2022 was, well, I think we can all agree it was a challenge for the world, in so many ways. Upsides for me: a fabulous trip to Switzerland and Italy with my husband, brother, and sister-in-law, two books out (Peppermint Barked, the 6th Spice Shop mystery, and Blind Faith, written as Alicia Beckman), and a return to in-person events, where I relished in the opportunity to reconnect with readers and meet new ones. And, reading. I read 59 books, including a few audios. Nearly 2/3 were crime fiction! Seventeen were by writers of color (including 4 nonfiction books that were part of my research for Between a Wok and a Dead Place, aka Spice Shop #7, coming in July) and seven were by LGBTQ+ authors. I’m delighted to see a more diverse pool of authors getting shelf and review space, awards and nominations, and general buzz. No matter how we categorize ourselves, we’re better off as readers and writers when the community widens.
My two favorite debut mysteries were both published this year: Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp and The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra, a historical mystery. .
The rest of my list – all recent, though none new in 2022, in order read:
Harlem Shuffle, Colson Whitehead
Clark & Division, Naomi Hirahara
The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
This is What Happened, Mick Herron
The Dutch House, Ann Patchett,
The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware
And two years in a row, my favorite read of the year was the last, literally finished at the 11th hour, on New Year’s Eve:
Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Mark Sullivan
Wishing you a year filled with deep joy of a life you love — and lots of good books!