“The Last Best Book” is my occasional post on a favorite recent read — playing on one of Montana’s many nicknames, The Last Best Place — but I’ve been a bad girl and haven’t kept it up this year. So here I am looking at my list of books read the year, including audio books, with some embarrassment. It’s surprisingly short on books published in 2015 and surprisingly long on books published in 2013 and 2014 — meaning I’m waaay behind! (And that I’ll have to read like a demon this spring to be ready to vote for the Agatha Awards!) So I’m listing my faves, in no particular order, regardless of when they were published.
The Child Garden, Catriona McPherson (2015) A stunning exploration of evil triggered by a childhood mistake, and a mother’s fierce love. I predict many awards for this tale of psychological suspense set in Scotland.
The Husband’s Secret, Liane Moriarty (2013) Many novels that wouldn’t be classified as mystery or crime fiction nonetheless have a mystery or crime at their heart, and this is one. I knew where Moriarty was taking us, and I couldn’t take my eyes of the page.
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak (2005) Even better than the movie.
I’d Know You Anywhere, Laura Lippman (2010) Guaranteed to make you squirm.
Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, Kathy Aarons (2014) A delicious cozy.
Maisie Dobbs, Jacqueline Winspear (2003) I know, I know, but I’ll catch up, I promise.
Just One Evil Act, Elizabeth George (2013) Still the master of psychological suspense.
To Dwell in Darkness, Deborah Crombie (2014) An exploration of the crowd mentality, urban protest, and more.
Long Upon the Land, Margaret Maron (2015) The last Deborah Knott mystery, and an excellent wrap-up.
St. Nick: A Christmas Cop Novel, Allan Russell (2013) A surprise find in my Left Coast Crime gift bag, and the perfect read for the day after Christmas!
BEST FIRST MYSTERY:
Really sad I didn’t read more in this category, but my two favorites were Bun For Your Life, by Karoline Barrett, a sweet cozy, and The Alchemist’s Daughter, by Mary Lawrence, set in Elizabethan London and environs.
What were your favorite reads of the past year?