Thursday, November 16, 2023

Critical Opinions Galore

Another day, another batch of “best books of the year” lists, courtesy of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. First up are the following 10 picks from the “reading recommendation magazine” BookPage:

All the Sinners Bleed, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)
Bright Young Women, by Jessica Knoll (S&S/Marysue Rucci)
Exiles, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
The Frozen River, by Ariel Lawhon (Doubleday)
The Last Devil to Die, by Richard Osman (Viking)
The Motion Picture Teller, by Colin Cotterill (Soho Crime)
The River We Remember, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron (Soho Crime)
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, by Jesse Q.
Sutanto (Berkley)
Zero Days, by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press)

* * *

Next come these 20 recommendations, in two categories, from the Canadian bookstore chain Indigo:

Top 10 Thriller Books of 2023:
The Leftover Woman, by Jean Kwok (HarperCollins)
The Manor House, by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins)
Everyone Here Is Lying, by Shari Lapena (Doubleday Canada)
Just Another Missing Person, by Gillian McAllister (HarperCollins)
Huge, by Brent Butt (Doubleday Canada)
The Whispers, by Ashley Audrain (Penguin Canada)
None of This Is True, by Lisa Jewell (Atria)
The Only One Left, by Riley Sager (Penguin)
The Coworker, by Freida McFadden (Sourcebooks)
Age of Vice, by Deepit Kapoor (HarperCollins)

Top 10 Mystery Books of 2023:
Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, by Benjamin
Stevenson (HarperCollins)
Murder in the Family, by Cara Hunter (HarperFiction)
Mother-Daughter Murder Night, by Nina Simon (HarperCollins)
Warrior Girl Unearthed, by Angeline Boulley (Macmillan)
Charlotte Illes Is Not a Detective, by Katie Siegel (Kensington)
Murder Your Employer, by Rupert Holmes (Avid Reader Press)
Resurrection Walk, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
The Raging Storm, by Ann Cleeves (Pan Macmillan)
The Last Devil to Die, by Richard Osman (Penguin)
I Only Read Murder, by Ian Ferguson (HarperCollins)

The only weird one in this bunch is Boulley’s Warrior Girl Unearthed, which comes from the teen/young adult section.

* * *

Finally, the annual Crime Time debate over the best crime fiction of the year was held in the Waterstones bookshop at London’s Islington Green on November 9. A star-studded panel of critics from The Guardian, The Telegraph, the Sunday Express, Shotsmag, and Crime Time, along with Barry Forshaw of the Financial Times, expressed what Forshaw describes as “healthy agreement and healthy disagreement” on the matter at hand. They each offered their personal choices of 2023’s best mysteries and thrillers, but together reached agreement on the following six top choices:

The Secret Hours, by Mick Herron (Baskerville)
Everybody Knows, by Jordan Harper (Faber)
All the Sinners Bleed, by S.A. Cosby (Headline)
Small Mercies, by Dennis Lehane (Abacus)
A Murder in the Family, by Cara Hunter (HarperFiction)
The Square of Sevens, by Laura Shepherd-Robinson (Mantle)

You can listen to this year’s full, hour-long Crime Time Debate here.

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