Thursday, December 07, 2023

CrimeReads Appraises the Field

In the way of “best books of the year” lists, today delivers two major installments. Let’s begin with CrimeReads’ choices of 2023’s top-quality crime, mystery, and thriller novels:

Bright Young Women, by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
Crook Manifesto, by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday)
Beware the Woman, by Megan Abbott (Putnam)
Excavations, by Hannah Michell (One World)
Pet, by Catherine Chidgey (Europa Editions)
Age of Vice, by Deepti Kapoor (Riverhead)
Everybody Knows, by Jordan Harper (Mulholland)
All the Sinners Bleed, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)
Penance, by Eliza Clark (Harper)
I Have Some Questions for You, by Rebecca Makkai (Viking)
I’m Not Done With You Yet, by Jesse Q. Sutanto (Berkley)
The Reformatory, by Tananarive Due (Mulholland)
The Eden Test, by Adam Sternbergh (Flatiron)
Every Man a King, by Walter Mosley (Mulholland)
Sing Her Down, by Ivy Pochoda (MCD)
The Shards, by Bret Easton Ellis (Knopf)
The Stolen Coast, by Dwyer Murphy (Viking)
Confidence, by Rafael Frumkin (Simon & Schuster)
Ozark Dogs, by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime)
Hot Springs Drive, by Lindsay Hunter (Roxane Gay)

Some readers may be skeptical of these 20 selections because they conveniently succeed in including the sophomore novel from CrimeReads editor-in-chief Murphy (just as last year’s CrimeReads picks featured his debut tale). Yet we find here a respectable mix of more traditional-style genre yarns with ambitious literary efforts, and at least a couple of works endeavoring to stretch this category’s boundaries. An extensive addendum of other notable releases from the last dozen months (which includes several duplicates) gives holiday gift-buyers still more options of what to shop for if they wish to please crime-fiction fans among their friends and family members.

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