Friday, December 09, 2022

Proudly Flaunting Their Biases

I’m always eager to see which crime, mystery, and thriller novels Tom Nolan will identify as his favorites of any given year. A critic for The Wall Street Journal ever since 1990, and a former contributor to January Magazine (which is how I met him), Nolan often shares my taste in this genre’s offerings. His top picks for 2022 appeared online earlier today, but as I’m not a Journal subscriber, I had to request that he send me the list (see below) via e-mail.

Desert Star, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
The Christie Affair, by Nina de Gramont (St. Martin’s Press)
The Enigma of Room 622, by Joël Dicker (HarperVia)
The Murder of Mr. Wickham, by Claudia Gray (Vintage)
The Twist of a Knife, by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
The Goodbye Coast, by Joe Ide (Mulholland)
Dark Music, by David Lagercrantz (Knopf)
The Bullet That Missed, by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman/Viking)
The Diamond Eye, by Kate Quinn (Morrow)
The It Girl, by Ruth Ware (Scout Press)

Note that three of the fictionists mentioned here—Connelly, Osman, and Ide—were also featured on Nolan’s 2021 best-of-the-year roll. Which is fine, really; we all have our reliable, go-to wordsmiths. But it does cause me to reassess my own reading history. Although, in general, I seek to diversify my consumption of books every twelvemonth by sampling new-to-me authors, a record of my preferences over the last decade does find a few names recurring—Philip Kerr, Kelli Stanley, Walter Mosley, Megan Abbott, Peter May, and Laura Lippman among them. Maybe I haven’t been as good as I thought at widening my experience with modern writers.

* * *

Meanwhile, Steve Donoghue, whose book reviews appear frequently in The Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Post, has released a roster of his own crime- and mystery-fiction recommendations for 2022. He lists them in order of his liking:

1. The Bangalore Detectives Club, by Harini Nagendra (Pegasus)
2. The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown, by Lawrence Block
(LB Productions)
3. The Mitford Vanishing, by Jessica Fellowes (Minotaur)
4. Give Unto Others, by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly Press)
5. A Sunlit Weapon, by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)
6. When Blood Lies, by C.S. Harris (Berkley)
7. Hatchet Island, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
8. Death and the Conjuror, by Tom Mead (Mysterious Press)
9. To Kill a Troubadour, by Martin Walker (Knopf)
10. Showstopper, by Peter Lovesey (Soho Crime)

* * *

Finally, Australian Jeff Popple, who this year celebrated his 40th anniversary (!) as a paid crime fiction and thriller reviewer, and writes regularly for both Canberra Weekly and Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, weighs in with his personal selections of favorite crime and thriller novels published in 2022.

Best Crime Novels:
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin
Stevenson (Penguin)
The Dark Flood, by Deon Meyer (Hodder & Stoughton)
Desert Star, by Michael Connelly (Allen & Unwin)
A Heart Full of Headstones, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
Those Who Perish, by Emma Viskic (Echo)
Lying Beside You, by Michael Robotham (Hachette)
The Furies, by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Accomplice, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion)
Day’s End, by Garry Disher (Text)

Best Thriller Novels:
Bad Actors, by Mick Herron (John Murray)
Yesterday’s Spy, by Tom Bradby (Bantam)
The Match Maker, by Paul Vidich (Pegasus)
Winter Work, by Dan Fesperman (Head of Zeus)
One Step Too Far, by Lisa Gardner (Century)
Cold Fear, by Brandon Webb and John David Mann (Bantam)

Elsewhere in his blog, Popple offers his choices of the year’s “Best Debut Crime Novels and Thrillers,” plus “Seven Good Books You May Have Missed in 2022.”

“The Maid” Cleans Up

Yesterday brought the announcement of the winners in this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards competition. In the “Best Mystery & Thriller” category, the prize goes to The Maid, by Nita Prose (Ballantine).

The other nine finalists in that field were All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers (Bantam); The It Girl, by Ruth Ware (Scout Press); Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney (Flatiron); Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley); A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (Minotaur); Wrong Place, Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister (Morrow); The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley (Morrow); The Book of Cold Cases, by Simone St. James (Berkley); and The Bullet That Missed, by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman/Viking).

Click here to find the victors in all 17 of this contest’s divisions.

Thursday, December 08, 2022

CrimeReads’ Own Crème de Crime

Not to let everyone else have all the fun, the editors of CrimeReads today announced their “Best Crime Novels: 2022” choices. Their primary list comprises 20 works, some of which are more noir fiction or fraught relationship dramas than classic crime yarns:

Paradais, by Fernanda Melchor (New Directions)
Don’t Know Tough, by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime)
More Than You’ll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierrez (Morrow)
Shrines of Gaiety, by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)
After the Lights Go Out, by John Vercher (Soho Press)
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey)
The Devil Takes You Home, by Gabino Iglesias (Mulholland)
Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
The Midcoast, by Adam White (Hogarth)
Blackwater Falls, by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)
The Violin Conspiracy, by Brendan Slocumb (Anchor)
Secret Identity, by Alex Segura (Flatiron)
Like a Sister, by Kellye Garrett (Mulholland)
On Java Road, by Lawrence Osborne (Hogarth)
Anywhere You Run, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)
An Honest Living, by Dwyer Murphy (Viking)
Lady Joker, Vol. 2, by Kaoru Takamura (Soho Crime)
Complicit, by Winnie M. Li (Emily Bestler)
Notes on an Execution, by Danya Kukafka (Morrow)
The Family Chao, by Lan Samantha Chang (Norton)

There are several books among CrimeReads’ “Notable Selections” list at the end that deserve more attention, including Dan Fesperman’s Winter Work (Knopf), Grace D. Li’s Portrait of a Thief (Tiny Reparations), Don Winslow’s City on Fire (Morrow), Dervla McTiernan’s The Murder Rule (Morrow), Gary Philips’ One-Shot Harry (Soho Crime), Ava Barry’s Double Exposure (Pegasus), and Paraic O’Donnell’s The Maker of Swans (Tin House)—the last of which is, again, not quite a crime novel, but also not quite not a crime novel. Assembling this sort of list can often require relaxing genre boundaries.

READ MORE:The Best Espionage Novels of the Year” (CrimeReads).

North Sea Tale Earns Petrona

From a shortlist of six novels competing for the 2022 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, a winner has finally been selected. It’s Fatal Isles (Zaffre, 2021), written by Swedish author Maria Adolfsson and translated by Agnes Broomé. That announcement was made this morning.

The judges issued this statement in regard to Adolfsson’s book:
This captivating winning novel is the first in a proposed trilogy featuring the beautifully flawed protagonist Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby, whose take on life and work make for a strong down-to-earth and modern heroine in the relicts of a man’s world.

Set in the fictional yet completely credible location of Doggerland, this three-islands archipelago in the North Sea reflects Scandinavian, North European and British heritages. Doggerland is shaped and influenced by its geographical position; the atmospheric setting, akin to the wind- and history-swept Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Nordic climes, enhances the suspenseful and intriguing plot of a police procedural that combines detailed observations and thoughts on the human condition. A brutal murder sets in motion an investigation into layers of hidden secrets and of societal attitudes, and the interaction between the superbly portrayed characters creates a thrilling tension and believable environment.
Also in contention for this year’s coveted Petrona Award were The Therapist, by Helene Flood, translated by Alison McCullough (Norway, MacLehose Press); Everything Is Mine, by Ruth Lillegraven, translated by Diane Oatley (Norway, AmazonCrossing); Knock Knock, by Anders Roslund, translated by Elizabeth Clark Wessel (Sweden, Harvill Secker); Cold as Hell, by Lilja Sigurðardóttir, translated by Quentin Bates (Iceland, Orenda); and The Rabbit Factor, by Antti Tuomainen, translated by David Hackston (Finland, Orenda).

The original longlist of 12 nominees can be found here.

The Petrona Award memorializes Maxine Clarke, the British editor, crime-fiction blogger, and “champion of Scandinavian crime fiction” who passed away in December 2012 (Petrona was the name of her long-running blog). Previous recipients include Mikael Niemi’s To Cook a Bear (2021), Antti Tuomainen’s Little Siberia (2020), and Jørn Lier Horst’s The Katharina Code (2019). To learn more about this prize and its history, refer to the Petrona Award Web site.

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

And the Results Are In!

The British Web site Crime Fiction Lover this morning announced the lineup of winners in its second annual Crime Fiction Lover Awards competition. There were six original categories, but in the end, CFL editors doubled that number by selecting their own favorites.

Best Crime Novel:
The Locked Room, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)

Also nominated: The Accomplice, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion); The Twist of a Knife, by Anthony Horowitz (Penguin); City on Fire, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins); The Shadows of Men, by Abir Mukherjee (Vintage); and The Twyford Code, by Janice Hallett (Viper)

Best Novel, Editor’s Choice:
The Shadows of Men, by Abir Mukherjee (Vintage)

Best Debut Crime Novel:
A Christmas Murder of Crows, by D.M. Austin (Whitefox)

Also nominated: Breaking, by Amanda Cassidy (Canelo); The Redeemer, by Victoria Goldman (Three Crowns); Bad for Good, by Graham Bartlett (Allison & Busby); Don’t Know Tough, by Eli Cranor (Soho Press); and More Than You’ll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierrez (Michael Joseph)

Best Debut, Editor’s Choice:
Bad for Good, by Graham Bartlett (Allison & Busby)

Best Crime Novel in Translation:
The Dark Flood, by Deon Meyer, translated by K.L. Seegers
(Hodder & Stoughton)

Also nominated: Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight, by Riku Onada, translated by Alison Watts (Bitter Lemon Press); Turf Wars, by Olivier Norek, translated by Nick Caistor (MacLehose Press); Even the Darkest Night, by Javier Cercas, translated by Anne McLean (MacLehose Press); The Old Woman with the Knife, by Gu Byeong-Mo, translated by Chi-Young Kim (Canongate); and The Reptile Memoirs, by Silje Ulstein, translated by Alison McCullough (Grove Press)

Best Crime Novel in Translation, Editor’s Choice:
The Old Woman with the Knife, by Gu Byeong-Mo, translated by
Chi-Young Kim (Canongate)

Best Indie Crime Novel:
The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill (Ultimo Press)

Also nominated: How to Murder a Marriage, by Gabrielle St. George (Level Best); Unjust Bias, by Liz Mistry (Liz Mistry); The Corpse with the Turquoise Toes, by Cathy Ace (Four Tails); Five Moves of Doom, by A.J. Devlin (Newest Press); and A Mourning Song, by Mark Westmoreland (Shotgun Honey)

Best Indie Crime Novel, Editor’s Choice:
Five Moves of Doom, by A.J. Devlin (Newest Press)

Best Crime Show: Shetland (BBC One)

Also nominated: Dahmer – Monster (Netflix); Bosch: Legacy (Freevee); Slow Horses (Apple TV+); Black Bird (Apple TV+); and Reacher (Amazon Prime)

Best Crime Show, Editor’s Choice: Bosch: Legacy (Freevee)

Best Crime Author: Elly Griffiths

Also nominated: Steve Cavanagh; Ann Cleeves; S.A. Cosby; Michael Connelly; and Val McDermid

Best Crime Author, Editor’s Choice: Steve Cavanagh

There are no great upsets here. Yes, it’s a bit odd that Mukherjee’s The Shadows of Men—as excellent as it is—should have triumphed in the “Best Crime Novel” category, since it premiered (on both sides of the Atlantic) in 2021, not this year. But that book’s UK paperback release did come this last June, so I guess that qualifies it. And the odds were certainly in Shetland’s favor to win “Best Crime Show,” if only for sentimental reasons: the recent seventh season was star Douglas Henshall’s last one playing Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

A Multiplicity of Viewpoints

As we move deeper into this holiday season, “best books of 2022” lists are really proliferating. My wait for New York Times critic Sarah Weinman’s crime and mystery picks is finally over; she posted her 11 choices online today, breaking them down into five categories.

Best Debuts:
Don’t Know Tough, by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime)
Portrait of a Thief, by Grace D. Li (Tiny Reparations)

Best Standalones:
Real Easy, by Marie Rutkoski (Henry Holt)
The Lost Kings, by Tyrell Johnson (Anchor)
Gangland, by Chuck Hogan (Grand Central)
Anywhere You Run, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)

Best in a Series:
Survivor’s Guilt, by Robyn Gigl (Kensington)
Vera Kelly: Lost and Found, by Rosalie Knecht (Tin House)
Secrets Typed in Blood, by Stephen Spotswood (Doubleday)

Best Overall:
Notes on an Execution, by Danya Kukafka (Morrow)

Best in Genre Non-fiction:
The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators, by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)

* * *

Earlier this week, the Times’ Sarah Lyall revealed her selections of the “Best Thrillers of 2022.” It’s a short list, comprising only five titles.

The Appeal, by Janice Hallett (Atria)
Broken Summer, by J.M. Lee (Amazon Crossing)
The Other Side of Midnight, by Adam Hamdy (Atria)
Blood Sugar, by Sascha Rothchild (Putnam)
The Murder Rule, by Dervla McTiernan (Morrow)
The Island, by Adrian McKinty (Little, Brown)

* * *

Another reliable voice is that of Oline H. Cogdill, longtime mystery-fiction columnist for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Her preferences from 2022 were also delivered today, in five different divisions.

Best Novels (in order of preference):
1. The Cartographers, by Peng Shepherd (Morrow)
2. Back to the Garden, by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
3. Anywhere You Run, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)
4. Secret Identity, by Alex Segura (Flatiron)
5. We Lie Here, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Thomas & Mercer)
6. Desert Star, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
7. Things We Do in the Dark, by Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur)
8. Like a Sister, by Kellye Garrett (Mulholland)
9. Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
10. Her Last Affair, by John Searles (Mariner)
11. Forsaken Country, by Allen Eskens (Mulholland)
12. The Fields, by Erin Young (Flatiron)
13. The Drowning Sea, by Sarah Stewart Taylor (Minotaur)
14. Two Nights in Lisbon, by Chris Pavone (MCD)
15. Racing the Light, by Robert
Crais (Putnam)
16. Counterfeit, by Kirsten Chen (Morrow)

Best Debuts (in alphabetical order,
by author):

Jackal, by Erin E. Adams (Bantam)
Pay Dirt Road, by Samantha Jayne
Allen (Minotaur)
Before You Knew My Name, by Jacqueline Bublitz (Atria/Emily Bestler)
Shutter, by Ramona Emerson (Soho Crime)
The Marsh Queen, by Virginia Hartman (Gallery)
All That’s Left Unsaid, by Tracey Lien (Morrow)
The Verifiers, by Jane Pek (Knopf)
Dirt Creek, by Hayley Scrivenor (Flatiron)
A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (Minotaur)

Best Non-fiction:
American Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America's Jack the Ripper, by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur)

Best Short Stories:
Marple: Twelve New Mysteries, by various authors (Morrow)
Best American Mystery and Suspense 2022, edited by Jess Walter and Steph Cha (Mariner)
Hotel California, edited by Don Bruns (Blackstone)

Best Reissue:
The New Annotated Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, edited by Leslie S. Klinger (Mysterious Press)

* * *

A few days ago, I pointed Rap Sheet readers to several favorites-of-the-year rolls assembled by Robin and Jamie Agnew, former proprietors of Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since then, they’ve also released a “Best of 2022” roster, on which appear 10 crime/mystery novels and one work of non-fiction:

All the Queen’s Men, by S.J. Bennett (Morrow)
The Lindbergh Nanny, by Mariah Fredericks (Minotaur)
The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill (Poisoned Pen Press)
Blackwater Falls, by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)
Back to the Garden, by Laurie R. King (Bantam)
The Wedding Plot, by Paula Munier (Minotaur)
No Strangers Here, by Carlene O’Connor (Kensington)
Under Lock and Skeleton Key, by Gigi Pandian (Minotaur)
A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and Their Creators, by Martin Edwards (Collins Crime Club)

* * *

Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine editor George Easter, who keeps better track of these “best of the year” rolls than I do, has recently led me to several additional picks lists. Two of them come from Ryan Stack, of The Real Book Spy. While this other one is from critic Margaret Cannon, withCanada’s Globe & Mail newspaper.

Monday, December 05, 2022

Revue of Reviewers: 12-5-22

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.

Submissions Solicited

Entries are now being accepted to the 2023 Ngaio Marsh Awards competition. The chief requirement is that authors must be New Zealand citizens or residents. “In 2022,” explains Craig Sisterson, who established these annual prizes in 2020, “Ngaio Marsh Awards will be presented in the Best Novel and Best First Novel, categories. Entries can be made by publishers or authors. E-book originals and self-published authors are eligible, along with traditionally published works. Entries close 17 March.” Learn all the details here.

Saturday, December 03, 2022

Wilson Weighs In

“All in all,” writes British author and critic Laura Wilson in today’s edition of The Guardian, assessing this last year’s fresh crop of crime fiction, “the genre seems in good shape: a broader church, less formulaic and more exciting.” To prove said thesis, Wilson identifies two dozen diverse releases that she identifies as “The Best Crime and Thriller Books of 2022”:

The Bullet That Missed, by Richard Osman (Viking)
The Cook, by Ajay Chowdhury (Harvill Secker)
A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Twyford Code, by Janice Hallett (Viper)
Wrong Place, Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister (Michael Joseph)
The Devil Takes You Home, by Gabino Iglesias (Wildfire)
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill, by C.S. Robertson
(Hodder & Stoughton)
Meantime, by Frankie Boyle (John Murray)
The Partisan, by Patrick Worrall (Transworld)
Hawk Mountain, by Conner Habib (Transworld)
WAKE by Shelley Burr (Hodder & Stoughton)
More Than You’ll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierrez (Michael Joseph)
The Maid, by Nita Prose (HarperCollins)
A Heart Full of Headstones, by Ian Rankin (Orion)
Give Unto Others, by Donna Leon (Hutchinson Heinemann)
The Murder Book, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Bleeding Heart Yard, by Elly Griffith (Quercus)
May God Forgive, by Alan Parks (Canongate)
Maror, by Lavie Tidhar (Apollo)
Blue Water, by Leonora Nattrass (Viper)
The Lost Man of Bombay, by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton)
Queen High, by C.J. Carey (Quercus)
Breaking Point, by Olivier Norek (MacLehose Press)
The Moose Paradox, by Antti Tuomainen (Orenda)

A very nicely balanced collection, this, comprising modern and historical works, prominent authors as well as newcomers, cozies and darker yarns, and an almost equal split of male and female writers. I’m especially pleased to see among Wilson’s picks Australian debut novelist Burr’s WAKE and Queen High, penned by Jane Thynne (the widow of Philip Kerr) under her recent pseudonym, both of which kept me riveted; and Rankin’s A Heart Full of Headstones, a book proving that while his now retired Edinburgh police detective has lost his badge, he's certainly not lost his bite.

* * *

Although Aunt Agatha’s Bookstore, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, closed its doors in 2018, proprietors Robin and Jamie Agnew remain active online. They have recently begun selecting their own favorite reads of the year, posting separate lists per category. Below, for instance, are their choices for the 10 best historical mysteries of 2022.

Secrets of the Nile, by Tasha Alexander (Minotaur)
Because I Could Not Stop for Death, by Amanda Flower (Berkley)
A Bride’s Guide to Marriage and Murder, by Dianne Freeman (Kensington)
A Bend of Light, by Joy Jordan-Lake (Lake Union)
Light on Bone, by Kathryn Lasky (Woodhall Press)
Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)
The Unkept Woman, by Allison Montclair (Minotaur)
The Echoes, by Jess Montgomery (Minotaur)
The Bangalore Detectives Club, by Harini Nagendra (Pegasus Crime)
Murder in Westminster, by Vanessa Riley (Kensington)

Click here to see also the pair’s choices 2022’s best cozy mysteries, and here to check out their honorable mentions of this year.

Just Keep This in Mind

We’ll soon begin listing our critics’ favorite crime, mystery, and thriller fiction of the last 12 months. In the meantime, though, if you’re looking for book ideas this holiday gifting season, check again on The Rap Sheet’s extensive list of fall-winter 2022 releases. That collection has been greatly expanded since its original posting in September. You’ll want to see what’s new, as well as what books you missed before and might want to read in the run-up to New Year’s Day.

Friday, December 02, 2022

“What Is It With This Place?”

I’m a bit behind in my TV viewing. My wife and I just started re-watching the PBS Masterpiece presentation of Magpie Murders, after waiting for all six of its episodes to finally become available for streaming. (We’d tried consuming the show in weekly installments, but found we forgot too much in between to recall all of the complicated clues.) And of course, we’ve been taking advantage of our PBS Passport subscription to see Season 3 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke more than a month ahead of its broadcast premiere.

Today also brings the much-anticipated debut of Three Pines, an Amazon Prime Video series adapted from Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. The first pair of one-hour episodes are currently available for screening, with six more to go, two new ones scheduled to drop each Friday through December 23.

English actor Alfred Molina (Spider-Man: No Way Home, Law & Order: LA, etc.) has been cast as Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, the police force serving the Canadian province of Quebec. He’s a much superior choice to Nathaniel Parker, who played that same role in a 2013 CBC-TV version of Penny’s first novel, Still Life. In her blog, book critic L.J. Roberts calls Molina “excellent as Gamache, capturing his compassion, his sense of justice, and his occasional humor. His face is expressive, often conveying more emotion than could words.” Elizabeth Held, co-editor of the Penny-focused Notes from Three Pines, writes in CrimeReads that “fans should rest assured that Three Pines keeps Gamache’s core personality traits. He adores his wife Reine-Marie. He says things like, ‘Grief feels like fear, but it’s not. It’s love with no place to go.’ He quotes literature, in these episodes Frankenstein, liberally and believes that murder cannot be solved on an empty stomach. Molina plays Gamache with a seriousness that ensures his tendency to spout off words of wisdom comes off as genuine, rather than saccharine or overdone.”

As to this series’ plot, Held says the opening two episodes follow Gamache and his team as they solve the murder of CC de Poitiers.
The victim is a miserable woman who has chosen to live in a building that was previously a residential school where Indigenous children—abducted from their families—were abused in the name of “re-education.” No one—not her husband, child or neighbors—liked CC, who was electrocuted at a Boxing Day curling match (the series is set in Canada, after all). Gamache declares it the “perfect crime” and all the villagers suspects.

The beats of the mystery mostly mirror
A Fatal Grace, the second book in the Gamache series, although … the [TV] series draws a firm line between the detectives and the townsfolk. Gone are the scenes of Sûreté officers dining at the homes of Three Pines residents, making friends and investigating murders at the same time, and the scene of Gamache driving into [the fictional village of] Three Pines for the first time gave me Twin Peaks vibes. We watch as the inspector takes in the kooky villagers—one carrying a pet duck—gawking at outsiders coming into their village. These characters, so rich and complex in the books, fall flat here. I’m hoping they get more fleshed out as the series progresses.
Held goes on to opine that “Centering the stories of missing Indigenous women—a sadly timely and too often ignored issue—is a smart move for the show’s producers, who also worked on Netflix’s The Crown. It makes a plotline Penny wrote in the early 2000s about police abuse on Native reservations relevant while maintaining a connection to the source material.”

I look forward to spending some time with Gamache and the Three Pines residents, just as soon as I’m done with Magpie Murders.

So what might the future hold for this Prime series? The Web site Distractify reports, “Three Pines has not been renewed for a second season. However, there's plenty of source material to draw from. After all, Louise has written 18 Inspector Gamache novels. The 18th book, titled A World of Curiosities, was actually released on Nov. 29, just days ahead of the series premiere.”

“Happy Valley” Due Back for New Year’s

It’s been a year since BBC One announced that the BAFTA Award-winning crime drama Happy Valley would be given a third and final season. And only now comes word, via The Killing Times, that this show will return to TV screens—at least in Britain—on January 1, 2023.

“In this final series of six episodes,” explains editor Paul Hirons, Police Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire) “discovers the remains of a gangland murder victim in a drained reservoir, and this sparks a chain of events that leads her straight back to Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton). Her grandson, Ryan (Rhys Connah), is now 16 and has ideas of his own about the kind of relationship he wants to have with the man Catherine refuses to acknowledge as his father, leaving Catherine’s sister Clare (Siobhan Finneran) caught in the middle. In another part of [Calder Valley, West Yorkshire], a local pharmacist gets in over his head when a neighbour is arrested.”

Almost seven years have passed since Season 2 of Happy Valley debuted in the UK. There’s no word yet on when Netflix—which carried this series before—might make new episodes available to U.S. fans.

READ MORE:Happy Valley Returns to the BBC for Season Three,” by Garrick Webster (Crime Fiction Lover).

Thursday, December 01, 2022

Irish Eyes Are Definitely Smiling

The winners of this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards have been announced, and Edel Coffey’s first novel, Breaking Point (Sphere), was named as the Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year.

Also shortlisted for that same prize were Remember My Name, by Sam Blake (Corvus); Run Time, by Catherine Ryan Howard (Corvus); The Accomplice, by Steve Cavanagh (Orion); The Interview, by Gill Perdue (Sandycove); and Hide and Seek, by Andrea Mara (Transworld).

There were 17 categories of contenders for the 2022 Irish Books Awards, chosen to represent the best Ireland has to offer in the literary arts. You will find all of the winners listed here.

(Hat tip to In Reference to Murder.)

Zgorski’s A-List

Since I very often include critiques by Baltimore resident and BOLO Books blogger Kristopher Zgorski in The Rap Sheet’s “Revue of Reviewers” posts, it’s only right that I should also feature here his new picks of the “Top Reads of 2022.” Zgorski is quick to point out that this is “not necessarily a Best Of list. Certainly these books are worthy of any Best Of list, but since I did not read everything published this year, I always hesitate to call it such and I question any venue that purports to highlight the best as I am fairly sure no one has read all the crime fiction books published in 2022.”

So, below are Zgorski’s, um, favorite crime reads of this last year.

Top Reads:
The Last King of California, by Jordan Harper (Simon & Schuster UK)
1989, by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic)
Anywhere You Run, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)
A World of Curiosities, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Finlay Donovan Knocks ’Em Dead, by Elle Cosimano (Minotaur)
Like a Sister, by Kellye Garrett (Mulholland)
The Murder Rule, by Dervla McTiernan (Morrow)
Secret Identity, by Alex Segura (Flatiron)
The Secrets We Share, by Edwin Hill (Kensington)
The Undiscovered Deaths of Grace McGill, by C.S. Robertson
(Hodder & Stoughton UK)

Top Reads—Debut Novels:
Devil’s Chew Toy, by Rob Osler (Crooked Lane)
Dirt Creek, by Hayley Scrivenor (Flatiron)
Sinkhole, by Davida G. Breier (University of New Orleans Press)

Top Reads—Uncategorizable “Crime Fiction”:
A History of Fear, by Luke Dumas (‎Atria)
The Other Side of Night, by Adam Hamdy (Atria)

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Bullet Points: World Cup Edition

• We’ve now entered the final round of voting in this year’s Goodreads Choice Awards competition. The original collection of 20 books vying for “Best Mystery & Thriller” honors has now been chopped in half, with the following candidates remaining:

All Good People Here, by Ashley Flowers (Bantam)
The It Girl, by Ruth Ware (Scout Press)
Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney (Flatiron)
The Maid, by Nita Prose (Ballantine)
Killers of a Certain Age, by Deanna Raybourn (Berkley)
A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (Minotaur)
Wrong Place, Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister (Morrow)
The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley (Morrow)
The Book of Cold Cases, by Simone St. James (Berkley)
The Bullet That Missed, by Richard Osman (Pamela Dorman/Viking)

Click here to select your favorite from among those, but tarry not—voting in this round will end on December 4, with winners in this and other categories to be announced on Thursday, December 8.

• Just when you thought you had heard the last of Lisbeth Salander, she’s back. The antisocial and troubled computer hacker, who made her initial appearance in Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2007) and was last spotted in David Lagercrantz’s third series continuation novel, The Girl Who Lived Twice (2019), returned earlier this month in Swedish author Karin Smirnoff’s Havsörnens Skrik, a thriller that’s set to be published in English next August 29 as The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons. The Guardian reported recently that “Smirnoff’s book moves Salander’s story from Stockholm to northern Sweden, which [the yarn’s] UK publisher MacLehose Press said was ‘an area vast and beautiful, but also dealing with economic and social problems and the effects of climate change and environmental exploitation,’” American readers should be pleased to learn that The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons will be brought out simultaneously on this side of the Atlantic under the Alfred A. Knopf imprint.

• English author Stuart Turton has won Germany’s 2022 Viktor Crime Award for The Devil and Dark Water, a standalone historical thriller first released in English in 2020—and one of my favorite books of that year. This announcement was made earlier in November at Mord am Hellweg, described as “Europe’s largest international crime film festival.” Also shortlisted for the 2022 Viktor Award were Kazltes Herz (Cold Heart), by Henri Faber, and Horvath und die verschwundenen Schüler (Horvath and the Missing Students), by Marc Hofmann. The Viktor Crime Award has been presented ever since 2018, when Michaela Kastel won it for her thriller So Dark the Forest.

Double or Nothing, Kim Sherwood’s first (of three) Double 0 agents thrillers, hit the shelves in Britain early this last September; it won’t see print in the United States until April 2023. However, the author says she has already completed work on her second installment, which runs 101,042 words in length (before editing). That sequel’s title—if it even has one yet—has not been publicly circulated.

• Entries in next year’s Glencairn Glass Crime Short Story Competition are due by Saturday, December 31. Those stories should not exceed 2,000 words in length, and must not have been published previously in any format. The theme for this year’s brief yarns is “A Crime Story Set in Scotland.” Writers from anywhere in the world are eligible to take part in this contest, but all must be over 16 years old. Prizes of £1,000 and £500 will go, respectively, to the First Place winner and a Runner-up. “The overall winning entry,” says the Glencairn Glass Web site, “will be published in Scottish Field Magazine and online at” Click here to enter.

• Well, this is unfortunate TV news. From Variety:
ABC has reversed course on the drama series “Avalon,” opting not to move forward with the show despite giving it a straight-to-series order in February.

“Avalon” hailed from David E. Kelley and executive producer Michael Connelly, with the show based on a short story that Connelly wrote. Neve Campbell was set to star in the lead role. Other cast members included Demetrius Grosse, Alexa Mansour, Steven Pasquale, and Roslyn Ruff.

Per the official logline, the show “takes place in the main city of Avalon on Catalina Island, where LA Sheriff Department Detective Nicole “Nic” Searcy (Campbell) heads up a small office. Catalina has a local population that serves more than 1 million tourists a year, and each day when the ferries arrive, hundreds of potential new stories enter the island. Detective Searcy is pulled into a career-defining mystery that will challenge everything she knows about herself and the island.”

According to an individual with knowledge of the situation, ABC opted not to move forward with the series order for “Avalon” after screening the pilot. A+E Studios is said to still be bullish about the project and are weighing options on how to proceed.
• Adam Graham, host of The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio, shares his authoritative opinions about “The Top Ten Police Foils In Old Time Radio” (click here and here), and “The Four Worst Old Time Radio Detective Police Characters.”

• The mid-November edition of Mike Ripley’s “Getting Away with Murder” column for Shots includes observations on the annual Richard Lancelyn Green lecture; Francis Clifford’s 1976 novel, Drummer in the Dark; this year’s “ultimate Christmas mystery,” Alexandra Benedict’s Murder on the Christmas Express; a quartet of Czechoslovakian thrillers; plus fresh releases from Louise Penny, Ant Middleton, and B.A. Paris. Read about all of that and more here.

• Congratulations to The Bunburyist for having clocked its one-millionth pageview! As I wrote in a brief comment attached to blogger Elizabeth Foxwell’s post yesterday about this achievement, “I check The Bunburyist regularly, and consider it a great source of both information and enjoyment.”

• Max Allan Collins’ 18th Nate Heller novel, The Big Bundle, isn’t due out until January (a month later than expected, because of shipping issues). But he says he’s already completed the writing of his 19th series entry, Too Many Bullets, which finds private eye Heller investigating Robert F. Kennedy’s 1968 assassination. “It’s a big book,” he writes in his blog, “on the lines of [1983’s] True Detective, and in a sense it’s the bookend to that first Heller memoir. It’s been very difficult, in part because of my health issues (doing better, thanks) but also because it’s one of the most complicated cases I’ve dealt with.” The 74-year-old author says his next Heller tale for publisher Hard Case Crime will tackle the mysterious 1975 disappearance of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa. After that? Collins admits he’s “wrestling with … how long I should to stay at it with Heller. The degree of difficulty ... is tough at this age. Right now I am considering a kind of coda novel (much like Skim Deep for Nolan and Quarry’s Blood for Quarry) that would wrap things up. … Should I go that direction, and should my health and degree of interest continue on a positive course, I might do an occasional Heller in a somewhat shorter format. Of course, the problem with that is these crimes are always more complex than I think they’re going to be.”

• On the subject of forthcoming works, English professor and author Art Taylor mentions in his blog that he has a new short-story collection, The Adventure of the Castle Thief and Other Expeditions and Indiscretions, due out from Crippen & Landru in February 2023 (though I see no Amazon ordering link yet). Packing in 14 abbreviated yarns, plus an introduction by the esteemed Martin Edwards, Castle Thief will be Taylor’s second book from Crippen, following 2020’s The Boy Detective & The Summer of ’74 and Other Tales of Suspense. Taylor was generous enough to send me an advanced readers copy of his new collection, but I’ve had to hold off opening it until after I get The Rap Sheet’s end-of-the-year features organized.

• Seriously, Universal Pictures is going to shoot a big-screen flick based on the 1981-1986 Lee Majors TV series The Fall Guy? Deadline reports Ryan Gosling, Emily Blunt, and Teresa Palmer are all in the cast, and that this movie will premiere in March 2024. The original series was about Hollywood stunt people who moonlight as bounty hunters. Click here to watch that show’s opening title sequence.

• Crime by the Book’s Abby Endler attended this month’s Iceland Noir festival in Reykjavik, and she wants to tell us all about it.

• Having greatly enjoyed the six-part, 2016 BBC One/AMC TV drama The Night Manager, based on John le Carré’s 1993 novel of that same name, I look forward to seeing how this project from the same producer turns out. As stated In Reference to Murder:
The Night Manager producer, The Ink Factory, is creating a TV version of John le Carré’s A Most Wanted Man almost a decade after making a feature film version, with Snabba Cash writer, Oskar Söderlund, serving as showrunner. No broadcaster is attached as of yet, although Söderlund’s version is said to be updated to a modern-day European context. One of le Carré’s best known works, A Most Wanted Man follows a young Chechen ex-prisoner who arrives illegally in Germany with a claim to a fortune held in a private bank. It was written against the backdrop of George W. Bush’s policy of “extraordinary rendition” and inspired by the real-life story of Murat Kurnaz.
• In The New Yorker, Jill Lepore asks that immortal question, “Is Mick Herron the Best Spy Novelist of His Generation?

• There’s no topping George Easter when it comes to tracking down lists of 2022’s best crime, mystery, and thriller works. Just over the last few days, the Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine editor has pointed us toward collections in The Financial Times (by both Barry Forshaw and Adam LeBor), Crime Time (by columnist Maxim Jakubowski), The Irish Times (by author Jane Casey), New Zealand Listener magazine, and a couple of Web sites that are new to me: The List and Lifehacker AU. He has also helpfully edited National Public Radio’s original list of what it calls this year’s 46 best mysteries to remove horror fiction, young-adult works, non-fiction books, and others that exceed the limits of the genre.

• The only picks I don’t think Easter has mentioned yet are those from British blogger Rekha Rao, at The Book Decoder. She’s assembled a long post of book covers that lead to reviews written over the last 12 months. Her many categories of choices include Best Cozy Mystery (Series Debut), Best Crime and Mystery (in a Series), and Best Standalone Mysteries and Thrillers. There are also selections in the fields of general fiction and romance, if you swing that way.

• Although The New York Times hasn’t yet revealed its crime, mystery, and thriller “bests” of this year, it did recently come out with a rundown of “100 Notable Books of 2022.” Featured there are Harini Nagendra’s The Bangalore Detectives Club, Percival Everett’s Dr. No, and Elizabeth Hand’s Hokuloa Road.

• Mere days after announcing that Scottish actress Ashley Jensen will assume the helm of BBC One’s Shetland, now that Douglas Henshall has left his role on that TV series as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, The Killing Times asks: Was this new hire really a good idea? After all, it’s noted, viewers expected Perez’s number two, Detective Sergeant Alison “Tosh” McIntosh (played by Alison O’Donnell) to step into the breach. Editor Paul Hirons writes that “it felt like she was primed for a promotion—she had just become a mum, had come through a sticky moment after surviving a bomb attack in series seven, and had seemed to have accrued and soaked up all the knowledge and expertise from Jimmy she needed. Many will be disappointed that Tosh is not the show lead.” We’ll have to wait until Shetland’s eighth-season debut to see how Tosh herself views this surprising turn of events.

• This seems right: Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster’s 2022 Word of the Year is … gaslighting. “In our age of misinformation—‘fake news,’ conspiracy theories, Twitter trolls, and deepfakes—gaslighting has emerged as a word for our time,” explains M-W editor at large Peter Sokolowski. “From politics to pop culture to relationships, it has become a favored word for the perception of deception.” Meanwhile, Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman reflects here on the recent history of gaslighting in politics.

• And Mystery Fanfare notes the death, on November 10, of Shelley Singer. It goes on to say that she was “the author of 12 novels, including the Jake Samson mystery series. She taught fiction writing and worked one-on-one with writers as a manuscript consultant on non-fiction, literary novels, and in every genre from memoir to mystery to science fiction to horror.” A resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Singer was 83 when she died of “heart failure and other complications.”

Check the Times

Both The Times and Sunday Times of London put out, this last weekend, their annual (and much-anticipated) rosters of favorite crime and thriller novels, chosen by their respective genre critics, Mark Sanderson and Joan Smith. While those pieces appear online, they are concealed by paywalls. English journalist and Rap Sheet correspondent Fraser Massey, though, sent us the two lists via e-mail.

Let’s start with the papers’ “16 Best Crime Books of 2022.”

Times Crime Novel of the Year:
The Second Cut, by Louise Welsh (Canongate)

Sunday Times Crime Novel of the Year:
The Ink Black Heart, by Robert Galbraith (Sphere)

A Killing in November, by Simon Mason (Riverrun)
The Cook, by Ajay Chowdhury (Harvill Secker)
Reptile Memoirs, by Silje Ulstein (Grove)
The Twyford Code, by Janice Hallett (Viper)
City on Fire, by Don Winslow (HarperCollins)
Life Sentence, by A.K. Turner (Zaffre)
The Murder Book, by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Sometimes People Die, by Simon Stephenson (Borough)
The Companion, by Lesley Thomson (Head of Zeus)
The Trenches, by Parker Bilal (Canongate)
The Cliff House, by Chris Brookmyre (Little, Brown)
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin Stevenson (Michael Joseph)
Bleeding Heart Yard, by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)
A Heart Full of Headstones, by Ian Rankin (Orion)

And below are the “14 Best Thriller Books of 2022” as selected by The Times’ James Owen and The Sunday Times’ John Dugdale.

Times Thriller of the Year:
Heat 2, by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner (HarperCollins)

Sunday Times Thriller of the Year:
Wrong Place, Wrong Time, by Gillian McAllister (Michael Joseph)

The Berlin Exchange, by Joseph Kanon (Simon & Schuster)
The Skeleton Key, by Erin Kelly (Hodder & Stoughton)
The Garden of Angels, by David Hewson (Canongate)
A Flicker in the Dark, by Stacy Willingham (HarperCollins)
Katastrophe, by Graham Hurley (Head of Zeus)
Bad Actors, by Mick Herron (Baskerville)
A Tidy Ending, by Joanna Cannon (Borough)
Suspect, by Scott Turow (Swift)
Winter Work, by Dan Fesperman (Head of Zeus)
This Is the Night They Come for You, by Robert Goddard (Bantam)
Two Storm Wood, by Philip Gray (Harvill Secker)
The Recruit, by Alan Drew (Corvus)

I’m decidedly better read in the first list than the second. However, there are still several more of these 30 novels that I would like to tackle before this year concludes, among them A Killing in November, The Berlin Exchange, and The Garden of Angels.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

PaperBack: “Naked Villainy”

Part of a series honoring the late author and blogger Bill Crider.

Naked Villainy, by Carl G. Hodges (Farrell Publishing, 1951). Author Carl Garrett Hodges (1902-1964) penned a number of novels, as well as short stories featuring newspaper sports reporter Dwight “Di” Berke and his wife, photographer Gail Berke. Naked Villainy was apparently one in a series of novels inspired by the CBS radio and television program series Suspense.

Cover illustration by Irv Docktor.

READ MORE: “‘Homicide’s Their Headache’—Carl G. Hodges,” by James Reasoner (Rough Edges).

Pell-Mell Prose

Submissions to the 2023 Louie Award competition, organized by the Australian Crime Writers Association, will be accepted between Wednesday, November 30, and Friday, December 30. As the ACWA Web site explains, the Louie prize celebrates “fast fiction crime writing—a story of less than 500 words. As well as being in the crime genre, each year entries will also need to feature or incorporate a specific theme.” This year’s theme is “Locked.” To be eligible for Louie honors, you must be an ACWA member. The contest entry fee is just $5 AUD, but the winner will be given both a $750 cash prize and a winner’s certificate. The 2022 Louie went to Hayley Young for her fast-fiction crime story “I’m Not Telling.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Some Pre-Thanksgiving Treats

• The Masterpiece Mystery! historical whodunit series Miss Scarlet and the Duke, starring Kate Phillips and Stuart Martin, is slated to return to PBS-TV with its third season, beginning on Sunday, January 8, of next year. However, the network will make that entire six-episode season available to PBS Passport and PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel subscribers as of tomorrow, Thursday, November 24. A frustratingly brief Season 3 preview can be found here.

• Speaking of TV reappearances, the Victorian-era detective drama Vienna Blood, based on books by Frank Tallis, is expected back on BBC Two in Britain come Wednesday, December 4. According to The Killing Times, this third season of the delightful Matthew Beard/Jürgen Maurer mystery will be based on Tallis’ fifth Max Liebermann novel, Deadly Communion (aka Vienna Twilight). The PBS Web page devoted to Vienna Blood supplies no information yet on when its third season will debut in America. But the sooner the better, I say.

• And I just learned this morning that there is going to be an eighth novel in Tallis’ Liebermann series, titled Mortal Secrets. Amazon says it’s due out in the UK from Little, Brown on May 9, 2024. The author announced on his Twitter page this last June 15 that he’d finally submitted his manuscript to the publisher. I loved 2018’s Mephisto Waltz, which found Vienna psychiatrist Liebermann and Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt investigating a most peculiar murder in an abandoned piano factory, in 1904. I look forward enthusiastically to getting my hands on this forthcoming sequel.

• We have been aware for the last five months that Douglas Henshall was giving up his starring role as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez in the BBC One crime drama Shetland, but we didn’t know who would replace him. Until today, that is. The Killing Times reports that 53-year-old Scottish actress Ashley Jensen—“whose illustrious and critically acclaimed career includes cosy crime drama Agatha Raisin—will star as DI Ruth Calder, a native Shetlander who returns to the isles after 20 years working for the Met in London. Ruth takes on the lead detective role left vacant by DI Jimmy Perez …, working closely with DS Alison ‘Tosh’ McIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) and will make her debut when the series returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer next year.”

• And I neglected to flag this previously. Also from The Killing Times:
Sir Ian Rankin will partner [with the streaming service] Viaplay UK for a major reimagining of his iconic detective, Inspector John Rebus, drawn from the instantly recognisable universe of Rankin’s books.

Set in contemporary Edinburgh, the six-part series places Rebus at the heart of a compelling new story.

In the drama, Rebus is in his 30s, recently divorced and demoted to Detective Sergeant. He has a new colleague, Detective Constable Siobhan Clarke, and is struggling to deal with the changes in his personal and professional life. At the same time, Rebus’s daughter, Sammy, and ex-wife, Rhona, are enjoying an affluent existence with Rhona’s new partner—while Rebus’s brother Michael is finding out that in a society where the gaps between the `haves and have-nots’ keep widening, taking shortcuts to provide for your family is no longer a temptation, but a necessity.”
Casting specifics have not yet been released, but filming on this series is expected to begin this coming spring.

• Wow! I didn’t even know this was in the works. In Reference to Murder brings news that “Steven Spielberg has found his Frank Bullitt, according to Deadline. Bradley Cooper has closed a deal to play the no-nonsense San Francisco cop in the new original Bullitt story centered on the classic character famously played by Steven McQueen in the 1968 thriller. Cooper will also produce the movie along with Spielberg and his producing partner, Kristie Macosko Krieger (marking their second collaboration after Maestro), with Josh Singer on board to pen the script. Steve McQueen’s son, Chad, and granddaughter, Molly McQueen, will exec produce the new movie. Sources are adamant this is not a remake of the original film but a new idea centered on the character.” In case don’t know this, Bullitt was created by author Robert L. Fish for his 1962 novel, Mute Witness. While the film adaptation was based in San Francisco (complete with a renowned car-chase scene), the book takes place in New York City. There’s no word at this time on where Cooper’s flick will be set.

Really? Singer Taylor Swift played a corpse on CSI?

• Two deadlines to bear in mind: This coming Sunday, November 27, is the cutoff date for votes to be entered in stage one of the annual Goodreads Choice Awards competition. You’ll find the list of 20 contenders for “Best Mystery & Thriller” honors here. And next Wednesday, November 30 (at noon GMT), will be your last chance to choose favorites among shortlisted contenders for the 2022 Crime Fiction Lover Awards. Go here to fill out your ballot.

• And with tomorrow being Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, it’s time to check on Janet Rudolph’s updated list of Thanksgiving-related mysteries. Should you require a reading escape sometime on Thursday, Rudolph suggests Cindy Bell’s Fatal Festivities, Sammi Carter’s Goody Goody Gunshots, Evelyn David’s Murder Takes the Cake, and so many more works from years past.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Revue of Reviewers: 11-22-22

Critiquing some of the most interesting recent crime, mystery, and thriller releases. Click on the individual covers to read more.