Annal: 1999 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Paperback Original

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 1999.

Book:The Widower's Two-Step

The Widower's Two-Step

Rick Riordan

Tres Navarre has just hours of apprenticeship time to serve before he can go for his P.I. license. Staking out a musician suspected of stealing a demo tape should be a piece of pan dulce. But his attention wanders just long enough for fiddle player Julie Kearnes to be gunned down before his eyes. He should just back away and let the cops investigate, but backing away has never been Tres’s strong point.

The missing demo and Julie’s murder are just two of the problems besetting Miranda Daniels, a pint-sized singer with Texas-sized talent. She’s the prize in a tug-of-war between two music hotshots who want to manage her career. One has a habit of making bad things happen to people he doesn’t like. The other has just vanished without a trace. As Tres looks into the dirty dealings surrounding Miranda, it becomes clear he’s stepped into a rattlesnakes’ nest of greed, double cross, and murder—and he may be the next to be snakebit.

Book:Atlanta Graves

Atlanta Graves: A Sunny Childs Mystery

Ruth Birmingham

Meet Sonny Childs—the hard-nosed, sharp-tongued P.I. who is the lead detective at Peachtree Investigations.

In Atlanta Graves, Sunny sets out ot reclaim a stolen painting, she ends up with a dead body, unanswered questions—and a full-fledged killer on her hands.

With Peachtree Investigations facing bankruptcy, Sunny must work fast—not only to catch the murderer, but to save her job.

Book:Butchers Hill

Butchers Hill: A Tess Monaghan Mystery

Laura Lippman

Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it’s not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess’s greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there’s a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the “Butcher of Butchers Hill” at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.

Book:Murder Manual

Murder Manual

Steven Womack

All I really need to know about murder, I learned in Nashville…

The bestselling toast of Tennessee, author Robert Jefferson Reed has made big bucks with his little book of folksy homilies like “Never go to bed angry” and “Eat your vegetables.” He should have included “Don’t commit murder.” For when Reed’s wife hires P.I. Harry James Denton to catch her hubby in a tryst with a sexy secretary, Harry finds the author of Life’s Little Maintenance Manual strangled and drowned in his own hot tub.

Caught at the scene of the crime, Harry is pegged as the prime suspect and must work double duty to avoid the specter of prison—and to pluck a murderer out of a dead man’s tangled past….

Book:Zen Attitude

Zen Attitude

Sujata Massey

It’s Tough to Keep Cool When the Heat Is On

Japanese-American Rei Shimura finally has a life to be proud of in Tokyo: running her own antiques business and living with her Scottish lawyer boyfreind. But when Rei overpays for a beautiful chest of drawers, she’s in for the worst deal of her life. The con man who sold her the Tansu is found dead, and like it or not Rei’s opened a pandora’s box of mystery, theft, and murder.

Only Rei sees the Tansu as the key. It will take a quick wit, fast feet, and above all a Zen Attitude for Rei to discover what a young monk, a judo star, and an ancient scroll have in common, and why her own life hangs in the balance.

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