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Books published under the imprint serve as a bridge from home to school to support family literacy and elementary school education. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.