Saturday, December 02, 2017

Puzzles and Pleasures

While a handful of mystery-type yarns featured among The New York Times’ recent “100 Notable Books of 2017,” that paper’s lead crime-fiction critic, Marilyn Stasio, has now submitted for our assessment and amusement her own choices of “The Best Crime Novels of 2017.” With the exception of Hart Hanson’s The Driver (which managed to elude my radar), her 10 picks are pretty mainstream:

The Thirst, by Jo Nesbø (Knopf)
The Force, by Don Winslow (Morrow/HarperCollins)
Fierce Kingdom, by Gin Phillips (Viking)
The Driver, by Hart Hanson (Dutton)
Lightning Men, by Thomas Mullen (37Ink/Atria)
Two Kinds of Truth, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
The Midnight Line, by Lee Child (Delacorte)
Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
An Echo of Murder, by Anne Perry (Ballantine)
Earthly Remains, by Donna Leon (Atlantic Monthly)

Stasio isn’t the only reviewer, though, who has recently offered up his or her list of what they believe have been the preeminent crime, mystery, and thriller novels first published over the last 12 months. Craig Sisterson, who usually blogs at Crime Watch, decided to present his own top-10 selections on Twitter. Since not everyone uses Twitter, I’ll go ahead and transcribe his preferences below:

A Killer Harvest, by Paul Cleave (Atria)
The Late Show, by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Watch Her Disappear, by Eva Dolan (Random House UK)
The Dry, by Jane Harper (Flatiron)
Reconciliation for the Dead, by Paul E. Hardisty (Orenda)
The Damselfly, by S.J.I. Holliday (Black and White UK)
Insidious Intent, by Val McDermid (Atlantic Monthly Press)
The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman, by Mindy Mejia (Quercus)
The Long Drop, by Denise Mina (Little, Brown)
The Intrusions, by Stav Sherez (Faber and Faber UK)

Meanwhile, MBTB’s Mystery Book Blog presents a “best of the year” rundown featuring 18 titles. Most of them (like Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, J. Robert Lennon’s Broken River, and John le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies) first saw print in 2017, but a few appeared originally last year.

And, last but not least, the British Web site Dead Good Books asked 20 authors familiar with this genre—Simon Kernick, Nualla Ellwood, and Nicci French among them—to name their favorite hardcover or paperback releases from the year. Those preferences include Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, Imran Mahmood’s You Don’t Know Me, Helen Dunmore’s Birdcage Walk, and Joe Ide’s Righteous.

* * *

No sooner had I put up this piece in The Rap Sheet, than I saw that UK critic-author Barry Forshaw had posted his “Best Crime of 2017” inventory in the Financial Times. There are seven works on his list:

Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke (Mulholland)
The Force, by Don Winslow (Morrow/HarperCollins)
Resurrection Bay, by Emma Viskic (Pushkin Vertigo)
Fever, by Deon Meyer (Atlantic Monthly Press)
Spook Street, by Mick Herron (Soho)
A Necessary Evil, by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker UK)
The Long Drop, by Denise Mina (Little, Brown)

1 comment:

Gram Lynch said...

Thank you for these lists.