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- Agatha Awards
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March 1, 2016 | madame librarian
The Agatha Christie Awards nominees for best mysteries published in 2015 reflect a wide range of authors, publishers, styles, and themes. In the contemporary category, award-winning favorites Margaret Maron, Louise Penny, and Hank Phillipi Ryan share the honoree podium with newcomer Annette Dashofy and Catriona McPherson. The winners will be announced at Malice Domestic 28, which will be held April 29-May 1, 2016. Check out what is available at Canton Public Library.
Best Contemporary Novel
On a quiet August morning, Judge Deborah Knott's father Kezzie makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Investigating this crime, Deborah's husband, Sheriff's Deputy Dwight Bryant, soon uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute. The local newspaper implies that Deborah's family may have had something to do with the murder-and that Dwight is dragging his feet on the case. Meanwhile, Deborah is given a cigarette lighter that once belonged to her mother. The cryptic inscription inside rekindles Deborah's curiosity about her parents' past, and how they met. For years she has wondered how the daughter of a wealthy attorney could have married a widowed, semi-illiterate bootlegger, and this time she's determined to find the answer. But why are Deborah's brothers so reluctant to talk about the dead man? Is the murder linked to Kezzie's illegal whiskey business? And could his courtship of Deborah's mother have something to do with the bad blood between the two families? Despite Deborah's promise not to interfere in Dwight's work, she cannot stop herself from doing everything she can to help clear her brothers and her father from suspicion.
Eden was its name. "An alternative school for happy children." But it closed in disgrace after a student's suicide. Now it's a care home, the grounds neglected and overgrown. Gloria Harkness is its only neighbor, staying close to her son who lives in the home, lighting up her life and breaking her heart each day. When a childhood friend turns up at her door, Gloria doesn't hesitate before asking him in. He claims a girl from Eden is stalking him and has goaded him into meeting near the site of the suicide. Only then, the dead begin to speak--it was murder, they say. Gloria is in over her head before she can help it. Her loneliness, her loyalty, and her all-consuming love for her son lead her into the heart of a dark secret that threatens everything she lives for.
Hardly a day goes by when nine year old Laurent Lepage doesn't cry wolf. From alien invasions, to walking trees, to winged beasts in the woods, to dinosaurs spotted in the village of Three Pines, his tales are so extraordinary no one can possibly believe him. Including Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache, who now live in the little Quebec village. But when the boy disappears, the villagers are faced with the possibility that one of his tall tales might have been true. And so begins a frantic search for the boy and the truth. What they uncover deep in the forest sets off a sequence of events that leads to murder, leads to an old crime, leads to an old betrayal. Leads right to the door of an old poet. And now it is now, writes Ruth Zardo. And the dark thing is here. A monster once visited Three Pines. And put down deep roots. And now, Ruth knows, it is back. Armand Gamache, the former head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, must face the possibility that, in not believing the boy, he himself played a terrible part in what happens next.
"Hank Phillippi Ryan weaves another taut and surprising tale in What You See, the fourth Jane Ryland novel of suspense"--.
Best Historical Novel
Lady Georgiana Rannoch won't deny that being thirty-fifth in line for the British throne has its advantages. Unfortunately, money isn't one of them. And sometimes making ends meet requires her to investigate a little royal wrongdoing.
"It is a normal afternoon in Sussex when Russell and Holmes return home to find a peculiar addition to their garden: a beautiful stone that once occupied the Imperial gardens in Kyoto. The stone immediately recalls the spring of 1924, when, on their way back from India (The Game), Russell and Holmes agreed to perform a small but exceedingly dangerous job for the emperor of Japan. At the time, Russell encountered a young Japanese woman on board their ship who tutored the two foreigners about her country and guided them into a secret meeting with the Prince Regent himself. Now, when Russell heads for Oxford to resume her long-delayed studies, she comes face-to-face with that very same young Japanese woman--and quickly realizes Miss Sato Haruki is not all that she seems.."--.
In this latest riveting mystery from Susan Elia MacNeal, England's most daring spy, Maggie Hope, travels across the pond to America, where a looming scandal poses a grave threat to the White House and the Allied cause. December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States' entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady's aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt's inner circle--as ER herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.
In this Gaslight Mystery from the national bestselling author of Murder in Murray Hill , midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy investigate foul play in the secretive high-society world of nineteenth-century New York City... In the midst of Sarah and Frank's wedding preparations, Sarah accompanies her mother on a condolence call to the Upper West Side, where Charles Fairfax, the son of family friends, has died unexpectedly after suffering from a mysterious disease. It is a tragic and all too common story--or so it seems. Charles's father asks to speak with Sarah privately. He believes his son was poisoned and would like Sarah and Frank to look into the matter with the utmost discretion. Putting their own personal affairs on hold, Sarah and Frank soon learn that not everyone wants to know more about Charles's death, particularly if he was murdered. As they unravel secrets that reach back to the War Between the States, they also discover that they are in the company of a very present danger...
Best First Novel
Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband's degenerate nephew is found murdered, it's more than the ball that is ruined.
Check in for some Southern hospitality in Plantation Shudders , the Cajun Country series debut from Ellen Byron. It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder. With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders .
A wickedly smart and rollicking journey through the birth, life, and afterlives of popular culture's most beloved sleuth Today he is the inspiration for fiction adaptations, blockbuster movies, hit television shows, raucous Twitter banter, and thriving subcultures. More than a century after Sherlock Holmes first capered into our world, what is it about Arthur Conan Doyle's peculiar creation that continues to fascinate us? Journalist and lifelong Sherlock fan Zach Dundas set out to find the answer.
People are fascinated by murder. The popularity of murder mystery books, TV series, and even board games shows that there is an appetite for death, and the more unusual or macabre the method, the better. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but poisons are inherently more mysterious. How are some compounds so deadly in such tiny amounts? Agatha Christie used poison to kill her characters more often than any other crime fiction writer. The poison was a central part of the novel, and her choice of deadly substances was far from random; the chemical and physiological characteristics of each poison provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. Christie demonstrated her extensive chemical knowledge (much of it gleaned by working in a pharmacy during both world wars) in many of her novels, but this is rarely appreciated by the reader. Written by former research chemist Kathryn Harkup, each chapter takes a different novel and investigates the poison used by the murderer. Fact- and fun-packed, A is for Arsenic looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering, and detecting these poisons, both when Christie was writing and today.