2015 Edgar Award Nominees

Best Novel

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
“A resonant new novel about a father’s efforts to rescue his young daughters by the critically-acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home.”
Wolf by Mo Hayder
“When a vagrant–the Walking Man–finds a dog wandering alone with a scrap of paper with the words “HELP US” attached to its collar, he’s sure it’s a desperate plea from someone in trouble and calls on Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to investigate. Meanwhile a wealthy local family is fighting for their lives, held hostage in their remote home. As their ordeal becomes increasingly bizarre and humiliating, the family begins to wonder: Is this really a random crime?”
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
“Bill Hodges is bumping around, barely registering his retirement, when a maniac in a stolen Mercedes repeatedly drives into a line of unemployed folks waiting in the gray dawn of a gray Midwestern city for a job fair to open. Eight people are killed and 15 injured. Hodges immediately enlists two allies to help him find the killer, who so loved his little taste of death that he’s planning to blow up thousands.”
The Final Silence by Stuart Neville
“In Belfast, Northern Ireland, memories of the city’s troubled history haunt every street corner, but for one tortured soul, the incredible violence in his past is also his most cherished legacy.”
Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
“Reinstated on the force, demoted, and wearing a chip on his shoulder, Rebus reteams with internal affairs officer, Malcolm Fox, to solve a cold case from 30 years ago in the 19th book in the Rebus series and the third one featuring Fox.”
Coptown by Karin Slaughter
“Atlanta, 1974. It’s Kate Murphy’s first day on the job and the Atlanta Police Department is seething after the murder of an officer. Before the day has barely begun, she already suspects she’s not cut out for the job as a cop. Her male uniform is too big, she can’t handle a gun, and she’s rapidly learning that the APD is hardly a place that welcomes women. Worse still, in the ensuing manhunt, he’ll be partnered with Maggie Lawson, a cop with her own ax to grind (and a brother and uncle already on the force)–a strategy meant to isolate Kate and Maggie from the action. But the move will backfire, putting them right at the heart of it.”

Best First Novel

Dry Bones in the Valley by Tom Bouman
“The lone policeman in a small township on the sparse northern border [of Pennsylvania], Henry Farrell expected to spend his mornings hunting and fishing, his evenings playing old-time music. Instead, he has watched the steady encroachment of gas drilling bring new wealth and erode neighborly trust. The drug trade is pushing heroin into the territory. There are outlaws cooking meth in the woods, guys Henry grew up with. When a stranger turns up dead, Henrys search for the killer will open old wounds, dredge up ancient crimes, and exact a deadly price.”
Invisible City by Julia Dahl
“Just months after Rebekah Roberts was born, her mother, an Hasidic Jew from Brooklyn, abandoned her Christian boyfriend and newborn baby to return to her religion. Neither Rebekah nor her father have heard from her since. Now a recent college graduate, Rebekah has moved to New York City to follow her dream of becoming a big-city reporter. But she’s also drawn to the idea of being closer to her mother, who might still be living in the Hasidic community in Brooklyn. Then Rebekah is called to cover the story of a murdered Hasidic woman. Rebekah’s shocked to learn that, because of the NYPD’s habit of kowtowing to the powerful ultra-Orthodox community, not only will the woman be buried without an autopsy, her killer may get away with murder. Rebekah can’t let the story end there. But getting to the truth won’t be easy–even as she immerses herself in the cloistered world where her mother grew up, it’s clear that she’s not welcome, and everyone she meets has a secret to keep from an outsider. In her riveting debut, journalist Julia Dahl introduces a compelling new character in search of the truth about a murder and an understanding of her own heritage.”
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
“College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same. Iverson is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder. As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory. Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But by the time Joe discovers the truth, it is too late to escape the fallout.”
Bad Country by C.B. McKenzie
“A debut mystery set in the Southwest starring a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator, told in a transfixingly original style. Rodeo Grace Garnet lives alone, save for his old dog, in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as the Hole. He doesn’t get many visitors, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many illegal immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border just south of the Hole, but is instead a member of one of the local Indian tribes. Retired from the rodeo circuit and scraping by on piece-work as a private investigator, Rodeo doesn’t have much choice but to say yes when offered an unusual case. An elderly Indian woman has hired him to help discover who murdered her grandson, but she seems strangely uninterested in the results. Her indifference seems heartless, but as Rodeo pursues his case he learns that it’s nothing compared to true hatred. And he’s about to realize just how far hate can go. CB McKenzie’s Bad Country captures the rough-and-tumble corners of the Southwest in accomplished, confident prose, with a hardnosed plot that will keep readers riveted.”
Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh
“Working as a hit man on the ravaged streets of New York City after a dirty bomb is unleashed on Times Square, Spademan takes an assignment to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist only to discover that his mark holds a shocking secret and that his client hides a more sinister agenda.”
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver
“Amory Ames is a wealthy young woman who questions her marriage to her notoriously charming playboy husband, Milo. Looking for a change, she accepts a request for help from her former fiance;, Gil Trent, not knowing that she’ll soon become embroiled in a murder investigation that will test not only her friendship with Gil, but will upset the status quo with her husband. Amory accompanies Gil to the luxurious Brightwell Hotel in an attempt to circumvent the marriage of his sister, Emmeline, to Rupert Howe, a disreputable ladies’ man. Amory sees in the situation a grim reflection of her own floundering marriage. There is more than her happiness at stake, however, when Rupert is murdered and Gil is arrested for the crime. Amory is determined to prove his innocence and find the real killer, despite attempted dissuasion from the disapproving police inspector on the case. Matters are further complicated by Milo’s unexpected arrival, and the two form an uneasy alliance as Amory enlists his reluctant aid in clearing Gil’s name. As the stakes grow higher and the line between friend and foe becomes less clear, Amory must decide where her heart lies and catch the killer before she, too, becomes a victim.”

Best Paperback Original

The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani
“Determined to solve a series of murders before he retires, detective Salazar turns to Sunil Singh, a South African transplant who specializes in psychopaths, to help determine if a pair of conjoined twins he apprehended are the killers.”
Stay With Me by Alison Gaylin
“Unable to recall the night of her sister Clea’s mysterious disappearance 28 years earlier despite having a perfect memory, Brenna Spector finds her obsession with finding the truth hitting too close to home when her own teenage daughter goes missing.”
The Barkeep by William Lashner
“Justin Chase is the perfect barkeep, tending bar as he lives his life, in a state of Zen serenity. At least until Birdie Grackle, a yellow-haired, foul-mouthed alcoholic from Texas, walks into his bar, orders a Mojito, and makes a startling confession. Six years ago Justin’s life was ripped apart when he discovered his mother’s bludgeoned corpse in the foyer of the family home. Now Justin’s father is serving a life sentence and Justin, after a stint in an asylum, drowns his emotions in a pool of inner peace. But when Birdie Grackle claims to be the hit man who murdered Justin’s mother for the money, Justin is hurled back to the emotions, the past, and, most frightening of all, the father he tried to leave behind.”
The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson
“Jessie Constable has learned the hard way to always keep herself safe. But meeting Gus King changes everything. Before she knows it, Jessie is sleeping at Gus’s house, babysitting his kids, becoming a part of his family. And yet, she can’t ignore the unsettling questions. Who does she keep seeing from the corner of her eye? Why are strange men threatening her? Most importantly, what really happened to Gus’s wife?”
The Gone Dead Train by Lisa Turner
World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
“With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank’s safety is only relative, and his only relative–his sister Nico–isn’t safe. Soon, it’s clear that there’s more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it’s up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out . . . for everyone”

Best Fact Crime

The Figure of the Detective: A Literary History and Analysis
by Charles Brownson
James Ellroy: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
by Jim Mancall
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands: Classic Film Noir by Robert Miklitsch
Judges & Justice & Lawyers & Law: Exploring the Legal Dimensions of Fiction and Film
by Francis M. Nevins
Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe
by J.W. Ocker

Best Juvenile

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Nick and Tesla’s Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove by “Science Bob” Pflugfelder
and Steve Hockensmith
Saving Kabul Corner by N.H. Senzai
Eddie Red, Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells

Young Adult

The Doubt Factory by Paolo Bacigalupi
Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano
Fake ID by Lamar Giles
The Art of Secrets by James Klise
The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson

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