Annal: 2006 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2006.


Immoral: A Novel

Brian Freeman

In a riveting debut thriller that has drawn comparisons to masters of the genre like Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, Brian Freeman weaves obsession, sex, and revenge into a story that grips the reader with vivid characters and shocking plot twists from the first page to the last.

Lieutenant Jonathan Stride is suffering from an ugly case of déjà vu. For the second time in a year, a beautiful teenage girl has disappeared off the streets of Duluth, Minnesota—gone without a trace, like a bitter gust off Lake Superior. The two victims couldn’t be more different. First it was Kerry McGrath, bubbly, sweet sixteen. And now Rachel Deese, strange, sexually charged, a wild child. The media hounds Stride to catch a serial killer, and as the search carries him from the icy stillness of the northern woods to the erotic heat of Las Vegas, he must decide which facts are real and which are illusions. And Stride finds his own life changed forever by the secrets he uncovers. Secrets that stretch across time in a web of lies, death, and illicit desire. Secrets that are chillingly…immoral.

Book:All Shook Up

All Shook Up: An Eddie Dancer Mystery

Mike Harrison

This hard-edged, energetic mystery features Eddie Dancer—Canada’s newest and toughest private eye. Two years as a city cop have convinced Eddie he is better off working for himself as a private investigator. When he is hired to track down a tough, professional bank robber, Eddie has no idea he is about to pry the lid off a very nasty can of worms. When he runs up against a pair of disgraced ex-bikers, he uncovers a macabre connection between the ex-bikers and the “fate worse than death” that has befallen many of the city’s hookers—a fate that leaves them, irreversibly, in a vegetative state. Eddie learns that a man who is already in prison has carried out the bank robbery and he wonders how someone can be in two different places at once. With the help of his friend, Danny Many Guns, Eddie uncovers evidence of a major conspiracy stretching from the city’s back streets and tattoo parlors to the very top of the prison system food chain. Will Danny Many Guns save his friend and partner from the “fate worse than death,” or will the bad guys get their revenge on the man who has exposed them?

Book:The Baby Game

The Baby Game

Randall Hicks

A new attorney, Toby Dillon, hedges his bets by remaining the part-time tennis pro at the country club. Then his idyllic life changes when his two childhood friends, Brogan and Rita, Hollywood’s glamour couple, ask his help in adopting a baby. The media’s feel good story curdles into danger when the baby is kidnapped. When the expected ransom demand never arrives and the police turn up nothing, Toby and Brogan try to find answers on their own. First they think the baby’s birth mother is responsible, but suddenly she’s missing too, and their suspects start turning up dead. They soon learn there’s more at stake than a kidnapping, and the answers may trace back to their shared childhood.

Book:The Firemaker

The Firemaker: A Mystery

Peter May

Margaret Campbell, a Chicago forensic pathologist, has been invited by the Chinese government to teach at the Beijing police university. She has accepted the six-week assignment with misgivings but is desperate to escape a troubled life in America.  Arriving in Beijing, she checks “nothing to declare” on the health declaration they gave her on the plane—nothing, that is, “except a broken heart and a wasted life, neither of which was contagious.”

She gets off to a bad start when her car knocks senior detective Li Yan off his bicycle.  In a furious clash, he dresses her down in perfect English.  But Li soon finds himself reintroduced to Margaret by his superiors when the newly promoted detective’s first case requires Margaret’s special expertise to identify a horribly burned corpse.  Thrown together to track down the killer, Margaret and Li must bury their personal and cultural differences when they uncover a conspiracy that threatens not only their lives, but the lives of millions.

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