Annal: 2005 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2005.

Book:Dating Dead Men

Dating Dead Men

Harley Jane Kozak

Los Angeles greeting-card artist and card-and-gift shop manager Wollie Shelley is dating forty men in sixty days as research for radio talk-show host and bestselling author Dr. Cookie Lahven’s upcoming book, How to Avoid Getting Dumped All the Time. Wollie is meeting plenty of eligible bachelors but not falling in love, not until she stumbles over a dead body en route to Rio Pescado–a state-run mental hospital–and is momentarily taken hostage by a charismatic “doctor” who is on the run from the Mob. Wollie fears that her beloved brother, a paranoid schizophrenic living at Rio Pescado, is involved in the murder, so rather than go to the authorities, she decides to solve the crime on her own. As she meets up with an array of small-time crooks and swaggering mobsters (many of whom are a lot more affable and only slightly more sinister than the men she’s been dating), Wollie realizes that “getting dumped” is the least of her problems. Finding true love, she discovers, sometimes means learning how…[more]

Book:Retribution

Retribution

Jilliane P. Hoffman

retribution: n. punishment that is considered to be morally right and fully deserved
The Oxford American Dictionary

When an elite prosecutor faces the most lethal predator she’s ever encountered, it all comes down to a choice between justice…and retribution.

Prosecutor C.J. Townsend is a talented state attorney in Miami, well-known in her law enforcement and judicial circles for her abililty to handle even the most horrific cases—without losing her cool. For the past year, she’s been deeply involved in the investigation of a series of brutal murders. When a speeding motorist is pulled over and the cops discover the mutilated body of a young woman in the trunk, the case is finally cracked. Caught up in a maelstrom of publicity, C.J. begins to build her court…[more]

Book:Till the Cows Come Home

Till the Cows Come Home

Judy Clemens

Stella Crown works hard and loves her life. She runs her own dairy farm with the trusted help of longtime assistant Howie, rides her Harley on the weekends, and has enough friends to suit her just fine.

But on her twenty-ninth birthday, things start to change. A neighborhood child dies from a strange and threatening illness, a string of mysterious disasters place Stella and her farm in peril, not to mention her friend Abe showing up with a new woman on his arm, creating confusing emotions all around. Electrical outages, flooded barns, and cows running loose in the countryside are bad enough, but when her livestock begins turning up dead, Stella knows someone, or something, is out to get her. Though doctors quickly announce the discovery of the neighbor child’s cause of death, another child dies before they can declare victory over the illness, sending the community into a state of near panic. …[more]

Book:Uncommon Grounds

Uncommon Grounds

Sandra Balzo

Patricia Harper is dead, killed in Uncommon Grounds, her gourmet coffee store. Maggy Thorsen wants to know who killed one of her partners. She joins forces with Sarah Kingstown, Particia’s closet friend to investigate the killing. Together, they uncover unsavory samll-town politics, bribes, kickbacks, and rampant infidelity. Before she’s through, Maggie’s sense of right and wrong will be shaken to its foundations. For once in her life she is forced to draw her own line in the sand, and be prepared to defend it.

Book:Whiskey Sour

Whiskey Sour: A Jack Daniels Mystery

J.A. Konrath

Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels is having a bad week. Her live-in boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, chronic insomnia has caused her to max out her credit cards with late-night home shopping purchases, and a frightening killer who calls himself “The Gingerbread Man” is dumping mutilated bodies in her district.

Between avoiding the FBI and its moronic profiling computer, joining a dating service, mixing it up with street thugs, and parrying the advances of an uncouth PI, Jack and her binge-eating partner, Herb, must catch the maniac before he kills again…and Jack is next on his murder list.

Whiskey Sour is full of laugh-out-loud humor and edge-of-your-seat suspense, and it introduces a fun, fully drawn heroine in the grand tradition of Kinsey Millhone, Stephanie Plum, and Kay Scarpetta.

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