Annal: 1994 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 1994.

Book:The Devil Knows You're Dead

The Devil Knows You're Dead: A Matthew Scudder Crime Novel

Lawrence Block

In this city, there is little sense and no rules. Those who fly the highest often come crashing down the hardest—like successful young Glenn Holtzmann, randomly blown away by a deranged derelict at a corner phone booth on Eleventh Avenue. Unlicensed p.i. Matt Scudder thinks Holtzmann was simply in the wrong place at the worst time. Others think differently—like Thomas Sadecki, brother of the crazed Vietnam vet accused of the murder, who wants Scudder to prove the madman innocent. But no one is truly innocent in this unmerciful metropolis—including Matther Scudder, whose curiosity and dedication are leading him to dark, unexplored places in his own heart…and to passions and revelations that could destroy everything he loves.

Book:Foursome

Foursome: A John Cuddy Novel

Jeremiah Healy

At a quiet getaway cabin on a peaceful pond in rural Maine, three people are dead. Someone using Steven Shea’s crossbow savagely murdered Steven’s wife and the couple’s best friends, Vivian and Hale Vandermeer. To the police, Steven Shea is the prime suspect. Shea’s lawyer, an law school buddy of detective John Cuddy’s girlfriend, hires Cuddy to find a weakness in the overwhelming evidence against his client.

Book:The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind: A Neil Hamel Mystery

Judith Van Gieson

Early in the morning of November 1, Neil and her boyfriend, the Kid, are shaken out of their postcoital bliss when they find a surprise visitor at Neil’s apartment door. The visitor is Martha Conover, a pinched, elegant older woman who looks askance at Neil’s “just-had-sex aura” but still pleads for her help. Martha’s been accused of running over Justine Virga, the girl who accidentally killed her grandson, Michael, in a car crash three years—to the day—earlier. Though Justine’s crushed corpse is found outside Martha’s home and Martha’s car bears an incriminating dent, Neil gradually discovers clues from Martha’s prim past and Justine’s wild one that point to other suspects, from drug dealers to South American death squads to Michael’s Latino father, wronged two decades earlier by Martha’s bigotry.

While Neil searches for Justine’s killer, she treats us to her wry take on every stratum of today’s Southwest, from…[more]

Book:Moth

Moth: A Lew Griffin Mystery

James Sallis

Lew Griffin has quit the detective business and withdrawn to the safety of his old home in New Orleans’ Garden District, where he copes with his past by transforming it into fiction. Following the death of a close friend, he returns to the streets—not only the urban ones he has conquered but also those of the rural South that he escaped long ago—to search for the runaway daughter he didn’t know that his friend had. Griffin discovers that we rarely know anyone, even those closest to us. And he now finds that he must also face two things he most fears: memories of his parents and his own relationship with his now-vanished son.

Moth is expansive, bursting with marvelous scenes and unforgettable characters, filled at once with the matter-of-fact violence of daily life and with redeeming human compassion.

Book:Wolf in the Shadows

Wolf in the Shadows: A Sharon McCone Mystery

Marcia Muller

Successful in her investigative work for All Souls Legal Cooperative, happy with her newly renovated house, and feeling somewhat more secure in her relationship with the mysterious environmental activist, Hy Ripinsky, Sharon is shocked to find herself suddenly faced with a wrenching ultimatum.

No longer a small, informal co-op, All Souls has grown. New legal partners, exasperated with Sharon’s free-wheeling ways, want to kick her upstairs with a raise, perks, and a “career opportunity” that will chain her to a desk forever. Offered a take-it-or-leave-it deal, Sharon is in turmoil. And to make matters worse, Hy has disappeared. His abandoned plane, wrecked rental car, and a road map point to RKI, a firm of international security consultants with a reputation for questionable, unorthodox tactics and clients engaged in controversial research. Sharon discovers that they hired Hy as a free-lance operative and that they,…[more]

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