Annal: 2010 Agatha Award for Best Novel

Results of the Agatha Award in the year 2010.

Book:Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Louise Penny

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society—where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it? Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. “It doesn’t make sense,” Olivier’s partner writes every day. “He didn’t do it, you know.” As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.

Book:Drive Time

Drive Time: A Charlotte McNally Mystery

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Investigative reporter Charlotte McNally is an expert at keeping things confidential, but suddenly everyone has a secret—and it turns out it is possible to know too much.

Her latest scoop—an exposé of a dangerous car scam, complete with stakeouts, high-speed chases and hidden-camera footage—is ratings gold. But soon that leads her to a brand-new and diabolical scheme. Charlie’s personal and professional lives are on a collision course, too. Her fiancé is privy to information about threats at an elite private school that have turned deadly.

Charlie has never counted on happy endings. But now, just as she’s finally starting to believe in second chances, she realizes revenge, extortion and murder may leave her alone again—or even dead….

Book:The Scent of Rain and Lightning

The Scent of Rain and Lightning: A Novel

Nancy Pickard

One beautiful summer afternoon, Jody Linder receives shocking news: The man convicted of murdering her father is being released from prison and returning to the small town of Rose, Kansas. It has been twenty-three years since that stormy night when her father was shot and killed and her mother disappeared, presumed dead. Neither the protective embrace of Jody’s three uncles nor the safe haven of her grandparents’ ranch could erase the pain caused by Billy Crosby on that catastrophic night.

Now Billy Crosby is free, thanks to the efforts of his son, Collin, a lawyer who has spent most of his life trying to prove his father’s innocence. Despite their long history of carefully avoiding each other in such an insular community, Jody and Collin find that they share an exclusive sense of loss. 

As Jody revisits old wounds, startling truths emerge about her family’s tragic past. But even through struggle and hardship, she still dares to hope for a better future—and maybe even love.

Book:Stork Raving Mad

Stork Raving Mad: A Meg Langslow Mystery

Donna Andrews

Meg’s expecting twins—any minute!—in this next hilarious entry in the award-winning, New York Times bestselling series!

Meg is eight and a half months pregnant with twins when Michael asks if she wouldn’t mind another houseguest. One of his doctoral students is directing his new translation of a play by a minor Spanish playwright, and the playwright has agreed to come to town for the production.

Senor Mendoza turns out to be a drinker, a smoker, and an inveterate partygoer. Before long, Meg’s kitchen is filled with the smells of Spanish food and the voices of all the wilder souls in both the drama and Spanish departments. Into this chaos arrive two prune-faced administrators, the dean of the English department and a man from the college president’s office, who say…[more]

Book:Truly, Madly

Truly, Madly

Heather Webber

Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.

Plus, her rent is due.

Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it…

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