Best Books: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
Summer Reads: 2024 | 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

All That’s Left Unsaid

Tracey Lien (Morrow)

In 1996, journalist Ky Tran investigates the murder of her 17-year-old brother, Denny, who was beaten to death at a restaurant on the night of his high school graduation in the Vietnamese community of Cabramatta, Australia. This scintillating debut dramatizes the cultural gulf between xenophobic whites and Vietnamese suspicions of outsiders.


Anywhere You Run

Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)

Set against the backdrop of the notorious 1964 murder of three civil rights activists in Mississippi, this stunning novel about the relationship between two Black sisters in the Jim Crow South explores racism, family, and small-town sensibilities. Meticulous research into the period, along with finely sculpted characters and crisp dialogue, help make this a standout.


Blackwater Falls

Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur)

When the body of a high school student who’s a Syrian refugee is found nailed to the door of a mosque in Blackwater Falls, Colo., detective Inaya Rahman investigates. Khan brilliantly depicts the complexities of her characters and the tensions of a multicultural American community struggling with bias, fear, and corruption.


Blood Sugar

Sascha Rothchild (Putnam)

In a Miami Beach PD interrogation room, a police detective confronts Ruby Simon with photos of four murder victims, including the seven-year-old boy she drowned when she was five, 25 years earlier, because he bullied her older sister. In this mesmerizing debut, Rothchild pulls off the considerable challenge of engendering sympathy for an unrepentant killer.


Dear Little Corpses: A Josephine Tey Mystery

Nicola Upson (Crooked Lane)

On the eve of England’s entry into WWII, author Josephine Tey looks into the disappearance of a child transported from London to a Suffolk village in anticipation of German bombing raids. Upson effectively keeps the reader in suspense about the child’s fate while providing a vivid and moving portrait of a small community torn apart by fear and suspicion.


Death and the Conjuror

Tom Mead (Mysterious Press)

In this stellar debut and series launch set in 1936 London, Scotland Yard enlists the aid of magician Joseph Spector in trying to solve the baffling case of an Austrian psychotherapist, who was found with his throat slit in his locked study. This homage to golden age crime fiction rivals the best of John Dickson Carr.


Double Exposure

Ava Barry (Pegasus Crime)

Melia van Aust asks Hollywood PI Rainey Hall to find out who’s been sending her threatening letters she fears might be coming from her fugitive younger brother, who disappeared four years earlier the night their wealthy parents were murdered. This evocative update of the classic L.A. PI novel demonstrates that both the city and its magic remain very much alive.


Her Perfect Twin

Sarah Bonner (Grand Central)

Identical twin sisters Leah and Megan, who have been estranged for five years, attempt to make peace. Then Megan suspects Leah of having an affair with her husband. The ensuing argument between the two turns deadly—but which twin survives? The ingeniously twisty plot and complex characters set this above the psychological thriller pack.



Erin E. Adams (Bantam)

Liz Rocher, a Black woman, returns reluctantly home to Johnstown, Pa., for the wedding of her white best friend, Mel Parker. When Mel’s mixed-race daughter, Caroline, disappears in the woods, Liz’s attempts to find Caroline lead her to discover years of police cover-ups of the deaths of Black girls in the woods. It’s an emotionally wrenching gem.


The Kingdoms of Savannah

George Dawes Green (Celadon)

Attempts to solve crimes against two members of the homeless community in Savannah, Ga.—the stabbing murder of a white kid in his early 20s, and the apparent abduction of his drinking buddy, a 43-year-old Black woman—are resisted by some powerful people. Deeply rooted in Savannah’s at times horrific history, this provocative page-turner is unforgettable.


Targeted: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel

Stephen Hunter (Atria/Bestler)

Bob Lee Swagger, a retired Army sniper, is facing tough questions at a congressional hearing held at a Boise, Idaho, high school auditorium for alleged misdeeds when a prison bus commandeered by five escaped inmates crashes through the wall of the auditorium and mayhem ensues. With this inventive nail-biter, Hunter sets a new bar for both himself and the genre.


The Wheel of Doll

Jonathan Ames (Mulholland)

L.A. gumshoe Happy Doll revisits his past when a new client, Mary DeAngelo, hires him to find her missing mother, Ines Candle. Last seen in Olympia, Wash., Ines was once briefly Doll’s girlfriend. Hard-boiled PI fiction set in the present doesn’t get much better than this.


© PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.