Friday, November 11, 2011

Publishers Weekly Picks

By Peg Brantley Writer at Work, Stumbling Toward Publication
These are PW's choices for the best crime fiction of the year. They are apparently simply chosen by staffers, and if they argue, I suppose the senior staffer wins.

The End of Everything
Megan Abbott (Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur)
This psychological thriller charts the friendship of two 13-year-old girls in pre-cellphone suburban America, one of whom disappears a few weeks before their eighth-grade graduation.

Started Early, Took My Dog

Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur)
Semiretired PI Jackson Brody returns to his Yorkshire hometown to trace the biological parents of a woman adopted in the 1970s, but finds only questions in this intensely plotted, multilayered novel.

Rory Clements (Bantam)
John Shakespeare, the playwright’s older brother and spy, seeks the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of the colonists of Roanoke, Va., in this first-rate Tudor historical full of intricate plots.

Hurt Machine
Reed Farrell Coleman (Tyrus)
Razor-edged contemporary whodunits don’t get much better than Coleman’s seventh Moe Prager mystery, in which the Brooklyn PI, recently diagnosed with cancer, looks into the stabbing murder of his ex-wife’s estranged sister.

A Simple Act of Violence
R.J. Ellory (Overlook)
A must-read for noir fans, this crime thriller charts the efforts of Det. Robert Miller to catch a serial killer strangling women in an upscale Washington, D.C., neighborhood.

Field Gray
Philip Kerr (Putnam/Marian Wood)
Set in 1954 with flashbacks to the 1930s and ’40s, Kerr’s outstanding seventh Bernie Gunther novel finds the tough, wisecracking Berlin cop under interrogation by the U.S. authorities for his role in saving the life of the future East German spy master, the real-life Erich Mielke.

The Most Dangerous Thing

Laura Lippman (Morrow)
Childhood friends, long since splintered off, uneasily reunite after the death of one of their own, in this unsettling stand-alone from Lippman, who sets the action in the Baltimore suburb where she grew up.

A Trick of the Light
Louise Penny (Minotaur)
Chief Inspector Gamache of the Québec Sûreté and his team look into the mysterious death of a woman ­found with a broken neck in the garden of artist Clara Morrow­in this subtle seventh entry in this acclaimed traditional series.

Two for Sorrow

Nicola Upson (Harper)
Upson upsets readers’ expectations with a surprise three-quarters into her psychologically rich third Josephine Tey mystery, in which the author of The Daughter of Time draws inspiration for her novel-in-progress from the 1903 execution of two women convicted for murdering babies.

Which of these have you read? I confess I have not read one of them. Not one.
Are you more (or less) compelled to read books that appear on lists such as this one?
What were your favorites for the year?


  1. I have heard of most of them, but haven't read any yet. Laura Lippman's novel appeals to me most, but I often avoid books that are nominated for awards because they're usually too slow for me.

  2. I've read A TRICK OF THE LIGHT. In fact, I reviewed it on this blog, back in August.

    The only other one I might read is Laura Lippman's THE MOST DANGEROUS THING.
    I feel the same way as L.J. about most award-nominated books.

  3. Have been reading A Trick of the Light for some time now...

  4. Nope. Haven't read any of them yet, but I'll take a look and see if any catch my interest. Thanks for posting, Peg.


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