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!