Honor roll: Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

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:Blood Work

Blood Work

Michael Connelly

Blood Work—that’s what Terrell McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Until a heart condition forced him to take early retirement, he headed all investigations of serial murders in the Los Angeles area. Now he is recovering from a heart transplant operation and leads a quiet life. But McCaleb’s calm seas turn rough when a story in the L.A. Times brings him face-to-face with Graciela Rivers, a darkly intriguing woman who hooks him with the story of her sister’s unsolved murder. Against doctor’s orders and his own better judgement, McCaleb agrees to take up the case. Soon Terry is on the trail of a killer whose crimes are more baffling and horrifying than anything he has ever encountered. It’s a mind-bending, breakneck case that leads McCaleb into the darkest place he’s ever known, unsure whether he even wants to survive his own investigation.

Book:Dreaming of the Bones

Dreaming of the Bones

Deborah Crombie

After twelve years, the last person Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid expects to hear from is his ex-wife Victoria. But this is no social call. In her biographical research on troubled poet Lydia Brooke, Vic’s uncovered reasons to believe Lydia’s death five years ago was not suicide.

Much to Kincaid’s surprise—and the unease of his partner and lover, Sergeant Gemma James—he finds he can’t refuse Vic’s request to look into the long-closed case. The police report raises questions, but not enough to reopen the investigation—until a second death occurs, this one clearly murder.

Now Duncan and Gemma must sift through a tangle of relationships, secrets, and lies to find not just a killer, but a secret which will change their own lives forever.

Book:I.O.U.

I.O.U.

Nancy Pickard

When Jenny’s mother dies of pneumonia after years in a mental institution, an anonymous voice whispers in the crowded graveyard, “Forgive me. It was an accident…” And when Jenny asks too many questions, an attack on Jenny’s life is staged to look like a suicide attempt. “A compelling tale of sin, guilt, and the havoc human beings wreak upon one another…” —San Diego Union.

Book:Hearts and Bones

Hearts and Bones

Margaret Lawrence

Independent Hannah Trevor is a midwife in the small Maine town of Rufford several years after the end of the Revolutionary War. In the dead of a particularly brutal winter, an horrific act—the rape and murder of a young wife—draws Hannah into the constabulary’s investigation and threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Now an honorable man has been accused of the crime—Hannah’s former lover, the father of her illegitimate daughter.

Book:Cimarron Rose

Cimarron Rose

James Lee Burke

Texas attorney and former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland has many secrets. Among them is Vernon Smother’s son, Lucas, a now-teenaged boy about whom few know the truth—Lucas is really Billy Bob’s illegitimate son. When Lucas is arrested for murder, Billy Bob must confront the past and serve as the boy’s criminal attorney.

Billy Bob knows the propensity of the town, Deaf Smith, Texas, to make scapegoats out of the innocent and to exploit and sexually use the powerless. During Lucas’s trial, Billy Bob realizes that he will have to bring injury upon Lucas as well as himself in order to save his son. As a result, Billy Bob incurs enemies that are far more dangerous than any he faced as a Texas Ranger.

With the same electric language and hard-edged style that brought James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels to the forefront of American crime fiction, Cimarron Rose explodes with a new, evocative setting that will establish Billy Bob Holland as James Lee Burke’s next great character.

Book:Wolf in the Shadows

Wolf in the Shadows: A Sharon McCone Mystery

Marcia Muller

Successful in her investigative work for All Souls Legal Cooperative, happy with her newly renovated house, and feeling somewhat more secure in her relationship with the mysterious environmental activist, Hy Ripinsky, Sharon is shocked to find herself suddenly faced with a wrenching ultimatum.

No longer a small, informal co-op, All Souls has grown. New legal partners, exasperated with Sharon’s free-wheeling ways, want to kick her upstairs with a raise, perks, and a “career opportunity” that will chain her to a desk forever. Offered a take-it-or-leave-it deal, Sharon is in turmoil. And to make matters worse, Hy has disappeared. His abandoned plane, wrecked rental car, and a road map point to RKI, a firm of international security consultants with a reputation for questionable, unorthodox tactics and clients engaged in controversial research. Sharon discovers that they hired Hy as a free-lance operative and that they,…[more]

Book:The Sculptress

The Sculptress

Minette Walters

In prison, they call her the Sculptress for the strange figurines she carves— symbols of the day she hacked her mother and sister to pieces and reassembled them in a blood-drenched jigsaw. Sullen, menacing, grotesquely fat, Olive Martin is burned-out journalist Rosalind Leigh’s only hope of getting a new book published.

But as she interviews Olive in her cell, Roz finds flaws in the Sculptress’s confession. Is she really guilty as she insists? Drawn into Olive’s world of obsessive lies and love, nothing can stop Roz’s pursuit of the chilling, convoluted truth. Not the tidy suburbanites who would rather forget the murders, not an attack on her life— not even the thought of what might happen if the Sculptress went free…

Book:A Wasteland of Strangers

A Wasteland of Strangers

Bill Pronzini

Set in an isolated town in Northern California, A Wasteland of Strangers begins with the arrival of John Faith in Pomo. Who is he? Why has he come here now, during the off-season when there is nothing to do but get into trouble? What is it he wants? Everyone has an opinion of him, and only a few of them are favorable. For everyone he helps, there are two who question his motives, who see danger to themselves and their way of life in his continual presence in their town. And then, when a beautiful, lonely woman is brutally slaughtered after spending time with him, Faith is the prime and logical suspect. Discovering the identity of the killer becomes as important to Faith as to anyone else, except the murderer.

Book:Black and Blue

Black and Blue: An Inspector Rebus Novel

Ian Rankin

Bible John killed three women, and took three souvenirs. Johnny Bible killed to steal his namesake’s glory. Oilman Allan Mitchelson died for his principles. And convict Lenny Spaven died just to prove a point. “Bible John” terrorized Glasgow in the sixties and seventies, murdering three women he met in a local ballroom—and he was never caught. Now a copycat is at work. Nicknamed “Bible Johnny” by the media, he is a new menace with violent ambitions.

The Bible Johnny case would be perfect for Inspector John Rebus, but after a run-in with a crooked senior officer, he’s been shunted aside to one of Edinburgh’s toughest suburbs, where he investigates the murder of an off-duty oilman. His investigation takes him north to the oil rigs of Aberdeen, where he meets the Bible Johnny media circus head-on. Suddenly caught in the glare of the television cameras and in the middle of more than one investigation, Rebus must proceed wiht caution: One mistake could…[more]

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