Annal: 1998 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1998.

Book:Los Alamos

Los Alamos: A Novel

Joseph Kanon

Spring 1945. As work on the first atomic bomb nears completion on a remote mesa in New Mexico, Karl Bruner, a Manhattan Project security officer, is found murdered in nearby Santa Fe. Is Bruner the victim of a violent sexual encounter, as the local police believe, or is his death a crime that threatens to jeopardize the secret of the Project itself? This is the mainspring of Joseph Kanon’s Los Alamos, a supremely original and romantic new thriller that re-creates the most compelling real-life drama of this century.

Michael Connolly, the intelligence officer brought in to crack Bruner’s case—and then make it disappear—soon discovers that investigating a murder in Los Alamos is anything but routine. In a town so secret it does not officially exist, he must thread his way through a makeshift community of displaced migrs, soldiers, and idealistic scientists for whom murder is, at best,…[more]

Book:23 Shades of Black

23 Shades of Black: A Filomena Buscarsela Mystery

K.J.A. Wishnia

NYPD cop Filomena Buscarsela has pretty much seen it all in her five years on the force. But after she recognizes the victim of a fatal toxic leak, which occurs outside her jurisdiction, her instincts tell her that something is not what it seems to be. From her run-down Bronx apartment, to the way-out clubs of the Lower East Side, to the seamy tunnels of the subway system, Filomena’s investigation leads her to suspect that a group of slick, high-powered corporate executives have turned to murder as a way to protect their bottom line. Now she must discover the truth before more people are sacrificed for higher profits!

Book:Bird Dog

Bird Dog: A Novel

Philip Reed

Harold Dodge is pushing fifty in a less-than-perfect world—that is, Los Angeles. He’s in a friend’s car when a pair of hired repo men in a stolen Buick are trying to run him off the freeway and into an early grave. But the cops pull him over first—a blessing, except for one little thing. Harold’s got a dead body in the trunk.

It all started because Harold has a weakness for killer legs. And when Marianna Perado in her spike heels asks him to help her “unwind” a rip-off deal at Joe Covo’s dealership, where Harold once bird-dogged suckers into buying used cars, he jumps…and lands in a cesspool of corruption. Now Harold has to add up a pack of lies and hope a scrap of truth comes out in the equation. But Harold lives in a city where everyone’s working a hustle, where the only question is who’s hustling you. The Santa Ana winds are blowing, and Harold Dodge is feeling the heat.

Book:A Crime in the Neighborhood

A Crime in the Neighborhood

Suzanne Berne

An auspicious debut novel by a young writer who will remind readers of Anne Lamott and Anne Tyler

Crime in the Neighborhood centers on a headline event— the molestation and murder of a twelve-year-old boy in a Washington, D.C., suburb. At the time of the murder, 1973, Marsha was nine years old and as an adult she still remembers that summer as a time when murder and her own family’s upheaval were intertwined. Everyone, it seemed to Marsha at the time, was committing crimes. Her father deserted his family to take up with her mother’s younger sister. Her teenage brother and sister were smoking and shoplifting, and her mother was “flirting” with Mr. Green, the new next-door neighbor. Even the president of the United States seemed to be a crook. But it is Marsha’s own suspicions about who committed this crime that has the town up in arms and reveals what happens when fear runs wild.

Book:Flower Net

Flower Net: A Thriller

Lisa See

Lisa See’s stunning fiction debut pits an American attorney and a Chinese cop against a deadly conspiracy of Chinese gangs, government, and big business that lies behind a series of grisly murders.

First the U.S. ambassador’s son is discovered entombed in a frozen lake in Beijing. Then the son of a powerful Chinese politician is found dead in the hold of a smuggler’s freighter bound for California. The Chinese and American authorities suspect the deaths are linked and, in a rare move, join forces to solve the crime, and soon U.S. District Attorney David Stark is sent across the Pacific to team up with brilliant yet rebellious police detective Liu Hulan. Their investigation takes them into every corner of today’s China—from glitzy karaoke bars, where government leaders and mafia kingpins make their most unsavory deals, to Beijing’s labyrinthine hutongs, where working-class Chinese have eked out their livings for centuries. …[more]

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