Annal: 2007 Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award for Historical Crime Novel

Results of the Dagger Award in the year 2007.

Book:Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death: A Novel

Ariana Franklin

A chilling, mesmerizing novel that combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of historical fiction.

In medieval Cambridge, England, four children have been murdered. The crimes are immediately blamed on the town’s Jewish community, taken as evidence that Jews sacrifice Christian children in blasphemous ceremonies. To save them from the rioting mob, the king places the Cambridge Jews under his protection and hides them in a castle fortress. King Henry I is no friend of the Jews—or anyone, really—but he is invested in their fate. Without the taxes received from Jewish merchants, his treasuries would go bankrupt. Hoping scientific investigation will exonerate the Jews, Henry calls on his cousin the King of Sicily—whose subjects include the best medical experts in Europe—and asks for his finest “master of the art of death,” an early version of the…[more]

Book:Murder at Deviation Junction

Murder at Deviation Junction: Jim Stringer, Steam detective

Andrew Martin

December, 1909. A train hits a snow drift in the frozen Cleveland Hills. In the process of clearing the line a body is discovered, and so begins a dangerous case for struggling railway detective, Jim Stringer.

Jim Stringer’s new investigation takes him to the mighty blast furnaces of Ironopolis, to Fleet Street in the company of a cynical reporter from The Railway Rover, and to a nightmarish spot in the Highlands. Jim’s faltering career in the railway police hangs on whether he can solve the murder—but before long the pursuer becomes the pursued, and Jim finds himself fighting not just for his job, but for his very life as well.

The fourth in Andrew Martin’s widely celebrated “Steam detective” series.

Book:The One From the Other

The One From the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel

Philip Kerr

Germany, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it’s a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing Nazis, and all the intrigue and deceit readers have come to expect from this immensely talented thriller writer. In The One from the Other, Hitler’s legacy lives on. For Bernie Gunther, Berlin has become too dangerous, and he now works as a private detective in Munich. Business is slow and his funds are dwindling when a woman hires him to investigate her husband’s disappearance. No, she doesn’t want him back-he’s a war criminal. She merely wants confirmation that he is dead. It’s a simple job, but in postwar Germany, nothing is simple-nothing is what it appears to be. Accepting the case,Bernie takes on far more than he’d bargained for, and before long, he is on the run, facing enemies from every side.

Book:The Savage Garden

The Savage Garden

Mark Mills

From the author of the acclaimed national bestseller Amagansett comes an even more remarkable novel set in the Tuscan hills: the story of two murders, four hundred years apart-and the ties that bind them together.

Adam Banting, a somewhat aimless young scholar at Cambridge University, is called to his professor’s office one afternoon and assigned a special summer project: to write a scholarly monograph about a famous garden built in the 1500s. Dedicated to the memory of Signor Docci’s dead wife, the garden is a mysterious world of statues, grottoes, meandering rills, and classical inscriptions. But during his three-week sojourn at the villa, Adam comes to suspect that clues to a murder are buried in the strange iconography of the garden: the long-dead Signor Docci most likely killed his wife and filled her memorial garden with pointers as to both the method and the motive of his crime. …[more]

Book:The Snake Stone

The Snake Stone: A Novel

Jason Goodwin

When a French archaeologist arrives in 1830s Istanbul determined to track down a lost Byzantine treasure, the local Greek communities are uncertain how to react; the man seems dangerously well informed. Yashim Togalu, who so brilliantly solved the mysterious murders in The Janissary Tree, is once again enlisted to investigate. But when the archaeologist’s mutilated body is discovered outside the French embassy, it turns out there is only one suspect: Yashim himself.

The New York Times celebrated The Janissary Tree as “the perfect escapist mystery,” and The Daily Telegraph called it “[A] tremendous first novel…Beautifully written, perfectly judged, humane, witty and captivating.” With The Snake Stone, Jason Goodwin delights us with another transporting romp through the back streets of nineteenth-century Istanbul. Yashim finds himself racing against time once again, to uncover the startling truth behind a shadowy society dedicated…[more]

Book:The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel

Stef Penney

1867, Canada. As winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a seventeen-year-old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead mans cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township journalists, Hudson Bay Company men, trappers, traders but do they want to solve the crime, or exploit it?

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