Annal: 2013 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel

Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2013.

Book:Black Fridays: A Novel

Black Fridays: A Novel

Michael Sears

Sometimes a man can be redeemed. But not in the way he expects.

Jason Stafford is a former Wall Street hotshot who made some bad moves, paid the price with two years in prison, and is now trying to put his life back together. He’s unemployable, until an investment firm asks him to look into possible problems left by a junior trader who died recently in an accident. What he discovers is big—there are problems, all right, the kind that get you killed.

But it’s not his only concern. Stafford has another quest as well: to reclaim his five-year-old son, “the Kid,” from his unstable ex-wife, and then learn just what it means to make a life with him. The things Stafford discovers about himself in the process are every bit as gripping as his investigation, and when the two threads of his life come together—the results are unforgettable.

Black Fridays marks the arrival of a remarkable new A Novel writer.

Book:Hush Money (Chuck Greaves)

Hush Money: A Mystery

Chuck Greaves

When Hush Puppy, Pasadena socialite Sydney Everett’s champion show horse, dies under suspicious circumstances, junior lawyer Jack MacTaggart is assigned to handle the insurance claim. But the case soon takes an unexpected turn, thrusting Jack into a spiraling web of blackmail and murder in which he finds himself both the prime suspect and the next likely victim.

In this acclaimed debut novel, the first in a series, former Los Angeles trial lawyer Chuck Greaves takes readers into the high-stakes worlds of big-firm litigation and professional equestrian show-jumping, where no one can be trusted, and where nothing is quite what it seems.

Book:Murder Unscripted

Murder Unscripted: A Hollywood Mystery

Clive Rosengren

Long-time character actor Clive Rosengren (Cheers, Seinfeld, Ed Wood) pens a sprightly tale of Hollywood sex and homicide in Murder Unscripted.

Nobody is going to mistake part-time actor, part-time sleuth Eddie Collins for a movie star. Playing in a chicken commercial, Eddie is almost relieved when he gets a call from a bonding company on the hook for an unfinished film called Flames of Desire. The movie’s female lead is dead under mysterious circumstances—which would be bad enough. Worse, the actress is Eddie’s ex-wife.

As a second body turns up, Eddie scrambles to expose one of Tinseltown’s dirty little secrets: what some people will do to sleep with a star. If Eddie isn’t careful, his next “exit, stage left” will be permanent.

Book:Racing the Devil: A Jared McKean Mystery

Racing the Devil: A Jared McKean Mystery

Jaden Terrell

Nashville private investigator Jared McKean has a son with Down’s Syndrome, a best friend with AIDS, an ex-wife he can’t seem to fall out of love with, and a weakness for women in jeopardy—until one frames him for muder.

His DNA and fingerprints are found at the murder scene. His voice is on the victim’s answering machine, and the victim was killed with a bullet from his gun. To make matters worse, his teen-aged nephew comes out of the closet and runs away to join a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture.

Now Jared must find a way to clear his name, hold his family together, and solve a case that could cost him his life.

Book:The Twenty-Year Death

The Twenty-Year Death

Ariel S. Winter

A breathtaking first novel written in the form of three separate crime novels, each set in a different decade and penned in the style of a different giant of the mystery genre.

1931—The body found in the gutter in France led the police inspector to the dead man’s beautiful daughter—and to her hot-tempered American husband.

1941—A hardboiled private eye hired to keep a movie studio’s leading lady happy uncovers the truth behind the brutal slaying of a Hollywood starlet.

1951—A desperate man pursuing his last chance at redemption finds himself with blood on his hands and the police on his trail… …[more]

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