Annal: 2007 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2007.

Book:Still Life

Still Life: An Inspector Gamache Mystery

Louise Penny

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

Book:A Field of Darkness

A Field of Darkness: A Novel

Cornelia Read

Madeline Dare isn’t your average detective. Born into a blue-blood family, she followed her heart to marry ruggedly handsome Dean, a farmboy-genius investor who’s as far from high society as humanly possible. Now Maddie’s stuck in the post-industrial wasteland of Syracuse, New York, while her husband spends weeks on the road perfecting the railway equipment innovation that might be their only chance to escape. She can handle churning out lightweight features for the local paper—it’s the Dean-less nights in their dingy, WASP-castoff-crammed apartment that Maddie can’t stomach.

Obsession trumps angst when a set of long-buried dog tags link her favorite cousin to the scene of a vicious double homicide. Drawn by the desire to clear her cousin’s name, Maddie uncovers a startling web of intrigue and family secrets that could prove even more deadly.

Book:The Harrowing

The Harrowing: A Ghost Story

Alexandra Sokoloff

Baird College’s Mendenhall echoes with the footsteps of the last home-bound students heading off for Thanksgiving break, and Robin Stone swears she can feel the creepy, hundred-year-old residence hall breathe a sigh of relief for its long-awaited solitude. Or perhaps it’s only gathering itself for the coming weekend.

As a massive storm dumps rain on the isolated campus, four other lonely students reveal themselves: Patrick, a handsome jock; Lisa, a manipulative tease; Cain, a brooding musician; and finally Martin, a scholarly eccentric. Each has forsaken a long weekend at home for their own secret reasons.

The five unlikely companions establish a tentative rapport, but they soon become aware of a sixth presence disturbing the ominous silence that pervades the building. Are they the victims of a simple college prank taken way too far, or is the unusual…[more]

Book:Holmes on the Range

Holmes on the Range: A Mystery

Steve Hockensmith

1893 is a tough year in Montana, and any job is a good job. When Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer sign on as ranch hands at the secretive Bar-VR cattle spread, they’re not expecting much more than hard work, bad pay, and a comfortable campfire around which they can enjoy their favorite pastime: scouring Harper’s Weekly for stories about the famous Sherlock Holmes. When another ranch hand turns up in an outhouse with a bullet in his brain, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to put his Holmes-inspired detective talents to work and solve the case. Big Red, like it or not (and mostly he does not), is along for the wild ride in this clever, compelling, and completely one-of-a-kind mystery.

Book:The King of Lies

The King of Lies: A Novel

John Hart

John Hart creates a literary thriller that is as suspenseful as it is poignant, a riveting murder mystery layered beneath the southern drawl of a humble North Carolina lawyer. When Work Pickens finds his father murdered, the investigation pushes a repressed family history to the surface and he sees his own carefully constructed façade begin to crack.

Work’s troubled sister, her combative girlfriend, his gold digging socialite wife, and an unrequited lifelong love join a cast of small town characters that create no shortage of drama in this extraordinary, fast-paced suspense novel.

Hart’s mastery of prose and plot belie his newcomer status as he explores the true heart of a man. An illuminating anatomy of a murder and the ripple effect it produces within a family and a community, The King of Lies is a stunning debut.

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