Former Maine pastor Steve Burt’s novel “The Bookseller’s Daughter” won the top honor at the New York Book Festival this week. The award was announced Tuesday and comes with a $1,500 prize, according to the festival’s website.

The book focuses on a teenager working in a Wells bookstore who uncovers a mystery, including books stolen from another store that specializes in books about the occult. The New York Book Festival honors “books that deserve greater recognition from the world’s publishing capital,” according to its website. Other books were honored in various categories, including biography, young adult, general nonfiction, general fiction and cookbooks.

Burt is a retired pastor who worked in several Maine towns over the years, including Edgecomb, Thorndike and Brewer. He splits his time between Wells and Florida. He’s won several awards over the years for his books, including his Freeks psychic teen detectives series, set in Bridgton. His book “Oddest Yet” was co-winner of a Bram Stoker Award in the category of Work for Young Readers in 2004.


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