Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Top Picks - Thriller/Crime/Mystery 2010

2010 has been a year where I've been disappointed in several of my long time favourite authors but have also discovered some new and exciting names. The thriller/suspense genre covers a wide range of categories , from cosy mystery to hard core serial killers , police procedure to amateur sleuthing, contemporary and historical , it offers something to suit everyone's tastes.

My pick from what I read in 2010 (in no particular order)

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

The adventures of the precocious eleven-year-old sleuth, Flavia de Luce - original, funny and delightfully entertaining.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

In the heart of the forest, two men sit at midnight, haunted by fear of discovery. In a few hours' time, one of them will be dead, his secrets following him to the grave...
When C. I. Gamache is called to investigate a murder in picturesque  Three Pines, he finds a village in chaos.

My favourite series never disappoints and this was the best yet!

An Empty Death by Laura Wilson

London during WWII provides the background for DI Stratton's police work. A compelling exploration of identity, memory and trust and a look into the mind of a killer.

British crime at its best!

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta

Great reading! It's the perfectly balanced mixture of an interesting setting, fascinating secondary themes and characters and a well-paced central story with just the right amount of horror and supernatural elements to make it exciting.

Michael Koryta went right to the top of my favourite authors with this one!

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Don't let that Classic label put you off.  

Considered to be among the first mystery novels and an early example of detective fiction this tale has as much mystery and intrigue, numerous twists and turns and constant cliffhangers as any modern story.

Faithful Place by Tana French

There is a mystery and crimes to solve but dysfunctional family dymanics take centre stage in this book.

Great writing and great characterisation make for a compelling page-turner.

The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman

Phil Rickman leaves the modern world behind to venture into writing a historical crime mystery set in Elizabethan England but takes his distinctive mix of suspense and the supernatural with him.

My favourite historical mystery of the year!

The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver at his very best in this stand alone novel about a woman Deputy and the friend of a murdered couple , hunted through the depths of a State forest. Fast paced and full of twists and turns it had me guessing right until the last page.

Unfortunately, I never did get round to reviewing it.

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

The latest in the Jackson Brodie series but the first I'd read.
Beautiful writing, wonderful characters, humorous, sad , and hugely entertaining.

Another new favourite author!


  1. Ooh! I haven't read any of these except The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I'm bookmarking this post! I am very much in need of some new mystery/thriller recommendations.

  2. Great list Cat. I am reading Sweetness now and honestly you was one of the bloggers I was going to recommend it to. Flavia is my favourite character for the year, got to love her :-)

    Tana French is an author I really want to try next year.

    I love how you said don't let the Classic cover put me off, it definitely did, I remember seeing your review and not reading it because I thought classic, very interesting.

  3. Stephanie, I hope you will enjoy some of these.

    Marce - Flavia is wonderful , I agree and I'm sure you'll like Tana French.

  4. I discovered Kate Atkinson this year too .. though I started with the first one! Can't wait to see what else happens with him this year.

    And I'm just starting The Likeness but already have Faithful Place. I'm doling them out in spaces to treat myself. She only has 3 books!!!

    And I'm with you on Flavia ... she was such a wonderful character. I hope she makes an appearance this year.

    Jeez, I guess I better read the rest on your list ... we have a lot of the same likes in this area. (Hmmmm...I think you might be fulfilling one of the Take A Chance 3 challenges -- Blogger's Pick!)