Annal: 1995 Shamus Award for Best P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 1995.

Book:“K” is for Killer

“K” is for Killer: A Kinsey Millhone Mystery

Sue Grafton

Lorna Kepler was beautiful and willful, a loner who couldn’t resist flirting with danger. Maybe that’s what killed her.

Her death had raised a host of tough questions. The cops suspected homicide, but they could find neither motive nor suspect. Even the means were mysterious: Lorna’s body was so badly decomposed when it was discovered that they couldn’t be certain she hadn’t died of natural causes. In the way of overworked cops everywhere, the case was gradually shifted to the back burner and became another unsolved file.

Only Lorna’s mother kept it alive, consumed by the certainty that somebody out there had gotten away with murder.

In the ten months since her daughter’s death, Janice Kepler had joined a support group, trying to come to terms with…[more]

Book:Carnal Hours

Carnal Hours: A Nathan Heller Novel

Max Allan Collins

For Chicago detective Nathan Heller, coming to the Bahamas is anything but a vacation. Seems billionaire recluse Sir Harry Oakes wants Nate to get the goods on his new son-in-law, and his pockets are deep enough to get Nate to agree to anything.

No sooner is Nate on the island than Sir Harry is murdered in his bed. With his client—and meal-ticket—suddenly gone up in smoke. Nate’s left without a case. Until Sir Harry’s beautiful daughter convinces him to take on her problem. Her husband has just been accused of murder…

Nate’s a talented guy, however, and still has time to hobnob with exiled royalty, challenge the mob, battle shadowy Nazis, and romance the lovely ladies of this tropical paradise. Tough work.

Book:The Killing of Monday Brown

The Killing of Monday Brown: A Phoebe Siegel Mystery

Sandra West Prowell

Set against the magnificence of Montana’s Big Sky, The Killing of Monday Brown delves deeply into Indian Country as Billings private investigator Phoebe Siegel comes into contact and conflict with Crow culture.

There are a lot of people who might want to see Monday Brown permanently removed: He wasn’t an ideal husband, his business practices left many things to be desired, and his profession was an insult to and assault on the lives of Native Americans. As a trader in Indian artifacts, Brown would stop at nothing to replenish his stock of goods, even if a grave had to be desecrated to ensure profit. When he disappears and the circumstantial evidence points to his having been murdered, the police move quickly to make an arrest.

Twenty-year-old Matthew Wolf makes a good suspect: a hot-blooded Gulf War veteran with a big mouth and a propensity for…[more]

Book:The Lake Effect

The Lake Effect: A Milan Jacovich Mystery

Les Roberts

Milan is a man who honors his commitments, even when it’s the Mob from whom he was forced to ask a favor. So when Mafia heir Victor Gaimari decides to cash in his marker, the Slovenian detective can only acquiesce.

To his relief, the job is a tame one. Milan is to go out to Lake Shore Estates for the conclusion of a political event, act as bodyguard for the woman who is running for mayor, and report regularly to Victor on the progress of her campaign. Small potatoes, right?

Milan’s first encounter with his client, Barbara Corns, makes him feel that the woman hasn’t a chance even if Lake Erie does freeze over. She is a painfully shy and ineffective woman, a weak speaker who seems to have no real issue or platform. During public appearances, Evan True, her opponent and the incumbent, walks all over her. In spite of unsavory family problems, True will be a shoo-in. So why is Victor Gaimari interested? Milan doesn’t know, but when there’s a murder, he has to find out.

Book:A Long Line of Dead Men

A Long Line of Dead Men: A Matthew Scudder Mystery

Lawrence Block

The winner of multiple Edgar, Shamus, and Maltese Falcon Awards, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block has elevated the detective novel to high art—combining grit with intelligence, suspense with stunning emotional complexity and power. And in unlicensed private investigator Matthew Scudder, he has created a character whose depth and stark humanity is unrivalled in contemporary fiction.

An ancient brotherhood meets annually in the back room of a swank Manhattan restaurant—a fraternity created in secret to celebrate life by celebrating its dead. But the past three decades have not been kind to the Club of 31. Matthew Scudder—ex-cop, ex-boozer—has known death in all its guises. Which is why he has been asked to investigate a baffling, thirty-year run of suicides and suspiciously random accidents that has thinned the ranks of this very select group of gentlemen. But Scudder has mortality…[more]

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