Annal: 2007 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2007.

Book:The Wrong Kind of Blood

The Wrong Kind of Blood: An Ed Loy Mystery

Declan Hughes

The city Loy once knew is an unrecognizable place, filled with gangsters, seducers, hucksters, and crazies, each with a scheme and an angle. But he can’t refuse the sexy former schoolmate who asks him to find her missing husband—or the old pal-turned-small time criminal who shows up on Loy’s doorstep with a hard-luck story and a recently fired gun. Suddenly, a tragic homecoming could prove fatal for the grieving…

Book:18 Seconds

18 Seconds: A Novel

George D. Shuman

Thirty years after a deadly traffic accident landed Earl Sykes in prison, he is back on the streets of Wildwood, New Jersey—and back for revenge. He is also feeding his perverse appetite for abducting young female victims—the same crimes he committed years ago for which he was never caught.

Police lieutenant Kelly O’Shaughnessy is bewildered by the disappearance of several young women from the boardwalk—crimes horrifyingly reminiscent of unsolved cases from the seventies. Reluctant to ask for help but desperate to stem the bloodshed, Kelly enlists investigative consultant Sherry Moore. Blind and beautiful, Sherry has the extraordinary ability to “see” the deceased’s last eighteen seconds of memory by touching the corpse. As they join forces to discover the killer’s identity, the women unwittingly become the hunted—each step drawing them closer to the deadly clutches of a homicidal monster.

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:Lost Angel

Lost Angel: A Nik Kane Alaska Mystery

Mike Doogan

Moses Wright founded the Christian commune of Rejoice. The rough-and-tumble interior of Alaska may seem a strange place for such a community, but for twenty years it has served as a beacon in the wilderness. Two decades later Moses granddaughter, Faith, is the star of the younger generation. Pretty and intelligent, she’s the first teenager in the town to choose to experience the outside world. When Faith disappears, the elders of Rejoice look beyond their village for help.

Ex-cop Nik Kane lost his faith long ago-dissolved in a bottle. A few drinks, a dark night, and a shooting led to seven years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Nothing can give him back his career or his family, but the search for Faith may restore his soul.

By turns lyrical and hard-edged, Lost Angel is a remarkable first novel from a powerful new voice in mystery fiction.

Book:A Safe Place for Dying

A Safe Place for Dying: A Mystery

Jack Fredrickson

An extortion letter arrives at Crystal Waters, one of Chicago’s wealthiest gated communities. It makes no specific threats, gives no instructions, demands only that $50,000 be gotten ready—chump change for an enclave where the cheapest house is worth three million. It’s easy to see it as harmless—a note from a nut.

Then a mansion explodes. The homeowners panic, and want it hushed up. If word gets out that a bomber is targeting Crystal Waters, their multimillion-dollar homes will become worthless, a last catastrophe for people strung out from living the good life too well. They hire Dek Elstrom to investigate.

Dek Elstrom used to soar high, too, when he lived with his multimillionaire wife at Crystal Waters, but that was before the dominos of his life tipped over and his ex-wife threw him out. Now reduced to living in a crumbling stone turret, bankrupt of…[more]

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