Annal: 1988 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 1988.

Book:Something Wicked

Something Wicked: A Death on Demand Mystery

Carolyn G. Hart

Something has poisoned a local summer stock production of Arsenic and Old Lace as cast members stab each other in the back and props are sabotaged. Worst of all, the star, an aging Hollywood beach-blanket hunk, butchers his lines—while getting top billing in bed with wives and teenage daughters around town. No wonder someone decides to draw his final curtain. A pompous prosecutor tries to pin the murder on Max, Annie Laurance’s own leading man. Unless Annie can prove Max’s innocence, their wedding date’s off. Annie checks the greasepaint and glitter of backstage life. She’ll be next to star in a knock-’em dead scene if she doesn’t watch it because theatrical murderers never play fair.

Book:Dead Crazy

Dead Crazy: A Jenny Cain Mystery

Nancy Pickard

Award-winning author Nancy Pickard has been receiving high acclaim for her mystery series starring sleuth Jenny Cain. This time Cain finds herself following the trail of a possible paranoid schizophrenic slasher—only to uncover clues that put her squarely in the sights of a cold-blooded murderer!

Book:Mischief in Maggody

Mischief in Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery

Joan Hess

Police Chief Arly Hanks finds her small town, Maggody, has some new inhabitants when she returns from vacation. Soon, Robin Buchanon, local prostitute and moonshiner, disappears, and Arly finds her bloody body at the edge of a marijuana field.

Book:Paying the Piper

Paying the Piper: An Elizabeth MacPherson Novel

Sharyn McCrumb

A motley crew of American and British professionals and amateurs gathers for an archaeological dig into prehistoric burial rites on a small Scottish island. Things already aren’t going so well, when one of the strongest in the crew dies suddenly. Afraid for her life, fellow digger and forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson probes the rocky topsoil for a reason behind the evil aura of death that seems to hover over them. Is the excavation cursed by the ancient dead…or is there a more modern explanation behind the group’s strangely rising mortality rate…?

Book:The Widow's Club

The Widow's Club

Dorothy Cannell

Meet Ellie Haskell, nee Simons, thin woman, newlywed, potential murderess. Her life in charming Chitterton Fells promises nothing but endless bliss—until she meets two of the most cunning and unlikely private eyes ever to track down a diabolical killer. Misses Hyacinth and Primrose Tramwell of Flowers Detection Agency have been called in by a major insurance company to investigate the deplorably high incidence of sudden death among the married men of this picturesque municipality. The spinster sleuths soon discover that all the husbands had been unfaithful and their deaths neatly arranged by an enterprising social organization called The Widows Club.

But to find the mastermind behind this insidious ring, the Tramwells need an unhappy and betrayed wife. Enter Ellie, who will endanger life and husband to join The Widows Club and arrange to have her dearly beloved…dead.

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