Annal: 2004 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2004.

Book:The House Sitter

The House Sitter

Peter Lovesey

When a woman is found strangled to death on a popular beach in Sussex, the police have a hard time identifying her. It takes twelve days to discover she was a top psychological profiler for the National Crime Faculty. Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond is called in because the victim lived in Bath. He must coordinate his efforts with those of Henrietta Mallin, the original senior investigating officer, as well as try to cooperate with the cocky young officer charged with investigating the bizarre murder that the victim had been working on.

Oddly, the National Crime Faculty tries to thwart his efforts.

Book:The Delicate Storm

The Delicate Storm

Giles Blunt

The third week in January in Algonquin Bay: A freak warm front has rolled in, making it feel like April and enticing the locals into shedding their down parkas and strolling the streets. But the warm weather has also brought the bears out of hibernation, and they have come out hungry. Suddenly the stakes turn ugly when an auto mechanic discovers a mauled human arm in his yard, and the cops determine that its owner was dead before the bears got to him. A search of the surrounding woods turns up body parts placed exactly where the bears were most likely to find them. A homicide, then, but who is the victim?

As detectives John Cardinal and Lise Delorme wrestle with what soon becomes a trail of misinformation about the victim’s identity, another body is found in the woods—a young woman, apparently raped. There has to be a connection: two bodies abandoned in the woods within days of each other cannot be a coincidence in a small town like Algonquin Bay. Then police records reveal…[more]

Book:Done for a Dime

Done for a Dime: A Novel

David Corbett

Back in the day, Raymond “Strong” Carlisle made his mark as an ace sideman blowing baritone sax alongside all the biggest names in R&B. Now he lies in the grass outside his home, shot dead from behind and pelted by the heedless rain that mingles with his own blood. He is the first official casualty of a dirty war being lethally waged for control of Rio Mirada: a low-rent, “city in transition” of clashing subcultures at the northern tip of the San Francisco Bay, beset by drug dealers, arsonists, squatters…and now murder.

Detective Dennis Murchison–white, weary, home-grown–has two possible perps: Arlie Thigpen, a teenage lieutenant in the crack-and-smack army of a local dealer; Toby Marchand, a straight-arrow, old-school, jazz horn player with some big shoes to fill: those of his father, Strong Carlisle. The smart money says the shooter is Arlie, a two-time loser who tangled with Carlisle…[more]

Book:For the Love of Mike

For the Love of Mike: A Molly Murphy Mystery

Rhys Bowen

Molly Murphy is starting to think the cards are stacked against her. She’s determined to be a private detective, but hampering her investigations is the fact that she’s finding many places in turn-of-the-century New York City where women are not welcome, something that’s as frustrating to her fiery Irish pride as it is to her rapidly emptying pocketbook.

Then two business opportunities pop up simultaneously. An aristocratic family in Dublin fears their daughter has fled to the New World with her unsavory boyfriend, and they hire Molly to track the two down and send the young woman back home. Before she has time to consider her good luck, she’s asked to go undercover as a piece worker in the garment business and investigate a potential case of industrial espionage. Now if she can only solve both cases without the help of Daniel Sullivan, the police captain who claims he loves her but who is engaged to someone else…

Full of the rich detail of New York’s teeming immigrant community and the colorful historical personalities of the age, For the Love of Mike is the triumphant third installment in Rhys Bowen’s Agatha Award-winning series.

Book:The Guards

The Guards

Ken Bruen

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda SÌoch·na—the Guards, Ireland’s police force—and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland’s best private investigator, not to mention its first—Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life’s sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack’s talent for finding things. Odds are he won’t be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he’s getting into. …[more]

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