Honor roll: Dagger Award for Crime Novel

Each of these works has been nominated for one of these awards: Dagger Award for Crime Novel, Gold Dagger Award for Crime Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

Tom Franklin

Edgar Award-winning author Tom Franklin returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far—an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county—and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers…[more]

Book:City of Bones

City of Bones

Michael Connelly

When the bones of a 12-year-old boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up the darkest memories from his own haunted past. The bones have been buried for years, but the cold case doesn’t deter Bosch. Unearthing hidden stories, he finds the child’s identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he not be forgotten.

At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom for Bosch-until a stunningly blown mission leaves Bosch in more trouble that ever before in his turbulent career. The investigation races to a shocking conclusion and leaves Bosch on the brink of an unimaginable decision-one that will leave readers hungrily awaiting Michael Connelly’s next masterpiece.

Book:The Lock Artist

The Lock Artist: A Thriller

Steve Hamilton

“I was the Miracle Boy, once upon a time. Later on, the Milford Mute. The Golden Boy. The Young Ghost. The Kid. The Boxman. The Lock Artist. That was all me. But you can call me Mike.”

Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it’s a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe…he can open them all. It’s an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever close to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long. Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you’ve ever seen in the world of crime fiction.

Book:What the Dead Know

What the Dead Know: A Novel

Laura Lippman

Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who’or what’could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness?

Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters. But her involuntary admission and subsequent attempt to stonewall investigators only deepens the mystery. Where has she been, why has she waited so long to come forward? Could her abductor truly be a beloved Baltimore cop? There isn’t a shred of evidence to support her story, and every lead she gives the police seems to be another dead-end’a dying, incoherent man, a razed house, a missing grave, and a family that disintegrated long ago, torn apart not only by the crime but by the fissures the tragedy revealed…[more]

Book:The Ice Harvest

The Ice Harvest

Scott Phillips

Loaded guns, ladies of the night, broken neon, broken dreams. Here is a world that is immediately recognizable—through a shot glass at three A.M. This is life with rough edges, in a novel that gives you the straight goods—point blank— one cold, snowbound Christmas Eve in Kansas. One single night, defined in shadings of black and white, when everything changes…

For most, the city is closing up. For a few outsiders, this night, Christmas Eve 1979, is just beginning. Charlie Arglist is a lawyer saying goodbye to Wichita by revisiting the landscape of his used up life: the cold stare of his angry ex-wife, the empty strip clubs and bars where loneliness turns a profit, the frozen glare of ex-lovers and cops long snuggled in his deep pockets. Club owner Renata, an elegant dish in a smoky dive, dreams of financial prosperity and holds a single frame of a stolen film that could help her achieve them. And there’s Vic. He’s got a reputation, a bad temper, and a secret worth half a million dollars. Not to mention a knack for bringing people together…for the last time. Before the night is over, the decisions they face and the choices they make will irrevocably alter the course of their lives—if they can live long enough to see Christmas Day sunrise.

Book:Red Leaves

Red Leaves: A Novel

Thomas H. Cook

Eric Moore has reason to be happy. He has a prosperous business, a comfortable home, a stable family life in a quiet town. Then, on an ordinary night, his teenage son Keith is asked to babysit Amy Giordano, the eight-year-old daughter of a neighboring family. The next morning Amy is missing.

Suddenly Eric is one of the stricken parents he has seen on television, professing faith in his child’s innocence. As the police investigation increasingly focuses on Keith, Eric must counsel his son, find him a lawyer, protect him from the community’s steadily growing suspicion. Except that Eric is not so sure his son is innocent. And if Keith is not…and might do the same thing again…what then should a father do?

Red Leaves is a story of broken trust and one man’s heroic effort to hold fast the ties that bind him to everything he loves.

Book:Bloodhounds

Bloodhounds: A Peter Diamond Mystery

Peter Lovesey

Head of the Bath murder squad, Peter Diamond isn’t exactly up to his elbows in bodies in the placid resort. He’s bored, a bit testy, and ready for an old-fashioned mystery. Alas, when one does come along it’s not in his division; it’s a half-million-dollar heist by a thief who first has sent a rhyming riddle to all the local radio stations. Diamond is ready to throw his weight around to help solve the robbery, but before he can step on any toes, a body turns up and the corpse is in his court.

There’s only one catch. It’s impossible for anyone to have committed the crime. The victim belongs to an elite group of mystery lovers called the Bloodhounds. The body is inside a padlocked houseboat, and the only key is in the pocket of a man with an ironclad alibi. The murderer cannot logically have left the scene, yet the victim is definitely not a suicide. Has one of the other Bloodhounds decided to commit the perfect crime? Was the heist and its verse a red herring, part of a labyrinthine plot by a twisted mind?

Book:Snowdrops

Snowdrops: A Novel

A.D. Miller

An intense psychological drama that echoes sophisticated entertainments like Gorky Park and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Nick Platt is a British lawyer working in Moscow in the early 2000s—a place where the cascade of oil money, the tightening grip of the government, the jostling of the oligarchs, and the loosening of Soviet social mores have led to a culture where corruption, decadence, violence, and betrayal define everyday life. Nick doesn’t ask too many questions about the shady deals he works on—he’s too busy enjoying the exotic, surreally sinful nightlife Moscow has to offer.

One day in the subway, he rescues two willowy sisters, Masha and Katya, from a would-be purse snatcher. Soon Nick, the seductive Masha, and long-limbed Katya are cruising the seamy glamour spots of the city. Nick begins to feel something for Masha…[more]

Book:Jolie Blon's Bounce

Jolie Blon's Bounce: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

James Lee Burke

When a beautiful teenage girl is killed, the victim of a particularly savage rape, New Iberia, Louisiana, police detective Dave Robicheaux senses from the very start of the investigation that the most likely suspect, Tee Bobby Hulin, is not the actual killer. Though a drug addict and general ne’er-do-well, Hulin just doesn’t fit the profile for this kind of brutal crime.

But when another murder occurs—this victim a drugged-out prostitute who happens to be the daughter of one of the local mafia bigwigs—all clues once again point to Tee Bobby Hulin, and the cries for arrest become too loud to ignore. The dead girl’s father, however, prefers to take matters in his own hands and sets out to find—and punish—the killer himself.

But before Robicheaux can solve these crimes and bring the killer or killers to justice, he is forced to battle his own inner demons, including a painkiller addiction, a habit that begins as the result of a brutal and humiliating beating he suffers…[more]

Book:Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects: A Novel

Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s Preaker’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

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