Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Wrapping Up the Wrap-Ups

A loyal reader from India asks that I please post any “best crime fiction of 2021” lists not mentioned on this page over the last couple of months. As it happens, there are a few still deserving of attention.

British blogger Mary Picken released her favorites list just before Christmas. It includes Will Dean’s The Last Thing to Burn, Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s Daughters of the Night, Simone Bucholz’s Hotel Cartagena, Mick Herron’s Slough House, Val McDermid’s 1979, Abir Mukherjee’s The Shadows of Men, and Sharon Bairden’s You Need Me. You’ll find all of her choices in Live and Deadly.

The Australian critic who signs himself only as “Dfordoom,” and writes the excellent Vintage Pop Fictions blog, waited until the first week of January to name his reading highlights of 2021. As could well have been predicted, his picks are not new—nothing on the list debuted later than the Nixon administration. But there are a few books I really need to add to my own library, among them Seven Clues in Search of a Crime, by Bruce Graeme (1941); Tears Are for Angels, by “Paul Connolly,” aka Tom Wicker (1952); and Driscoll’s Diamonds, by “Ian MacAlister,” aka Marvin H. Albert (1973).

Another Aussie, The Unseen Library’s Michael Popple, just this week listed his favorite Down Under books from last year. Among the crime/mystery/thriller titles he applauds are Jack Heath’s Kill Your Brother, Sarah Bailey’s The Housemate, Tim Ayliffe’s The Enemy Within, and Prisoner, by S.R. White.

Finally, Suspense Magazine has delivered its reader’s selections of the best crime, romantic suspense, horror, and suspense thriller works published in 2021. Winning spots in the pile are S.A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears, Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo, Marco Carocari’s Blackout, Darynda Jones’ A Good Day for Chardonnay, and numerous other novels.

By the way, while announcing Suspense’s January contents, its editors explained that “this will be our final issue. We will no longer be producing a digital magazine, instead we will be using the website to post all reviews, interviews, stories and much more. Everything you see in the magazine will now be online, with the website being updated once a week.” So, I guess, we can look forward to more here.

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