Thursday, February 04, 2021

Unpunctual Plugs

Just when I thought the publication of “best of 2020” lists was done and dusted, here come a few stragglers demanding attention.

In The Hungry Detective, Dan Wagner has posted his top picks from among the myriad books released last year (Olen Steinhauer’s The Last Tourist and James Lee Burke’s A Private Cathedral topping those selections). He also names his favorite books from previous years that he only got around to enjoying in 2020, and presents his inaugural “I Regret Not Reading This Book” Award to S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland, a work that won more than a little attention. All of these titles, of course, fall under the “crime fiction” rubric.

Meanwhile, Strand Magazine editor Andrew Gulli chooses his “Top Twelve Mystery Novels of 2020.” Among them are The Finisher, by Peter Lovesey (Soho Press); The Dark Corners of the Night, by Meg Gardiner (Blackstone); The Devil and the Dark Water, by Stuart Turton (Sourcebooks Landmark); and The Last Flight, by Julie Clark (Sourcebooks Landmark).

Finally, after watching 1,111 movies in 2020 (holy bleary eyes, Batman!) Hardboiled Wonderland blogger Jedediah Ayres admits, “I had a hard time picking 10 favorites from the year (a couple of these go back to 2018/19) and I think that my favorites for the next few years will have met me still reeling and dealing with personal, emotional and spiritual fallout (hopefully not physical) from this time.” Not surprisingly, he adds, “The picks I’ve settled on are collectively more downbeat than previous years.” Ayres’ preferences are here.

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