Annal: 1999 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 1999.

Book:Blood Work

Blood Work

Michael Connelly

Blood Work—that’s what Terrell McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Until a heart condition forced him to take early retirement, he headed all investigations of serial murders in the Los Angeles area. Now he is recovering from a heart transplant operation and leads a quiet life. But McCaleb’s calm seas turn rough when a story in the L.A. Times brings him face-to-face with Graciela Rivers, a darkly intriguing woman who hooks him with the story of her sister’s unsolved murder. Against doctor’s orders and his own better judgement, McCaleb agrees to take up the case. Soon Terry is on the trail of a killer whose crimes are more baffling and horrifying than anything he has ever encountered. It’s a mind-bending, breakneck case that leads McCaleb into the darkest place he’s ever known, unsure whether he even wants to survive his own investigation.

Book:Blind Descent

Blind Descent: An Anna Pigeon Mystery

Nevada Barr

In Blind Descent, Anna Pigeon faces personal demons as well as life-threatening dangers in an untamed underground wilderness for which neither training nor her love of the outdoors has prepared her.

Lechuguilla Cavern is a man-eating cave discovered in New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the mid-1980s. Estimated to extend for more than three hundred miles, only ninety of them mapped, the cave was formed by acid burning away the limestone; corridors, pits, cramped wormholes, cliffs and splendid rooms the size of football fields tangle together in a maze shrouded in the utter darkness of the underground.

When a fellow ranger is injured in a caving accident, Anna swallows her paralyzing fear of small spaces and descends into Lechuguilla to help a friend in need. Worse than the claustrophobia that haunts her are the signs-some natural, and some, more…[more]

Book:Blue

Blue: A Novel

Abigail Padgett

Blue. It’s an odd nickname left over from childhood and not exactly appropriate for a social psychologist. Then again, nothing about Blue McCarron is conventional. Not the isolation she thinks she enjoys in a half-built California desert motel. Not the torch she carries for Misha, a feminist with a mysterious past who, it has been said, could seduce furniture on a good day. Not even the way she got involved in the bizarre Muffin Crandall case.

Like everyone in the area, Blue knew all about the sixty-one-year-old widow who had confessed to smacking a man on the head with a paperweight and then storing his body in a public freezer for five years. But she didn’t know that Muffin had a brother thirty years her junoir. Now Dan wants Blue to free his sister by analyzing her.

Galvanized by an interesting case and a hefty fee, Blue signs on. To her surprise, she likes Muffin, and doesn’t believe…[more]

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:Home Fires

Home Fires: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Margaret Maron

North Carolina Judge Deborah Knott engages in her own investigation of an arsonists in the midst of campaigning for reelection in the sixth installment of this award-winning series.

At a stop along her campaign trail, Judge Deborah Knott attends a community picnic at the Mt. Olive Church. When the historic building is destroyed by a fire shortly after the outing - and the charred skeleton of young man is found among the ashes - Knott begins her own investigation into the tragedy. Earlier national news reports of a fire at a local African-American church had already gained attention of Wallace Adderly, a Black Panther from the ‘70s. Knott and Adderly team up to discover if the blazes are merely coincidence, or the work of a racist arsonist. As the number of suspects rises, Deborah finds herself re-examining her own beliefs and values as she and Adderly race to prevent another devastating loss in the community.

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