Crime Fiction First Novels 2004
A list featuring selected first novels (mostly hardcover) in the mystery, suspense, thriller and crime fiction genres. This list may not be comprehensive. First novel information is collected from a variety of sources. More additions to the list are coming soon! Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine - unless otherwise noted.
More First Fiction lists (novels and short story collections).
- Relative Danger
Author: Benoit, Charles
Publisher: Poisoned Pen $ 24.95 ISBN: 1590580915 Date: 2004
Picture a hotel room in 1948 Singapore. Picture a dispute between black marketer and thief Russell Pearce and an associate-an associate who opens fire and murders Russell Pearce. Fast forward to present-day Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Young Doug Pearce, just fired from his steady job in the brewery, has never strayed far from home. But he's always found stories of his Uncle Russ, the family black sheep, fascinating. In comes a letter from an old friend of his dead uncle inviting him up to Toronto. Doug, at loose ends and bored with killing time, accepts. On arrival, he learns that wealthy and glamorous Edna has an agenda: she has assembled enough clues to solve the murder of Russell Pearce and to recover a legendary red diamond he was thought to be smuggling. Doug, nervous but game, agrees to play detective. How bad can it be to jet off to a glamour spot or two and have an adventure? Whoa! By the end of his first day in Casablanca, Doug knows he's made a mistake. And while he meets people eager to help-a retired museum curator, a beautiful and self-absorbed heiress, and her elderly father, a colleague of Russell Pearce-it becomes clear that someone else is interested in Doug, someone who is also looking for the diamond. From Morocco to Egypt to Bahrain to Singapore, Doug stumbles on. And whether he's escaping across Cairo rooftops, ducking bullets in a high-speed desert chase, or killing time in a crowded Egyptian jail cell, Doug is sure of one thing: He has no clue what he's doing. But surely he'll think of something as he's propelled full circle back to Singapore and the famed Raffles Hotel. He's definitely not 007...but will he prove to be a zero? - Publisher Marketing
- Walking Money
Author: Born, James O.
Publisher: Putnam $ 23.95 ISBN: 0399151699 Date: 2004
Filled with a rich array of characters, a constantly twisting plot, and an astonishing authenticity, this novel is indeed proof that "Jim Born is the real thing" (Elmore Leonard).
- The Rule of Four
Author: Caldwell, Ian & Dustin Thomason
Publisher: Dial $ 24 ISBN: 0385337116 Date: 2004
When a long-lost diary surfaces, it seems Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris have found the key to a secret labyrinth. However, when a fellow researcher is murdered only hours after their find, the friends suddenly realize that they are caught in a web of great danger.
Links: Rule of Four web site | Overbooked Author Connections
Suggested Reading: If You Liked the Da Vinci Code
- 37th Hour
Author: Compton, Jodi
Publisher: Delacorte $ 21.95 ISBN: 0385337132
With a bold assurance that is especially striking in a debut novel, Compton introduces Detective Sarah Pribek, a successful missing persons specialist facing the most disturbing case of her career when her husband, another officer, simply vanishes into thin air.
- The Grenadillo Box
Author: Gleeson, Janet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster $ 25 ISBN: 0743246861
The debut novel from the bestselling author of The Arcanum transports readers to 18th century Georgian England for an intricate, romantic tale of murder and intrigue.
- Ghost Writer
Author: Harwood, John
Publisher: Harcourt $ 25 ISBN: 0151010749 Date: 2004
Harwood's tantalizing tale of suspense and family secrets weaves Victorian ghost stories into the present where they start to come true. This astonishing, assured debut shows just how dangerous family skeletons--and stories--can be.
- Summer of the Big Bachi
Author: Hirahara, Naomi
Publisher: Delta $ 12 (paper) ISBN: 0385337590 Date: 2004
In a stunning debut novel set against the lush and dangerous backdrop of modern-day Los Angeles, a Hiroshima survivor must come face-to-face with the past he thought he had buried at war's end.
Author: Hoffman, Jiliane P.
Publisher: Putnam $ 24.95 ISBN: 0399151273
An elite prosecutor faces the most lethal predator she's ever encountered, in this debut novel inspired by the author's own experiences as an Assistant State Attorney in Florida.
- Caught Stealing
Author: Huston, Charlie
Publisher: Ballantine $ 21.95 ISBN: 034546477x Date: 2004
Huston's debut novel is "Tarantino meets Hitchcock meets Westlake meets Bukowski in a wild, relentlessly entertaining ride." -- Wallace Strobe, author of The Barbed-Wire Kiss.
Dreamed I Married Perry Mason: A Cece Caruso Mystery
Author: Kandel, Susan
Publisher: Morrow $ 23.95 ISBN: 0060581050 Date: 2004
Susan Kandel has written an adventurous, humorous debut novel that takes us on a well-researched romp through California's past and present, complete with turn-of-the-century robber barons and the haute couture of the '40s."--Barbara Seranella (Unpaid Dues and Unwilling Accomplice).
- The Hundredth Man
Author: Kerley, Jack
Publisher: Dutton $ 23.95 ISBN: 052594821x Date: 2004
Booklist Kirkus LJ
Recalling Michael Connelly's taut storytelling and James Patterson's searing narrative twists, Kerley creates a world where heroes can't succeed without madmen, and the dead are the most dangerous of all.
Link: The Hundredth Man web site
Suggested Reading: Psycho Killers | Serial Killers
- Tonight I Said Goodbye
Author: Koryta, Michael
Publisher: Minotaur $ 21.95 ISBN: 0312332459 Date: 2004
A remarkable crime novel from the winner of the 2003 SMP/PWA Prize for Best First PI Novel, this debut finds two private investigators searching for a young girl and her mother after the child's father is found dead of an apparent suicide.
- Dating Dead Men
Author: Kozak, Harley Jane
Publisher: Doubleday $ 22.95 ISBN: 0385510187 Date: 2004
Kozak's debut novel is a smart, funny, fast-paced mystery in the tradition of Janet Evanovich featuring greeting card artist and small business owner Wollie Shelley, a woman who's looking for love--and job satisfaction--in all the wrong places when she literally stumbles across a murder that irrevocably changes her life (in some ways, for the better).
- The Dead Sit Round in a Ring
Author: Lawrence, David
Publisher: Minotaur $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312327102 Date: 2004
Kirkus PW Booklist
"Four people sitting in a ring. Two men and two women. All of them dead." Thus begins a case that will take DS Stella Mooney from the fabulous flats of Notting Hill to the decidedly tougher side of town. - Publisher Marketing.
Suggested Reading: All Stars
Author: Marinick, Richard
Publisher: Justin Charles $ 24.95 ISBN: 1932112324 Date: 2004
Marinick grew up running with the Southie gangs during the Whitey Bulger era, and learned to write during a ten-year prison stretch. He writes what he knows, and his shattering, utterly authentic first novel, Boyos is the result.
- Chaucer and the House of Fame
Author: Morgan, Phillipa
Publisher: Carroll & Graf $ 25 ISBN: 0786714662 Date: 2004
The famed Medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer must turn sleuth in this surprising and imaginative first novel.
- Falling Off Air
Author: Sampson, Catherine
Publisher: Mysterious $ 22.95 ISBN: 0892968133 Date: 2004
Sampson's debut thriller is about a young mother who becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when her neighbor's body falls past her window.
- Skin River
Author: Sidor, Steven
Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312329490 Date: 2004
In this incredible debut, Buddy Bayes, a man with a past, finds his life shattered when he finds the severed hand of a missing young woman. "Steven Sidor must have sold his soul to the devil to write this well."--Steve Hamilton, author of Ice Run.
Starred Review Lists
Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.
Hotlists@ Google Docs
(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)
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