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It’s time for my annual Best Mystery List, and 2021 produced a number of outstanding mysteries from authors I have been reading for years and a few whose names were new to me.

I don’t know who impresses me more, a writer who can keep a series alive and vibrant over decades or a writer who creates a new protagonist or a plot with a twist that hasn’t been seen before.  Both, I think, are amazing feats of creativity, and it’s a delight to share my favorite reads of this year.  In alphabetical order by the author’s last name, here they are:

FIND YOU FIRST by Linwood Barclay, FALLEN by Linda Castillo, FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by Samantha Downing, GANGSTERLAND by Tod Goldberg, THESE SILENT WOODS by Kimi Cunningham Grant; THE POSTSCRIPT MURDERS by Elly Griffiths, A LINE TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz, DAUGHTER OF THE MORNING STAR by Craig Johnson, THIEF OF SOULS by Brian Klingborg, DREAM GIRL by Laura Lippman, FAMILY BUSINESS by S. J. Rozan, EVERY WAKING HOUR by Joanna Schafflausen, and WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden.

For those of you who are counting, there are thirteen books I’ve chosen, not the ten that are the usual number on a “best of” whatever list.  But since I think ten is a rather arbitrary number, and in my opinion these are the best mysteries I’ve read in 2021, I’m going with thirteen.  As always, the choices are a mix of amateur sleuths, policemen and policewomen, and private investigators, and the locales of the books include the Amish community in Ohio, the glitz of Las Vegas, a Channel Island, and a Native American reservation.  Obviously crime can occur anywhere.

The only mystery review that hasn’t appeared on my blog is FAMILY BUSINESS, and that’s because I received it only last week.  All the others, however, are on this blog, and you can read my post on each one by simply clicking on the “Book Review List” at the top of the home page.  And keep an eye out for the FAMILY BUSINESS review, which will appear next Saturday.

I wish you a wonderful 2022, complete with family, friends, and dozens of excellent mysteries to keep you entertained.




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