Annal: 2006 Shamus Award for Best Paperback Original P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2006.

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:Cordite Wine

Cordite Wine

Richard Helms

Eamon Gold is approached by Napa Valley winery heir Asa Corona to help stop people who are blackmailing him with pictures taken in a San Francisco gay bathhouse. The routine case becomes complicated when Gold’s prime suspect is murdered, and his client disappears. While trying to find the murderer, and his missing client, Eamon Gold runs across closeted kiddie show stars, a gay pro football linebacker, potentially corrupted politicians, and a nasty gangster with a secret worth killing to keep.

Book:Deadlocked

Deadlocked

Joel Goldman

As a heat wave stifles Kansas City, a death-row inmate is served his final meal, makes his final confession, and uses his final breath to proclaim his innocence. For fifteen years, Ryan Kowalczyk denied having slaughtered a young couple in their car as their three-year old lay sleeping in the back seat. But when his friend Whitney King, who also stood accused, turned against him, his fate was sealed…

Attorney Lou Mason understands the pain of being orphaned, so when the victims’ now-teenage son asks for his help in suing blueblood King—who got off scot-free—Lou can’t turn him down. Coincidentally, Kowalczyk’s mother wants to hire him for the same purpose. And things get even more interesting once Lou discovers that four of the jurors on the original case died violently…while the rest have disappeared. …[more]

Book:Falling Down: A Laura Winslow Mystery

Falling Down: A Laura Winslow Mystery

David Cole

Part Hopi computer hacker Laura Winslow investigates a shocking web of drugs, murder, and smuggling in this gorgeously-written seventh installment in she Shamus-nominated series.

Part Hopi computer hacker Laura Winslow hasn’t shed the sense of Koyanisquaatsi—the Hopi word for World Out of Balance, or, for Laura, the feeling that society is falling down. She’s just been offered another hacker job by an anonymous client, work that would be illegal and probably unethical; her romance with policeman Nathan Brittles has lately been rocky; and her daughter has just come home with a baby, and won’t tell who the father is.

But soon a woman named Mary Emich, director of park events at Tohono Chul Park hires Laura, revealing that strange messages have been turning up on the park’s computers—signals that something may be very wrong in the usually tranquil area. Laura’s…[more]

Book:A Killing Rain

A Killing Rain: A Louis Kincaid Mystery

P.J. Parrish

Deep in the sweltering Florida Everglades, a hunter stalks the ultimate prey…savoring his quarry’s terror…closing in for the kill…

For Detective Louis Kincaid, what should have been a routine case has taken a grisly turn, leading straight to the lair of a predator whose prized trophies are human relics.

Now, with time running out, Kincaid is on a desperate hunt of his own, tracking a twisted adversary more ruthless than he ever imagined…

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