Annal: 2001 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2001.

Book:A Conspiracy of Paper

A Conspiracy of Paper: A Novel

David Liss

Benjamin Weaver is an outsider in eighteenth-century London: a Jew among Christians; a ruffian among aristocrats; a retired pugilist who, hired by London’s gentry, travels through the criminal underworld in pursuit of debtors and thieves.

In A Conspiracy of Paper, Weaver investigates a crime of the most personal sort: the mysterious death of his estranged father, a notorious stockjobber. To find the answers, Weaver must contend with a desperate prostitute who knows too much about his past, relatives who remind him of his alienation from the Jewish faith, and a cabal of powerful men in the world of British finance who have hidden their business dealings behind an intricate web of deception and violence. Relying on brains and brawn, Weaver uncovers the beginnings of a strange new economic order based on stock speculation—a way of life that poses great risk for investors but real danger for Weaver and his family. …[more]

Book:Crow in Stolen Colors

Crow in Stolen Colors

Marcia Simpson

The proprietor of a freight service, Liza Romero has found refuge from her troubled past in Wrangell, a rustic town with a rich history. But after she rescues a young Tlingit boy from certain death, danger begins to plague her every step…

Book:Death of a Red Heroine

Death of a Red Heroine

Qiu Xiaolong

Murder in Shanghai in the ‘90s presents Inspector Chen with a difficult choice.

The victim, Guan Hongying, was a National Model Worker, a celebrity of utmost probity. But perhaps her personal life was not so pristine. Inspector Chen Cao, a published poet and translator of T. S. Eliot, who has been assigned to head the Shanghai Police Bureau’s Special Case Squad, is urged by his superiors to consider the political implications of his investigation. Commissar Zhang, an old bureaucrat, doesn’t want Chen to peer under any stones. Does Chen dare to persevere?

Contemporary China is a society in turmoil. Faithful old party members, forced to retire, have lost prestige and perquisites; the new capitalists are on the rise. Still ensconced on top of the ladder are the High Cadres and, even above them, the HCC-High Cadre Children-their privileged status analogous to that of medieval princes. Chen is romantically interested in a newspaperwoman…[more]

Book:The Ice Harvest

The Ice Harvest

Scott Phillips

Loaded guns, ladies of the night, broken neon, broken dreams. Here is a world that is immediately recognizable—through a shot glass at three A.M. This is life with rough edges, in a novel that gives you the straight goods—point blank— one cold, snowbound Christmas Eve in Kansas. One single night, defined in shadings of black and white, when everything changes…

For most, the city is closing up. For a few outsiders, this night, Christmas Eve 1979, is just beginning. Charlie Arglist is a lawyer saying goodbye to Wichita by revisiting the landscape of his used up life: the cold stare of his angry ex-wife, the empty strip clubs and bars where loneliness turns a profit, the frozen glare of ex-lovers and cops long snuggled in his deep pockets. Club owner Renata, an elegant dish in a smoky dive, dreams of financial prosperity and holds a single frame of a stolen film that could help her achieve them. And there’s Vic. He’s got a reputation, a bad temper, and a secret worth half a million dollars. Not to mention a knack for bringing people together…for the last time. Before the night is over, the decisions they face and the choices they make will irrevocably alter the course of their lives—if they can live long enough to see Christmas Day sunrise.

Book:Raveling

Raveling

Peter Moore Smith

“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold.” Yeats’s words seem fitting for the slowly disintegrating Airie family and their son Pilot, a schizophrenic. Twenty years ago, Pilot’s little sister, Fiona, disappeared. In the aftermath, the Airie family fell apart—”unraveled,” Pilot observes. Old sins have long shadows, and Pilot both welcomes and fears the darkness those shadows offer. His memories of Fiona’s disappearance haunt him, but they are also an anchor to a past that seems more authentic than the present.

Pilot’s schizophrenia is all the more…

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