Annal: 2008 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2008.

Book:The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

Louise Penny

Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat.

It’s spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth.  But not everything is meant to return to life…

When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil—until one of their party dies of fright.  Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along?

Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town. Are the residents of Three Pines hiding something great and sinister about their past? Or is April about to deliver on its fateful threat?

Book:Buckingham Palace Gardens

Buckingham Palace Gardens: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel

Anne Perry

The Prince of Wales has asked four wealthy entrepreneurs and their wives to Buckingham Palace to discuss a fantastic idea: the construction of a six-thousand-mile railroad that would stretch the full length of Africa. But, alas, the prince’s gathering proves disastrous when the mutilated body of a prostitute turns up in a linen closet among the queen’s monogrammed sheets.

With great haste, Thomas Pitt, brilliant mainstay of Special Services, is summoned to resolve the crisis. The Pitts’ cockney maid, Gracie, is also recruited to pose as a palace servant and listen in on the guests’ conversations. If Pitt and Gracie fail to find out who brutally murdered the young woman, Pitt’s career will be over, and the scandal may just cause the monarchy to fall.

Book:I Shall Not Want

I Shall Not Want: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Millers Kill reaches the boiling point in this white-hot novel of love and suspense

People die. Marriages fail. In the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill, New York, however, life doesn’t stop for heartbreak. A brand-new officer in the police department, a breaking-and-entering, and trouble within his own family keep Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne busy enough to ignore the pain of losing his wife—and the woman he loves.

At St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, the Reverend Clare Fergusson is trying to keep her vestry, her bishop, and her National Guard superiors happy—all the while denying her own wounded soul.

When a Mexican farmhand stumbles over a Latino man killed with a single shot to the back of his head, Clare is sucked into the investigation through her involvement in the migrant community. The discovery of two more bodies executed in the same way…[more]

Book:A Royal Pain

A Royal Pain: A Royal Spyness Mystery

Rhys Bowen

Another hilarious mystery featuring penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie, “a feisty new heroine to delight a legion of Anglophile readers” (Jacqueline Winspear).

The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess—and conveniently place her in the playboy Prince’s path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise. She must draw up plans: clean house to make it look like a palace; have Granddad and her neighbor pretend to be the domestic staff; un-teach Princess Hanni the English she’s culled from American gangster movies; cure said Princess of her embarrassing shoplifting habit; and keep an eye on her at parties. Then there’s the worrying matter of the body in the bookshop and Hanni’s unwitting involvement with the Communist Party. It’s enough to drive a girl crazy…

Book:Six Geese A-Slaying

Six Geese A-Slaying: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Donna Andrews

Meg and Michael’s house is serving as the marshaling point for the annual Caerphilly Christmas parade. The theme is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and it features twelve drummers from the school marching band, eleven bagpipers, ten leaping lords costumed in medieval finery from the college drama department, etc. There are also assorted Christmas-themed floats, a live nativity scene on a flatbed truck, the Three Wise Men on Caerphilly zoo camels, and Santa Claus in a bright red horse-drawn sleigh (eight reindeer were beyond the zoo’s scope).

Meg has been volunteered to organize the parade, which is to proceed from her house to the local campus, where Santa will take up residence to hear the Christmas wishes of the town’s children. Of course, getting all the camels, pipers, leapers, and drummers in order is proving every bit as difficult as Meg feared it would be. Then her nephew Eric, wide-eyed and ashen-faced,…[more]

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