Monday, December 25, 2017

Still More to Read This Year

Well, that’s rather interesting. After first posting its selections of the “Top 12 Mystery Novels of 2017” at the end of October, The Strand Magazine is now back with an expanded, “Top 25 Books of 2017” ranking. The original titles are all there, but they have been joined by such works as Allen Eskens’ The Deep Dark Descending, Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird, Bill Loehfelm’s The Devil’s Muse, and Susan Furlong’s Splintered Silence.

In the meantime, Criminal Element has its own choices of the dozen best crime novels published over the last 12 months. They include Allison Brennan’s Shattered, Riley Sager’s Final Girls, Matthew Sullivan’s Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, and M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains, the last of which appears among my own favorites.

Also worth checking out is Critics at Large contributor Bob Douglas’ new piece, “A Year of Reading: My Favourite Books of 2017,” which includes several works of crime fiction.

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Those others rosters look unambitious, though, when matched up against Marcel Berlins’ fresh collection for The Times of London of the 50 best crime and thriller novels of the last 50 years. As expected, his nominations have spurred non-professionals to complain about the works he failed to mention (there’s simply no pleasing everyone). But Berlins’ picks are good ones, indeed, running from James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential (1990) and Sara Paretsky’s Blacklist (2003) to Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River (2001), Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue (1997), P.D. James’ Devices and Desires (1989), Arnaldur Indridason’s Jar City (2000), and Alan Furst’s Night Soldiers (1988).

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