Annal: 1995 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1995.

Book:The Caveman's Valentine

The Caveman's Valentine

George Dawes Green

There has never been a hero quite like Romulus Ledbetter, a Juilliard-trained pianist who makes his home in a cave in New York’s Inwood Park. There has never been a debut novelist quite like George Dawes Green with his singular gift for marrying malevolence with poetry, tragedy with uproariousness, and madness with lucidity. And there has never been a novel quite like The Caveman’s Valentine, a rich, idiosyncratic achievement that is by turns suspenseful, deeply moving, and hilarious.

Romulus Ledbetter wasn’t always homeless. He once was a devoted husband, father, and musician with a bright future. He now forages for food in the trash cans of the city’s better neighborhoods and wages a strenuous one-man war against Cornelius Gould Stuyvesant, an evil—and imaginary—power broker who is responsible for society’s ills, as well as the sinister Y- and Z-rays that are corrupting humankind. Then one wintry night, Rom finds a corpse at the mouth of his cave that rouses his well-defined…[more]

Book:Big Town

Big Town

Doug J. Swanson

A riveting debut featuring a hero readers will not soon forget. Jack Flippo was the hottest ticket in the Dallas DA’s office until an affair with a drug dealer’s wife ended his legal career. Now he’s living above a garage and doing a less-than-reputable lawyer’s snooping and legwork all over the big town.

Book:Mallory's Oracle

Mallory's Oracle

Carol O'Connell

Jonathan Kellerman says Mallory’s Oracle is “a joy.” Nelson DeMille and other advance readers have called it “truly amazing,” “a classic” with “immense appeal”. It is all of that, and more: a stunning debut novel about a web of unsolved murders in New York’s Gramercy Park and the singular woman who makes them her obsession.

At its center is Kathleen Mallory, an extraordinary wild child turned New York City policewoman. Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, she is still not altogether civilized now that she is a sergeant in the Special Crimes section. With her ferocious intelligence and green gunslinger eyes, Mallory (never Kathleen, never Kathy) operates by her own inner compass of right and wrong, a sense of justice that drives her in unpredictable ways. She is a thing apart. And today, she is a thing possessed. Although more at home in the company of computers than in the company of men, Mallory is propelled onto…[more]

Book:One for the Money

One for the Money: A Stephanie Plum Novel

Janet Evanovich

Watch out, world. Here comes Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie’s opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. She’s a product of the “burg,” a blue-collar pocket of Trenton where houses are attached and narrow, cars are American, windows are clean, and (God forbid you should be late) dinner is served at six. Now Stephanie’s all grown up and out on her own, living five miles from Mom and Dad’s, doing her best to sever the world’s longest umbilical cord. Her mother is a meddler, and her grandmother is a few cans short of a case.

Out of work and out of money, with her Miata repossessed and her refrigerator empty, Stephanie blackmails her bail bondsman cousin, Vinnie, into giving her a try as an apprehension agent. Stephanie knows zilch about the job requirements, but she figures…[more]

Book:Suspicion of Innocence

Suspicion of Innocence

Barbara Parker

A smart and successful young attorney, Gail Connor is on the verge of a partnership at a major law firm in the “new” Miami, a city more Latin than Anglo, with a dark side that slides right into the Everglades. But Gail’s success at work has masked failure in her personal life: an empty marriage, a daughter she hardly knows, and a past she would rather forget.

Then her sister, Renee, is found dead with her wrists slashed.

This riveting, high-tension legal thriller written by a former prosecutor draws us into hot and dangerous Miami, where Gail Connor is about to discover the other side of the law. After Renee’s suicide, Gail, left to sort out her complicated feelings for her younger, prettier sister, soon uncovers some of Renee’s shocking secrets. But most shocking of all is the police’s determination that Renee was murdered…and Gail is the prime suspect. Gail’s only hope is getting the best attorney she knows—her…[more]

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