My crime fiction pick of the year. Cleverly plotted novels with sparkling wit that have livened up my drab pandemic year.
#1 Dial A for Aunties
Undoubtedly the book of the year for me. This one was a laugh-riot with shades of Weekend at Bernie’s. A woman accidentally kills the man her overbearing mother and aunts set her up with on a blind date and havoc ensues. The only thing that was slightly off putting was the abundance of Chinese and Indonesian phrases the book was peppered with. Ai Yah! Would have been nice to have a glossary at the end.
#2 Finlay Donovan is Killing It
Bought this book on a whim because the cover reminded me of my own Dragon Aunty Returns! Best decision ever. Wickedly funny caper about a struggling, single mom who is mistaken for a hit woman & gets mixed up with some unsavoury characters – read Russian mob! I believe there is a sequel and I am looking forward to reading it.
#3 A Line to Kill
The latest installment of his Daniel Hawthorne series. An invitation to a lit fest at an island, sinister happenings and a murder. What’s not to love? I love the way Horowitz blends fiction with reality and the first-person narrative.
#4 Decagon House Murders
Inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, this book follows the same closed room mystery formula. It was creepy and quite unsettling, like the original it is inspired by.
#5 Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage.
MC Beaton aka Marion Chesney is one of my favourite authors and her Agatha Raisin books are clever and wickedly funny. Agatha is an alcoholic Miss Marple with designs on her handsome neighbour who she almost ends up marrying if it hadn’t been for her ex-husband who lands up dead in the middle of the action. No plot spoilers here, you will have to read the book if you are interested. The thing with Agatha Raisin, you can’t stop at one. So I read a couple more – Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley, Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener, Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet and lastly, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death.
#6 The Maidens
There’s nothing like a compelling murder mystery with elements of Greek mythology woven into the narrative. Though this is the second book by Alex Michaelides, I read this first and then went on to The Silent Patient.
# 7 The Silent Patient
Another fabulous read with a clever twist.
#8 Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other stories
A collection of short stories from the master storyteller, Mary Higgins Clark. Each one is a gem.
#9 The Appeal
Digital equivalent of an epistolary novel. Clever premise. Could have been shorter. The only problem I had with it was that too many people and asides made it hard to keep track towards the end.
#10 The Fiancée
A pacey thriller about a family vacation, buried secrets and murder. This is my first book by Kate White and I really liked her conversational tone of writing. Will pick up more of her books next year.