Annal: 2009 Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel

Results of the Macavity Award in the year 2009.

Book:The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson

An international publishing sensation, Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pieced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

Book:The Blood Detective

The Blood Detective: A Mystery

Dan Waddell

When the naked, mutilated body of a man is found in a Notting Hill graveyard and the police investigation led by Detective Chief Inspector Grant Foster and his colleague Detective Superintendent Heather Jenkins yields few results, a closer look at the corpse reveals  that what looked at first glance like superficial knife wounds on the victim’s chest is actually a string of carved letters and numbers, an index number referring to a file in city archives containing birth and death certificates and marriage licenses. Family historian Nigel Barnes is put on the case. As one after another victim is found in various locations all over London, each with a different mutilation but the same index number carved into their skin, Barnes and the police work frantically to figure out how the corresponding files are connected. With no clues to be found in the present, Barnes must now search the archives of the past to solve the mystery behind a string of 100-year-old murders. Only then will it be possible to stop the present series of gruesome killings, but will they be able to do so before the killer ensnares his next victim? Barnes, Foster, and Jenkins enter a race against time—and before the end of the investigation, one of them will get much too close for comfort.

Book:Calumet City

Calumet City: A Novel

Charlie Newton

Among the most self-assured and sharply crafted debuts in recent years, Calumet City detonates a Molotov cocktail of character-driven suspense and ghetto-Chicago intrigue.

Meet Patti Black, the most decorated cop in Chicago. On her ghetto beat, Patti Black redefines the word badass. But her steel-plated exterior—solitary, stoic, loveless—belies the wrenching legacy of her orphan childhood. Haunted by the horrifying abuse she suffered at the hands of her foster parents, Patti Black sublimates past torments into a meticulously maintained tough-gal persona.

When a series of unrelated cases—a drug bust gone bad, a mayoral assassination attempt, the murder of a state attorney, the exhumation of a long-concealed body from a tenement basement wall—all point in Patti Black’s direction, she finds herself…[more]

Book:A Carrion Death

A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu

Michael Stanley

Smashed skull, snapped ribs, and a cloying smell of carrion. Leave the body for the hyenas to devour—no body, no case.

But Kalahari game rangers stumble on the human corpse mid-meal. The murder wasn’t perfect after all. Enter Detective David “Kubu” Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department, an investigator whose personality and physique match his moniker, the Setswana word for hippopotamus—which is a seemingly docile beast, but one of the deadliest, and most persistent, on the continent.

Beneath a mountain of lies and superstitions, Kubu uncovers a chain of crimes leading to the most powerful figures in the country—cold-bloodedly efficient and frighteningly influential enemies who can make anyone who gets in their way disappear.

Book:Death of a Cozy Writer

Death of a Cozy Writer: A St. Just Mystery

G.M. Malliet

From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow—a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet…who was once suspected of murdering her husband.

Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset—least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk—an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?

Book:Finding Nouf

Finding Nouf: A Novel

Zoë Ferraris

A captivating page-turner that vividly evokes Saudi Arabian society and introduces an original new hero.

When sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing and is found drowned in the desert outside Jeddah, Nayir—a desert guide hired by her prominent family to search for her—feels compelled to find out what really happened. Gentle, hulking, conscientious Nayir soon finds himself delving into the interior life of a wealthy, protected teenage girl in one of the most rigidly segregated of Middle Eastern societies. To gain access to the world of women, Nayir realizes he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab technician at the coroner’s office and the fiancée of Nouf ’s brother. In the course of working with Katya and uncovering the mysteries of the dead girl’s mind, Nayir must confront his own desire for female companionship—and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. …[more]

Book:An Innocent Client

An Innocent Client

Scott Pratt

This is the kind of crime the tabloids love…
This is the kind of case most lawyers dream of…
This is the kind of trial that destroys more lives than it saves…
this is the kind of “terrific debut novel” (Sheldon Siegel, New York Times BestSelling Author of Judgment Day) that reinvents the legal thriller.

A preacher is stabbed to death in a Tennessee motel. The suspect is a waitress at a strip club. Defense attorney Joe Dillard’s too burnt out to defend anyone he knows in his heart is guilty. Then he meets the vulnerable Angel-the accused, incriminated by circumstantial evidence. Dillard’s sure she’s not capable of killing anyone. What Dillard doesn’t count on are the…[more]

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