2014 Shamus Award – Best Paperback Original PI Novel

The winner and nominees for the 2014 Shamus Award Best Paperback Original PI Novel are listed below and to help you track down a copy of each of the books we have included a link to Amazon.com where the books may be available in a variety of different formats including hardcover, paperback, Kindle or Audio book.

Best Paperback Original Novel

Parrish Heart of IceHeart of Ice by P.J. Parrish - Winner

(pub. Pocket Books)

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This is the 11th book in the Louis Kincaid series by the writing duo of Kristy and Kelly Montee who together become author P.J. Parrish. The Florida-based P.I. returns to Michigan to meet a young daughter he was unaware of until recently. The discovery of some bones sets off a homicide investigation that Kincaid becomes involved in thanks to his PI credentials and past experience.

While work continues on the years-old murder case some personal issues start to bubble to the surface as family secrets are revealed. Unexpected outcomes and twists in the case provide a mouth-watering outlook for mystery lovers and some deeper issues that promise to make Kincaid’s life even more interesting, not to mention challenging will satisfy long-time readers of the series.


Collins Seduction of the InnocentSeduction of the Innocent by Max Allan Collins

(pub. Hard Case Crime)

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This is the third book in the Maggie and Jack Starr series and is set in the 1950s. It’s about the comic-book industry and recalls the period when comic books were seen as a dangerous influence on the youth of America.

The death of a comic book publisher yields a lot of potential suspects and this is where Jack Starr is called in to investigate. The ensuing case pulls back the curtains to reveal a sordid industry that is far more violent and dangerous than it first appears.

This is an interesting adaption of a real life scenario that is given the full Max Allan Collins treatment. It is a great example of the hardboiled detective genre with enough twists to keep the reader guessing.


Gaylin Into the DarkInto the Dark by Alison Gaylin

(pub. Harper)

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This is the follow up book to the Shamus Award winning And She Was and part of the Brenna Spector series. The fascinating thing about Brenna, apart from the fact that she is a private investigator in New York, is that she has hyperthymestic syndrome which is the ability to remember every detail of her own past in exact detail.

A good portion of the book, which covers the investigation into missing performance artist Lula Belle, involves sinking into the recalled memories from Brenna’s past.

This is a very suspenseful novel that moves quickly and has you deeply involved from the first few pages.


James Purgatory KeyPurgatory Key by Darrell James

(pub. Midnight Ink)

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This is the third book in the Del Shannon series, a series that features a female private investigator who finds and recovers missing persons. In this case a ransom payoff is underway when things go horribly wrong and a kidnapper is killed. This is a serious problem because the kidnapped girls are still missing and there is now no way of knowing where they might be.

The book returns all of the characters who appear in the two earlier books and develops their relationship with Shannon further. As for the story, it is quite engaging and develops nicely as it builds towards a compelling ending.


Randisi Honky Tonk Big Hoss BoogieThe Honky Tonk Big Hoss Boogie by Robert J. Randisi

(pub. Perfect Crime Books)

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Auggie Velez will play guitar for group that is short a man. But in his other life he is a private detective struggling for work. The story is set in Nashville and Auggie is asked by a music executive to deliver a briefcase in the dead of night.

Predictably enough, it all goes pear-shaped and Auggie is slap bang in the middle of a world of trouble. The next thing he knows there’s been a murder, his briefcase has gone and he’s wanted by the cops.

This is an engaging and fast-paced story that has an interesting main character and enough intrigue to hold your attention from go to whoa.


Other categories:

2014 Best PI Novel

2014 Best First PI Novel

Return to the Shamus Awards page.