Annal: 2002 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2002.

Book:Open Season

Open Season: A Joe Pickett Novel

C.J. Box

Few first mysteries have been welcomed as enthusiastically as Open Season, or with better cause.

“When a high-powered bullet hits living flesh, it makes a distinctive -pow-WHOP-sound that is unmistakable even at tremendous distance.” And so it begins for Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden who, with the shot of a rifle, is thrust into a race to save not only an endangered species, but also the life and family he loves.

C. J. Box knows the wilderness and he knows how to create a wonderfully authentic, vividly alive sense of place. Most of all, he knows how to create a memorable new hero: a man who is full of failings, but strong and honorable. This is mystery writing at its best-and the beginning of a brilliant new career.

Book:Austin City Blue

Austin City Blue: A Zoe Barrow Mystery

Jan Grape

When Austin police officer Zoe Barrow fatally shoots twenty-five-year-old Jesse Garcia during a standoff, Internal Affairs has some hard questions—because the dead perp also happens to be the guy who put a bullet in Zoe’s husband and left him a vegetable. Assigned to desk duty until she’s cleared of any vendetta, Zoe tries to piece together a series of strange and violent new twists that will make or break her career.

One of her snitches, a local prostitute, is murdered and Zoe finds a strange connection to another unofficial case: a friend of her husband’s who thinks his wife has hired someone—a cop—to kill him. Soon, threats from Garcia’s uncle, another brutal murder and a sobering link to police corruption put Zoe in the line of fire, fighting to save her badge, her honor and her skin.

Book:The Jasmine Trade

The Jasmine Trade: A Novel of Suspense Introducing Eve Diamond

Denise Hamilton

Everything was set. Seventeen-year-old Marina Lu had even ordered custom-made gowns for the ten bridesmaids who, in several months’ time, would have preceded her down the aisle at her storybook wedding.

There isn’t going to be a wedding. Marina lies dead, alone in her shiny status car in a suburban shopping center parking lot, her two-carat diamond engagement ring refracting another abruptly shattered Los Angeles dream. Was her death merely a carjacking gone bad? Or is there more to the story?

Marina’s murder chillingly introduces Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond to a subculture of “parachute kids,” the rich Asian teens who are left to their own devices in California while their parents live and work in Hong Kong. Seeking American education and political stability for their children, the affluent parents often leave only an elderly housekeeper in…[more]

Book:Third Person Singular

Third Person Singular

K.J. Erickson

Set against the black backdrop of a ruthless Minnesota winter, KJ Erickson’s debut novel is bursting with masterfully plotted suspense and intricately rendered characters.

Prickly but gifted Minneapolis Special Detective Marshall “Mars” Bahr is a man whose devotion to his eight-year-old son is eclipsed only by his love of the hunt. Mars hasn’t won any popularity contests among his fellow officers, but his commitment to his job and his investigative talents have gotten him a plumb assignment: Special Detective in charge of the First Response Unit, reporting directly to the chief.

On a winter morning, when Mars is called to the scene of a homicide near the outskirts of town, his first thought is that a homeless drunk passed out in the wrong place on a freezing cold night. What he finds turns out to be much more menacing, a nightmare…[more]

Book:A Witness Above

A Witness Above: A Frank Pavlicek Mystery

Andy Straka

Thirteen years ago, Frank Pavlicek left the NYPD under less than ideal circumstances. Now, the divorced father of a teenage daughter, he works as a private investigator in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he indulges his passion for falconry – and tries to live outside the shadow of his past.

Frank is hunting with his red-tailed hawk, Armistead, when he finds it. A teenage boy’s body – barely concealed behind a pile of brush in a part of the forest Frank recently visited with his daughter, Nicole. It’s a truly gruesome crime scene – one of the many things Frank doesn’t miss about working homicide in the big city.

But what Frank finds in the dead boy’s wallet is even more disturbing: Nicole’s phone number, scribbled in ink on the edge of a bill. He pockets the evidence and flees. Days later, his daughter is in jail. His past is coming back to haunt him. And his reputation – and life – are on the line…

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