Annal: 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Paperback Original

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2006.

Book:The Girl in the Glass

The Girl in the Glass: A Novel

Jeffrey Ford

The Great Depression has bound a nation in despair—and only a privileged few have risen above it: the exorbitantly wealthy…and the hucksters who feed upon them. Diego, a seventeen-year-old illegal Mexican immigrant, owes his salvation to master grifter Thomas Schell. Together with Schell’s gruff and powerful partner, they sail comfortably through hard times, scamming New York’s grieving rich with elaborate, ingeniously staged séances—until an impossible occurrence changes everything.

While “communing with spirits,” Schell sees an image of a young girl in a pane of glass, silently entreating the con man for help. Though well aware that his otherworldly “powers” are a sham, Schell inexplicably offers his services to help find the lost child—drawing Diego along with him into a tangled maze of deadly secrets and terrible experimentation.

At once a hypnotically compelling mystery and a stunningly evocative portrait of Depression-era New York, The Girl in the Glass is a masterly literary adventure from a writer of exemplary vision and skill.

Book:Homicide My Own

Homicide My Own: A Novel

Anne Argula

Homicide My Own resides in that strange and fascinating land between mystery fiction and detective fiction, adjoined with the mystique of philosophy and Native American customs. It’s a story of two slog-bottom cops from Spokane, Washington, who are assigned to what appears to be a routine mission: They’re to go to an Indian reservation on the Northwest coast and pick up a man who’s being held for kidnapping a teenaged girl. Once there, however, one of the cops (given the unusual moniker of “Odd”) becomes obsessed with a decades-old murder, the only unsolved murder in the island’s history, and he really doesn’t want to head back to Spokane until he’s found some resolution. His partner, Quinn, the acid-tongued menopausal wife of a decent and boring pharmacist (and the novel’s narrator) finds Odd’s behavior rather amusing at first, but then finds it to be much more than amusing. …[more]

Book:The James Deans

The James Deans: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman

It’s 1983 and Reaganomics is in full swing. But beneath the facade of junk bonds and easy money, New York remains a gritty metropolis offering Nirvana with one hand and desolation with the other. Moe Prager, ex-NYPD cop turned reluctant P.I. is too busy reeling from a family tragedy to see what’s coming. He’s about to be sucked into a case that might deliver him what he’s always wanted or plunge him into purgatory.

Two years earlier, Moira Heaton, a young intern for an up-and-coming politico, vanished without a trace. Although there is no evidence supporting her boss’s involvement, rumors and whispers have conspired to stall his once-promising career. Now, in a last-ditch effort to clear his name, state senator Steven Brightman, with the clout of a wealthy backer, enlists Moe’s help. With twists and turns galore and Moe’s inimitable voice, The James Deans is an absorbing page-turner that will add to the burgeoning reputation of one of today’s most promising writers.

Book:Kiss Her Goodbye

Kiss Her Goodbye

Allan Guthrie

When people in Edinburgh want to borrow money, they go to Cooper. When they don’t pay it back, they get a visit from Joe Hope. But now Joe’s got problems of his own. His teenage daughter is found dead, an apparent suicide. Then the police arrest him for murder. But for once in his life, Joe’s innocent—and with help from Scotland’s hardest men (and one of Scotland’s hardest women), he sets out to find the person who framed him and deliver his own brutal brand of justice.

Book:Six Bad Things

Six Bad Things: A Novel

Charlie Huston

Hank Thompson is living off the map in Mexico with a bagful of cash that the Russian mafia wants back and many, many secrets. So when a Russian backpacker shows up in town asking questions, Hank tries to play it cool. But he knows the jig is up when the backpacker mentions the money…and the family Hank left behind. Suddenly Hank’s in a desperate race to get to his parents in California before anyone can harm them. Along the way he’ll face Federales and Border Patrol, mafiosi and vigilantes, extortionists and drug dealers, and a couple of psychotic surf bums with an ax to grind.

From the golden beaches of the Yucatán to the seedy strip clubs of Vegas, Charlie Huston opens a door to the squalid underworld of crime and corruption–and invites the reader to live it in the extreme.

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