Annal: 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Paperback Original

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2007.

Book:Snakeskin Shamisen

Snakeskin Shamisen: A Mas Arai Mystery

Naomi Hirahara

From Summer of the Big Bachi to Gasa-Gasa Girl, Naomi Hirahara’s acclaimed novels have featured one of mystery fiction’s most unique heroes: Mas Arai, a curmudgeonly L.A. gardener, Hiroshima survivor, and inveterate gambler.

Few things get Mas more excited than gambling, so when he hears about a $500,000 win–from a novelty slot machine!–he’s torn between admiration and derision. But the stakes are quickly raised when the winner, a friend of Mas’s pal G. I. Hasuike, is found stabbed to death just days later. The last thing Mas wants to do is stick his nose in someone else’s business, but at G.I.’s prodding he reluctantly agrees to follow the trail of a battered snakeskin shamisen (a traditional Okinawan musical instrument) left at the scene of the crime…and suddenly finds himself caught up in a dark mystery that reaches from the islands of Okinawa to the streets of L.A.–a world of heartbreaking memories, deception, and murder.

Book:City of Tiny Lights

City of Tiny Lights

Patrick Neate

From award-winning novelist Patrick Neate, a literary mystery that introduces a new kind of British detective, Ugandan-Indian Tommy Akhtar, and a side of London that the mystery world has never seen.

A contemporary murder mystery set in the heart of London, this is the story of Tommy Akhtar, hard-drinking veteran of the Mujahideen, devoted on, sometime private investigator and sometime idol to the thug-lites of the ethnic motley of West London. Hired by a bewitching prostitute, he’s to track down the whereabouts of her missing friend, last seen meeting a client in a local dive. But as the search heats up, Tommy’s case takes a turn for the sinister, as he’s drawn into a murder investigation and the dark side of both the establishment and those who plan to overthrow it.

Written with all the energy and vividness that has earned Neate multiple literary awards, City of Tiny Lights is poised to find a wide new audience for its talented, charismatic young author.

Book:The Deep Blue Alibi

The Deep Blue Alibi: A Solomon vs. Lord Novel

Paul Levine

They are Florida’s most mismatched legal duo—one a glamorous Miami blue blood, the other a Coconut Grove beach bum. And when they get together, you can throw every law right out the window….

What do you get when you mix beautiful people, family secrets, and a yacht washed up on Sunset Key with a hundred grand in cash and a dying man? If you’re Steve Solomon, you see a case that can get Solomon & Lord off the ground. If you’re Victoria Lord, you see a golden opportunity to go out on your own. With her uncle a murder suspect and her hunky ex-boyfriend back in the picture, Victoria is pushing to take control as Solomon struggles to keep from losing it.

As an explosive trial looms, they’re fighting against time, the law, and each other—to expose a killer who came to paradise…and hasn’t left.

Book:The Goodbye Kiss

The Goodbye Kiss

Massimo Carlotto

Master of the Mediterranean noir—hard-boiled crime novels that call enticing but violent cities like Marseilles, Naples, and Algiers home—and ex-con himself, Massimo Carlotto has gained a reputation as one of the most talented writers working in the genre today.

An unscrupulous womanizer, as devoid of morals now as he once was full of idealistic fervor, returns to Italy where he is wanted for a series of crimes. To avoid prison he sells out his old friends, turns his back on his former ideals, and cuts deals with crooked cops. To earn himself the guise of respectability he is willing to go even further, maybe even as far as murder.

Massimo Carlotto’s first book, The Fugitive, deals with his time on the run in Latin America. He is author of many novels, including five titles in the extremely popular Alligator series.

Book:The Open Curtain

The Open Curtain: A Novel

Brian Evenson

When Rudd, a troubled teenager, embarks on a school project, he runs across a series of articles from the 1902 New York Times chronicling a vicious murder committed by the grandson of Brigham Young. Delving deeply into the Mormon ritual of blood sacrifice used in the murders, Rudd, along with his newly discovered half-brother, Lael, becomes swept up in the psychological and atavistic effects of this violent, antique ritual.

As the past and the present become an increasingly tangled knot, Rudd is found at the scene of a multiple murder at a remote campsite with minor injuries and few memories. Lyndi, the daughter of the victims, tries to help Rudd recover his memory and, together, they find a strength unique to survivors of terrible tragedies. But Rudd, desperate to protect Lyndi and unable to let the past be still, tries to manipulate their Mormon wedding ceremony to trick the priests (and God) by giving himself and Lyndi…[more]

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