Annal: 2004 Barry Award for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2004.

Book:Tough Luck

Tough Luck

Jason Starr

Mickey Prada’s a nice kid. He works hard at a neighborhood seafood market in Brooklyn putting fish on ice. He’s got a nice girlfriend. He even delayed college a year, to help his sick dad. But Mickey’s got a problem. A customer at the fish store, Angelo Santoro, keeps asking Mickey to place bets for him and Angelo keeps losing. As Angelo gets further in the hole, his bad luck is turning out to be Mickey’s too.

Now Mickey’s got his bookie after him and Angelo’s showing him the butt of his pistol rather than paying him back. So when his best friend, Chris, asks Mickey to join him on a can’t-lose caper, Mickey decides to go along. But, surefire schemes often have a way of backfiring, and this one is sending Mickey into an uncharted part of Brooklyn, where fish like Chris and Mickey have trouble just staying alive.

Book:The Courier

The Courier

Jay MacLarty

The Courier’s Motto: the package always arrives unopened, undamaged, and in one piece.

But the courier may not be so lucky.

Simon Leonidovich is an average-looking guy, with a disarming smile and more frequent-flyer miles than most airline pilots. He’s a high-tech, international courier of “packages” that range from priceless works of art to human organs and nuclear materials. When he accepts a contract to make a pickup at a small laboratory in Sweden, it seems like another easy job—until someone sets him up for a fall.

Suddenly, he’s on the run, trying to protect secret data that could save the lives of millions and destroy an international corporate merger. The police want him for a murder; a psychotic hired killer wants him for the package and the pleasure of…[more]

Book:Dealing in Murder

Dealing in Murder: A Molly Doyle Mystery

Elaine Flinn

Elizabeth Porter was a top-of-the-lineManhattan antiques dealer until her ex-husband and his lover’s flagrantly criminal scam left her reputation in tatters. Now, using a new name, Molly Doyle, she’s starting over a continent away in a rundown antiques shop in cozy Carmel, California. Molly is determined to make the best of it. But the early antiques bird sometimes gets more than the worm, and one prompt arrival places her at a murder site with a corpse in her arms. After she turns up at a second seemingly unrelated death, the abrasive new police chief considers Molly the prime suspect. Now the only way to clear her name is for Molly to find her own path to a killer, which will leave her either exonerated … or dead.

Book:Murder Between the Covers

Murder Between the Covers: A Dead-End Job Mystery

Elaine Viets

Helen has a new job “off the books” at Page Turners bookstore in Fort Lauderdale…until the owner is murdered. But since the arrogant Page Turner III had so many enemies, Helen will have to read between the lines to uncover the truth about a clever killer.

Book:The Shadow of Venus

The Shadow of Venus: A Claire Reynier Mystery

Judith Van Gieson

From the acclaimed author of Land of Burning Heat—the murder of a young woman takes rare book expert Claire Reynier into Albuquerque’s dark streets, where she must shed light on the shadows of the past.

Book:Wisdom of the Bones

Wisdom of the Bones

Christopher Hyde

Christopher Hyde takes us to Dallas in November of 1963, where Homicide Detective Ray Duval is about to collide with history. The President’s assassination has sent shockwaves of panic throughout the city. And with six months left to live, Duvall is trying to save one last life before he loses his own.

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