Book Reviews

2022 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!


Top 10 Books

Click the title to see the book in the Library Catalogue


Give Unto Others by Donna Leon

Brunetti is approached for a favor by Elisabetta Foscarini, a woman he knows casually, but her mother was good to Brunetti’s mother, so he feels obliged to at least look into the matter privately, and not as official police business. However, when his friend’s daughter’s place of work is vandalized, Brunetti asks his own favors of his friends, which soon enough turns official as they uncover the dark and Janus-faced nature of a venerable Italian institution



The Locked Room by Elly Griffiths

Ruth is in London clearing out her mother’s belongings when she makes a surprising discovery: a photograph of her Norfolk cottage taken before Ruth lived there. Ruth and her daughter return to Norfolk determined to solve the mystery despite Covid lockdowns. While they become friendly with their neighbour Zoe, Nelson starts to investigate a series of deaths of women that may or may not be suicide.



The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.



The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

A twisty, complicated story centred on a young woman, Hannah Rokeby, a law student who lives with her mother Laura (an alcoholic struggling with a traumatic past). After blackmailing her way into an organisation called The Innocence Project, it is clear from the outset that Hannah’s motives have very little to do with exonerating innocent people and everything to do with vengeance.



Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham

When a man is murdered and his daughter disappears, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must decide if Maya Kirk is running, hiding, or a hostage. Cyrus understands how killers think better than anyone; after all, he’s a survivor. Evie is a troubled teenager with an incredible gift: she knows when someone is lying. Evie witnesses the second abduction, glimpsing the driver, but only two people believe her.



Dark Rooms by Lynda La Plante

As the investigation and search for answers over the brutal death of a young girl intensifies, Jane Tennison travels to Australia. There she discovers the dark secret that the Lanark family has kept hidden for decades. A secret that not only threatens to bring down a family dynasty, but also places Jane Tennison in mortal danger.



Dirt Town by Hayley Scrivenor

On a sweltering Friday afternoon in Durton, best friends Ronnie and Esther leave school together. Esther never makes it home. Ronnie’s going to find her, she has a plan. Lewis will help. Their friend can’t be gone, Ronnie won’t believe it. Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels can believe it. Lewis can believe it too. But he can’t reveal what he saw that afternoon at the creek without exposing his own secret.



A Sunlit Weapon by Jacqueline Winspear

October 1942. Jo Hardy, a 22-year-old ferry pilot, realizes someone is shooting at her aircraft from the ground, only to discover a man bound and gagged. At the suggestion of one of her colleagues, Jo seeks the help of psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs. Meanwhile, Maisie’s husband is tasked with ensuring security for the first lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt. To guarantee the safety of the First Lady—and of the soldier being held in police custody—Maisie must uncover that connection.




Vanished by Lynda La Plante

When an eccentric elderly widow claims she is being stalked, Detective Jack Warr is the only person willing to dig into the truth behind her wild claims. Jack soon finds himself embroiled in an international drugs operation, art theft – and a murder investigation. On the back foot throughout, he is forced to play second fiddle to the Drug Squad, confront an old adversary, and even fight off accusations of assault. But Jack believes that every aspect of this multi-faceted case is simply a distraction from the one person who lies at the heart of it all – the widow’s elusive stalker. Find him, and the truth will come out



The mirror man by Lars Kepler

Sixteen-year-old Jenny Lind is kidnapped in broad daylight on her way home from school and thrown into the back of a truck. She’s taken to a dilapidated house, where she and other girls face horrors far beyond their worst nightmares. Though they’re desperate to escape, their captor foils everyone of their attempts. Five years later, Jenny’s body is found hanging in a playground, strung up with a winch on a rainy night. As the police are scrambling to find a lead in the scant evidence, Detective Joona Linna recognizes an eerie connection between Jenny’s murder and a death declared a suicide years before. And when another teenage girl goes missing, it becomes clear to Joona that they’re dealing with a serial killer—and his murderous rampage may have just begun.


Return to top

Honorable Mentions

Click the title to see the book in the Library Catalogue


Most Held/Reserved Books

Still life by Sarah Winman

Most Popular e-Book

The murder rule by Dervla McTiernan

Most Popular Audio book

Fear on the fens by Joy Ellis

Most Popular Magazine

Hello! Magazine


Return to top

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

2022 Year In Review: SMSA’s Top 10 Mysteries

When you join SMSA as member, you get a wide range of benefits.

Access to the SMSA Library

We are home to a unique collection of books, a highlight being our Mystery and Crime section.

Able to borrow from the Tom Keneally Centre

We are honoured to be the home of Tom Keneally’s personal collection of books, many of which have been used as research for his own works.

Access to member only events

Join a members group, share your passions, learn new skills, make new friends and get involved.

Access to member only activities such as members groups

We provide a variety of member only events, these are relaxed social occasions to have fun and make new friends.

Join as a Member

Subscribe to stay up-to-date