Annal: 2004 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Critical/Biographical Work

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2004.

Book:Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith

Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith

Andrew Wilson

The first and highly anticipated biography of the author of such classics of suspense as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The life of Patricia Highsmith was as secretive and unusual as that of many of the best-known characters who people her “peerlessly disturbing” writing. Yet even as her work—her thrillers, short stories, and the pseudonymous lesbian novel The Price of Salt—have found new popularity in the last few years, the life of this famously elusive writer has remained a mystery.

For Beautiful Shadow, the first biography of Highsmith, journalist Andrew Wilson mined the vast archive of diaries, notebooks, and letters that Patricia Highsmith left behind, astonishing in their candor and detail. He interviewed her closest…[more]

Book:Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

Patrick McGilligan

In a career that spanned six decades and more than sixty films, Alfred Hitchcock was the dominant figure in the first century of cinema. His films—from The 39 Steps to The Birds, from Rear Window to Vertigo, from Notorious to Psycho—set new standards for cinematic invention and storytelling élan. He was both visionary artist and consummate entertainer … and became the most widely recognized director who ever lived.

In the decades since his death, the public image of Hitchcock has crystallized into a series of iconic images: the macabre Englishman, the sexual obsessive, the Master of Suspense. But this remarkable new biography—the first in a quarter-century—draws on prodigious new research to restore Hitchcock the man, in all his three-dimensional glory. Here is the comprehensive film craftsman, forever pushing forward the boundaries of his art. Here is the passionate collaborator, who cheekily referred to actors…[more]

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:The American Police Novel: A History

The American Police Novel: A History

Leroy Panek

This work traces the emergence of the police officer as hero and the police novel as a significant popular genre, from the cameo appearances of police in detective novels of the 1930s and 1940s through the serial killer and forensic novels of the 1990s. The work chronicles the ways in which changes in the law and society have affected the actions of the police and shows how the protagonists of police novels have changed in gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and age over the years. The writers examined include Julian Hawthorne, S.S. van Dine, Ellery Queen, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ed McBain, Chester Himes, MacKinley Kantor, Hillary Waugh, Dorothy Uhnak, Joseph Wambaugh, Bob Leuci, W.E.B. Griffin, and Carol O’Connell.

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]

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