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The Edgar Awards - Best Novel

View all Award Winners by Subject > Mystery book lists; This list was last updated on 10/15/2014
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The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are awarded annually by the Mystery Writers of America to authors of distinguished work in various categories of the genre. Each Spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar® Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. Visit Edgar Allan Poe Awards official website for more details. 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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Whip Hand
Sid Halley's glory days as a jockey are over, but he still finds a certain satisfaction in successfully solving a case. His latest one, though, could prove to be his undoing.
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Peregrine
Circling high over Rockefeller Center is a peregrine falcon, the most awesome of the flying predators. She awaits a signal from her falconer. It is given: the bird attacks, plummeting from the sky at nearly 200 miles an hour, striking a young woman and killing her instantly.

So begins Peregrine, a chilling tale of obsession.

By chance, newscaster Pamela Barrett witnesses the slaying. Her impassioned account of it on television that evening thrills the falconer, a brilliant madman who identifies with his deadly bird. He becomes fascinated with Pam and enmeshes her in a bizarre and deadly scheme even as she finds herself drawn to him by an erotic need she doesn't understand.

As killing follows killing, the police and the media engage in cutthroat competition to find the murderer. Two falcons fight to the death above Central Park. Call girls, rich eccentrics, dealers in the black market for rare birds--all play their roles in this study of secret passion, desire, fulfillment, and ecstasy.
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Billingsgate Shoal
"Boyer is up there with the best." The Boston Globe
A Doc Adams Thriller, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel of the Year.
First, a fishing trawler runs aground on the Massachusetts shore. Then a young scuba diver sent to investigate the wreck is found dead in the water. Doc Adams, a friend of the dead diver, sets out through the stormy seas and blood-flecked sands of Cape Cod to plumb a murder he should have prevented. There he uncovers a hidden treasure in illegal arms and is nearly killed in the process. Doc lets the world think he's dead, the better to hunt for the killers of his friend. But if he makes a single mistake, he'll be clam chowder.
release date: Jun 13, 1992
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Three Complete Novels
Three Complete Novels
From "the best American writer of crime fiction alive" (Newsweek), three thrilling, bestselling mysteries in one hardcover volume. La Brava, Cat Chaser, and Split Images received rave reviews and make it clear why this New York Times bestselling author has been hailed coast to coast as the hottest thriller writer of our time.
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Briar Patch (Crime Masterworks)
When Ben Dill's detective sister is blown up outside her duplex, Dill, a consultant to a Senate subcommittee, returns to his hometown to find out who killed her, and why. And what he uncovers is an unsavoury nest of petty thieves, hired guns, crooked cops, illegal arms dealers and corrupt politicians. Fast, furious and funny, Briarpatch shows why Ross Thomas is recognized as one of the finest of all suspense writers.
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The Suspect
To Karl Alberg, a small town on Canada?s ?Sunshine Coast? looks like the perfect place to sooth a psyche that?s been battered by too much big-city police work. Bees buzz among the roses, and the local librarian is attractive, intriguing, and unattached. Perhaps he has at last come in from the cold. But sunny towns can conceal a lot of secrets?some of them bleak enough to make a man yearn for some nice straightforward urban crime. In 1986 The Suspect beat out titles by Ruth Rendell and Jonathan Kellerman to become the first Canadian novel to win an Edgar award. It went on to become a great cult favorite among mystery fans, who prized its delicately etched sense of melancholy, and intriguing character studies of the cop, his quarry, and the enigmatic librarian who proves an unlikely bridge between the two.
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A Dark-Adapted Eye
The award-winning author and acclaimed mistress of suspense delves deeply into the heart of a family to uncover the circumstances that lead to murder more than thirty years ago. The story of a family's long-buried secret past is revealed--and the deadly consequences. Mystery Guild Selection. Doubleday Alternate.
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Old Bones
Winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best mystery novel of the year.

With the roar of thunder and the speed of a galloping horse comes the tide to Mont St. Michel goes the old nursery song. So when the aged patriarch of the du Rocher family falls victim to the perilous tide, even the old man's family accepts the verdict of accidental drowning. But too quickly, this “accident” is followed by a bizarre discovery in the ancient du Rocher chateau: a human skeleton, wrapped in butcher paper, beneath the old stone flooring. Professor Gideon Oliver, lecturing on forensic anthropology at nearby St. Malo, is asked to examine the bones. He quickly demonstrates why he is known as the “Skeleton Detective,” providing the police with forensic details that lead them to conclude that these are the remains of a Nazi officer believed to have been murdered in the area during the Occupation. Or are they? Gideon himself has his doubts. Then, when another of the current du Rochers dies—this time via cyanide poisoning—his doubts solidify into a single certainty: someone wants old secrets to stay buried . . . and is perfectly willing to eradicate the meddlesome American to make that happen.

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A Cold Red Sunrise: An Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov Novel (Inspector Rostnikov)
At an icebound naval weather station in far Siberia, the young daughter of an exiled dies under suspicious circumstances. The high-ranking Commissar sent to investigate the mystery suffers a similar fate--murdered by an icicle thrust into his skull. Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov is dispatched to solve the Commissar's murder, with one strange caveat: he is not to investigate the girl's death, even if all the clues tell him that the two cases are linked. In a single, fateful day, Rostnikov will hear two confessions, watch someone die, conspire against the government, and nearly meet his own death. All under the watchful eye of the KGB--and someone much closer and infinitely more terrifying.
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Black Cherry Blues

Winner of the Edgar award for best novel

Evil crept into Dave Robicheaux's bayou world one night and destroyed the woman he loved. Now it's threatening the life of his innocent child.

Framed for murder, the Cajun ex-cop is traveling far from his Louisiana home to clear his name, to help a friend, to save what remains of his family—seeking justice and revenge in the Big Sky Country of Montana.

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A Dance at the Slaughterhouse

There is no accolade or major mystery award that has not already been bestowed upon Lawrence Block. His acclaimed crime novels are asintelligent, provocative, and emotionally complex as they are nerve-tighteningly intense. And perhaps the most respected of his myriad works are the Matthew Scudder books -- masterworks of suspenseful invention featuring a remarkable protagonist rich in conscience and character, with all the flaws that his humanity entails. This is the detective novel as high art.

A Dance At The Slaughterhouse

In Matt Scudder's mind, money, power, and position elevate nobody above morality and the law. Now the ex-cop and unlicensed p.i. has been hired to prove that socialite Richard Thurman orchestrated the brutal murder of his beautiful, pregnant wife. During Scudder's hard drinking years, he left a piece of his soul on every seedy corner of the Big Apple. But this case is more depraved and more potentially devastating than anything he experienced while floundering in the urban depths. Because this investigation is leading Scudder on a frightening grand tour of New York's sex-for-sale underworld -- where an innocent young life is simply a commodity to be bought and perverted ... and then destroyed.

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Bootlegger's Daughter
Attorney Deborah Knott is running for district judge in good-old-boy-ruled Colleton County, N.C.
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The Sculptress
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...
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The Red Scream
Texas reporter Molly Cates, whose book describes the horrifying career of serial killer Louie Bronk, realizes, shortly before Louie's execution, that he may be innocent and that her life is in danger. 20,000 first printing. $20,000 ad/promo. Tour.
release date: Dec 06, 2005
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Come to Grief
When ex-jockey Sid Halley becomes convinced that one of his closest friends--and one of the racing world's most beloved figures--is behind a series of shockingly violent acts, he faces the most troubling case of his career.
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The Chatham School Affair
Attorney Henry Griswald has a secret: the truth behind the tragic events the world knew as the Chatham School Affair, the controversial tragedy that destroyed five lives, shattered a quiet community, and forever scarred the young boy. Layer by layer, in The Chatham School Affair, Cook paints a stunning portrait of a woman, a school, and a town in which passionate violence seems impossible...and inevitable. "Thomas Cook's night visions, seen through a lens darkly, are haunting," raved the New York Times Book Review, and The Chatham School Affair will cement this superb writer's position as one of crime fiction's most prodigious talents, a master of the unexpected ending.
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Cimarron Rose
Texas attorney Billy Bob Holland must confront the past in order to save his illegitimate son from a murder conviction in this brilliant, fast-paced thriller from beloved New York Times bestselling author James Lee Burke.

Lucas Smothers, nineteen and from the wrong end of town, has been arrested for the rape and murder of a local girl. His lawyer, former Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland, is convinced of Lucas's innocence—but proving it means unearthing the truth from the seething mass of deceit and corruption that spreads like wildfire in a gossipy small town where everybody knows everybody else's business.

Billy Bob's relationship with Lucas's family is not an easy one. Years back he was a close friend of Mrs. Smothers—too close, according to her husband. But when Lucas overhears gruesome tales of serial murder from a neighboring cell in the local lock-up, he himself looks like a candidate for an untimely death, and Billy Bob incurs enemies far more dangerous than any he faced as a 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 harsh, evocative setting and unforgettable characters.
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Mr. White's Confession

Edgar® Award Winner for Best Novel and Winner of the PNBA Best Fiction Book of the Year

"As thrilling as it is unnerving . . . Could have been written by Dashiell Hammett or James Crumley--at their best."--Greil Marcus, Esquire

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1939. A grisly discovery is made. On a hillside, the dead body of a beautiful dime-a-dance girl is found, and an investigation opens. Assigned to the case is Police Lieutenant Wesley Horner, a man troubled and alone after his wife's recent death, a man with his own demons. He soon narrows his sights on Herbert White, an eccentric recluse and hobby photographer with a fondness for snapping suggestive photographs of the dime-a-dance girls. As Horner discovers, White is also a man with no memory, who must record his life in detailed journal entries and scrapbooks. For every interrogation Horner has, Herbert White has few answers, pushing the murder investigation into unknown territory and illuminating the complex relationship between truth and fiction, past and present, faith and memory.

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Bones
Only one person knows where Julia Sayre is: her killer. Four years ago, the young mother of two disappeared, a story that soon became a personal mission for Irene Kelly. But the search for Julia proved fruitless. Now on death row for unimaginable acts of torture and murder, inmate Nick Parrish is plea-bargaining for a life sentence, promising to lead investigators—and Irene—into the dark isolation of the Sierra Nevadas, where they will discover what really happened to Julia Sayre. But Parrish has other terrifying secrets and plans, and now his deadly focus is on a new potential victim—Irene Kelly.
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The Bottoms
A thriller with echoes of William Faulkner and Harper Lee, The Bottoms is classic American storytelling in its truest, darkest, and more affecting form.
 
Its 1933 in East Texas and the Depression lingers in the air like a slow moving storm. When a young Harry Collins and his little sister stumble across the body of a black woman who has been savagely mutilated and left to die in the bottoms of the Sabine River, their small town is instantly charged with tension. When a second body turns up, this time of a white woman, there is little Harry can do from stopping his Klan neighbors from lynching an innocent black man. Together with his younger sister, Harry sets out to discover who the real killer is, and to do so they will search for a truth that resides far deeper than any river or skin color.
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Silent Joe
Scarred for life by a brutal father, Joe Trona found a safe haven and a loving childhood in the home of the couple who adopted him. Now he spends his days as a deputy for the Orange County sheriff's department and his nights as a driver and aide to Will Trona, the influential politician who rescued him from the Hillside Children's Home. An expert in firearms and the martial arts, Joe has been backing Will up for a long time. Still, his skill isn't enough to keep Will alive, and when his father is killed right in front of Joe's eyes, the young deputy vows to avenge him. But first he must find out how the kidnapping of a tycoon's daughter, a scam to line the pockets of Will Trona's political enemies, the murder of two Guatemalan immigrants, the unholy activities of a charismatic minister who's a close friend of the Trona family, and the strange alliance of two rival L.A. gangs are connected to Will's death.

Every secret Joe uncovers leads deeper into his beloved father's murky past and ultimately his own. But the reader stays right with this extraordinary man as he battles his demons and ultimately vanquishes them. Author T. Jefferson Parker (The Blue Hour, Red Light, Laguna Heat) is one of the best thriller writers working today. Fans of Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane--and Raymond Chandler, for that matter--will appreciate Parker's ability to create a complex, fascinating, and fully realized hero whose inner reality is brilliantly revealed by his actions. Will Trona is an equally intriguing invention; while ultimately he is an enigma, we remain convinced that he is worthy of his son's devotion. Silent Joe is a mindful, intelligent novel you can't put down. It should break Parker out with the really big boys of mystery fiction, the million-sellers with the marquee names. In fact, he's a much better writer than most of them, and unlike many, he never tells the same story twice. --Jane Adams
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Winter and Night
From the critically acclaimed, award-winning S. J. Rozan comes her finest novel to date - an explosive novel about the corrosive power of secrets and corruption in a small town.

In the middle of the night, private investigator Bill Smith is awakened by a call from the NYPD. They're holding a 15-year-old kid named Gary -- a kid Bill knows. But before Bill can find out what is going on, Gary escapes Bill's custody into the dark night and unfamiliar streets. Bill, with the help of his partner Lydia Chin, tries to find the missing teen and uncover what it is that led him so far from home. Tracking Gary's family to a small town in New Jersey, Bill finds himself in a town where nothing matters but high school football, where the secrets of the past - both the town's and Bill's own - threaten to destroy the present. And if Bill is to have any chance of saving Gary and preventing a tragedy, he has to both unravel a long buried crime and confront the darkness of his own past.
 
Winter and Night is the winner of the 2003 Edgar Award for Best Novel.
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Resurrection Men
Inspector John Rebus has messed up badly this time, so badly that he's been sent to a kind of reform school for damaged cops. While there among the last-chancers known as "resurrection men," he joins a covert mission to gain evidence of a drug heist orchestrated by three of his classmates. But the group has been assigned an unsolved murder that may have resulted from Rebus's own mistake. Now Rebus can't determine if he's been set up for a fall or if his disgraced classmates are as ruthless as he suspects. When Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke discovers that her investigation of an art dealer's murder is tied to Rebus's inquiry, the two-protÈgÈ and mentor-join forces. Soon they find themselves in the midst of an even bigger scandal than they had imagined-a plot with conspirators in every corner of Scotland and deadly implications about their colleagues. With the brilliant eye for character and place that earned him the name "the Dickens of Edinburgh," Ian Rankin delivers a page-turning novel of intricate suspense.
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California Girl

The times they are a-changin' . . .

The Orange County, California, that the Becker brothers knew as boys is no more—unrecognizably altered since the afternoon in 1954 when Nick, Clay, David, and Andy rumbled with the lowlife Vonns, while five-year-old Janelle Vonn watched from the sidelines. The new decade has brought about the end of the orange groves and the birth of suburban sprawl. It is the era of Johnson, hippies, John Birchers, and LSD. Clay becomes a casualty of a far-off jungle war. Nick becomes a cop, Andy a reporter, David a minister. And the decapitated corpse of teenage beauty queen Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned warehouse.

A hideous crime has touched the Beckers in ways that none of them could have anticipated, setting three brothers on a dangerous collision course that will change their family—and their world—forever.

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Citizen Vince

At 1:59 a.m. in Spokane, Washington—eight days before the 1980 presidential election—Vince Camden pockets his stash of stolen credit cards and drops by an all-night poker game before heading to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. Along with a neurotic hooker girlfriend, this is the total sum of Vince's new life. But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes his sordid past is still too close behind him. During the next unforgettable week, he'll negotiate a coast-to-coast maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and assorted mobsters—only to find that redemption might exist, of all places, in the voting booth.

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The Janissary Tree

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel

It is 1836. Europe is modernizing and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world, an investigator who can walk with ease in the great halls of the empire, in its streets, and even within its harems--because, of course, Yashim is a eunuch. His investigation points to the Janissaries, who, for four hundred years were the empire's elite soldiers. Crushed by the sultan, could they now be staging a brutal comeback? And can they be stopped without throwing Istanbul into political chaos?

This first book in the Investigator Yashim series is a richly entertaining tale, full of exotic history and intrigue.

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Down River

A powerful, heart-pounding thriller from the unparalleled New York Times bestselling and two-time Edgar Award-winning author of The Last Child and The King of Lies, Down River will haunt your thoughts long after the last page is turned.

Adam Chase has a violent streak, and for good reason. As a boy, he saw things no child should witness, suffered wounds that left him misunderstood―a fighter. Even grown, he remains dangerous and unpredictable, so that when he narrowly beats a murder charge, he's hounded out of town, exiled for a sin he did not commit. For five long years, he disappears. But now he's back, and no one knows why - not his family or the cops, not the enemies he left behind. But Adam has his reasons. Attacked within hours of his return, the tone of his homecoming is set. As bodies turn up and the town rises in anger, Adam again finds himself in the fight of his life, not just to prove his innocence, but to reclaim the only life he's ever wanted. Secrets build on secrets, emotions tear, and more than one person crosses the brink as Hart examines the lengths to which people will go for money, family, and revenge.
Praise for John Hart and Down River:

"[Hart] combines gripping plots with a wonderful gift for prose, making his books literary crowd-pleasers that appeal to the brain as well as the emotions. There are few books published that can legitimately be called "a must-read," but this is one of them." --Chicago Sun Times

"If you value Harper Lee, James Lee Burke, Truman Capote, and Michael Malone… it's time to add John Hart to your bookshelves." --Otto Penzler, The New York Sun

"An artist adding layers of paint ... Hart takes his time, snaring the reader with evocative storytelling and lush prose along with the usual quota of conflict and murder." --The Boston Globe

"[A] complex, emotionally charged novel… Down River is a beautifully constructed story of personal redemption, family secrets, and murder…. A truly splendid novel with a deep emotional core." --Booklist (starred)

"The thrills come fast and furious." ―Washington Post

"Nail-biting suspense." –Raleigh News and Observer

"Richly atmospheric… should settle once and for all the question of whether thrillers and mysteries can also be literature." –Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Falls squarely in the league of the best of Southern novels." --South Florida Sun Sentinel

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Blue Heaven

A twelve-year-old girl and her younger brother are on the run in the Idaho woods, pursued by four men they have just watched commit murder―four men who know exactly who William and Annie are. And where their mother lives.

Retired policemen from Los Angeles, the killers easily persuade the local sheriff to let them lead the search for the missing children. Now there's nowhere left for William and Annie to hide…and no one they can trust. Until they meet Jess Rawlins.

Rawlins, an old-school rancher, knows trouble when he sees it. He is only one against four men who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses. But in this thrilling mystery novel from C.J. Box, these ex-cops don't know just how far Rawlins will go to protect William and Annie…and see that justice is done.

Blue Heaven is the winner of the 2009 Edgar Award for Best Novel.

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