Annal: 2013 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Fact Crime

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2013.

Book:Midnight in Peking

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

Paul French

Who killed Pamela Werner?

On a frozen night in January 1937, in the dying days of colonial Peking, a body was found under the haunted watchtower. It was Pamela Werner, the teenage daughter of the city’s former British consul Edward Werner. Her heart had been removed.

A horrified world followed the hunt for Pamela’s killer, with a Chinese-British detective team pursuing suspects including a blood-soaked rickshaw puller, the Triads, and a lascivious grammar school headmaster. But the case was soon forgotten amid the carnage of the Japanese invasion…by all but Edward Werner. With a network of private investigators and informers, he followed the trail deep into Peking’s notorious Badlands and back to the gilded hotels of the colonial Quarter.

Some 75 years later, deep in the Scotland Yard archives, British historian Paul French accidentally came across the lost…[more]

Book:Devil in the Grove

Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America

Gilbert King

Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.

In 1949, Florida’s orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who dared to envision a future for themselves beyond the citrus groves. By day’s end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as “the Groveland Boys.”…[more]

Book:Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

Ben Macintyre

In his celebrated bestsellers Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre told the dazzling true stories of a remarkable WWII double agent and of how the Allies employed a corpse to fool the Nazis and assure a decisive victory. In Double Cross, Macintyre returns with the untold story of the grand final deception of the war and of the extraordinary spies who achieved it.

On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. D-Day was a stunning military accomplishment, but it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, deceived the Nazis into believing that the Allies would attack at Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and…[more]

Book:More Forensics and Fiction

More Forensics and Fiction: Crime Writers Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered

D.P. Lyle, M.D.

This compilation of medical and forensic science questions from crime writers around the world provides insight into medical and forensic science as well as a glimpse into the writer’s creative mind.

How do hallucinogenic drugs affect a blind person? Will snake venom injected into fruit cause death? How would you perform CPR in a helicopter? What happens when someone swallows razor blades? How long does it take blood to dry? Can DNA be obtained from a half-eaten bagel?

D. P. Lyle, MD, answers these and many more intriguing questions. The book is a useful and entertaining resource for writers and screenwriters, helping them find the information they need to frame a situation and write a convincing description. TV viewers, readers who enjoy crime fiction, and those who want to know more about forensic science can keep up with the news and understand the science behind criminal investigation. From traumatic injuries to the coroner’s office, the questions and answers are divided into five parts, making it a compendium of the incredible information that lies within the world of medicine and forensics.

Book:The People Who Eat Darkness

The People Who Eat Darkness: Love, Grief and a Journey into Japan's Shadows

Richard Lloyd Parry

Lucie Blackman—tall, blond, twenty-one years old—stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo in the summer of 2000, and disappeared forever. The following winter, her dismembered remains were found buried in a seaside cave.  Richard Lloyd Parry, an award-winning foreign correspondent, covered Lucie’s disappearance and followed the massive search for her, the long investigation, and the even longer trial. Over ten years, he earned the trust of her family and friends, won unique access to the Japanese detectives and Japan’s convoluted legal system, and delved deep into the mind of the man accused of the crime, Joji Obara, described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.”

The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory, “In Cold Blood for our times” (Chris Cleave, author of Incendiary and Little Bee).

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