Monday, January 06, 2020

Viewpoints May Vary

2019 may be safely behind us now, but there are still several “best books of the year” rolls left to mention and ponder. First off, I want to cite the choices made by Wall Street Journal critic Tom Nolan. Since I don’t subscribe to the Journal, I have been unable to read his comments about each of the 10 books he applauded in mid-December, but he was kind enough to e-mail me his list:

Big Sky, by Kate Atkinson
Your House Will Pay, by Steph Cha
Confessions of an Innocent Man, by David R. Dow
The Sentence Is Death, by Anthony Horowitz
Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman
Heaven, My Home, by Attica Locke
A Better Man, by Louise Penny
The Darwin Affair, by Tim Mason
Conviction, by Denise Mina
The Good Cop, by Peter Steiner

Sadly, I didn’t find time over the last year to read a few of Nolan’s picks. But I’m most pleased to see Mason’s The Darwin Affairone of my own favorite historical crime novels—make the cut.

Meanwhile, the British site Crime Fiction Lover appears to have concluded its rollout of reviewers’ reading choices. That page’s final selections include William Shaw’s Deadland, Elizabeth Haynes’ The Murder of Harriet Monckton, Philip Kerr’s Metropolis, Ann Cleeves’ The Long Call, and Adrian McKinty’s shocker, The Chain.

Over at Shotsmag Confidential, Ayo Onatade presents a terrific catalogue of 2019 preferences, among them Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Blood & Sugar, James Lee Burke’s The New Iberia Blues, and John Curran’s The Hooded Gunman: An Illustrated History of Collins Crime Club. MysteryPeople weighs in with two lists, one from Scott Montgomery (mentioning William Boyle’s A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself, Jake Hinkson’s Dry County, etc.), the other by a part-time bookseller named Meike (cheering Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows, Mark Pryor’s The Book Artist, etc.). And the blog Raven Crime Reads presents a top 10 inventory that extends from James Delargy’s 55 and Alan Parks’ February’s Son to Ilaria Tuti-Flowers’ Over the Inferno and Nicolás Obregón ’s Unknown Male.

The anonymous blogger at For Winter Nights includes tales beyond crime fiction in his/her list, but the choices made from this genre (Jane Harper’s The Lost Man, Fiona Cummins’ The Neighbour, and others) are certainly estimable. Reviewer/blogger L.J. Roberts offers both “bests” and “honorable mentions” in her rundown, with Tuti-Flowers’ Over the Inferno being her “#1 book of the year.” In Murder, Mayhem and Long Dogs, Australian Jeff Popple turns thumbs up on Garry Disher’s Peace, Dervla McTiernan’s The Scholar, Adrian Magson’s Terminal Black, and more. Finally, The Nick Carter & Carter Brown Blog salutes five works not published this last year, including Jonathan Valin’s Final Notice and Frank Kane’s The Lineup.

To find additional “best crime fiction of 2019” assortments, click here, or refer to this compilation in Mystery Fanfare.


Kate at For Winter Nights said...

Thanks so much for including my selection at For Winter Nights in your post and thanks for featuring my reviews as you do throughout the year, I'm very grateful. So I thought I'd introduce myself so that I'm no longer anonymous - I'm Kate and I'm based in Oxford in the UK. Happy New Year!

J. Kingston Pierce said...

It's very nice of you to introduce yourself, Kate. Please keep up the excellent work!