Annal: 1995 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 1995.

Book:If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him…

If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him…: An Elizabeth Mac Pherson Novel

Sharyn McCrumb

For forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson, solving mysteries hardly seems the fun it used to be—even if she is the official private investigator for her brother Bill’s fledgling Virginia law firm. Then Bill and his feminist firebrand partner, A. P. Hill, take on two complex cases that will require Elizabeth’s special participation.

Eleanor Royden, a perfect lawyer’s wife for twenty years, has shot her ex-husband and his beautiful late-model wife in cold blood. And Donna Jean Morgan finds herself married to a Bible-thumping bigamist who has the nerve to die in circumstances that implicate his wife.

A. P. does her damnedest for Eleanor, an abused wife in denial, and Bill gallantly defends Donna Jean. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s forensic expertise, including her special knowledge of poisons, gives her the most challenging case of her career.

As questions of wife abuse and abandonment emerge in the court of public opinion, Elizabeth becomes a war correspondent in the battle of the sexes—a battle as old as the hills and unlikely to reach a truce any time soon….

Book:Escapade

Escapade

Walter Satterthwait

In the summer of 1921, English society is fascinated by the spiritual world—perhaps no one more than the great mystery writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, one of thirteen eager guests at a weekend party and seance in a stately Devon manor house steeped in history and tradition. But, as Sir Arthur puts it, “Something very strange, and very sinister, is occurring here at Maplewhite.” Whatever it is, warns his skeptical friend Harry Houdini, it is most certainly of this world, and no other. Their suspicions are amply confirmed when their host, the Earl of Axminster, is found murdered—in a locked room. Suspects and secrets abound, from the lovely Lady Purleigh and her nubile daughter, Cecily, to Dr. Erik Auerbach, the Viennese psychoanalyst, to Mme. Sosostris, the renowned European medium. Nobody is quite what they appear to be, and everyone has something to hide, in a mystery so puzzling that it baffles not only Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but even the Great Houdini himself. Only the two greatest masterminds of artful deceit could solve a crime so ingeniously crafted and cunningly executed.

Book:Miracles in Maggody

Miracles in Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery

Joan Hess

Chief of police Arly (Ariel) Hanks handles all the crime that comes her way in Maggody, Arkansas (pop. 755), with the ease that Ruby Bee at Ruby Bee’s Bar & Grill gets out her blue plate specials. Of course, most lawbreaking in this neck of the woods has to do with an illegal still or Raz Buchanon’s pet pig getting loose. And the biggest crime, according to her mother and friends, is Arly’s own unmarried state. But that’s before the motorcade of televangelist and faith healer Malachi Hope rolls into town and sets up a tent revival that promises to put Maggody on the map…and put Arly on the hot seat.

Book:Twilight: A Jenny Cain Mystery

Twilight: A Jenny Cain Mystery

Nancy Pickard

Set amid the coziest of New England traditions, a festival on the town common, Twilight drives deep into the darkness of the loves, fears, and hatreds that motivate us all—sometimes even to murder. The fortunes of the Port Frederick, Massachusetts, community are riding on the upcoming Autumn Festival, sponsored by The Judy Foundation: founder and director, Jenny Cain. As if running a fair on Halloween weekend for almost 15,000 people isn’t enough of a challenge, Jenny’s life and her own fortunes become much more complicated when a newly widowed young woman, Melissa Barney, walks into her office.

Book:The Wandering Arm

The Wandering Arm: A Catherine LeVendeur Mystery

Sharan Newman

The third title, after Death Comes as Epiphany and The Devil’s Door, in Sharan Newman’s critically acclaimed Catherine LeVendeur series is a powerful novel of murder and religious persecution. Catherine must find a lost reliquary to save those she loves—and to do so, must finally confront and come to terms with her family’s Jewish heritage. Ads/media.

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