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Shamus Award

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The Shamus Awards honor the traditional private eye story, and are awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America (PWA). According to the PWA, a “private eye” is a mystery protagonist who is a professional investigator, but not a police officer or government agent — a person paid for investigative work but not employed by a unit of government — “a person paid for investigative work but not employed by a unit of government. Thus books and stories about private investigators (licensed and unlicensed), lawyers and reporters who do their own legwork, and other hired agents are eligible; works centering on law enforcement officers or amateur sleuths are not.” The PWA was founded in 1981 and The Shamus Awards were first presented in 1982, and have been given out annually ever since.

Initial categories were The Eye Award (for Lifetime Achievement), Best P.I. Novel and Best P.I. Paperback Original. Additional categories added over the years have included Best First P.I. Novel, Best P.I. Short Story, and The Hammer Award (for Best P.I. Series Character). Although no official website exists for the Private Eye Writers of America, there is a page with background about the awards on the Thrilling Detective website, set up by Robert Randisi, who originally founded PWA.

The titles in this list are “hotlinked” to our library’s catalog, for all those titles currently owned by the Lincoln City Libraries. Please note that several of the Shamus-winning novels are no longer in our collection. They appear here for the sake of providing a complete list. If there is a title you are interested in which we no longer own, and you are a Lincoln City Libraries customer, please consider requesting it through our Interlibrary Loan service.

With regards to the winners in the Short Stories award category, please note that the Lincoln City Libraries does not own individual issues of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and we only carry limited back issues of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. However, numerous stories which originally saw print in these two periodicals have since been reprinted in anthologies under the Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock banners, and the library does own many of these reprint volumes.

Best P.I. Novel — [1982 to present]

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Ingrid Thofts
Brutality


noimage2015

David Rosenfelt
Hounded


noimage2014

Brad Parks
The Good Cop


Book Cover2013

Robert Crais
Taken


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Michael Wiley
A Bad Night’s Sleep


noimage2011

Lori Armstrong
No Mercy


Book Cover2010

Marcia Muller
Locked In


Book Cover2009

Reed Farrel Coleman
Empty Ever After


2008

Book Cover Reed Farrel Coleman
Soul Patch


Book Cover2007

Ken Bruen
The Dramatist


Book Cover2006

Michael Connelly
The Lincoln Lawyer


noimage2005

Edward Wright
While I Disappear


Book Cover2004

Ken Bruen
The Guards


Book Cover2003

James W. Hall
Blackwater Sound


Book Cover2002

S.J. Rozan
Reflecting the Sky


Book Cover2001

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
Havana Heat


Book Cover2000

Don Winslow
California Fire and Life


Book Cover1999

Bill Pronzini
Boobytrap


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Terrance Faherty
Come Back Dead


Book Cover1997

Robert Crais
Sunset Express


Book Cover1996

S.J. Rozan
Concourse


Book Cover1995

Sue Grafton
K is for Killer


Book Cover1994

Lawrence Block
The Devil Knows You’re Dead


Book Cover1993

Harold Adams
The Man Who Was Taller Than God


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Max Allan Collins
Stolen Away


Book Cover1991

Sue Grafton
G is for Gumshoe


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Jonathan Valin
Extenuating Circumstances


kisslutz-mini1989

John Lutz
Kiss


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Benjamin Schutz
A Tax in Blood


stakedgoat-mini1987

Jeremiah Healy
The Staked Goat


Book Cover1986

Sue Grafton
B is for Burglar


sugartown-mini1985

Loren D. Estleman
Sugartown


truedetective-mini1984

Max Allan Collins
True Detective


Book Cover1983

Lawrence Block
Eight Million Ways to Die


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Bill Pronzini
Hoodwink


Best P.I. Paperback Original — [1982 to present]

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J.L. Abramo
Circling the Runway


noimage2015

Vincent Zandri
Moonlight Weeps


noimage2014

P.J. Parrish
Heart of Ice


Book Cover2013

Alison Gaylin
And She Was


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Duane Swierczynski
Fun and Games


noimage2011

Christopher G. Moore
Asia Hand


noimage2010

Ira Berkowitz
Sinner’s Ball


Book Cover2009

Lori Armstrong
Snow Blind


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Richard Aleas
Songs of Innocence


Book Cover2007

P.J. Parrish
An Unquiet Grave


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Reed Farrell Coleman
The James Deans


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Max Phillips
Fade to Blonde


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Andy Straka
Cold Quarry


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D. Daniel Judson
The Poisoned Rose


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Lyda Morehouse
Archangel Protocol


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Thomas Lipinski
Death in the Steel City


Book Cover2000

Laura Lippman
In Big Trouble


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Steven Womack
Murder Manual


Book Cover1998

Laura Lippman
Charm City


Book Cover1997

Harlan Coben
Fade Away


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William Jaspersohn
Native Angels


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Ed Goldberg
Served Cold


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Rodman Philbrick
Brothers and Sinners


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Marele Day
The Last Tango of Dolores Delgado


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Paul Kemprecos
Cool Blue Tomb


noimage1991

W. Glenn Duncan
Rafferty: Fatal Sisters


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Rob Kantner
Hell’s Only Half Full


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Rob Kantner
Dirty Work


wildnight-mini1988

L.J. Washburn
Wild Night


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Rob Kantner
The Back-Door Man


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Earl Emerson
Poverty Bay


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Warren Murphy
The Ceiling of Hell


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Paul Engleman
Dead in Centerfield


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William Campbell Gault
The Cana Diversion


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Max Byrd
California Thriller


Best First P.I. Novel — [1985 to present]

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Lisa Sandlin
The Do-Right


noimage2015

Julia Dahl
Invisible City


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Lachlan Smith
Bear is Broken


Book Cover2013

Michael Sears
Black Fridays


Book Cover2012

P.G. Sturges
The Shortcut Man


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Michael Ayoob
In Search of Mercy


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Brad Parks
Faces of the Gone


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Ian Vasquez
In the Heat


Book Cover2008

Sean Chercover
Big City, Bad Blood


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Declan Hughes
The Wrong Kind of Blood


Book Cover2006

Louise Ure
Forcing Amaryllis


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Ingrid Black
The Dead


Book Cover2004

Peter Spiegelman
Black Maps


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Eddie Muller
The Distance


Book Cover2002

David Fulmer
Chasing the Devil’s Tail


noimage2001

Bob Truluck
Street Level


Book Cover2000

John Connolly
Every Dead Thing


Book Cover1999

Steve Hamilton
A Cold Day in Paradise


noimage1998

Rick Riordan
Big Red Tequila


Book Cover1997

Carol Lea Benjamin
This Dog For Hire


Book Cover1996

Richard Barre
The Innocents


Book Cover1995

Dennis Lehane
A Drink Before the War


Book Cover1994

Lynn Hightower
Satan’s Lambs


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John Straley
The Woman Who Married a Bear


noimage1992

Thompas D. Davis
Suffer the Little Children


Book Cover1991

Walter Mosley
Devil in a Blue Dress


Book Cover1990

Karen Kijewski
Katwalk


fearofthedark-mini1989

Gar Anthony Haywood
Fear of the Dark


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Michael Allegretto
Death on the Rocks


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J.W. Rider
Jersey Tomatoes


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Wayne Warga
Hardcover


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Jack Early
A Creative Kind of Killer


Best P.I. Short Story — [1983 to present]

[Honoring the best in shorter mystery works, often reprinted in anthologies or collections in later years]

2016 — Parnell Hall — “The Dead Client” [in Dark City Lights: New York Stories]

2015 — Gon Ben Ari — “Clear Recent History” [in Tel Aviv Noir]

2014 — Max Allan Collins & Mickey Spillane — “So Long, Chief” [in The Strand Magazine, Feb-May 2013]

2013 — John Shepphird — “Ghost Negligence” [in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Jul/Aug 2012]

2012 — Michael C. Lewin — “Who I Am” [in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dec 2011]

2011 — Gar Anthony Haywood — “The Lamb Was Sure to Go” [in AH, Nov 2010]

2010 — Dave Zeltserman — “Julius Katz” [in EQ, Sep/Oct 2009]

2009 — Mitch Alderman — “Family Values” [in AH, Jun 2008]

2008 — Cornelia Read — “Hungry Enough” [in A Hell of a Woman (anthology)]

2007 — O’Neil De Noux — “Tje Heart Has Reasons” [in AH, Sep 2006]

2006 — Michael Wiecek — “A Death in Ueno” [in AH, Mar 2005]

2005 — Pearl Abraham — “Hasidic Noir” [in Brooklyn Noir (anthology)]

2004 — Loren D. Estleman — “Lady on Ice” [in A Hot and Sultry Night (anthology)]

2003 — Terence Faherty — “The Second Coming” [in EQ, Nov 2002]

2002 — Ceri Jordan — “Rough Justice” [in AH, Jul 2001]

2001 — Brendan Dubois — “The Road’s End” [in AH, Apr 2000]

2000 — I.J. Parker — “Akitada’s First Case” [in AH, Jul/Aug 1999]

1999 — Warren Murphy — “Another Day, Another Dollar” [in Murder on the Run (anthology)]

1998 — Carolyn Wheat — “Love Me For My Yellow Hair Alone” [in Marilyn: Shades of Blonde (anthology)]

1997 — Lia Matera — “Dead Drunk” [in Guilty as Charged (anthology)]

1996 — Gar Anthony Haywood — “And Pray Nobody Sees You” [in Spooks, Spies and Private Eyes (anthology)]

1995 — Brendan DuBois — “The Necessary Brother” [in EQ, May 1994]

1994 — Lawrence Block — “The Merciful Angel of Death” [in The New Mystery (anthology)]

1993 — Benjamin Schutz — “Mary, Mary, Shut the Door” [in Deadly Allies (anthology)]

1992 — Nancy Pickard — “Dust Devil” [in The Armchair Detective, Winter 1991]

1991 — Marcia Muller — “Final Resting Place” [in Justice for Hire (anthology)]

1990 — Mickey Spillane — “The Killing Man” [in Playboy, Dec 1989]

1989 — Loren D. Estleman — “The Crooked Way” [in The New Black Mask (anthology)]

1988 — Ed Gorman — “Turn Away” [in Black Lizard Anthology of Crime Fiction (anthology)]

1987 — Rob Kantner — “Fly Away Home” [in Mean Streets (anthology)]

1986 — Loren D. Estleman — “Eight Mile and Dequindre” [in AH, May 1985]

1985 — Lawrence Block — “By the Dawn’s Early Light” [in Playboy, Aug 1984]

1984 — Bill Pronzini — “Cat’s Paw” [in Waves Press (stand-alone volume)]

1983 — John Lutz — “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You” [in AH, Nov 1982]

The Eye Award — [1982 to present] (for Lifetime Achievement)

Not all winners of The Eye Award are purely fiction writers — this award has also been given to screenwriters and television producers, as well as editors, all of whom made important contributions to the Private Eye field. Not given in every year.

2016S.J. Rozan

2015Parnell Hall

2013Loren Estleman

2011Ed Gorman

2010Robert Crais

2008Joe Gores

2007Stuart Kaminsky

2006Max Allan Collins

2005Sara Paretsky

2004Donald E. Westlake

2003Sue Grafton

2002Lawrence Block

2000Edward D. Hoch

1999Maxine O’Callaghan

1997Stephen Marlowe

1995 [two this year] — John Lutz

1995 [two this year] — Robert B. Parker

1994Stephen J. Cannell

1993Marcia Muller

1992Joseph Hansen

1991Roy Huggins

1988 [two this year] — Dennis Lynds (Michael Collins)

1988 [two this year] — Wade Miller (Robert Wade and Bob Miller)

1987Bill Pronzini

1986Richard S. Prather

1985Howard Browne

1984William Campbell Gault

1983Mickey Spillane

1982Ross Macdonald

The Hammer Award — [2007 to 2014] (for Best P.I. Series Character)

2014Kinsey Milhone by Sue Grafton

2012Nathan Heller by Max Allan Collins

2011V.I. Warshawski by Sara Paretsky

2009Matthew Scudder by Lawrence Block

2007Shell Scott by Richard S. Prather

Best Indie P.I. Novel — [2013 to present]

noimage2015

Trace Conger
The Shadow Broker


noimage2014

M. Ruth Myers
Don’t Dare a Dame


noimage2013

Paul D. Marks
White Heat


Updated December 2016 sdc

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