No bucket of pig's blood dropped as Stephen King was named Grand Master at the Mystery Writers of America 's 61st annual Edgar Awards Banquet last night, but, still, the horror master suggested something mysterious might be afoot in Manhattan: He's been inspired to write a horror novel set in Harlem, he said, in which the crimes come courtesy of some old-school voodoo. "I'd have to live four years in Harlem to write it," he told us. "I'm a country kid, and this is the city. I'm a white kid, and it's a black neighborhood. So I'd have to do some research." The Edgar Award itself, a pale ceramic effigy of its namesake, is the ugliest but most cherished prize in the mystery world, presented for outstanding achievements in crime fiction. William Monahan won Best Motion Picture Screenplay last night for The Departed, and The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin was named Best Novel. Al Roker, the evening's master of ceremonies, confided that he identifies with King's Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury with a taste for blood. "Because it's a big, hulking guzzler," he said, explaining the affinity. If only it could have had gastric bypass. —Nicole K. Sia
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