Annal: 1999 Barry Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 1999.

Book:Iron Lake

Iron Lake: A Cork O'Connor Mystery

William Kent Krueger

Part Irish, part Anishanaabe Indian, Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota—population 3,752. Embittered by his “former” status, and the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, Cork gets by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, he’s found that there’s not much left in life that can shock him. But when the town’s judge, Robert Parrant, is brutally murdered, and Eagle Scout Paul LeBeau is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption and scandal.

Asked by LeBeau’s panicked mother to find her son, Cork’s investigation grows icier, and more treacherous, than a frozen lake at midnight.

The coroner declares Judge Parrant’s death a suicide and quickly cremates the corpse. The current sheriff throws critical…[more]

Book:Billy Dead

Billy Dead: A Novel

Lisa Reardon

In an everyday voice, still as the air before thunder, Billy Dead introduces Ray Johnson and his kin. In their small Michigan town, the Johnsons are the family that starts all the trouble, has all the hard luck, and fuels all the gossip.

Ray’s older brother Billy has just been found murdered—by someone who watched him crawl a mile down the road, head bloody; who smoked four Marlboros while watching Billy die. The question isn’t who killed him, but who didn’t want him dead.

Now Ray—knotted up with sorrow and a strange relief—bears the weight of the town’s curious gaze as they dredge up all the past he’s been trying to live down. But Ray insists on telling his own story, one of shameful abuse transfigured by impossible love: shocking, violent, tender, and redemptive in ways we have never known before.

Lisa Reardon reshapes the American landscape of Annie Dillard’s The Living and Peter Matthiessen’s Killing Mr. Watson in this novel of shocking depths and soaring heights—and Ray Johnson emerges as one of the most heartrending and endearing characters in recent literature.

Book:A Cold Day in Paradise

A Cold Day in Paradise: An Alex McKnight Mystery

Steve Hamilton

Other than the bullet lodged less than a centimeter from his heart, former Detroit police officer Alex McKnight thought he had put the nightmare of his partner’s death and his own near-fatal injury behind him. After all, Maximilian Rose, convicted of the crimes, has been locked in the state pen for years, But in the small town of Paradise, Michigan, where McKnight has traded his badge for a cozy cabin in the woods, a murderer with Rose’s unmistakable trademarks appears to be back to his killing ways. With Rose locked away, McKnight can’t understand who else would know the intimate details of the old murders—not to mention the signature blood-red rose left on his doorstep. And it seems like it’ll be a frozen day in Hell before McKnight can unravel the cold truth from a deadly deception in a town that’s anything but Paradise.

Book:The Contrary Blues

The Contrary Blues: An Owen Allison Mystery

John Billheimer

Not much happens in Contrary, West Virginia—a sleepy town with failing coal mines, a few old moonshine stills, and an urgent need for revenue.  A federal grant for a nonexistent bus system seemed just the ticket…if only the government auditor, sent to look things over, hadn’t drunk too much white lightning.  And ended up dead.

Now his successor, Owen Allison, has come down from D.C. to check out the situation.  Disgruntled with his life inside the Beltway, Owen is willing to give Contrary’s officials the benefit of the doubt—and himself some time to romance Mary Beth, the alluring town controller.  He soon feels like seventeen different kinds of fool.  Because something has long been fermenting in Contrary besides corn mash.  Another body has been found.  And Owen may be next…unless he uncovers the big secrets hidden in the hearts of a small Appalachian town.

Book:A Criminal Appeal

A Criminal Appeal: A Novel

D.R. Schanker

Fresh out of law school, Nora Lumsey—a farm-bred, big-boned woman, recovering bigot, and a compulsive meddler—has just begun her clerkship for Judge Carter Albertson of the Indiana Court of Appeals when she is instructed to draft an opinion affirming the conviction of Dexter Hinton, a deaf black child who has confessed to the murder of an elderly white woman in a drive-by shooting. When Nora discovers a personal connection to Dexter’s family, she finds her passion to do justice at odds with her role as a ghostwriter for the judge and “handmaiden to the law,” and she is torn between her idealism and her ethical obligations to the court.

Risking disbarment and criminal prosecution, Nora joins Owedia Braxton, Dexter’s former teacher at the deaf school, in the cause of winning Dexter’s freedom and finding the real killer. Their investigation draws them into a complex web of inner-city…[more]

Book:The Doctor Digs a Grave

The Doctor Digs a Grave

Robin Hathaway

Available for house calls— and homicide…

When cardiologist Dr. Andrew Fenimore isn’t mending weak hearts, he’s solving crimes in Philadelphia’s wealthy Society Hill. But murder is the last thing the good doctor expects when he befriends a teenage boy trying to bury his dead cat. As the two dig a grave for the cat’s final resting place in a vacant lot— which happens to be an ancient burial ground— they discover a fresh corpse, buried feet flexed, facing east, according to Lenape Indian tradition.

Fenimore’s P.I. pastime starts to become a distinct health hazard as he and his young sidekick follow the trail of the deceased young woman straight to the son of a colleague, one of Philadelphia’s most prominent surgeons. Surely the scion of a fine old Philadelphia family and his Indian fiancee ignited some powerful passions. But are they enough to risk trying for the perfect murder in a place where civility rules with an iron fist in a velvet glove?

Book:A Likeness in Stone

A Likeness in Stone

J. Wallis Martin

In the spellbinding tradition of Minette Walters and Ruth Rendell, author Julia Wallis Martin crafts an intelligent, atmospheric British suspense novel as engrossing as it is original.

An entire house, long submerged in the dark waters of a reservoir, unearths a starting find: the corpse of Helena Warner, an Oxford college student who disappeared twenty years earlier. For former homicide detective Bill Driver, it means the reopening of a case that, in his mind, was never really closed. And Driver thinks he knows who did it. But three of Helena’s friends-her cold former lover Ian Gilmore, her jealous best friend Joan Poole, and talented but institutionalized artist Richard Wachmann-conspire to keep a decades-old, deadly secret from seeing the light of day…all the wile, a killer continues to strike again and again.

Book:Tidewater Blood

Tidewater Blood

William Hoffman

For two hundred and fifty years, the LeBlancs of Tidewater Virginia—landed, rich, and proud of it—have been celebrating their French Huguenot ancestry. Each year, over an extravagant lunch and in period costume dress, they relive the beginnings of the LeBlanc line, reminding everyone of their rise from meager beginnings to a position of great stature, wealth, and privilege. But this year’s celebration goes horribly wrong. At the stroke of one, a deafening explosion brings down the massive plantation house columns, crushing every member of the family present. As the dust settles, all fingers point to the black sheep of the family, the youngest brother, Charles LeBlanc.

Long estranged from his family and living in a makeshift cabin on a spit of land off the Chesapeake, Charley has managed to make more enemies than friends—he was dishonorably discharged from the army, and then served time in prison. Facing prison,…[more]

Views: 856 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.027 sec