Annal: 2000 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2000.

Book:The Skull Mantra

The Skull Mantra

Eliot Pattison

The corpse is missing its head and is dressed in American clothes. Found by a Tibetan prison work gang on a windy cliff, the grisly remains clearly belong to someone too important for Chinese authorities to bury and forget. So the case is handed to veteran police inspector Shan Tao Yun. Methodical, clever Shan is the best man for the job, but he too is a prisoner, deported to Tibet for offending Beijing. Granted a temporary release, Shan is soon pulled into the Tibetan people’s desperate fight for its sacred mountain and the Chinese regime’s blood-soaked policies. Then, a Buddhist priest is arrested, a man Shan knows is innocent. Now time is running out for Shan to find the real killer…in an astonishing, emotionally charged story that will change the way you think about Tibet— and freedom— forever.

Book:Big Trouble: A Novel

Big Trouble: A Novel

Dave Barry

Dave Barry makes his fiction debut with a ferociously funny novel of love and mayhem in south Florida.

In his career, Dave Barry has done just about everything—written bestselling nonfiction, won a Pulitzer Prize, seen his life turned into a television series. And now, at last, he has joined the long list of literary figures from Jane Austen to Tolstoy who have made the transition from humor columnist to novelist…and done it with a style and inventiveness that establishes that, yes, he is very good at that, too.

In the city of Coconut Grove, Florida, these things happen: A struggling adman named Eliot Arnold drives home from a meeting with the Client From Hell. His teenage son, Matt, fills a Squirtmaster 9000 for his turn at a high school game called Killer. Matt’s intended victim, Jenny Herk, sits down in front of the TV with her mom for what she hopes will be a peaceful evening for…[more]

Book:Certifiably Insane

Certifiably Insane: A Novel

Arthur W. Bahr

The police found Janice Jensen bathed in blood, sitting on the floor in the lotus position, calmly munching grapes. Her husband, a cop, lay dead on the couch with four bullet holes in his head. Her infant son lay dead in his crib. Janice seemed unaware of the carnage around her. There was no question she had killed them, but was she criminally responsible or certifiably insane?

In Arthur W. Bahr’s Certifiably Insane, that is the question forensic psychologist Simon Rose must answer. He must determine whether the real Janice is a pitiful and psychotic aging cheerleader or a shrewd and conniving evil actress. But Simon’s experience and considerable expertise haven’t prepared him for the likes of Janice Jensen. She shuns analysis, confounds his clinical judgment—and provokes intense and conflicting emotions.

Kate Newhouse, Janice’s defense attorney and Simon’s best friend, suspects the problem is that Simon is attracted…[more]

Book:God Is a Bullet

God Is a Bullet

Boston Teran

The feral wasteland of the southern California desert and the badlands of Mexico: these are the settings for Boston Teran’s searing debut novel—a dark, wrenching thriller about personal conviction, retribution, and survival.

Fall 1970. In a remote playa a twelve-year-old boy stumbles upon a hideous scene in a dust-strewn trailer: the savage murder of a woman that will remain unsolved for twenty-five years.

Christmas week, 1995. A fourteen-year-old girl is kidnapped by a bloodthirsty satanic cult that calls itself the Left-Handed Path. The leader, Cyrus, considers murder the “ultimate freedom, ultimate joy . . . ultimate service.” His “tribe” is a group of drug-fueled young psychopaths honing their skills under the tutelage of a master. Helter Skelter. And then some.

Bob Hightower, the girl’s father, is a cop, suddenly more desperate than he ever imagined possible. There are no clues…[more]

Book:Inner City Blues

Inner City Blues: A Charlotte Justice Novel

Paula L. Woods

As an African-American woman in the predominantly white-male LAPD, homicide detective Charlotte Justice knows about heat. But now, thanks to twelve decent, pro-police jurors in Simi Valley, Los Angeles is a city rife with fires and riots. Forty-eight hours into the maelstrom, a prominent black doctor is mistaken for a car thief. Justice quickly defuses the violent confrontation, saving Dr. Lance Mitchell from a potentially savage beating by L.A.’s finest. But that’s just the corner of a more ominous picture.

For the body of “Cinque” Lewis is found nearby with the good doctor’s wallet beneath it. A one-time radical, Lewis murdered Justice’s husband and baby girl in a hail of bullets thirteen years ago, then dropped out of sight. Navigating a terrain riddled with emotional land mines, defying the staunch LAPD hierarchy, Justice now sets out to uncover the shady truth connecting Mitchell and Lewis—but by reliving the tragic past, she may be forced to repeat it…

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