Annal: 2001 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2001.

Book:Death in the Steel City

Death in the Steel City: A Carroll Dorsey Mystery

Thomas Lipinski

Pittsburgh is a stew of ethnic divisions and, for some, a heritage of crime, punishment, and revenge. This is the legacy left to Carroll Dorsey, the son of a powerful political boss who is on his deathbed. Now a P.I. working the same streets where he once played as a boy, Dorsey is determined to look forward and not back as he makes a living in the city he’s always called home.

But nothing is as it seems when Dorsey is retained by an old gentlemanly Jewish gangster to search for the man’s long-lost lover. As Dorsey traces the life, times, and disappearance of a magnificent woman with a Lena Horne smile, he finds himself immersed in the most agonizing case of his career. For as he winds his way through broken families, broken neighborhoods, and broken promises, to the scene of a horrifying triple homicide, Dorsey is forced to confront a crime carried out fifty years ago—-one that reaches far too close to home…

Book:Bad to the Bone

Bad to the Bone: A Casey Jones Mystery

Katy Munger

Don’t mess with North Carolina’s Casey Jones-smart-mouthed ex-con, unlicensed P.I. and reluctant partner to a Barry White wannabe. Casey’s big and bad, with attitude to match her altitude. Especially when she’s been double-crossed.

At first, Casey proves a sucker for the fragile blond who claims her estranged husband has disappeared with their child. But when Casey locates the fugitive spouse a little too easily, she begins to suspect that the lovely Tawny Bledsoe has played her for a fool. Especially when Casey gets stiffed on the fee, then finds herself embroiled in a murder case with Tawny’s name written all over it. Bad check in hand and a bad taste in her mouth, Casey resolves to stop Tawny once and for all, but the battle quickly turns personal when Tawny proves more than a match for the irrespressible Casey. Ego rattled, Casey laces up her high-tops to track her nemesis to Florida for a Saturday night catfight. Casey must leave her sweet-and-sour Southern ways far behind in order to prove that Tawny Bledsoe is one bad-to-the-bone babe who belongs behind bars-no matter what it takes to bring her down.

Book:The Blazing Tree

The Blazing Tree: A Michael Merrick Mystery

Mary Jo Adamson

In the first book in this gripping historical mystery series, Boston police reporter Michael Merrick investigates a series of fires—one of which led to murder—within a local Shaker community.

Book:Dirty Money (Steven Womack)

Dirty Money

Steven Womack

The root of all evil…

How did Nashville P.I. Harry James Denton wind up working as a handyman in a world-famous brothel in Reno? Because the Feds made him a proposition: help smoke out a major money laundering operation secretly being run in Reno’s legendary legal cathouse, the Mustang Ranch.

After failing to reconcile with his ex, who is expecting their child, doing some simple snooping in a mansion full of gorgeous girls sounds like a good deal to Harry. But it’s a raw deal when one of the Mustang girls turns up savagely murdered and Harry is pegged as the prime suspect. The only way to save his neck is to risk it—and that means making a Nevada-size gamble that he can corner a killer who is holding all the aces….

Book:The Hindenburg Murders

The Hindenburg Murders

Max Allan Collins

The date is May 3, 1937. The legendary Hindenburg has just left Frankfurt on its final, fateful voyage across the Atlantic. And passenger Leslie Charteris has a terrible sense of foreboding…

The author of a world-famous mystery series featuring a benevolent sleuth called the Saint, Charteris was puzzled by the overzealous security at check-in—and disturbed to find the Hindenburg under Nazi control. But when an undercover Gestapo agent disappears the next day, it becomes clear to Charteris that his apprehension was not unwarranted. Asked to investigate, Charteris soon uncovers his fellow passengers’ most dangerous secrets. But a number of disturbing events occur during the doomed dirigible’s final hours—and only Charteris will know what really sparked the explosion that made the Hindenburg go down in flames…

Book:The Sporting Club

The Sporting Club: A Trade Ellis Mystery

Sinclair Browning

One man’s sport is another man’s murder….

Private eye Trade Ellis, part cowgirl, part Apache, has her hands full running her Arizona ranch. But when Victoria Carpenter, the famous romance writer, shows up with gruesome stories about repressed childhood memories, all going back over thirty years, Trade jumps at the chance to take the case.

Victoria’s flashbacks include her father’s so-called Sporting Club and its not-so-innocent picnics, where the wives talked, the children played…and the husbands made a brutal sport of hate and death. She’s convinced that her father and his hunting buddies were racist killers. But how do you investigate decades-old crimes? Especially with no bodies, no police reports, and the only accuser a woman who makes up stories for a living. When the threatening phone calls begin and a cross is set ablaze on Trade’s ranch, it soon appears there will be at least two more bodies they won’t have to dig out of the past-Victoria’s and Trade’s.

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