My Mysterious Year

I didn’t read nearly as many books as Bernadette did in a bad year, but I can’t say I suffered from lack of books to read. I participated in quite a few of the discussion at 4MA, including three series discussions, a record for me. I read some non-mystery fiction (including Neal Stephenson’s Reamde, which slowed me down because of its length, but in an entertaining way). The following are my top ten reads of the year.

Whispering Death by Garry Disher
He does such a good job of weaving together a lot of plot threads, all of them very believable.

The Gods of Gotham by Linsday Faye
Wins the “socks blown off” award from me. Loved her use of language and how she conveyed the zeitgeist of NYC when much of Manhattan was farmland.

Invisible Muder by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
I enjoy the way these co-authors pull together multiple points of view. Also enjoy the not-totally-likeable protagonist.

Lake Country by Sean Doolittle
This guy writes so well and has such a tender heart for people in trouble. Loved this book.

Wolves and Angels by Seppo Jokinen
A Finnish police procedural that gave me what I want from a procedural: a realistic workplace and a nice mix of characters.

The Dark Winter by David Mark
My dark horse. I especially loved the writing style; plot was pretty dandy, too.

The Fear Artist by Timothy Hallinan
A different take on fathers and daughters; great setting, as always.

A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
I had to slow down and enjoy the scenery for this one. Very vivid sense of place.

The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina
How does she do it? How does she knock one wonderful book out after another? Loved it.

Paradise City by Archer Mayor
Another nicely done procedural series with multiple POVs, this one including a Chinese artisan looking for her own Workers Paradise (in western Massachusetts)

If I had a top eleven, it would include Michael Stanley’s Death of the Mantis, which I enjoyed very much (another 4MA discussion book which I’m very happy I read).

Four of the ten were new-to-me authors. Four were by women authors. I am not doing charts, much as I like a nice colored chart, but thought I would map my reading in the past year. This doesn’t include all the books I read, but most of them. In some cases I had to pick one place to drop a pin though the book moved around (as was the case in Reamde, a real globe-trotter of a book).

Here’s hoping for a great new reading year for everyone!

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7 Responses to My Mysterious Year

  1. I think I might have to make a resolution not to drop in on these ‘best of’ posts in future – all they do is add to my already groaning wishlist…there’s several on your list I’ve not heard of and now I think I must read them… The Gods of Gotham sounds marvellous…how did I never hear of this? Or Lake Country or Wolves and Angels? Sigh

    I very much enjoyed A Killing in the Hills too, though there were things I didn’t like about it but they didn’t seem to matter and even though I read it the previous year I can still recall the great plot of Whispering Death.

    Love your map :)

  2. Mrs P. says:

    Eeek! I have read just one of the books on your list. But on the plus side, it shows how much fantastic crime writing is out there. Thanks, Barbara :)

  3. Bill Selnes says:

    I have been going by Gods of Gotham in bookstores and trying to decide whether to buy it. You have encouraged me to make a buying decision.

  4. Ashlee Stalling says:

    Your list has my list swelling even larger now! Good thing I just finished a book, and it was really good. Blood Land by R.S. Guthrie, it was gripping. I would suggest you take a look if you want just one more book! rsguthrie.com is his site. Thanks for the list, I need to get to reading!

  5. kathy d. says:

    I read Invisible Murder, A Killing in the Hills, The End of the Wasp Season and Death of the Mantis. Liked them all, think Denise Mina is a genius and, even though Nina Borg is a bit of a mess, I like reading about her and the issues and plots in her stories. Julia Keller’s book was quite good, although I don’t agree with her entire viewpoint, but that’s okay. Death of a Mantis was interesting.
    What other books have you read as your map is fascinating?

  6. Barbara says:

    I put small synopses of books read on the map (if you click on the pins… obviously, there was some job of work I should have been doing that day which made map-making seem more fun.) Just finished Anne Holt’s What Never Happens, which I enjoyed – she’s becoming a favorite. Now reading Peter Robinson’s new Grant and one of the Ruth Galloway series.

    Also lots of books out of the library, which will have to be returned soonish, which means more work-avoidance is in order. Also my fattest cat wants to spend time in my lap, and who am i to deny him?

  7. [...] into the pages. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve grown to trust recommendations from this reader I’d have never read a page of what looks to me like something Arthur Hailey rejected in the [...]

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