Annal: 2001 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award for Historical Crime Novel

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2001.

Book:The Office of the Dead

The Office of the Dead: Book 3 of Roth Trilogy

Andrew Taylor

Living in the British city of Rosington of the 1950’s, Wendy finds herself penniless, jobless and on the brink of divorce. Desperate for advice, she seeks solace in her oldest friend, Janet Byfield. The wife of an ambitious young clergyman, her friend seems to have everything Wendy lacks: a loving, new family and a gorgeous manor.

But perfection has always loomed too close to tragedy. Gradually the Byfields’ idyll sours-old sins come to haunt the present and breed new ones in their place. A shadow of death seeps through the manor, and with it comes a mystery stretching back to the turn-of-the-century church and an opium-addicted poet-priest, then even further back in time, to a woman burned at the stake in the fifteenth century.

Only Wendy, as an outsider, can glimpse the truth. But can she grasp its macabre and twisted logic in time to prevent…[more]

Book:A Cold Touch of Ice

A Cold Touch of Ice: A Mamur Zapt Mystery

Michael Pearce

The world is changing aroung the Mamur Zapt, British Chief of Cairo’s Secret Police. It’s 1912 and there’s a war on that no one’s heard of. When an Italian man is murdered in the city’s back streets, there is concern that this could be some kind of ethnic cleansing. “One of us” Morelli may have been, but was he “one of us” enough? And were the guns in his warehouse anything to do with it? Gareth Owen—the Mamur Zapt—has to find out fast. And then, as external pressures crowd in, there are other difficult questions. What is Trudi von Ramsberg really doing in Cairo? Not to mention that other noted traveller, Gertrude Bell, or the irritating little archaeologist, T. E. Lawrence? And why has the post of Khedive’s Librarian suddenly become so important? Owen is just the man to solve these problems. He is less successful, though, in his relationship with Zeinab, especially now that she’s approaching thirty. As Cromer’s Egypt gives way to Kitchener’s Egypt, Morelli is not the only one who has problems over where his allegiance lies. Maybe the solution is for Owen to go to Zanzibar…

Book:A Distinction of Blood

A Distinction of Blood: A Mystery of Georgian England

Hannah March

Asked to investigate the marriage of his employer’s beautiful daughter, Charlotte Mortlock, Robert Fairfax discovers evidence of gambling debts, love affairs, and secrets. But suspicion turns to shock when Charlotte’s husband is found murdered in his bed with Charlotte holding court in the next room. Now Fairfax must get to the heart of this elegant facade of lies-in order to unmask a killer….

Book:Last Seen in Massilia

Last Seen in Massilia: A Novel in Ancient Rome

Steven Saylor

In the city of Massilia (modern-day Mareille), on the coast of Southern Gaul, Gordianus the Finder’s beloved son Meto has disappeared—branded as a traitor to Caesar and apparently dead. Consumed with grief, Gordianus arrives in the city in the midst of a raging civil war, hoping to discover what happened to his son. But when he witnesses the fall of a young woman from a precipice called Sacrifice Rock, he becomes entangled in discovering the truth—did she fall or was she pushed? And where, in all of this, could it be connected to his missing son? Drawn into the city’s treacherous depths, where nothing and no one are what they seem, Gordianus must summon all of his skills to discover his son’s fate—and to safeguard his own life.

Book:Mortal Sins

Mortal Sins

Penelope Williamson

The year is 1927, a time for bootleg gin, hot jazz, and sudden death. The place is a city that inters its dead above ground but keeps its secrets darkly buried. Here native son and seasoned homicide cop Daman Rourke, a haunted widower also mourning the death of a fellow cop and close friend, walks into a scene of appalling bloodshed.

On a hot summer night, inside a slave shack on the St. Claire estate, reckless, womanizing attorney Charles St. Claire has been brutally stabbed to death. A glass of absinthe laced with cocaine is also found on the scene. And in the elegantly appointed big house, a world-celebrated beauty stands covered in her husband’s blood, trying to hide the bruises on her face and professing her innocence. She is Remy Lelourie, Hollywood goddess, St. Claire’s wife of five months, and the woman who once broke Rourke’s heart. …[more]

Book:Ode to a Banker

Ode to a Banker: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery

Lindsey Davis

Can a tough detective have the sensibilities of a poet? When street-smart Marcus Didius Falco is coerced into a public reading of his satires, he couldn’t feel worse. Yet his scribbling is met with rousing applause…and an offer by Chrysippus, esteemed banker, patron of the arts, and scroll merchant, to publish his work.

Et tu, Brute! A euphoric Falco then discovers that Chrysippus expects to be paid for putting the budding author’s work on papyrus. Falco is no Horace, but he has his pride. His ensuing altercation with the publisher makes him a suspect when Chrysippus is found brutally murdered—a classic body in a library. Fortunately Falco has an alibi, and thanks to his friends in the Watch, he also lands the job as the homicide’s official investigator.

Murder, no matter how foul, is something Falco can handle even when he’s up to his stylus in outraged authors and crafty…[more]

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