Thursday, November 18, 2021

Everyone Wants Their Say

George Easter, the editor of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, appears to have made it his distinct mission this year to collect, and pass on to readers of his blog, every “best of 2021” list of crime, mystery, and thriller novels he can find. I have no wish to duplicate his efforts, or detract from them, but I would like to pass along information he posted today regarding The Washington Post’s picks for the “Best Thriller and Mystery Books of 2021.” Here are the 10 novels that earned particular admiration from Post critics this year:

56 Days, by Catherine Ryan Howard (Blackstone)
Clark and Division, by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)
Dream Girl, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
A Line to Kill, by Anthony Horowitz (Harper)
A Lonely Man, by Chris Power (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Northern Spy, by Flynn Berry (Viking)
The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon)
Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)
Silverview, by John le Carré (Viking)
Sleep Well, My Lady, by Kwei Quartey (Soho Crime)

I’ve read about half of those 10 novels, and while only one or two of the Post’s recommendations might eventually end up on my own favorite reads of 2021 tally, they’re all respectable choices.

Also earlier today, Easter alerted us to four other “best crime fiction of the year” compilations, those compiled by BookPage, Goodreads, Booklist Queen, and The Bibliofile.

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Concurrently, the online marketplace AbeBooks has issued its own “Best Books of 2021” rundown. There’s no separate crime and mystery category, but four novels that might have found a home under that rubric appear instead on the general fiction list: Girl A, by Abigail Dean (Viking); The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria); The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster); and Harlem Shuffle, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday).

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