Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Best of 2015: Mysteries

Welcome to Day Three of My Best of 2015 Reading Round up! As always, my Best of the Year lists cover what I read in 2015, which includes books published in any year. Today, I'm sharing my favorite mysteries. Yesterday, I shared my favorite comics. Monday I shared Hawthorne's favorite board books. (Want to look at past year's lists. They're all linked here.)

10. All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke (my review)
This book, the second in Clark and Burke's Under Suspicion series, was a delightful page turner. I thoroughly enjoyed the wide cast of characters, the exploration of Amanda, a fascinating character, and the setting. If you're looking for a fun, escapist pageturner, All Dressed in White is a great choice.

9. The Governor's Wife by Michael Harvey (my review)
The Governor's Wife, the fifth in Michael Harvey's Chicago P.I. Michael Kelly series, is a compelling page-turner. I loved the reading experience, including its social and political commentary and its twists and turns. I read this novel in a single sitting, and I could not put it down.

8. A Good Killing by Allison Leotta (my review)
A Good Killing is the fourth in Allison Leotta's D.C. prosecutor Anna Curtis series. In this installment, Anna visits her hometown of Detroit, and I loved seeing Detroit through Anna's eyes, and I enjoyed seeing her work as a defense attorney. The mystery wasn't as surprising as I might have hoped, but Leotta's skillful incorporation of so many relevant sub-plots more than made up for it. A Good Killing will keep me thinking about many of the social issues it addresses.

7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (my review)
The Girl on the Train is a satisfying page turner. It is both a suspenseful, engaging read and a thoughtful exploration of the dark periods of life. Its flawed characters are as fascinating as their actions are at times confounding and heartbreaking. I particularly enjoyed the audio production, which featured three narrators, including Clare Corbett, who made unreliable alcoholic Rachel almost likeable.

6. A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan (my review)
Mr. Heming is real estate broker in a small village outside London. His past is somewhat mysterious, and he intentionally blends into every day life to help hide his secrets. The biggest: he keeps a key to every house he's ever sold, and he frequently uses them to visit the homes months and years later.A Pleasure and a Calling is a delightfully creepy thriller. It's thrills aren't cheap, as Mr. Heming is a character as charming as he is bizarre. Both the character and the book are enchanting and unsettling.

5. Devil's Bridge by Linda Fairstein (my review)
Devil's Bridge, the seventeenth in Fairstein's Manhattan SVU ADA Alexandra Cooper series, is an adventurous thriller and a unique entry in this long-running and well loved series. In many ways, it stands on its own and would be a nice place for new readers to enter this series. The mystery is superb, even if there wasn't as much time spent advancing the story of Cooper's personal life as I would have liked.

4. Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker (my review)
With Murder, D.C,.the second in Neely Tucker's D.C. journalist Sully Carter series, cements Tucker as a not only a damn good mystery writer but also one concerned with social justice and history. Like The Ways of the Dead, Murder, D.C. is a compelling mystery with complicated themes. Thankfully, it works on both levels. It's riveting, informative, and it will leave you thinking.

3. The Crossing by Michael Connelly (my review)
The Crossing is the 20th mystery in Michael Connelly's LAPD detective Harry Bosch series. The Crossing is classic Connelly. It's a brilliant police procedural filled with clues. It's a fascinating exploration of Bosch and his continued struggles with life, work, and fatherhood. As much as I loved the mystery, I was proud to figure out the last piece of the puzzle before Bosch. I also appreciated the camaraderie and struggles, professionally and personally, with Bosch and Haller. They're a fascinating pair, and I love seeing them together, even if I'm always glad when Bosch is the primary character.

2. City of Echoes by Robert Ellis (my review)
City of Echoes is the first in a new series featuring LAPD detective Matt Jones, who catches a big case on his first night as a homicide detective. It's a stunningly good police procedural. Jones is a dynamic character, but the mystery and frequent shocking twists take center stage here. If you want a compelling mystery that will keep you guessing, be nearly impossible to put down, and have you eagerly awaiting the next book after the last page has turned, then pick up City of Echoes.

1. Speak of the Devil by Allison Leotta (my review)
Speak of the Devil is the third in Leotta's Anna Curtis series. Once again, Anna is a character to root for, and Leotta moves her personal story ahead at a satisfying pace. What sets Speak of the Devil apart from her prior books is that this time, the mystery is the best part. This book is a smart, thrilling page turner, and it features one of my favorite twists ever...across literature, film, and television. It's brilliant, satisfying, completely surprising and a game changer. To fully appreciate it, you have to start at book one, Law of Attraction.

Thanks for tuning in to read about mysteries! Best of 2015 continues tomorrow with nonfiction and fiction on Friday.

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  1. The only one that I've read on your list is The Girl On The Train. I do remember you talking about the Allison Leotta books and I have the first one. I'll try to get to it in 2016, my self-professed year of reading my own books. LOL

  2. I am going to look up Leotta. Thanks for the list and Happy New Year to you.


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