Annal: 1994 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1994.

Book:A Grave Talent

A Grave Talent

Laurie R. King

As A Grave Talent begins, the unthinkable has happened in a small community outside of San Francisco. A string of shocking murders has occurred, each victim an innocent child. For Detective Kate Martinelli, just promoted to Homicide and paired with a seasoned cop who’s less than thrilled to be handed a green partner, it’s going to be a difficult case. Then the detectives receive what appears to be a case-breaking lead: it seems that one of the residents of this odd, close-knit colony is Vaun Adams, arguably the century’s greatest painter of women, a man, as it turns out, with a sinister secret. For behind the brushes and canvases also stands a notorious felon once convicted of strangling a little girl. What really happened on that day of savage violence eighteen years ago? To bring a murderer to justice, Kate must delve into the artist’s dark past—even if she knows it means losing everything she holds dear.

Book:The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz

The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz: A Luis Montez Mystery

Manuel Ramos

This debut novel in the acclaimed Luis Montez series introduced a hero unique in detective fiction: a world-weary middle-aged lawyer steeped in the politics, history, and culture of the golden age of Chicano activism.

Twenty years ago, a gang attacked four Chicano student activists and shot down their leader, Rocky Ruiz. Now the survivors, Montez’s former compatriots in the movement, are in danger. One is killed, another beaten, and a third driven into hiding. Enter Teresa Fuentes, a beautiful young lawyer determined to solve the mystery and just as determined to avoid becoming involved with Montez. To save his friends, Montez must reexamine the central event of their shared past-the murder of Rocky Ruiz. Just as difficult, he finds, may be to untangle his feelings for Teresa Fuentes.

Book:Criminal Seduction

Criminal Seduction

Darian North

A man and woman who never should have met…a brutal murder that defies comprehension…an eccentric life veiled in layer upon layer of secrets…a maze of mystery and passion that unfolds with terrifying speed…all ignite in this stunning novel.

Book:The List of Seven

The List of Seven

Mark Frost

On Christmas Day 1884, a desperate plea from a mysterious woman leads Arthur Conan Doyle—struggling physician, aspiring writer, and part-time demystifier of the occult—to a seance in London’s East End and into a fiendish and deadly trap. Stunned by a shocking display of black magic, Doyle witnesses a murder, nearly falling victim himself before being rescued by a secretive stranger: Jack Sparks, a man who claims to be special agent to Queen Victoria. He tells Doyle that he has been targeted by a diabolical coven of Satanists—the Dark Brotherhood.

As they track their attackers across the length and breadth of Britain, assailed by forces of darkness both human and supernatural, Conan Doyle and Sparks unmask a terrifying conspiracy that threatens not only the Crown but the very fabric of modern civilization. Their only clue: a list of seven names, the leaders of the Brotherhood. Skeptical by nature and profession, Doyle…[more]

Book:Zaddik

Zaddik

David Rosenbaum

Recently divorced, spiritually adrift, and recovering from alcoholism, Dov Taylor, an ex-cop from the NYPD, is called upon to recover one of the world’s greatest treasures: the Seer’s Stone, a magnificent 72-carat diamond. The gem was to be used as dowry in a historic wedding meant to unite two powerful, bitterly antagonistic Hasidic sects, but has been removed from the sanctum of New York City’s diamond center and placed in the hands of the Magician, a Nazi collaborator and notorious war criminal. In a difficult quest of recovery, Taylor forges a link through time and solicits the help of his exalted ancestor, Hirsh Leib of Orlik-a zaddik and prince of Israel from 19th-century Poland, a country ravaged by war and fanaticism. To succeed, Taylor must commit his very life to a law older and more awesome than any on the books.

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