This past Tuesday was the 207th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe so the Mystery Writers of America announced the Nominees for the 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Awards honouring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2015.
There are six books in the Best Novel category:
The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter
Set in the wilds of 19th-century colonial India, this is a historical thriller introducing
William Avery, a young soldier with few prospects except rotting away in campaigns in India, and Jeremiah Blake, a secret political agent, a genius at languages and disguises, disenchanted with the whole ethos of British rule, who cannot resist the challenge of a mystery. What starts as a wild goose —trying to track down a missing writer who lifts the lid on Calcutta society—becomes very much more sinister as Blake and Avery get sucked into the mysterious Thuggee cult.
The Lady from Zagreb by Philip Kerr
It’s 1942 and a superior has asked homicide detective Bernie Gunther to track down a glamorous German actress believed to be hiding in Zurich. He takes the job because he has no choice: the superior is Goebbels himself. Soon Bernie finds himself involved in something much more sinister. The actress, it emerges, is the daughter of a fanatical Croatian fascist, the sadistic commandant of a notorious concentration camp. And the Swiss police have a cold case that they want Bernie to take a look at, one that seems to have connections to some powerful people back in the Reich.
Life or Death by Michael Robotham
Audie Palmer has spent a decade in prison for an armed robbery in which four people died, including two of the gang. Seven million dollars has never been recovered and everybody believes that Audie knows where the money is. For ten years he has been beaten, stabbed, throttled and threatened almost daily by prison guards, inmates and criminal gangs, who all want to answer this same question, but suddenly Audie vanishes, the day before he's due to be released. Everybody wants to find Audie.
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy
Everyone knows Hollerans don’t go near the Baines family. It’s been that way since Joseph Carl Baine was hanged in 1936. But on a dark Kentucky night in 1952 Annie Holleran crosses over into forbidden territory because local superstition says that Annie can see her future in the Baines’ well. What she sees instead, there in the moonlight, is a dead woman. And suddenly the events of 1936, events that have twisted and shaped the lives of Annie and all her kin, are brought back into the present. And if Annie is to save herself, her family and this small Kentucky town, she must face the terrible reality of what happened all those years ago.
Canary by Duane Swierczynski
Honours student Sarie Holland is busted by local police while doing a favour for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie becomes a confidential informant.
Philly narcotics cop, Ben Wildey, hungry for a career-making bust and desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the nineteen-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers.
Night Life by David C. Taylor
This historical mystery, set in 1950s New York City, has a protagonist caught between police and Mafia ties. Detective Michael Cassidy is assigned to the case of Alexander Ingram, a Broadway chorus dancer found tortured and dead in his apartment. Complications grow as other young men are murdered one after the other. And why are the FBI, the CIA, and the Mafia interested in the death of a Broadway gypsy?
If you are interested in the nominees in the other categories, go to this website: http://www.theedgars.com/nominees.html#best.