Honor roll: Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for a Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:A Place of Execution

A Place of Execution

Val McDermid

On a freezing day in December 1963, thirteen-year-old Alison Carter vanishes from her village. Nothing will ever be the same again for the inhabitants of the isolated hamlet in the English countryside. A young George Bennett, a newly-promoted inspector, he is determined to solve this case—even if it just to bring home a daughter’s dead body to her mother.

As days progress, the likelihood that Alison has been murdered increases when a gruesome discovery is made in a cave. But with no corpse, the barest of clues, and an investigation that turns up more questions than answers, Bennett finds himself up against a stone wall…until he learns the shocking truth—a truth that will have far-reaching consequences.

Decades later, Bennett finally tells his story to journalist Catherine Heathcote. But just when the book is posed for publication, he pulls the plug on it without explanation. He has new information that he will not divulge. Refusing to let the past remain a mystery, Catherine sets out to uncover what really happened to Alison Carter. But the secret is one she might wish she’d left buried on that cold, dark day thirty-five years ago.

Book:The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel

Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil. Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend the clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It’s no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. From bikers to con artists to drunk drivers and drug dealers, they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. But when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. It’s a franchise case and he’s sure it will be a slam dunk in the courtroom. For once, he may be defending a client who is actually innocent. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face-to-face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, Haller must use all of his skills to manipulate a system in which he no longer believes.

Book:The James Deans

The James Deans: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman

It’s 1983 and Reaganomics is in full swing. But beneath the facade of junk bonds and easy money, New York remains a gritty metropolis offering Nirvana with one hand and desolation with the other. Moe Prager, ex-NYPD cop turned reluctant P.I. is too busy reeling from a family tragedy to see what’s coming. He’s about to be sucked into a case that might deliver him what he’s always wanted or plunge him into purgatory.

Two years earlier, Moira Heaton, a young intern for an up-and-coming politico, vanished without a trace. Although there is no evidence supporting her boss’s involvement, rumors and whispers have conspired to stall his once-promising career. Now, in a last-ditch effort to clear his name, state senator Steven Brightman, with the clout of a wealthy backer, enlists Moe’s help. With twists and turns galore and Moe’s inimitable voice, The James Deans is an absorbing page-turner that will add to the burgeoning reputation of one of today’s most promising writers.

Book:Bootlegger's Daughter

Bootlegger's Daughter: A Deborah Knott Mystery

Margaret Maron

Unconventional, still unwed (at the ripe old age of 34) North Carolina attorney Deborah Knott has done the unthinkable: tossed her hat into the heated race for district judge of old boy-ruled Colleton County. The only female candidate, she’s busy defending indigent clients and reeling in voters. Then suddenly, the young daughter of Janie Whitehead begs her to help solve Janie’s senseless, never-solved, eighteen-year-old murder. Deborah takes on the case; following twisted, typically Southern bloodlines, turning up dangerous, decades-old secrets, and inspiring someone to go on an all-out campaign to derail her future—political and otherwise. But it will take more than sleazy smear tactics to scare this determined steel magnolia off the scent of down-home deceit…even in a town where a cool slug of moonshine made by Deborah’s father can go down just as smoothly as a cold case of triple murder.

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:Winter and Night

Winter and Night

S.J. Rozan

Private detective Bill Smith is hurtled headlong into the most provocative-and personal-case of his career when he receives a chilling late night telephone call from the NYPD, who are holding his fifteen-year-old nephew Gary. But before he can find out what’s going on, Gary escapes Bill’s custody and disappears into the dark and unfamiliar streets…

Bill and his partner, Lydia Chin, try to find the missing teen and uncover what it is that has led him so far from home. Their search takes them to Gary’s family in a small town in New Jersey, where they discover that one of Gary’s classmates was murdered. Bill and Lydia delve into the crime-only to find it eerily similar to a decades-old murder-suicide…

Now, with his nephew’s future-and perhaps his very life-at stake, Bill must unravel a long-buried crime and confront the darkness of his own past…

Book:Silent Joe

Silent Joe

T. Jefferson Parker

With the horrible remnants of a childhood tragedy forever visible across his otherwise handsome face, Joe Trona is scarred in more ways than one. Rescued from an orphanage by Will Trona, a charismatic Orange County politician who sensed his dark potential, Joe is swept into the maelstrom of power and intimidation that surrounds his adoptive father’s illustrious career. Serving as Will’s right-hand man, Joe is trained to protect and defend his father’s territory—but he can’t save the powerful man from his enemies. Will Trona is murdered, and Joe will stop at nothing to find out who did it.

Looking for clues as he sifts through the remains of his father’s life—his girlfriends, acquaintances, deals, and enemies—Joe comes to realize how many secrets Will Trona possessed, and how many people he had the power to harm. But two leads keep rising to the surface: a little girl who was kidnapped by her mentally disturbed brother, and two rival gangs who seem to have…[more]

Book:In a Dry Season

In a Dry Season

Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson, internationally acclaimed author of literary suspense, knows the serenity found in the rustic Yorkshire countryside can be deceptive. For evil can strike in the most pastoral of surroundings, and go unpunished for years-even decades.

Water is the essence of life. Yet during a dry season, when supply cannot meet demand, the precious commodity rapidly drains from a manmade reservoir to reveal a forgotten town that was sacrificed for the sake of water. A blistering summer has struck, and thirst has consumed the resources provided by the Thornfield Resevoir, unmasking the remains of Hobb’s End, a small village at its bottom that ceased to exist in post World War II England.

A curious child thinks of the resurfaced hamlet as a mystical playground, until he unearths a human skeleton. Modern forensics determine that the skeleton belongs to a young woman who appears to have been brutally murdered and hidden beneath the floor…[more]

Book:Butchers Hill

Butchers Hill: A Tess Monaghan Mystery

Laura Lippman

Tess Monaghan has finally made the move and hung out her shingle as a p.i.-for-hire, complete with an office in Butchers Hill. Maybe it’s not the best address in Baltimore, but you gotta start somewhere, and Tess’s greyhound Esskay has no trouble taking marathon naps anywhere there’s a roof. Then in walks Luther Beale, the notorious vigilante who five years ago shot a boy for vandalizing his car. Just out of prison, he says he wants to make reparations to the kids who witnessed his crime, so he needs Tess to find them. But once she starts snooping, the witnesses start dying. Is the “Butcher of Butchers Hill” at it again? Like it or not, Tess is embroiled in a case that encompasses the powers that-be, a heartless system that has destroyed the lives of children, and a nasty trail of money and lies leading all the way back to Butchers Hill.

Book:Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Louise Penny

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society—where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it? Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. “It doesn’t make sense,” Olivier’s partner writes every day. “He didn’t do it, you know.” As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.

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