Annal: 2003 Agatha Award for Best Nonfiction

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2003.

Book:Amelia Peabody's Egypt

Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A Compendium

Elizabeth Peters

The Egypt that so enticed and enchanted intrepid archaeologist-sleuth Amelia Peabody in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries was a place of wonder, mystery, danger, and the lure of antiquity. Now, with this monumental volume of Egyptian culture, history, and arcania, readers will be able to immerse themselves in the great lady’s world more completely than ever before.

Journey through the bustling streets and markets of Cairo a hundred years ago. Surround yourself with the customs and color of a bygone time. Explore ancient tombs and temples and marvel at the history of this remarkable land—from the age of the pharaohs through the Napoleonic era to the First World War. Also included in Amelia Peabody’s Egypt are a hitherto unpublished journal entry and intimate biographies of the Emersons and their friends, which provide a uniquely personal view of the lives, relationships, opinions, politics, and delightful eccentricities of mystery’s first family, as well as unforgettable pearls of wit and…[more]

Book:Atomic Renaissance

Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s

Jeffrey Marks

America in the 1950s was a place of Eisenhower, the Korean Conflict, McCarthy, and Sputnik. Women found themselves trapped into a mold of Donna Reed and June Cleaver, marginalized by the hyper-masculinity of the age. Mystery fiction had become a male bastion as well, promoting hardboiled private eye novels and spy fiction. It would be another three decades before groups to promote equality between the sexes in mystery fiction appeared.

Yet during that post-World War II era, seven women carved out a place in the genre. These women became the bestsellers of their time by innovation and experimentation. Margaret Millar, Patricia Highsmith, Leslie Ford, Charlotte Armstrong, Dorothy B. Hughes, Mignon Eberhart, and Phoebe Atwood Taylor are in no way similar to each other in style, theme, or subject matter. However, their writings created an Atomic Renaissance that continues to impact the mystery field today.

Book:The Dick Francis Companion

The Dick Francis Companion

Jean Swanson, Dean James

When former jockey Dick Francis turned to writing, his novels were a success right out of the gate. Now readers can learn more about his suspenseful stories and the fascinating worlds in which they take place-not only horse racing, but many others, from flying to filmmaking, from gemstones to glassblowing. Meet the man who has won three Edgar Allen Poe Awards, the title of Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master, fellowship in the Royal Society of Literature, and Malice Domestic’s Lifetime Achievement Award-and add to your reading pleasure with:

  • Book-by-book synopses, little-known facts, and quotes
  • Francis’s stable of memorable characters-from Sid Halley to Mr. Kitchens to Professor Guggenheim
  • The “beautiful, marvelous creatures” who run through his novels-from Admiral in Dead Cert to Zingaloo in Whip Hand
  • Websites on horseracing, the many novels, and the author himself
Book:Mystery Women: An Encyclopedia of Leading Women Characters in Mystery Fiction Volume III (1990-1999)

Mystery Women: An Encyclopedia of Leading Women Characters in Mystery Fiction Volume III (1990-1999)

Colleen Barnett

“Mystery Women, Volume 3” is an encyclopedia of leading women characters in mystery fiction introduced during the years 1990-1999. It was preceded by “Mystery Women 1 (1860-1979)” and “Mystery Women 2 (1980-1989)”. In each of the three books, the protagonists are described as to appearance, education and career, family status, religious and political interests. There are short reviews of the books in which each appeared. The series was intended not only as a resource for mystery fans,librarians and booksellers, but as a reflection of the way in which women were portrayed in the mystery novel over a period of 150 years. Initially women were victims or villianesses. Success by early sleuths was often based on “intuition” rather than intelligence. Parallels are drawn between the fictional status of women and that which existed in the real world at that time. The impact of world and national events; i.e. World War I and II, the Depression, the Equal Employment! …[more]

Book:A Second Helping of Murder

A Second Helping of Murder: More Diabolically Delicious Recipes from Contemporary Mystery Writers

Jo Grossman, Robert Weibezahl

This eagerly-awaited follow-up to the Agatha and Macavity Award finalist, A Taste of Murder, features more crime and nourishment from today’s foremost writers of crime fiction. With more than 130 recipes from an entirely new gang of mystery authors, A Second Helping of Murder lets fans enjoy the culinary cravings of such favorites as Elizabeth George, Dick Francis, Elizabeth Peters, Robert Barnard, Claudia Bishop, Alexander McCall Smith, Linda Barnes, George Pelecanos, and dozens more. Whether “meating out justice” or serving up “red herrings,” contributors have provided the cherished recipes of their fictional sleuths or shared a personal favorite. Classic recipe recreations celebrate felonious fare from time-honored mystery writers, including Edgar Allan Poe, Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, David Dodge, and Roald Dahl. There is even a crossword puzzle from Nero Blanc. Once armed with this collection of tasty recipes, the scene of the crime most definitely will be the kitchen.

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