Annal: 1992 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 1992.

Book:Bootlegger's Daughter

Bootlegger's Daughter: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Margaret Maron

Unconventional, still unwed (at the ripe old age of 34) North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott has done the unthinkable: tossed her hat into the heated race for district judge of old boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she’s busy defending indigent clients and reeling in voters. Then suddenly, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to help solve Janie’s senseless, never-solved, eighteen-year-old murder. Deborah takes on the case; following twisted, typically Southern bloodlines, turning up dangerous, decades-old secrets, and inspiring someone to go on an all-out campaign to derail her future—political and otherwise. But it will take more than sleazy smear tactics to scare this determined steel magnolia off the scent of down-home deceit…even in a town where a cool slug of moonshine made by Deborah’s father can go down just as smoothly as a cold case of triple murder.

Book:Defend and Betray

Defend and Betray: A William Monk Mystery

Anne Perry

Although esteemed General Thaddeus Carlyon meets his death in a freak accident at home, his beautiful wife, Alexandra, confesses that she killed him. Investigator William Monk, nurse Hester Latterly, and the brilliant Oliver Rathbone, counsel for the defense, work feverishly to break down the wall of silence raised by the accused and her husband’s proud family. With the trial only days away, they inch toward the dark and appalling heart of the mystery. The final act is a courtroom masterpiece, through which we dare not breathe too deeply, lest the precarious balance of a woman’s life be lost.

Book:The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

Sharyn McCrumb

Everyone in Dark Hollow, Tennesee, knew that old Nora Bonesteel had “the Sight.” So naturally she was the first to know about the murder-suicide. Four members of the Underhill family lay dead on a run-down farm, and the two children who survived had no one left. Only the minister’s wife, Laura Bruce, was willing to be their guardian.

The grisly case was supposed to be “open and shut,” but it bothered Sheriff Spencer Arrowood. He had this worried feeling that the bad things were far from over at the Underhill’s farm. And he would feel a lot worse if he knew what else old Nora saw: tragedy for Laura Bruce, an elderly man, and a young mother…and the kind of dying that would test the courage of the living and a sheriff’s insights into country ways and hearts.

Book:The Snake, the Crocodile & the Dog

The Snake, the Crocodile & the Dog: An Amelia Peabody Mystery

Elizabeth Peters

In her previous outing, The Last Camel Died at Noon, Amelia Peabody and her dashing husband, Emerson, discovered a fabulous lost oasis in the Nubian desert. Now, in the seventh mystery in the series, the Emerson-Peabodys are traveling up the Nile once again to encounter their most deadly adversary, the Master Criminal, who is back at his sinister best.

Amelia Peabody was unabashedly proud of her newest translation, a fragment of the ancient fairytale “The Doomed Prince”. Later, she would wonder why no sense of foreboding struck her as she retold the story of the king’s favorite son who had been warned that he would die from the snake, the crocodile, or the dog. Little did she realize, as she and her beloved husband sailed blissfully toward the pyramids of ancient Egypt, that those very beasts (and a cat as well) would be part of a deadly plot. The expedition began so happily….Leaving their delightful, but catastrophically precocious, son, Ramses, back in England, Amelia…[more]

Book:Southern Ghost

Southern Ghost

Carolyn G. Hart

Southern Ghost is a delicious Southern Gothic full of humor, electric suspense, and a beloved cast of characters.

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