Annal: 2001 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2001.

Book:Street Level

Street Level: A Mystery

Bob Truluck

When we meet private detective Duncan Sloan he’s just handed back a five thousand-dollar check meant as advance payment on a job. The wealthy prospective client wants Sloan to find a woman with an eyeball tattooed on her bottom. All he knows is the tattoo, that she’s very young, white and probably somewhere in or near Orlando, Florida, Sloan’s hometown. Thanks but no thanks; that’s not enough. But when the five grand reappears in Sloan’s mailbox, he uses it for a Costa Rican vacation and never mind the job.

Pike, however tracks him down. When he explains the assignment, Sloan finds it bizarre enough to say “yes.” Isaac Pike is the only son of a top-ranked tycoon. He is also gay. Because he genuinely wants to be a father, he has deposited sperm with a reputable clinic while he searches for a suitable mother. But a paroled convict working at the clinic steals the sperm, impregnates…[more]

Book:Brigham's Day

Brigham's Day: A Novel

John Gates

In 1857, 120 settlers bound for California were murdered by a group of Mormons who feared that the wagon train was sent out to destroy them. The story of the Mountain Meadows Massacre is part of the lore of the West and an event that many would like to see forgotten. But it hasn’t been: in this explosive first novel, John Gates introduces Brigham Bybee, an attorney assigned to assist in the defense of a young man accused of murder in Kanab, Utah. To save himself and his client, Bybee must ask questions, the answers to which were supposed to have been buried with the victims of the Massacre. Discovering the truth may save his client, but the cost to the Mormon community will be catastrophic. Brigham’s day is a heart-stopping thriller based on historical truths.

Wonderfully crafted, carefully plotted, and rich in the color and history of the area, it is a novel that won’t be ignored…or forgotten.

Book:The Heir Hunter

The Heir Hunter

Chris Larsgaard

He’s young. He’s ambitious.

He’s got less than a week to find the heirs to a $22 million estate.

Now everyone he sees is trying to kill him.

Welcome to the world of Nick Merchant, heir hunter.

Nick Merchant is in the business of finding heirs. As payment, the San Francisco-based private investigator gets a percentage of the estate. So when Gerald Jacobs is found dead in a creaky old house in upstate New York, Nick thinks he’s about to score the payday of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, he’s got some pretty stiff competition. Working with his partner—and former girlfriend—Alex Moreno,…[more]

Book:Lost Girls

Lost Girls

Andrew Pyper

Attorney Bartholomew Crane doesn’t belong in the small town of Murdoch. And the town of Murdoch doesn’t want him there. Even Crane’s client, a teacher accused of killing two girls, his own students, doesn’t seem to care if Crane gets him off or not. But Bartholomew Crane has come to Murdoch to try his first murder case—and he intends to win at all costs.

That is, until the case takes an unexpected turn. For as Crane begins to piece together a defense for his client, he finds himself being drawn into a bizarre legend at the heart of the town’s history—a legend that is slowly coming alive before his eyes.

Unnerved by visions he sees on Murdoch’s dark streets, by the ringing of a telephone down the deserted hallway of his hotel, Crane is beginning to suspect that what is happening to him is happening for a reason. And that the two lost girls of Murdoch may be intricately tied to the town’s shameful history…and to a dark episode in his own long-forgotten past.

Book:Resurrection Angel

Resurrection Angel: A Denton Ward and Monty Crocetti Mystery

William Mize

In Resurrection Angel, a reclusive psychic and a punk rock private eye team up to investigate a case involving amnesia, UFO abduction, abortion clinic protests and murder.

“I touch things and they tell me stories. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes brutal.” Denton Ward, genius, recluse, alcoholic, psychic. “I swear if I have to take a picture of one more cheating husband, I’m gonna shoot someone.” Monty Crocetti, part-time punk rocker, full-time private investigator, girlfriend and partner of Denton Ward.

Lisa Rappaport seemed to have it all—a popular boyfriend, a wealthy father, and a sudden and unexplained case of amnesia. A late-night phone call brings Denton and Monty to her bedside and into her life. Her doctor thinks it’s a routine case, but a hypnosis session with Denton brings to light a possible cause for her memory loss—alien abduction. Lisa swears she is a virgin,…[more]

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