Annal: 2005 Agatha Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2005.

Book:Better Off Wed

Better Off Wed: An Annabelle Archer Mystery

Laura Durham

The murder of a particularly difficult mother-of-the-bride has cast a pall on wedding planner Annabelle Archer’s latest triumph—and suspicion falls heavily on her sometime-business partner and friend Richard Gerard. Annabelle knows that even her trusted wedding emergency kit won’t be able to salvage their careers if she and Richard can’t find the real culprit.

It’s no easy task since the slain matron was perhaps the most hated socialite in D.C., but Annabelle navigates through the city’s colorful wedding industry and powerful social scene on the deadly trail of a killer. Always the bridal consultant and never the bride, she’s seen her fair share of bouquet tosses. But there’s no telling what surprises a ruthless killer will throw her way if she gets too close.

Book:Blood Relations

Blood Relations

Lisa M. Tillman

Every reporter dreams of breaking the story of the century, but for tabloid television reporter Abigail Gardner becoming that story will be her greatest nightmare. Things start to fall apart when Abby’s normally cold, distant father suffers a stroke, leaving him partially paralyzed and singing show tunes. When her ne’er-do-well big brother Bennett shows up at the hospital with his new girlfriend Emily Boyle, a much-loved but somewhat unstable heiress to an American political dynasty, things get worse.

When Emily ends up dead shortly after their visit and Bennett is accused of the crime, Abby is convinced her brother is no killer. She must use her investigative reporting skills to uncover what really happened to Emily and delve into the lives of her brother’s dead girlfriend and her famous political family—a family repeatedly touched by tragedy with some very well hidden skeletons. …[more]

Book:Jury of One

Jury of One

Laura Bradford

Four weeks. Four murders. One thing in common. All were warned of tragedy by a boardwalk fortune teller. Eerie coincidence? Or something more sinister?

Book:Knit One, Kill Two

Knit One, Kill Two: A Knitting Mystery

Maggie Sefton

Kelly Flynn never picked up a pair of knitting needles she liked—until she strolled into House of Lambspun. Now, in the first in a brand-new series, she learns how to knit one, purl two, and untangle the mystery behind her aunt’s murder.

Book:Witch Way to Murder

Witch Way to Murder: An Ophelia and Abby Mystery

Shirley Damsgaard

Ophelia Jensen wishes she was just your typical, thirty-something librarian. Unfortunately, she’s been burdened with psychic powers—an unwanted “gift” she considers inconvenient at best and at worst downright dangerous. Her kindly old grandmother Abby, however, has no compunctions about the paranormal, being a practicing witch with unique abilities of her own.

And sometimes the otherworldly arts do come in handy—like when the arrival of a mysterious, good-looking stranger to their normally tranquil corner of Iowa seems to trigger an epidemic of catastrophes, from the theft of bomb-making materials to a murdered corpse dumped in Abby’s backyard.

Luckily Ophelia and Abby are on the case and determined to make things right. But it’ll take more than magick to get out of the boiling cauldron of lethal trouble they’re about to land themselves in.

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