Annal: 1998 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 1998.

Book:Big Red Tequila

Big Red Tequila

Rick Riordan

Everything in Texas is bigger…even murder.

Meet Tres Navarre…tequila drinker, Tai Chi master, unlicensed P.I., with a penchant for Texas-size trouble.

Jackson “Tres” Navarre and his enchilada-eating cat, Robert Johnson, pull into San Antonio and find nothing waiting but trouble. Ten years ago Navarre left town and the memory of his father’s murder behind him. Now he’s back, looking for answers. Yet the more Tres digs, trying to put his suspicions to rest, the fresher the decade-old crime looks: Mafia connections, construction site payoffs, and slick politicians’ games all conspire to ruin his homecoming. It’s obvious Tres has stirred up a hornet’s nest of trouble. He gets attacked, shot at, run over by a big blue Thunderbird—and his old girlfriend, the one he wants back, turns up missing. Tres has to rescue the woman, nail his father’s murderer, and get the hell out of Dodge before mob-style Texas justice catches up to him. The chances of staying alive looked better for the defenders of the Alamo….

Book:Baltimore Blues

Baltimore Blues: A Tess Monaghan Mystery

Laura Lippman

Until her paper, the Baltimore Star, crashed and burned, Tess Monaghan was a damn good reporter who knew her hometown intimately—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill. Now gainfully unemployed at twenty-nine, she’s willing to take any freelance job to pay the rent—including a bit of unorthodox snooping for her rowing buddy, Darryl “Rock” Paxton.

In a city where someone is murdered almost everyday, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety—and his noontime trysts with Rock’s fiancee—make the case front page news…and points to Rock as the likely murderer. But trying to prove her friend’s innocence couls prove costly to Tess—and add her name to that infamous ever-growing list.

Book:Legwork

Legwork: A Casey Jones Mystery

Katy Munger

She’s smart, talented and durable, but Casey Jones has had more than her share of bad luck in her life—including a short stretch in a Florida pen that haunts her still. In Raleigh, N.C., where Casey now lives, a prison record means no private investigator’s license. So she’s doing legwork for legit p.i. Bobby D—a blimp-sized eating machine with a bad toupee, who exercises few muscles below the jawline.

Casey’s latest assignment is to guard Senatorial hopeful Mary Lee Masters—a tough-as-nails politico with a reputation for perfection and a long list of adversaries, including one who just dumped a shotgunned corpse into the candidate’s Jeep. With her campaign on the horizon, Mary Lee turns to Casey for help—the kind that soon has the unlicensed sleuth swimming in an unsavory southern stew of treachery and dirty politics…with a large pinch of murder thrown in for flavor.

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