Book Reviews

2023 Year In Review: SMSA’s Top 10 Mysteries

Mystery & Crime lovers abound at SMSA, so we have highlighted the top books from that genre this year. Which have you read?

We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Sections

Top 10 Books

Click the title to see the book in the Library Catalogue

1

So Shall You Reap by Donna Leon

On a cold November evening, Guido Brunetti and Paola are up late when a call from his colleague Ispettore Vianello arrives, alerting the Commissario that a hand has been seen in one of Venice’s canals. The body is soon found, and Brunetti is assigned to investigate the murder of an undocumented Sri Lankan immigrant. As the investigation expands, Brunetti, Vianello, Commissario Griffoni, and Signorina Elettra each assemble pieces of a puzzle that appear to have little in common.

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2

The White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear

This heart-stopping novel, set in Post WWII Britain in 1947, follows the coming of age and maturity of former wartime operative Elinor White—veteran of two wars, trained killer, protective of her anonymity—when she is drawn back into the world of menace she has been desperate to leave behind. Elinor finds herself facing down one of the most dangerous organized crime gangs in London, ultimately exposing corruption from Scotland Yard to the highest levels of government.

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3

A Winter Grave by Peter May

It is the year 2051, and warnings of climate catastrophe have been ignored. Addie, a young meteorologist checking a mountain top weather station, discovers the body of a man entombed in ice. Cameron Brodie, a Glasgow detective, sets out on a hazardous journey to the isolated and ice-bound village; he has his own reasons for wanting to investigate a murder case so far from his beat. Brodie must face up to the ghosts of his past and to a killer determined to bury forever the chilling secret that his investigation threatens to expose.

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4

A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny

It’s spring and Three Pines is reemerging after the harsh winter. But not everything buried should come alive again. But something has. As the villagers prepare for a special celebration, Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir find themselves increasingly worried. A young man and woman have reappeared in the investigators’ lives after many years. The two were young children when their troubled mother was murdered, leaving them damaged, shattered. Now they’ve arrived in the village of Three Pines. But to what end?

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5

Deadly Company by Ann Granger

Superintendent Alan Markby and his wife Meredith have retired for the night when they are disturbed by a visitor. Having just found a dead body in the churchyard, Callum Henderson needs the police. Accompanying Callum to the graveyard, Alan declares that this has all the hallmarks of a murder scene. As Alan and his team search for clues, Meredith becomes convinced that something must have been overlooked. While every lead points to yet more foul play, nothing can prepare Meredith and Markby for the shocking truth behind this mystery.

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6

A Mansion For Murder by Frances Brody

When Kate Shackleton disembarks at Saltaire station, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, she has no idea what to expect. A stranger, Ronnie Creswell, has written to say that he has urgent information about the past that will interest her, and he persuades her to make the journey to Milner Field, the grand house that is said to be cursed. But moments after Kate arrives at the lodge, a messenger brings devastating news to Ronnie’s parents: he has been found drowned in the mill reservoir.

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7

Murder In Williamstown by Kerry Greenwood

When the redoubtable Miss Phryne Fisher receives threatening letters at her home, she enlists her unflappable apprentice Tinker to investigate. But as the harassment of Phryne threatens to spin out of control, her lover Lin Chung is also targeted. When a magnificent party is interrupted by shocking tragedy, Phryne gathers all of her unerring brilliance to track down the miscreants. With some unlikely assistance, Phryne is in a race against time to save a pair of young lovers from disgrace and death.

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8

A Chateau Under Siege by Martin Walker

The event of the Perigord tourist season is the re-enactment of the liberation of the historic town of Sarlat from the English in 1370. But it all goes wrong when the man playing the part of the victorious French general collapses in a pool of blood. The question for chief of police Bruno is was this an accident – or deliberate? The stakes rise when Bruno learns that the man, Kerquelin, was running Frenchelon, the secret French electronic intelligence base nearby, after being recruited from a brilliant Silicon Valley career.

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9

Night Shadows by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

Icelandic detective Elma faces mortal danger as she investigates the death of a young man in a mysterious Akranes house fire, and a Dutch au pair’s perfect placement turns deadly. As the police begin to home in on the truth, Elma, already struggling to come to terms with a life-changing event, finds herself in peril as it becomes clear that someone has secrets they’ll do anything to hide.

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10

The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths

When builders renovating a café in King’s Lynn find a human skeleton behind a wall, they call for DCI Harry Nelson and Dr Ruth Galloway, Head of Archaeology at the nearby University of North Norfolk. Ruth sees at once that the bones are modern. They are identified as the remains of Emily Pickering, a young archaeology student who went missing in the 1990s. As they investigate, Nelson and his team uncover a tangled web of relationships within the student group and the adults leading them.

 

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Honorable Mentions

Click the title to see the book in the Library Catalogue

 

Most Held/Reserved Books

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Most Popular eBook

Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

Most Popular Audiobook

The Librarian of Crooked Lane by C. J. Archer

Most Popular Magazine

Hello! Magazine

 

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We’d love your suggestions

Have you read something you loved this year, but it’s not part of our collection? Or maybe there’s a book you wish we had? We’re always happy to hear your suggestions! You can share your book recommendations by writing in the suggestion book at the library desk, or submit online via the library catalogue or suggest a book for the library to purchase

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2023 Year In Review: SMSA’s Top 10 Mysteries
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