Annal: 2000 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2000.

Book:Storm Track

Storm Track: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Margaret Maron

“Hurricanes rarely make it inland as far as Colleton County, North Carolina. When they do, people remember them as events that mark an entire generation. Domestic storms, on the other hand, hit with regularity. But when the scantily clad body of a promiscuous wife is found in a motel, the killing resounds like a thunderclap through the community.

With her handsome cousin a suspect in the murder, Judge Deborah Knott gets personally involved in the case. She soon uncovers a web of secret and illicit affairs that stretches from the African-American church community to Deborah’s own family. Then the murderer strikes again, even as a real-life killer storm rages up the Carolina coast. Hurricane Fran, bearing powers that can alter the landscape forever, will deliver a revelation to Deborah Knott about those closest to her-and a justice greater than man’s own.

Mesmerizing, psychologically complex, and cleverly plotted with surprises and twists, Storm Track is great, powerful fiction…and Margaret Maron at her best.”

Book:The Floating Girl

The Floating Girl

Sujata Massey

Half-American, half-Japanese, Rei Shimura is finally beginning to feel like Tokyo is home. Now a writer on art and antiques at the Gaijin Times, a comic-style magazine aimed at affluent young readers, Rei’s latest assignment is a piece on the history of comic book art. During a weekend of research and relaxation at her boyfriend Takeo’s beachside house, Rei stumbles upon the perfect subject: an exquisite modern comic that reveals the disturbing social milieu of pre-World War II Japan.

Rei art story, evolves into something much darker. One of the comic’s young creators is found dead—a murder that soon takes the tenacious Rei deep into the heart of Japan’s youth underground. Immersed in the investigation, she finds herself floating through strip clubs, animation shops, and coffeehouses to get the true story—and save her own skin.

Book:Guns and Roses

Guns and Roses: A Modern Mystery Set in Colonial Willamsburg

Taffy Cannon

Strange things are happening on the History and Gardens of Virginia Tour. Are they odd misadventures? Harmless pranks? Or does somebody have murder in mind? Ex-Texas cop Roxanne Prescott thought she’d moved into a more genteel line of work, leading the well-heeled on educational tours for her aunt’s travel agency. But as the group, which she has mentally nicknamed the Guns and Roses Tour, moves from Mount Vernon to Monticello, a practical joker targets the tourists. In Colonial Williamsburg the pranks escalate with deadly results. Roxanne must figure out which of her group is a killer hiding behind a genial facade.

Guns and Roses is a cozy mystery with an edge, first in a new series about the Irish Eyes Travel Agency. Author Taffy Cannon’s knowledge of the South and her acerbic wit enliven this classic closed-circle-of-suspects mystery.

Book:He Shall Thunder in the Sky

He Shall Thunder in the Sky: An Amelia Peabody Mystery

Elizabeth Peters

There are dark storm clouds gathering above a land of mystery and antiquity. And no one will escape the fury of the tempest to come. He Shall Thunder In The Sky.

Egypt and her hoary secrets are no match for New York Times-bestselling Grandmaster Elizabeth Peters and her indomitable archaeologist sleuth Amelia Peabody. The sand-and-wind blown ambience of this strange and colorful world, the ancient enchantments and delicious menace are more vibrantly realized than ever in this thrilling new adventure that places the intrepid Amelia and her equally remarkable family in the dangerous path of an onrushing World War.

The pursuit of knowledge must never be deterred by Man’s folly. So the close of 1914 finds Amelia Peabody and her husband Radcliffe Emerson back in Egypt for another season of archaeological excavation—despite the increasing danger of an attack…[more]

Book:Killer Wedding

Killer Wedding: A Madeline Bean Catering Mystery

Jerrilyn Farmer

Although not about to say “I do” anytime soon, hip party-planner Madeline Bean is no stranger to the phenomenon known as the LA wedding; the good, the bad and the kind where the party lasts longer than the marriage. Still, Maddie never expected to be the guest of Vivian Duncan, the West Coast’s grande dame of wedding consultants, at a lavish affair held amidst the dramatically lit fossils in the Nature Museum’s Hall of Dinosaurs. While checking out the glittering event, Maddie, with her keen event planner’s instinct, realizes something is not quite right, but what? The groom is on time. The bride is beautiful. And a corpse wearing a Cartier bracelet is dangling from the triceratops skeleton. Ah, yes. That.

With people disappearing and the bride in tears, Maddie just may be the next species to become extinct…unless she can reveal the murderer fast. Quicker than she can whip up a white chocolate wedding cake, Maddie follows the trail deep into dark jungles—urban…[more]

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