Annal: 2000 Barry Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2000.

Book:Murder, With Peacocks

Murder, With Peacocks: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews introduces a cast of quirky characters who will pull her heroine in different directions as she plans three successive summer weddings.

When Meg Langslow is roped into being a bridesmaid for the nuptials of her mother, her brother’s fiancee, and her own best friend, she is apprehensive. Getting the brides to chose their outfits and those of their bridesmaids (and not change their minds three days later), trying to capture the principals long enough to work out details, and even finding peacocks to strut around the garden during the ceremony—these are things Meg can handle. She can brush off the unfortunate oaf who is smitten with her, and take philosophically her disappointment when she learns that the only eligible man in her small Virginia town (and a delightful hunk he is) is of questionable sexual preference. But even Meg is taken aback when the unpleasant former sister-in-law of Meg’s…[more]

Book:Every Trace

Every Trace

Gregg Main

Ellen has murder on her mind: a secret, untraceable act of retribution; payback for a horrifying act from her childhood that shattered her family and changed her life forever. After years of searching, the time for action has arrived. She takes to the road in pursuit of a man called Walker—setting into motion a plan so carefully crafted no one knows where she’s gone. Not even her husband, Pete, a college teacher who wakes up one morning alone in their bed. Unaware of her secret past, Pete suspects only that a troubled marriage has reached its end. With the slimmest of clues, a confused and desperate Pete leaves their Dallas home and begins to trace Ellen’s path.

Tracking Walker to Los Angeles, Ellen figures a gun to his head will get her the identity of the prey she ultimately seeks. But her plan takes a series of horribly unexpected turns, and—in a bizarre twist—she joins forces with Walker on a wild run that inevitably leads them both to an evil they cannot escape.

Book:The Immortal Game

The Immortal Game

Mark Coggins

In the tradition of Phillip Marlowe and Sam Spade comes August Riordan, a bass-playing PI full of cynicism and irreverence. Hired by multimillionaire entrepreneur Edwin Bishop, whose advanced software program is stolen, Riordan must navigate his way through the underbelly of the technological and jazz worlds. Decorated by atmospheric photographs that add a new dimension to the hard-boiled genre, this fast-paced book is a modern take on the classic mystery.

Book:Lie in the Dark

Lie in the Dark

Dan Fesperman

Investigator Petric makes his living from the dead, what with the siege around Sarajevo. Lately business has been slow. Condoned killing has displaced the crime of passion. His services with the civil police as a homicide investigator have been less in demand. One premeditated death does call for inquiry. It is no abused lover or distant sniper’s victim but a government official shot dead at close range-the chief of the Interior Ministry’s special police.

In a thriller that recalls the dark excitement of Vienna in Graham Greene’s The Third Man, author Dan Fesperman brilliantly renders the fragmented society and underworld of Sarajevo at war-the freelancing gangsters, guilty bystanders, drop-in correspondents, the bureaucrats frightened for their jobs and for their very lives -and weaves through this torn cityscape one man’s desperate, deadly pursuit of the wrong people in the wrongest place.

Book:White Sky, Black Ice

White Sky, Black Ice: A Nathan Active Mystery

Stan Jones

In the small Alaskan village of Chukchi, what are the odds of two suicides occurring in a matter of a few days? State trooper Nathan Active discovers that his suspicions concerning the deaths are well-founded; the two men were murdered. But what was the motive and who killed them?

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