Annal: 2004 John Creasey Memorial New Blood Dagger for a Debuting Author

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2004.



Mark Mills

In the small town of Amagansett, perched on Long Island’s windswept coast, generations have followed the same calling as their forefathers, fishing the dangerous Atlantic waters. Little has changed in the three centuries since white settlers drove the Montaukett Indians from the land. But for Conrad Labarde, a second-generation Basque immigrant recently returned from the Second World War, and his fellow fisherman Rollo Kemp, this stability is shattered when a beautiful New York socialite turns up dead in their nets.

On the face of it, her death was accidental, but deputy police chief Tom Hollis—an incomer from New York—is convinced the truth lies in the intricate histories and family secrets of Amagansett’s inhabitants. Meanwhile the enigmatic Labarde is pursuing his own investigation.

Book:The Devil's Playground

The Devil's Playground

Stav Sherez

When the body of a tramp, Jake Colby, is found in a secluded Amsterdam park, Dutch police detective Ronald Van Hijn believes that this is the ninth victim of the serial killer stalking the city. Yet, all previous victims were young, female and beautiful. What could have made the killer change his MO?

On the corpse Van Hijn finds contact details for Jon Reed, an Englishman who befriended Jake in London shortly before the murder. Van Hijn summons Jon to Amsterdam to identify the body and so sets him on his own journey of discovery.

Was Jake really a tramp? What revelation about his identity led him to a life on the streets? And did his fate lie not in the hands of a serial killer but in the horror of the Holocaust death camps some 60 years before?

The Devil’s Playground is a thought-provoking debut crime thriller from a stunning new young talent.

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:The Three Body Problem

The Three Body Problem

Catherine Shaw

Cambridge, 1888. Miss Vanessa Duncan is a young schoolmistress recently arrived from the countryside. She loves teaching and finds the world of academia fascinating; everything is going so well. But everything changes when a Fellow of Mathematics, Mr. Akers, is found dead in his room from a violent blow to the head.

Invited to dinner by the family of one of her charges, Vanessa meets many of the victim’s colleagues, including Mr. Arthur Weatherburn, who had dined with Mr. Akers the evening of his death and happens to be Vanessa’s upstairs neighbor. Discussing the murder, she learns of Sir Isaac Newton’s yet unsolved ‘n-body problem’, which Mr. Akers might have been trying to solve to win the prestigious prize.

As the murder remains unsolved, Vanessa’s relationship with Arthur Weatherburn blossoms. Then another mathematician, Mr. Beddoes is murdered and Arthur is jailed. Convinced of his innocence and with a theory of her own, Vanessa decides to prove her case. But when a third mathematician dies, it becomes a race against time to solve the puzzle…

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