Annal: 2011 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Paperback Original

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2011.

Book:Long Time Coming

Long Time Coming: A Novel

Robert Goddard

Stephen Swan is amazed when he hears that the uncle he thought had been killed in the Blitz is actually alive. For nearly four decades, Eldritch Swan has been locked away in an Irish prison and now, at last, has been released. Shocked and suspicious, Stephen listens to the old man’s story and is caught up in a tale that begins at the dawn of World War II, when Eldritch worked for an Antwerp diamond dealer with a trove of Picassos—highly valuable paintings that later disappeared. Stephen, who finds his uncle by turns devious, charming, and brazen, then meets Rachel Banner, a beautiful American who may have inherited the Picassos—and is determined to see justice done for her family. But in this tale of revenge and redemption, justice is the ultimate illusion. Eldritch, Stephen, and the woman Stephen has fallen in love with soon find themselves fighting for their lives—against sinister forces still guarding a secret that must never be revealed.

Book:Expiration Date (Duane Swierczynski)

Expiration Date

Duane Swierczynski

In this neighborhood, make a wrong turn… and you’re history.

Mickey Wade is a recently-unemployed journalist who lucked into a rent-free apartment—his sick grandfather’s place. The only problem: it’s in a lousy neighborhood—the one where Mickey grew up, in fact. The one he was so desperate to escape.

But now he’s back. Dead broke. And just when he thinks he’s reached rock bottom, Mickey wakes up in the past. Literally.

At first he thinks it’s a dream. All of the stores he remembered from his childhood, the cars, the rumble of the elevated train. But as he digs deeper into the past, searching for answers about the grandfather he hardly knows, Mickey meets the twelve-year-old kid who lives in the apartment below.

The kid who will grow up to someday murder Mickey’s father.

Book:The News Where You Are

The News Where You Are

Catherine O'Flynn

Frank Allcroft, a television news anchor in his hometown (where he reports on hard-hitting events, like the opening of canine gyms for overweight pets), is on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Beneath his famously corny on-screen persona, Frank is haunted by loss: the mysterious hit-and-run that killed his predecessor and friend, Phil, and the ongoing demolition of his architect father’s monumental postwar buildings. And then there are the things he can’t seem to lose, no matter how hard he tries: his home, for one, on the market for years; and the nagging sense that he will never quite be the son his mother—newly ensconced in an assisted-living center—wanted.

As Frank uncovers the shocking truth behind Phil’s death, and comes to terms with his domineering father’s legacy, it is his beloved young daughter, Mo, who points him toward the future. Funny and touching, The News Where You Are is a moving exploration of what we do and don’t leave behind, proving once more that Catherine O’Flynn’s writing “shimmers with dark brilliance” (Chicago Tribune).

Book:Ten Little Herrings

Ten Little Herrings: An Ethelred and Elsie Mystery

L.C. Tyler

When we last saw Ethelred Tressider, he was pulling a disappearing act, eager to pack in his career as a mediocre mystery-writer, and happy to leave his (deservedly) long suffering agent, Elsie, holding the bag. But any bag that Elsie holds will soon be brimful of chocolates, and as Ten Little Herrings opens, she is tracking Ethelred to a run-down French hotel hosting a stamp-collectors’ conference. A murder (quelle surprise!) ensues, and, as the title (a nod to Agatha Christie’s famous Ten Little Indians) suggests, the whole thing turns into a blissfully funny parody of classic British crime fiction.

Book:Vienna Secrets

Vienna Secrets: A Max Liebermann Mystery

Frank Tallis

In Freud’s dangerous, dazzling Vienna of 1903, an ingenious doctor and an intrepid detective again challenge psychotic criminals across a landscape teetering between the sophisticated and the savage, the thrilling future and the primitive past.

On opposite sides of the city, two men are found beheaded on church grounds. Detective Inspector Oskar Reinhardt is baffled. Could the killer be mentally ill, someone the victims came into contact with? Some are even blaming the murders on the devil. But when psychoanalyst Dr. Max Liebermann learns that both victims were vocal members of a shadowy anti-Semitic group, he turns his gaze to the city’s close-knit Hasidic community. The doctor is drawn into an urban underworld that hosts and hides virulent racists on one side and followers of kabbalah on the other. And as the evidence—and bodies—pile up, Liebermann must reconsider his own path, the one that led him away from the miraculous and toward a life of the mind.

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