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:Motherless Brooklyn

Motherless Brooklyn

Jonathan Lethem

“Tell your story walking.”

St. Vincent’s Home for Boys, Brooklyn, early 1970s. For Lionel Essrog, a.k.a. The Human Freakshow, a victim of Tourette’s syndrome (an uncontrollable urge to shout out nonsense, touch every surface in reach, rearrange objects), Frank Minna is a savior. A local tough guy and fixer, Minna shows up to take Lionel and three of his fellow orphans on mysterious errands: they empty a store of stereos as the owner watches; destroy a small amusement park; visit old Italian men. The four grow up to be the Minna Men, a fly-by-night detective agency-cum-limo service, and their days and nights revolve around Frank, the prince of Brooklyn, who glides through life on street smarts, attitude, and secret knowledge. Then one dreadful night, Frank is knifed and thrown into a Dumpster, and Lionel must become a real detective. …[more]

Book:Whip Hand

Whip Hand

Dick Francis

This “convincing and memorable” mystery is “among Dick Francis’s best,” says the Cincinnati Post. And we’re sure readers will agree.

Ex-jockey and private investigator Sid Halley is approached by the wife of an elite racehorse trainer, begging his help in figuring out why her husband’s most promising horses have been performing so poorly. At first Halley thinks she’s overreacting and the losing streak is just dumb luck. But now he’s beginning to think it’s something far more dangerous…

Book:The Honourable Schoolboy

The Honourable Schoolboy

John le Carré

John le Carré’s classic novels deftly navigate readers through the intricate shadow worlds of international espionage with unsurpassed skill and knowledge and have earned him—and his hero, British Secret Service agent George Smiley—unprecedented worldwide acclaim.

In this classic masterwork, le Carré expands upon his extraordinary vision of a secret world as George Smiley goes on the attack.

In the wake of a demoralizing infiltration by a Soviet double agent, Smiley has been made ringmaster of the Circus (aka the British Secret Service). Determined to restore the organization’s health and reputation, and bent on revenge, Smiley thrusts his own handpicked operative into action. Jerry Westerby, “The Honourable Schoolboy,” is dispatched to the Far East. A burial ground of French, British, and American colonial cultures, the region is a fabled testing ground of patriotic allegiances—and a new showdown is about to begin.

Book:Flesh & Blood

Flesh & Blood: A Frank Elder Mystery

John Harvey

Retirement has not come easy for Detective Inspector Frank Elder. He’s fled west, into a solitary existence on the Cornish coast, but he can’t escape the past. He continues to be troubled by his wife’s betrayal, he worries over their teenage daughter, he’s haunted by bad dreams that lead him to the body of a sixteen-year-old girl.

Susan Blacklock would be thirty now. But fourteen years ago she disappeared, and for fourteen years the case of the missing schoolgirl with a flair for drama has gone unsolved. Not that Elder hadn’t had his suspects. In fact, he’d seen the two of them—Shane Donald and Alan McKeirnan—convicted a year later for the brutal rape and murder of another young, pretty girl whose body had been buried in a sandy grave. And now, with Shane granted an early release from prison, Elder feels compelled to return to the seaside scenes of the crime. …[more]

Book:Tokyo

Tokyo

Mo Hayder

Student Grey Hutchins comes to Tokyo seeking answers to what happened during the notorious Nanking Massacre in which, in one city, the Imperial Japanese Army killed up to 300,000 civilians. With its focus on 1980’s Tokyo and China in the late 1930s, and a woman who has quite a lot to prove and even more to hide, this is a literary thriller of the highest order. With its heady atmosphere of overt violence, lurking fear and sexual tension, Tokyo is a novel that takes hold of the reader and does not let go until its explosive final pages.

Book:Right as Rain

Right as Rain

George P. Pelecanos

Derek Strange is an ex-cop who now runs his own private detective agency. The mother of a young police officer killed by another cop hires him to clear up the lingering doubts surrounding her son’s death. Although Terry Quinn, the other cop, has been cleared in the official investigation, his guilt torments him. After Strange interviews him, Quinn joins the investigation, even though in part he is investigating himself and whether his own prejudices led him to pull the trigger.

Strange and Quinn seek their answers in the darkest sectors of Washington, D.C., where racism and ruthless capitalism create a lawless world. This is a brilliant and savage thriller by the writer the Washington Post has called a fresh, new, utterly hard-boiled voice

Book:A Taste for Death

A Taste for Death: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery

P.D. James

When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew’s Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice—all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death….

Book:Silence of the Grave

Silence of the Grave: A Reyjavik Murder Mystery

Arnaldur Indriðason

Downtrodden detective Erlendur and his team must once again look into Reykjavik’s hidden past to unravel a case of human nastiness. Alive with tension and atmosphere and disturbingly real, this is an outstanding continuation of the Reykjavik Murder Mysteries.

Book:The Athenian Murders

The Athenian Murders

Jose Carlos Somoza

In this brilliant, highly entertaining, and intriguing novel, Jose Carlos Somoza intertwines two darkly compelling riddles, forcing us to confront the ways in which we interpret reality.

In ancient Athens, one of the pupils of Plato’s Academy is found dead. His idealistic teacher Diagoras is convinced the pupil’s death is not as accidental as it appears, and asks the famous Heracles Pontor, the “Decipherer of Enigmas,” to investigate. As the death toll rises, the two men find themselves drawn into the dangerous underworld of the Athenian aristocracy, risking their own lives to solve the riddle of these young men’s deaths. Simultaneously, a second plot unfolds: that of the modern-day translator of the ancient text, who, as he proceeds with his work, becomes convinced that the original author has hidden a second meaning in the text, one that can be interpreted through certain repeated words and images. As the story advances, however,…[more]

Book:Dancing with the Virgins

Dancing with the Virgins: A Constable Ben Cooper Novel

Stephen Booth

Stephen Booth, one of the most acclaimed new voices in crime fiction, takes us to a remote region of northern England where a prehistoric ring of stones, the Nine Virgins, harbors a dark legend.

With winter looming, a tenth figure soon joins the circle: the body of young cyclist Jenny Weston, whose limbs are carefully arranged in death to parody a woman dancing. Weeks earlier, another woman, Maggie Crew, was attacked nearby, her face savagely cut open. Is there a maniac on the loose, knifing women at random? Maggie may hold the answer, but she has no memory of the attack. The painful images are buried deep in her wounded psyche. It will take time and patience to convince Maggie to face the demons of her past.

But are the two crimes—Jenny’s murder and Maggie’s assault—linked by something other than geography? Was there…[more]

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