Second Place: Patricia Cornwell
Third Place: Harry Kollatz Jr.
David Baldacci is a conscientious native son, supportive of his alma mater (Virginia Commonwealth University), and a perfectly fine author of thrillers that get turned into movies and tele-films (such as the adaptation of his “Lake Effects,” which aired earlier this month on the Hallmark Movie channel). That he doesn’t actually live here — he’s long resided in Northern Virginia — doesn’t seem to bother our readers, who give Baldacci top nod as best local scribe. Same goes for second-place finisher Patricia Cornwell, who hasn’t lived here for years and even moved her literary protagonist, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, away from River City. Thank goodness for chapeau-adorned third-place finisher Harry Kollatz Jr., who’s a genuine, honest-to-living-here scribe who pens entertaining historical books when he isn’t working with Firehouse Theatre Project or writing for Richmond Magazine. We respectfully ask you not to move, Mr. Kollatz, or this category is balls.