Annal: 2002 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2002.

Book:You've Got Murder

You've Got Murder

Donna Andrews

When a workaholic techie misses work for several days, his friend, Turing, does the only neighborly thing and checks in on Zack. She checks to see if he’s logged in from home. No luck. Then she skims the databases of local banks. Nothing. Next she searches hospital records throughout the state. No Zack.

Turing is no crazed stalker: she is an artificial intelligence personality of Zack’s creation. But, unlike other AIPs, Turing is sentient-and she senses foul play. She finds clues, but Zack’s enemies may well lie in the real world-outside the planet of the AIPS-where Turing has no ability to move.

Book:Blues in the Night (Rochelle Krich)

Blues in the Night

Rochelle Krich

Sunday, July 13. 1:46 A.M. Near Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon. An unidentified woman in her twenties, wearing a nightgown, was the victim of a hit-and-run accident that left her unconscious and seriously injured. There were no witnesses.

So reads the report on the accident off Mulholland Drive in Molly Blume’s Crime Sheet column for a weekly Los Angeles tabloid. Just another small L.A. tragedy, soon forgotten.

But the image of the young woman in her nightgown stumbling along a dark, winding road is one Molly, a freelance true-crime writer, cannot shake. In fact, it draws her to a bedside in intensive care, where the victim whispers to her three names: Robbie, Max, and Nina. It’s not a smoking gun, but is sufficient to reinforce Molly’s gut instinct that there are sinister circumstances behind the assault on Lenore Saunders. …[more]

Book:The Body in the Bonfire

The Body in the Bonfire: A Faith Fairchild Mystery

Katherine Hall Page

“The noose was on his pillow, the dark rope starkly outlined against the crisp linen case …”

Massachusetts caterer and minister’s wife Faith Fairchild is back in the twelfth delectable mystery by award-winning author Katherine Hall Page. The incomparable ex-New Yorker’s investigative prowess is put to its most stringent test when twisted hatred and blind bigotry become ingredients for murder.

THE BODY IN THE BONFIRETaking advantage of the January doldrums in the catering business, Faith goes undercover at Mansfield Academy, a prestigious prep school, after learning about anonymous racist attacks against senior, Daryl Martin. During the school’s Project Term, she volunteers to teach Cooking for Idiots, and soon learns more about the darker side of adolescence and the academic in-fighting at Mansfield than she wants to know. Someone, determined to undermine her inquiries, tampers with the ingredients…[more]

Book:Death of Riley

Death of Riley: A Molly Murphy Mystery

Rhys Bowen

Molly Murphy has finally begun to forget the unpleasant murder of a would-be rapist back in Ireland, not to mention her investigation into the murder of a fellow recent Irish immigrant, and is finally free to begin her life in New York City. Given her experiences so far in the New World, Molly has decided that her first order of business is to become a private investigator, a people finder of sorts, working for families in Europe who’ve lost touch with relatives in America. Not only might this put some food on her table, but her second order of business is to hook the handsome NYPD police captain Daniel Sullivan, and she envisions lots of opportunities to “seek his counsel” in her new profession.

Paddy Riley is a tough old Cockney p.i. who specializes in divorce work, and with a little persuasion he’s ready to take on Molly as an apprentice. It’s not exactly what she imagined, but she plans to make the most of it. That is, until she comes…[more]

Book:The Golden One

The Golden One

Elizabeth Peters

A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon an even more disturbing outrage concerns the intrepid clan of archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.

Yet this is nothing compared with the lethal fate that threatens Ramses. Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Ramses must journey to this ancient, fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile, Ramses’s wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own…. …[more]

Book:My Name's Friday

My Name's Friday: The Unauthorized but True Story of Dragnet and the Films of Jack Webb

Michael J. Hayde

Jack Webb’s Dragnet was more than the crisp, campy color television series that played from 1966 to 1970. First there was the successful radio series of 1949 to 1957 and then the black-and-white television series of 1951 to 1959, which became the best-known, longest-running, and most-acclaimed police drama in television history. My Name’s Friday tells the true stories of all these versions of Dragnet and its creator, director, star, and producer, Jack Webb, as the show and the man defined each other.

From the beginning Webb had an idea of what Dragnet should be, and My Name’s Friday chronicles the many ways in which he developed and refined his ideas as the show matured from radio to television. Webb emphasized realism, basing his scripts on cases from the Los Angeles Police Department and enlisting law enforcement professionals as advisors for the show. …[more]

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