Annal: 1994 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 1994.

Book:She Walks These Hills

She Walks These Hills

Sharyn McCrumb

Historian Jeremy Cobb is backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, attempting to retrace the tragic journey of eighteen-year-old Katie Wyler, who was captured by the Shawnee after the massacre of her pioneer family in Mitchell County, North Carolina. In late summer, Katie escaped from a Shawnee village on the banks of the Ohio, and followed the rivers through the wilderness to find her way home—a brave journey that ended in sorrow. Jeremy, a city-bred graduate student with no trail experience, is determined to complete his scholarly quest, unaware that his journey will be both a trial of hardships and a mystical experience. He does not know that the spirit of Katie Wyler is still seen wandering the hills, trying to get home. Mountain wise woman Nora Bonesteel sees her every autumn “when the air is crisp and the light is slanted and the birds are still.”

Hiram Sorley, known as Harm, is also at large in the Appalachian wilderness. Sorely, who has escaped from the Northeast…[more]

Book:Angel of Death

Angel of Death

Rochelle Krich

Some things are uglier than homicide—and ultimately as dangerous. For Barry Lewis, a Los Angeles attorney famous for handling controversial cases, danger comes in the form of a note on his front door: “The Angel of Death spared your forefathers—will he spare you?” To LAPD detective Jessie Drake, the message is as ominous as the red paint smeared across Lewis’s doorposts and the Star of David scrawled across his door. Is this threat intended only for Lewis, or for the entire Jewish community?

Lewis, Jessie soon learns, is everyone’s enemy. Especially now that he’s representing a group of neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and skinheads who want to parade through two predominantly Jewish neighborhoods on Hitler’s birthday. The Jewish community, enraged, is preparing for a confrontation. Lewis—who is the son of Holocaust survivors and does not sympathize with any hate groups—is determined to defend his clients’ First Amendment rights. But at what cost? How will the police maintain public…[more]

Book:The Beekeeper's Apprentice

The Beekeeper's Apprentice: A Novel of Suspense

Laurie R. King

In 1915, long since retired from his observations of criminal humanity, Sherlock Holmes is engaged in a reclusive study of honeybee behavior on the Sussex Downs. Never did he think to meet an intellect to match his own–until his acquaintance with Miss Mary Russell, a very modern fifteen-year-old whose mental acuity is equaled only by her audacity, tenacity, and penchant for trousers and cloth caps.

Under Holmes’s tutelage, Russell hones her talent for deduction, disguises, and danger: in the chilling case of a landowner’s mysterious fever and in a kidnapping in the wilds of Wales. But her ultimate challenge is yet to come. Soon the two sleuths are on the trail of a murderer whose machinations scatter meaningless clues…but whose objective is quite unequivocal: to end Russell and Holmes’s partnership–and their lives.

Book:Night Train to Memphis

Night Train to Memphis: A Vicky Bliss Mystery

Elizabeth Peters

Vicky Bliss, assistant curator of the National Museum in Munich, doesn’t know a thing about Egyptology. It’s her familiarity with larceny that brings an intelligence agency to her office with an offer she can’t refuse. They want her as an operative on a luxury Nile cruise because “certain information” has come to their attention—on a dead body—that a major heist of Egyptian antiquities is in the works. Will Vicky risk her life and all 5’11” of her shapely body in order to stop the thief? Vicky suspects that the man the authorities want is her occasional lover and frequent adversary, the art thief and master of disguise she knows only by one of his many aliases—”Sir John Smythe.” On the first day of the trip, in the shadow of the Sphinx, she does spot him—with a beautiful young girl clinging to his arm. Stunned and furious, Vicky is too pre-occupied with her own feelings to concentrate on crime as the cruise ship sails up the Nile. Of course, she’s also distracted by a billionaire offering…[more]

Book:Scandal in Fair Haven

Scandal in Fair Haven

Carolyn G. Hart

In her last tantalizing mystery, Dead Man’s Island, award-winning author Carolyn G. Hart gave us a colorful new heroine, seasoned ex-journalist turned sleuth Henrietta O’Dwyer Collins. Now Henrie O is back…this time investigating a brutal murder in a lovely southern town where wealth and privilege mask a hotbed of lies, sex, and deadly desperation….

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