Annal: 2013 Barry Award for Best Paperback Original Novel

Results of the Barry Award in the year 2013.

Book:Mr. Churchill's Secretary

Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Novel

Susan Elia MacNeal

For fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Laurie R. King, and Anne Perry, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary captures the drama of an era of unprecedented challenge—and the greatness that rose to meet it.

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also…[more]

Book:Beneath the Abbey Wall

Beneath the Abbey Wall: A Novel

A.D. Scott

As a decade of change comes to a close, murder hits close to home in a small Scottish town…

On a dark, damp Sunday evening, a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out in supplication from a bundle of sacks. In an instant he knows something terrifying has happened.

In the Highlands in the late 1950s, much of the local newspaper’s success was due to Mrs. Smart, the no-nonsense office manager who kept everything and everyone in line. Her murder leaves her colleagues in shock and the Highland Gazette office in chaos. Joanne Ross, a budding reporter and shamefully separated mother, assumes Mrs. Smart’s duties, but an intriguing stranger provides a distraction not only from the job and the investigation but from everything Joanne believes in.

Beneath the Abbey Wall brilliantly evokes a place still torn between the safety of the past and the uncertainty…[more]

Book:Blessed are the Dead

Blessed are the Dead: An Emmanuel Cooper Mystery

Malla Nunn

Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper returns in this powerful, atmospheric novel about two communities forced to confront each other after a murder that exposes their secret ties and forbidden desires in apartheid South Africa, by award-winning author Malla Nunn.

The body of a beautiful seventeen-year-old Zulu girl, Amahle, is found covered in wildflowers on a hillside in the Drakensberg Mountains, halfway between her father’s compound and the enormous white-owned farm where she worked. Detective Sergeant Cooper and Detective Constable Samuel Shabalala are sent to the desolate landscape to investigate. They soon discover that Amahle’s life was woven into both the black and white communities in ways they could never have imagined. Cooper and Shabalala must enter the guarded worlds of a traditional Zulu clan and a divided white farming community to gather up the secrets she left behind and…[more]

Book:Bloodland (Alan Glynn)

Bloodland

Alan Glynn

A helicopter crash off the coast of Ireland sends unexpected ripples through the international community in this intricate new thriller from the author of Winterland and Limitless (now a major motion picture).

Susie Monaghan was on the cusp of stardom when her life was cut short by a tragic helicopter crash. After a full investigation, her death was ruled an accident: case closed. But a hungry young journalist named Jimmy Gilroy isn’t buying the official story. Before dying, Susie’s path had crossed with an unlikely gallery of powerful men: an ex-Prime minister with a carefully guarded secret; the businessman brother of a U.S. Senator angling for the Oval Office; and a billionaire investor with his eye on an extremely rare commodity. Might there also be a link between Susie’s death and a deranged security contractor operating in Congo? Piece by piece, Jimmy uncovers a bizarre nexus of coincidence among these disparate people and events, revealing a conspiracy…[more]

Book:The Other Woman's House

The Other Woman's House: A Novel

Sophie Hannah

It’s past midnight, but Connie Bowskill can’t sleep. To pass the time, she logs on to a real estate website in search of a particular house, one she is obsessed with for reasons she’s too scared to even admit to herself. As she clicks through the virtual tour, she comes across a scene from a nightmare: a woman lying facedown on the living room floor in a pool of blood. But when she returns to show her husband, there is no body, no blood—just a perfectly ordinary room, with a perfectly clean beige carpet.

The sixth book in Sophie Hannah’s beloved Zailer and Waterhouse series, The Other Woman’s House offers unforgettable suspense and a heart-stopping conclusion that Ruth Rendell and Tana French fans will love.

Book:Pago Pago Tango

Pago Pago Tango: A Det. Apelu Soifua Jungle Beat Mystery

John Enright

Detective Sergeant Apelu Soifua spent seven years in the San Francisco Police Department, where the job was just a job and solving crimes required cool detachment. But back home on American Samoa, life is personal—especially for a cop. Because on a small island where no one is a stranger and secrets are widely known but never discussed, solving crimes requires a certain…finesse.

Here, Apelu must walk the line between two cultures: Samoan versus American, native versus new. And that gulf never yawns wider than when a white family’s home in Pago Pago is burglarized. And what appears to be a simple, open-and-shut case turns out to anything but. As the evidence piles up, Apelu follows a tangled trail between cultures, dead bodies, hidden codes, and a string of lies on his hunt for the ugly truth buried at the heart of paradise.

Set against the steamy backdrop of the Samoan jungle, this thoughtful whodunit introduces a memorable new gumshoe to the ranks of detective fiction.

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