Nero Award

View all Award Winners by Subject > Mystery book lists; This list was last updated on 9/23/2013
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The "Nero" is an annual award presented by the Nero Wolfe Society to an author for literary excellence in the mystery genre. The award is presented at the Black Orchid Banquet, which is traditionally held on the first Saturday in December in New York City.

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release date: Jan 01, 1997
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The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling

Bernie Rhodenbarr has gone legit -- almost -- as the new owner of a used bookstore in New York's Greenwich Village. Of course, dusty old tomes don't always turn a profit, so to make ends meet, Bernie's forced, on occasion, to indulge in his previous occupation: burglary. Besides which, he likes it.

Now a collector is offering Bernie an opportunity to combine his twin passions by stealing a very rare and very bad book-length poem from a rich man's library.

The heist goes off without a hitch. The delivery of the ill-gotten volume, however, is a different story. Drugged by the client's female go-between, Bernie wakes up in her apartment to find the book gone, the lady dead, a smoking gun in his hand, and the cops at the door. And suddenly he's got to extricate himself from a rather sticky real-life murder mystery and find a killer -- before he's booked for Murder One.

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Death in a Tenured Position
When Janet Mandelbaum is made the first woman professor at Harvard's English Department, the men are not happy. They are unhappier still when her tea is spiked and she is found drunk on the floor of the women's room. With a little time, Janet's dear friend and colleague Kate Fansler could track down the culprit, but time is running out....
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Past, Present, and Murder
1982, Dodd, mead & Company, New York, Hardcover, ISBN: 0396081037, Book Condition: UsedVeryGood, Jacket Condition: New, 013128 1C
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The Anodyne Necklace
Third in the bestselling series. Scotland Yard's Richard Jury solves a bizarre murder in an even stranger town-and follows a treasure map to yet another chilling crime...
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Emily Dickinson Is Dead
First arson, then murder strike Emily Dickinson's hometown
Although she spent her life withdrawn from the people of Amherst, Massachusetts, every man, woman, and English professor in this small university town claims ownership of poet Emily Dickinson. They give tours in her house, lay flowers on her grave, and now, as the hundredth anniversary of her death approaches, they organize festivals in her name. Dickinson scholar Owen Kraznik has just been railroaded into organizing the festival when Amherst starts to burn.
 
As the fire consumes a fourteen-story university dormitory, transcendentalist scholar and occasional sleuth Homer Kelly considers that it may have been set on purpose. Two students die in the blaze, but neither was the arsonist's target. Emily Dickinson wrote countless poems on the nature of mortality, but before Amherst can celebrate her words, death will leap off the page.
release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Sleeping Dog
First Holmes and Watson, then Nero and Archie, Now Leo and Serendipity—two detectives, two narrative voices, twice as much sleuthing and double the fun.



First, imagine Katherine Hepburn at fourteen. Next, in your mind's eye, replay Humphrey Bogart, at his middle-aged best, as Sam Spade. Now picture this oddest of couples as the newest duo in detective fiction and you'll have a perfect portrait of the memorable leads in Sleeping Dog.”

—Los Angeles Times Book Review



Originally published in 1985 by Arbor House 0-87795-738-X and by Warner in pbk. 0-446-32661-5, Sleeping Dog won the Nero Wolfe Award and was nominated for the Edgar, the Shamus, and the Anthony Awards. In 1999, the Independent Mystery Booksellers's Association named it one of their 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century. Poisoned Pen Press will republish the sequel, Laughing Dog, later this year.
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The Corpse in Oozak's Pond
From the incomparable Charlotte MacLeod, award-winning author of Rest You Merry and The Plain Old Man, comes the newest Peter Shandy mystery in which the good professor goes digging into the past to discover the bizarre circumstances surrounding a 100-year-old corpse.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Coyote Waits

The car fire didn't kill Navajo Tribal Policeman Delbert Nez—a bullet did. And the old man in possession of the murder weapon is a whiskey-soaked shaman named Ashie Pinto. Officer Jim Chee is devastated by the slaying of his good friend Del, and confounded by the prime suspect's refusal to utter a single word of confession or denial.

Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn believes there is much more to this outrage than what appears on the surface, as he and Jim Chee set out to unravel a complex weave of greed and death that involves a historical find and a lost fortune. But the hungry and mythical trickster Coyote is waiting, as always, in the shadows to add a strange and deadly new twist.

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A Scandal in Belgravia
Thirty years after the bludgeoning death of reckless and witty Timothy Wycliffe, an aristocrat with a shocking sexual appetite, his pal, Peter Proctor, investigates the case. Reprint. NYT. K.
release date: Jan 01, 1995
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Booked to Die
Denver homicide detective Cliff Janeway may not always play by the book, but he is an avid collector of rare and first editions. After a local bookscout is killed on his turf, Janeway would like nothing better than to rearrange the suspect's spine. But the suspect, local lowlife Jackie Newton, is a master at eluding the law, and Janeway's wrathful brand of off-duty justice costs him his badge.
Turning to his lifelong passion, Janeway opens a small bookshop -- all the while searching for evidence to put Newton away. But when prized volumes in a highly sought-after collection begin to appear, so do dead bodies. Now, Janeway's life is about to start a precarious new chapter as he attempts to find out who's dealing death along with vintage Chandlers and Twains.
Includes information on John Dunning's new Cliff Janeway novel, The Bookman's Promise, coming soon in hardcover from Scribner
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Old Scores
When a well-known French collector donates a Rembrandt to the museum, curator Chris Norgren travels to Europe on a fact-finding trip that takes a sinister turn. By the author of A Glancing Light and Make No Bones.
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She Walks These Hills
Applying her psychic talents to two mysterious cases, policewoman Martha Ayers attempts to settle local superstitions about a two-hundred-year-old ghost while tracking down an escaped prisoner. Reprint. NYT.
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A Monstrous Regiment of Women

Winner of the Nero Wolfe Award

It is 1921 and Mary Russell--Sherlock Holmes's brilliant apprentice, now an Oxford graduate with a degree in theology--is on the verge of acquiring a sizable inheritance. Independent at last, with a passion for divinity and detective work, her most baffling mystery may now involve Holmes and the burgeoning of a deeper affection between herself and the retired detective. Russell's attentions turn to the New Temple of God and its leader, Margery Childe, a charismatic suffragette and a mystic, whose draw on the young theology scholar is irresistible. But when four bluestockings from the Temple turn up dead shortly after changing their wills, could sins of a capital nature be afoot? Holmes and Russell investigate, as their partnership takes a surprising turn.

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The Poet
New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly has written one explosive thriller after another featuring Detective Harry Bosch. Now, in an electrifying departure, he presents a novel that breaks all the rules and will keep your heart racing and your mind guessing until the very last page.
Death is reporter Jack McEvoy's beat: his calling, his obsession. But this time, death brings McEvoy the story he never wanted to write--and the mystery he desperately needs to solve. A serial killer of unprecedented savagery and cunning is at large. His targets: homicide cops, each haunted by a murder case he couldn't crack. The killer's calling card: a quotation from the works of Edgar Allen Poe. His latest victim is McEvoy's own brother. And his last...may be McEvoy himself.
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Sacred

A beautiful, grief-stricken woman has vanished without a trace. So has the detective hired to find her. And a lot of money…

Enter tough-nosed private investigators Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro. Rooted in the streets of blue-collar Dorchester, they've seen it all – and survived. But this case leads them into unexpected territory: a place of lies and corruption, where trusting anyone could get them killed, and where nothing is sacred.

Another superior thriller from Dennis Lehane, the bestselling and acclaimed author of Mystic River, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone.

release date: Mar 02, 2004
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The Bone Collector
In his most gripping thriller yet, Jeffery Deaver takes readers on a terrifying ride into two ingenious minds...that of a physically challenged detective and the scheming killer he must stop. The detective was the former head of forensics at the NYPD, but is now a quadriplegic who can only exercise his mind. The killer is a man whose obsession with old New York helps him choose his next victim. Now, with the help of a beautiful young cop, this diabolical killer must be stopped before he can kill again!
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Coyote Revenge
Booted out of law school, young Okie Dunn returns home to the warm prairie town of Vernon with high hopes for the future. He finds, though, that the friendly world he left behind is falling apart--and not just because of the Great Depression.

When his childhood friend, Sheriff Dub Ready, is killed, Okie takes over the job, swearing to bring the killer to justice. But just who wanted Dub dead and why? And was his murder linked to the mysterious, brutal deaths of his parents two years before?

Despite his best intentions, Okie discovers that upholding the law and finding the truth can be difficult, dangerous business, one that will pit him against lifelong friends, business associates, a cold-blooded killer...and even his own heart.

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The Sugar House

A client named Ruthie -- who seems to know Tess's father a little too well -- asks the newspaperwoman-turned-p.i. to investigate a year-old "Jane Doe" murder and its grim aftermath. Ruthie's low-life brother, Henry, confessed to killing a teenager runaway over a bottle of glue -- and, a month into his prison term, he met the same fate as his victim. Following a precious few tantalizing clues, Tess sets off on a path that is leading her from Baltimore's exclusive Inner Harbor to the city's seediest neighborhoods. But it's the shocking discovery of the runaway's true identity that turns her hunt deadly. Suddenly a supposedly solved murder case is turning up newer, fresher corpses and newer, scarier versions of the Sugar House -- places that look sweet and safe...but only from the outside.

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The Deadhouse
Assistant D.A. Alexandra Cooper is back -- in this page-turning New York Times bestseller from legendary Manhattan sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein.
On Roosevelt Island, a strip of land in New York City's East River, stands an abandoned 19th century smallpox asylum, "The Deadhouse," where the afflicted were shipped off to die. It's a gruesome bit of history perhaps best forgotten. But for Alexandra Cooper, it may be the key to a shocking murder that cuts deeper than the arctic cold front gripping the city. A respected university professor is dead -- strangled and dumped in an elevator shaft. And while the school does damage control for anxious parents, Cooper and her close detective friend Mike Chapman scramble for answers, fueled by the most daunting discovery: a piece of paper, found on the lifeless body of Professor Lola Dakota, that reads The Deadhouse....
release date: Apr 14, 2003
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Winter and Night
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...
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Fear Itself
Paris Minton doesn't want any trouble. He minds his used bookstore and his own business. But in 1950s Los Angeles, sometimes trouble finds him, no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. When the nephew of the wealthiest woman in L.A. is missing and wanted for murder, she has to get involved-no matter if she can't stand him.What will her church think?She hires Jefferson T. Hill, a former sheriff of Dawson, Texas, and a tough customer, to track him down and prove his innocence.When Hill goes missing too, she tricks his friend Fearless Jones and Paris Minton into picking up the case. Paris steps inside the world of the black bourgeoisie, and it turns out to be filled with deceit and corruption. It takes everything he has just to stay alive through a case filled with twists and turns and dead ends like he never imagined. Written with the voice and vision that have made Walter Mosley one of the most entertaining writers in America, Fear Itself marks the return of a master at the top of his form.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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The Enemy
Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier's son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army's brightest stars. But in every cop's life there is one case that changes everything. For Jack Reacher, this is that case.

New Year's Day, 1990. In a North Carolina motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. Within hours the general's wife is murdered. Then the dominoes really start to fall.

Somewhere inside the vast worldwide fortress that is the U.S. Army, Reacher is being set up as a fall guy with the worst enemies a man can have. But Reacher won't quit. He's fighting a new kind of war–against an enemy he didn't know he had. And against a conspiracy more chilling, ingenious, and treacherous than anyone could have guessed.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Vanish
A blessed event becomes a nightmare for pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli when she finds herself on the wrong side of a hostage crisis in this timely and relentless new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Body Double.

A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.

Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.

Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane's husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer's identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.

Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it–if she survives the night.


From the Hardcover edition.
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All Mortal Flesh

Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne's first encounter with Clare Fergusson was in an emergency room on a freezing December night. A newborn had been left on the steps of the town's Episcopal church, where Clare just happened to be the new priest. That night in the hospital was the beginning of an attraction so fierce, so forbidden, that both Russ and Clare risked compromising all of their ethics and beliefs…

In the small community of Millers Kill, gossip spreads like wildfire. So when Russ's wife kicks him out of the house, he figures it's nobody's business but his own―until a neighbor stops by and finds Mrs. Van Alstyne's butchered corpse on the kitchen floor. To the townspeople and church folk, the murder is proof that the whispered rumors about the police chief and the priest were true. But nothing is as it seems in Millers Kill, where betrayal twists old friendships―and evil waits inside quaint white clapboard farmhouses…

In All Mortal Flesh, Julia Spencer-Fleming once again delivers a riveting page-turner of a mystery "that's quite possibly the best in the series" (Romantic Times).

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The Death Artist

NYPD sketch artist Nate Rodriguez possesses a remarkable gift. From the smallest clues—an off-hand comment, a brief flash of fear in a victim's eyes—he is able to create an uncanny likeness of the assailant. Now Detective Terri Russo needs his help to solve a particularly shocking series of murders, perpetrated by a psychopath who enjoys drawing pictures of his crimes before committing them. Nate is being asked to enter the dark, twisted mind of a monster—to re-create a face that no one has lived to identify. But as a portrait slowly begins taking shape in Nate's mind and on the page, an electrifying game of cat and mouse reaches an unexpected new level—as a brilliant killer uses his own unique talents to turn the investigation in a terrifying new direction...

A breathtakingly original novel of suspense, Jonathan Santlofer's Anatomy of Fear mixes prose and pictures to create a story that burns its way into the brain and brilliantly revitalizes the crime fiction genre.

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The Tenth Case
Criminal defense attorney Harrison J. Walker, better known as Jaywalker, has just been suspended for using "creative" tactics and receiving "gratitude" in the courtroom stairwell from a client charged with prostitution. Convincing the judge that his other clients are counting on him, Jaywalker is allowed to complete ten cases. But it's the last case that truly tests his abilities—and his acquittal record.

Samara Moss—young, petite and sexy as hell—stabbed her husband in the heart. Or so everyone believes. Having married the elderly billionaire when she was an eighteen-year-old former prostitute, Samara appears to be the clichéd gold digger. But Jaywalker knows all too well that appearances can be deceiving. Who else could have killed the billionaire? Has Samara been framed? Or is Jaywalker just driven by his need to win his clients' cases—and this particular client's undying gratitude?

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Faces of the Gone

Investigative reporter Carter Ross finds himself with gruesome front-page news: four bodies in a vacant lot, each with a single bullet hole in the back of the head. In a haste to calm residents, local police leak a story to Carter's colleagues at the Newark Eagle-Examiner, calling the murders revenge for a bar stickup. But while Carter may not come from the streets, he knows a few things about Newark's ghettos. And he knows the story the police are pushing doesn't make sense. He enlists the aide of Tina Thompson, the paper's smoking hot city editor, to run interference for him at the office; Tommy Hernandez, the paper's gay Cuban intern, to help him with legwork on the street; and Tynesha Dales, a local stripper, to take him to Newark's underside. Soon, Carter learns the four victims have one connection after all, and knowing this will put him in the path of one very ambitious killer.

Faces of the Gone won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel and the Nero Award for Best American Mystery--it is the first book to receive both awards. The book was named to lists of the year's best mystery debuts by the Chicago Sun-Times and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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Bury Your Dead

"Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope." Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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 four hundred years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

Meanwhile, Gamache 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 a terrible event from his own past before he can begin to bury his dead.

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