Annal: 2005 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2005.

Book:The Killing of the Tinkers

The Killing of the Tinkers: A Novel

Ken Bruen

When Jack Taylor blew town at the end of The Guards his alcoholism was a distant memory and sober dreams of a new life in London were shining in his eyes. In the opening pages of The Killing of the Tinkers, Jack’s back in Galway a year later with a new leather jacket on his back, a pack of smokes in his pocket, a few grams of coke in his waistband, and a pint of Guinness on his mind. So much for new beginnings.

Before long he’s sunk into his old patterns, lifting his head from the bar only every few days, appraising his surroundings for mere minutes and then descending deep into the alcoholic, drug-induced fugue he prefers to the real world. But a big gypsy walks into the bar one day during a moment of Jack’s clarity and changes all that with a simple request. Jack knows the look in this man’s eyes, a look of hopelessness mixed with resolve topped off with a quietly simmering rage; he’s seen it in the…[more]

Book:California Girl

California Girl: A Novel

T. Jefferson Parker

California in the 1960s, and the winds of change are raging. Orange groves uprooted for tract houses, people flooding into Orange County, strange new ideas in the air about war, music, sex, and drugs, and new influences, ranging from Richard Nixon to Timothy Leary.

For the Becker brothers, however, the past is always present—and it comes crashing back full force when the body of the lovely and mysterious Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned orange-packing plant. The Beckers and the Vonns have a history, beginning years ago in high school with a rumble between the brothers of each clan.

But boys grow up. Now one Becker brother is a cop on his first homicide case. One’s a minister yearning to perform just one miracle. One is a reporter drunk with ambition. And all three are about to collide with the changing world of 1968 as each…[more]

Book:Cold Case

Cold Case

Robin Burcell

The colder it gets…the hotter it gets.

Three years ago SFPD Homicide Investigator Kate Gillespie was in pursuit of a suspect who murdered a hooker in a sleazy motel, and she nearly lost her own life in the process. The shooter escaped into the San Francisco shadows and the trail went colder than the grave. Now Kate’s appearance on a Bay Area “crime stoppers” TV show produces new leads that carry her back into the sordid world of drugs and prostitution—and point her toward a local crime boss whose missing wife is possibly linked to multiple men and multiple murders. But when a dangerous knot of betrayals, secrets, and criminal cover-ups starts unraveling, Kate can only hope she’ll be as lucky as she was on that black night at the Twin Palms Motel. Because the only way to the truth leads directly into the line of fire…

Book:Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel

Jeff Lindsay

Meet Dexter, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing…a monster who cringes at the site of blood…a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likable: he only kills bad people.

Dexter Morgan isn’t exactly the kind of man you’d bring home to Mom. Though he’s playful and has a wonderfully ironic sense of humor, Dexter’s one character flaw (his proclivity for murder) can be off-putting. But at heart Dexter is the perfect gentleman, supportive of his sister, Deb, a Miami cop, and interested only in doing away with people who really deserve his special visit. Dex is quite good-looking but totally indifferent to (and, frankly, a bit puzzled by) the attentions paid to him by women. Despite the fact that he can’t stand the sight of blood, he works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami police department, a job that allows him to keep tabs on the latest crimes and keep an eye open for his next quarry. …[more]

Book:High Country Fall

High Country Fall: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Margaret Maron

Judge Deborah Knott has agreed to “tie the knot” with childhood friend Deputy Sheriff Dwight Bryant, and her numerous relatives are acting as if it’s the love match of the century. It’s not, and suddenly Deborah’s wondering whether friendship, mutual history, and good sex are enough to make a marriage. Her antidote for cold feet? She’s heading for the hills.

When asked to fill in for a vacationing judge in Cedar Gap, a five-hour drive from her flatland home, Deborah readily agrees. It’s the perfect place to clear her head with its fresh mountain air, gorgeous fall foliage, and tourists thicker than fleas on a blue tick hound.

But a prominent Cedar Gap doctor has been brutally murdered and Judge Knott arrives in time to hear the probable cause case against the young man who’s been arrested. With enough evidence to go to trial, Deborah rules that the case can go forward…despite…[more]

Book:Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire: A Novel of Suspense

Peter Robinson

Fire. It violently destroys futures and pasts in a terrified heartbeat, devouring damning secrets while leaving even greater mysteries in its foul wake of ash and debris.

The night sky is ablaze as fire engulfs two barges moored end to end on a Yorkshire canal. On board are the blackened remains of two human beings. One was a reclusive and eccentric local artist, the other a junkie, a sad and damaged young girl.

To the seasoned eye of Inspector Alan Banks, this horror was no accident, its method so cruel and calculated that only the worst sort of fiend could have committed the dark act. And it isn’t long before the fears of Banks and D.I. Annie Cabbot are brutally confirmed, when another suspicious blaze incinerates a remote trailer in the countryside…and another solitary life is gruesomely consumed. …[more]

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