Annal: 2005 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2005.

Book:The Dead

The Dead: A Mystery

Ingrid Black

Five years ago, Ed Fagan disappeared and since then nothing has been heard from the serial killer known as the Night Hunter. Now, a Dublin newspaper has received a letter from someone claiming to be Fagan, and the message is chilling: he’s going to kill again.

At first, the Dublin Police are inclined to dismiss the letter as the work of a crank. Then, the body of prostitute Mary Lynch is found, and it’s only too clear that a murderer is at large again.

But is it Fagan?

Saxon, a former FBI agent still haunted by the events of five years ago, was writing a book about Fagan when he disappeared, and she is certain as anyone can be that the killer must be someone else. So while Detective Chief Superintendent Grace Fitzgerald…[more]

Book:Aspen Pulp

Aspen Pulp: A Mystery

Patrick Hasburgh

It’s off-season in Aspen and former TV writer turner private eye Jake Wheeler is hired to find bimbette-in-training Tinker Mellon. Using what little he’s learned from The Rockford Files and other TV detective shows, Jake’s search for the cheerleader-turned-runaway uncovers a complex crime ring that lies deep within the old mines shafts of Aspen mountain.

So begins Aspen Pulp, a slalom ride of mystery for Jake and his crew of misfits and burnouts which include Hermy, the booze-swilling Swiss ski instructor, Ernie, the yokel deputy of the Aspen PD, and Winston, a loyal malamute the size of a snowmobile.

Filled with hilarious digs at its ostentatious home, Aspen Pulp is a page-turning debut.

Book:The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye

Reed Arvin

Sleeping with a client’s gorgeous girlfriend may have been the gutsiest move in Jack Hammond’s formerly booming law career, but it wasn’t the smartest. Booted from his elite law firm, Jack now scrapes by as a court-appointed attorney, his client list a revolving door of small-time drug offenders and petty thieves.

When his friend—a computer whiz and former addict who’d brought his life back from the brink—is found dead in his apartment with a syringe stuck in his arm, Jack knows something is very wrong.

Where the cops see just another overdose, Jack sees a murder. Investigating the case, he learns that his friend was obsessed with a beautiful singer—who also happens to be half of the most popular power couple in Atlanta.

Talented and privileged, the spellbinding Michele Sonnieris nevertheless a deeply troubled woman, plagued by secrets.…[more]

Book:Little Girl Lost

Little Girl Lost

Richard Aleas

Miranda Sugarman was supposed to be in the Midwest, working as an eye doctor. So how did she wind up shot to death on the roof of New York’s seediest strip club? It’s up to detective John Blake to uncover his ex-girlfriend’s secret life as a striptease queen. But the deeper he digs, the darker the secrets he uncovers, until a shattering face-off in an East Village tenement changes his life forever…

Book:Some Danger Involved

Some Danger Involved: A Novel

Will Thomas

When a student bearing a striking resemblance to artists’ renderings of Jesus Christ is found murdered—by crucifixion—in London’s Jewish ghetto, 19th-century private detective Barker must hire an assistant to help him solve the sinister case. Out of all who answer an ad for a position with “some danger involved,” the eccentric and enigmatic Barker chooses downtrodden Llewelyn, a gutsy young man whose murky past includes recent stints at both an Oxford college and an Oxford prison.

As Llewelyn learns the ropes of his position, he is drawn deeper and deeper into Barker’s peculiar world of vigilante detective work, as well as the dark heart of London’s teeming underworld. Together they pass through chophouses, stables, and clandestine tea rooms, tangling with the early Italian mafia, a mad professor of eugenics, and other shadowy figures, inching ever closer to the shocking truth behind the murder.

Brimming with wit and unforgettable characters, and steeped in authentic period detail, Some Danger Involved is a captivating page-turner that introduces an equally captivating duo while signaling the start of an exciting career for Will Thomas.

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