Annal: 2001 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2001.

Book:Bubbles Unbound

Bubbles Unbound

Sarah Strohmeyer

Meet Bubbles, the irrepressible heroine of this irresistibly entertaining new mystery series-a tall, blond, and gorgeous, local bleach-blonde with a wacky family, a hot potential lover, and a bad case of murder.

Convinced there’s more to life than giving blue dye jobs at Sandy’s House of Beauty, Bubbles Yablonsky has done what few in Lehigh, PA, would dare: she’s gone back to school. And if her day gig, journalism classes, and on-the-job training at a local paper aren’t enough, there’s always her family to liven things up-from her bottom-feeding, social-climbing ex-husband to her precocious teenage daughter to her gun-toting mother, who just escaped from the Polish Old Folks Apartments.

But when Bubbles stumbles on a crime scene on the way home from an assignment, she is suddenly up to her roots in a nasty murder investigation . . . with suspects ranging from a greedy steel tycoon to a sexy photographer named Stiletto. It could be…[more]

Book:An Affinity for Murder

An Affinity for Murder: A Lake George Mystery

Anne White

Two dead art experts and a secret cache of paintings which may have been the work of Lake George’s most famous summer resident, Georgia O’Keeffe, set writer Ellen Davies on a collision course with danger. Ellen thinks she’s stumbled on a multi-million dollar find which will send her career in journalism soaring. But, as with other recently discovered O’Keeffe paintings, nothing is one hundred percent certain and Ellen may not live long enough to uncover the truth.

Book:Innkeeping With Murder

Innkeeping With Murder: A Lighthouse Inn Mystery

Tim Myers

Tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Hatteras West Inn and Lighthouse. Innkeeper Alex Winston watches over the cozy getaway, and guests count on him to take care of everything from basic repairs to breakfast. But he also has to take care of the occasional murder case, too.

When a visitor is found dead at the top of the lighthouse, Alex must solve the mystery and capture the culprit before the next guest checks out.

Book:Mute Witness

Mute Witness

Charles O'Brien

Picture the Scarlet Pimpernell as a woman—dealing with murder before the Terror made heads roll…

It’s the eve of the French Revolution. Fiscal crisis and social tensions brew. Anne Cartier, a headstrong young vaudeville actress at Sadler’s Wells company in London hears terrible news. Her stepfather, the actor Antoine Dubois has mysteriously died in Paris. The official verdict: he killed his mistress, then himself. Anne enlists the aid of Colonel Paul de Saint-Martin and his adjutant Georges Charpentier of the royal highway patrol. But, in her search for truth, Anne befriends a deaf, illiterate seamstress with a talent for puppetry who gives Anne an entre into the Palais Royale. Her quest further confronts her with an amateur theatrical society of dissolute young noblemen; a tormented female botanist; a sadistic aesthete; a rich, well-connected financier; a professional assassin. …[more]

Book:A Witness Above

A Witness Above: A Frank Pavlicek Mystery

Andy Straka

Thirteen years ago, Frank Pavlicek left the NYPD under less than ideal circumstances. Now, the divorced father of a teenage daughter, he works as a private investigator in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he indulges his passion for falconry – and tries to live outside the shadow of his past.

Frank is hunting with his red-tailed hawk, Armistead, when he finds it. A teenage boy’s body – barely concealed behind a pile of brush in a part of the forest Frank recently visited with his daughter, Nicole. It’s a truly gruesome crime scene – one of the many things Frank doesn’t miss about working homicide in the big city.

But what Frank finds in the dead boy’s wallet is even more disturbing: Nicole’s phone number, scribbled in ink on the edge of a bill. He pockets the evidence and flees. Days later, his daughter is in jail. His past is coming back to haunt him. And his reputation – and life – are on the line…

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