Annal: 1999 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 1999.

Book:Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil: A Madeline Bean Mystery

Jerrilyn Farmer

Madeline Bean, caterer to the stars, is in the middle of the biggest job of her career. She and her partner Wesley have pulled off Hollywood’s most outrageous A-list Halloween party for notorious producer Bruno Huntley, complete with an eerie fortuneteller who is astonishingly accurate, and exotic food that’s to die for. Before long, Bruno is thrashing and writhing out on the dance floor. Just one problem: he’s not standing up, And soon, he’s not even breathing.

The newly late Mr. Huntley was poisoned, that’s certain. But the number of suspects with a yen to send Bruno to the devil could fill an audition for extras in the next Quentin Tarantino flick. When Wesley is arrested for the murder because of a long-standing dispute with the maniacal mogul, Madeline knows he couldn’t be guilty. But to prove it, she has to wade through the muck of a mudslinging family, outrun a pair of crazed canines, dodge a pair of well-aimed bullets, and expose a slew of secrets that could put a soap opera to shame. Somebody’s cooked up a murder, and it’s up to Madeline to find out who—before she faces a fadeout of her own.

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:Tiger's Palette

Tiger's Palette: A Caroline Canfield Mystery

Jacqueline Fiedler

With a habit of looking everywhere except where she’s going, thirty-one-year-old wildlife artist Caroline Canfield knows one thing for sure: accidents have a way of finding her. So after her free-spirited mentor, Anthony Chirico, plunges to his suspicious death from a scaffold, Caroline initially turns down the chance to finish his jungle mural at the Fox Valley Zoo. Aware of Tony’s penchant for leaving hidden messages in his work, Caroline starts to wonder if his fall was no accident—and when she finds Tony’s assistant with a knife in his throat, she gets the point that someone desperately wants to keep the zoo’s new exhibit from opening.

Spurred by her desire to know the truth and uncover the secrets of the mural, Caroline reluctantly accepts the Fox Valley Zoo commission. But working at the zoo isn’t a walk in the park—animals are being threatened and “accidents” start happening with alarming frequency. If Caroline doesn’t put the pieces of the puzzle together soon, she may never get out of this jungle alive.

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