Thursday, January 01, 2015

And Now for Some Belated “Bests”

Happy New Year, everyone! On this opening day of 2015, let’s try to conclude our gathering of links to “best books of 2014” coverage.

Sarah Weinman ends her stewardship of the Crimewave column in Canada’s National Post with a wrap-up of her favorite works in a variety of mystery-fiction categories. Crime Thriller Girl turns thumbs up on nine novels, including one that passed undetected through my radar: The Distance, by Helen Giltrow. Crime Fiction Lover names her own “Top Five Books of 2014,” one of which is The Last Refuge, by Craig Robertson. In Euro Crime, Karen Meek offers “an all-female list” of her favorite five crime reads from the last 12 months, including Someone Else’s Skin, by Sarah Hilary. Shots’ Ayo Onatade offers a dozen top picks “in no particular order,” one of which is The Axeman’s Jazz, by Ray Celestin, a book I haven’t read, but probably should. Scott Montgomery of Austin, Texas’ BookPeople store mentions Benjamin Whitmer’s Cry Father and Reed Farrel Coleman’s The Hollow Girl among his particular reading delights from last year. (Separately, he and a co-worker applaud eight crime-fiction reissues.) Bitter Tea and Mystery’s TracyK expresses her thoughts on this subject here.

Two favorites lists of note from the blog Do Some Damage are those by Brian Lindenmuth (who cheers John McFetridge’s Black Rock and Sam Wiebe’s Last of the Independents) and Holly West (whose rundown features Lori Rader-Day’s The Black Hour and Timothy Hallinan’s Crashed). Barbara Tom, a former owner of Portland, Oregon’s Murder by the Book gives special attention to nine crime novels, not all of which appeared originally in 2014--but Rennie Airth’s The Reckoning certainly did. In a two-part post--here and here--Read Me Deadly serves up compliments to David Shafer’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Tana French’s The Secret Place, and Ann Cleeves’ The Glass Room, as well as some works outside this genre. Dead End Follies includes Hilary Davidson’s Blood Always Tells (a book I also enjoyed) in his year-end summation. Jo Nesbø’s The Son finds a place on Jeff Somers’ list, in The Barnes & Noble Book Blog, of “Great Under-the-Radar Reads” from 2014. Meanwhile, Rex Stout’s And Be a Villain (1948) tops Curtis J. Evans’ list of 20 favorite books he blogged about last year. (Additional posts in that series can be found here, here, and here.) And Ben Boulden’s assessment, in Gravetapping, of his prized reads of the last 12 months includes works by Richard Hoyt and Bill Pronzini.

Finally, I want to bring your attention to The House of Crime and Mystery’s new poll to select its “Readers’ Choice Award” winners for 2014, in nine categories. Editor Jacques Filippi offers an extensive catalogue of crime and thriller works from which to choose, but then explains “you’re under no obligation to pick one of these titles.” Voting will close at midnight on Saturday, January 10, and one lucky participant will win “a bundle of books.” Click here to participate.

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