Best mystery/crime fiction lists collected

Updated 12/28 @ 11:15 EST

Tis the season for folks to share the best books of the year and their favorites. We’ll try to collect as many of them as we can and will continue to add to this post as more come out.

Spinetingler’s list usually adheres to the calender rather then the start of the shopping season so ours will post around the end of December/beginning of January.

If you made your own list or know where we can find one let us know.

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Amazon’s Best Books of 2011: Mystery & Thrillers

Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson
Reamde: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
Feast Day of Fools: A Novel by James Lee Burke
11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
Sister: A Novel by Rosamund Lupton
A Trick of the Light: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
The Night Strangers: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
The Affair: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Kirkus best 2011 mysteries

BACK OF BEYOND by C.J. Box
DEAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN by Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli
DRAWING CONCLUSIONS by Donna Leon
ECHOES OF THE DEAD by Sally Spencer
THE KING OF DIAMONDS by Simon Tolkien
LUCIFER’S TEARS by James Thompson
MISTERIOSO by Arne Dahl
NOW YOU SEE ME by S.J. Bolton
RIZZO’S FIRE by Lou Manfredo
THE ROCK HOLE by Reavis Z. Wortham
STEALING MONA LISA by Carson Morton
THE STRANGER YOU SEEK by Amanda Kyle Williams

Kirkus best 2011 mysteries

BLOODMONEY by David Ignatius
THE COMPLAINTS by Ian Rankin
EYES WIDE OPEN by Andrew Gross
THE GENTLEMEN’S HOUR by Don Winslow
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION by Marcia Clark
THE INFORMANT by Thomas Perry
REAMDE by Neal Stephenson
RED ON RED by Edward Conlon
THE SNOWMAN by Jo Nesbø
THICK AS THIEVES by Peter Spiegelman
TRACKERS by Deon Meyer
THE TRINITY SIX by Charles Cumming

J Kingston Pierce from The Rap Sheet

The Cut, by George Pelecanos
White Heat, by M.J. McGrath
Stealing Mona Lisa, by Carson Morton
The End of Everything, by Megan Abbott
The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Stolen Lives, by Jassy Mackenzie
Field Gray, by Philip Kerr
City of Secrets, by Kelli Stanley
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, by Ron Hansen
The House of Silk, by Anthony Horowitz

Library Journal Best Books 2011: Mystery

Now You See Me by S J Bolton
Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran
The Janus Stone: A Ruth Galloway Mystery by Elly Griffiths
Hell Is Empty: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
Drawing Conclusions: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon
Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel by GM Malliet
Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton
Cold Cruel Winter: A Richard Nottingham Mystery by Chris Nickson
Death of the Mantis: A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley

Mystery People’s Top 10 Books of 2011

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
Hurt Machine by Reed Farrel Coleman
Hell is Empty by Craig Johnson
Cold Shot to the Heart by Wallace Stroby & Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman
The Cut by George Pelecanos
The Lost Sister by Russel McLean
The Ranger by Ace Atkins
One True Sentence by Craig MacDonald
Fun & Games and Hell & Gone by Duane Swierczynski

Publisher’s Weekly Best Mystery/Thriller’s of 2011

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
Revenger by Rory Clements
Hurt Machine by Reed Farrell Coleman
A Simple Act of Violence by R.J. Ellory
Field Gray by Philip Kerr
The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny
Two for Sorrow by Nicola Upson

Doug Johnstone in the Herald Scotland

A Single Shot by Matthew F Jones’s
Drive by James Sallis
The End Of Everything by Megan Abbott

Murder by the book favorite paperbacks of 2011

Carolyn chose:

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason
Iron River by T. Jefferson Parker
Snow Angels by James Thompson
Red Wolf by Liza Marklund
Love Songs from a Shallow Grave by Colin Cotterill
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
County Line by Bill Cameron
October Killings by Wessel Ebersohn
Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva
The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
An Ordinary Decent Criminal by Michael van Rooy
Faithful Place by Tana French
The Night Season by Chelsea Cain
The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
Dove Season by Johnny Shaw
Strip by Thomas Perry
Once a Spy by Keith Thomson
Buyer’s Remorse – Lori L. Lake
Crashers – Dana Haynes (& Breaking Point – hardcover only)
Land Sharks – S. L. Stoner
The Last Run – Greg Rucka
Robopocalypse – Daniel Wilson (hardcover only)
Supreme Justice – Phillip Margolin
Vanishing Acts – Phillip Margolin & Amy Margolin Rome (hardcover only)
Wire to Wire – Scott Sparling

Crime Fiction Lover

Broken Dreams by Nick Quantrill
Cold Kill by Neil White
Dead Money by Ray Banks
The Donor by Helen FitzGerald
Black Flowers by Steve Mosby

An eccentric not crime exclusive list from The Nervous Breakdown (lots of interesting titles here)

Library Journal Thrillers

Connelly, Michael. The Fifth Witness
Doetsch, Richard. Half-Past Dawn
Dugoni, Robert. Murder One
Gardner, Lisa. Love You More
Hurwitz, Gregg. You’re Next
Land, Jon. Strong at the Break
Rollins, James. The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel
Slaughter, Karin. Fallen. Delacorte

Russel McLean

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
Fun and Games & Hell and Gone by Duane Swierczynksi
Already Gone by John Rector
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs
Choke Hold by Christa Faust
Dove Season by Johnny Shaw
Truth Lies Bleeding by Tony Black
Moriarty: The Hound of the D’ubervilles by Kim Newman
FIFTH VICTIM by Zoe Sharp

Wall Street Journal

Charles Jessold, Considered As a Murderer by Wesley Stace (Picador)
The Drop by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block (Little, Brown)
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
If Jack’s in Love by Stephen Wetta (Putnam)
In Search of the Rose Notes by Emily Arsenault (Morrow)
The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell (Little, Brown)
Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown)
Very Bad Men by Harry Dolan (Putnam)

Andrew Nette

Butcher’s Moon by Richard Stark
The Dying Trade by Peter Corris
Manifesto for the Dead by Domenic Stansberry
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Falling Glass by Adrian McKinty

Darren Sant’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Convictions by Julie Morrigan.
Smoke by Nigel Bird.
Nowhere To Go by Iain Rowan
Blood Guilt by Ben Cheetham
Pulp Ink

Fiona ‘McDroll’ Johnson’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Smoke – Nigel Bird
Beautiful Naked and Dead – Josh Stallings
Out There Bad – Josh Stallings
All the Young Warriors – Anthony Neil Smith
The End of Days – Douglas Lindsay

Chris Rhatigan’s Top 5 of 2011

GONE BAD by Julie Morrigan
BRIT GRIT by Paul D. Brazill
NOWHERE TO GO by Iain Rowan
DIRTY OLD TOWN by Nigel Bird
MONKEY JUSTICE by Patti Abbott

Thomas Pluck’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Out There Bad, by Josh Stallings
The End of Everything, by Megan Abbott
Choke Hold, by Christa Faust
Crimes in Southern Indiana, by Frank Bill
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block.

Victoria Watson’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Long Gone by Alafair Burke
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
Rowan’s Folly by Darren Sant

Nigel Bird’s Top 5 books of 2011

Katja From The Punk Band by Simon Logan.
The Devil All The Time by Donald Ray Pollock
The Cold Kiss by John Rector
One Too Many Blows To The Head by Eric Beetner and JB Kohl
The Bastard Hand by Heath Lowrance.

Luca Veste

The Accident by Linwood Barclay
Deadfolk by Charlie Williams
11/22/63 by Stephen King
Hunted by Emlyn Rees
Choke Hold by Christa Faust
Blood Guilt by Ben Cheetham
Good As Dead by Mark Billingham
8 Pounds by Chris F. Holm
Southern Gods by John Horner Jacobs
The Bailout by Charlie Wade
Pulp Ink edited by Nigel Bird & Chris Rhatigan
All The Young Warrirors by Anthony Neil Smith
Two Way Split by Allan Guthrie
The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams
The Bitch by Les Edgerton
Convictions by Julie Morrigan
Katja From The Punk Band by Simon Logan
The Razor Gate by Sean Cregan
The Office of Lost and Found by Vincent Holland-Keen
The Drop by Howard Linskey

Julie Morrigan’s Top 5 books of 2011

The Drop — Howard Linskey
Death by Sarcasm — Dani Amore
Broken Dreams – Nick Quantrill
Beautiful, Naked and Dead — Josh Stallings
Apostle Rising — Richard Godwin

Eric Beetner’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Crime Factory: The First Shift
Abide With Me by Ian Ayris
Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski
Hell on Church Street by Jake Hinkson

Paul D Brazill’s Top 5 books of 2011

Smoke by Nigel Bird
One Dead Hen by Charlie Williams
The Point by Gerard Brennan
Convictions by Julie Morrigan
And The Street Screamed Blue Murder! By Jason Michel

Paul’s full list of 15 can be found here.

AJ Hayes’ Top 5 books of 2011

Apostle Rising by Richard Godwin
All The Young Warriors by Anthony Neil Smith
Beautiful Naked And Dead/Out There Bad by Josh Stallings
Rampart And Toulouse – Kristin Fouquet
Convictions – Julie Morrigan

Graham Smith’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Dead Men’s Harvest by Matt Hilton
Shatter the Bones by Stuart MacBride
Fifth Victim by Zoe Sharp
The Hunter by Tom Wood
Dead Man’s Grip by Peter James

Nick Quantrill’s Top 5 Books of 2011

Scream If You Want To Go Faster by Russ Litten
Nine Inches by Bateman
The Drop by Howard Linskey
Dig Two Graves by Eric Beetner

Seattle Times

Started Early, Took My Dog, by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur)
Back of Beyond, by C.J. Box (Minotaur)
A Red Herring Without Mustard (Bantam) and I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Delacorte), by Alan Bradley
The Troubled Man, by Henning Mankell (Knopf)
A Trick of the Light, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Second Son, by Jonathan Rabb (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Death Instinct, by Jed Rubenfeld (Riverhead) — published last year in Britain, and one of January Magazine’s favorite books of 2010
An Uncertain Place, by Fred Vargas (Penguin)
A Lesson in Secrets, by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)

Grift Magazine

Crimes in Southern Indiana by Frank Bill
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
The Drop by Michael Connelly
The Adjustment by Scott Phillips
The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
The Killer is Dying by James Sallis
Dove Season by Johnny Shaw
Crime by Ferdinand von Schirach
The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell
Southern Gods by John Hornor Jacobs

The Boston Globe

The Cut by George Pelecanos (Little, Brown)
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
These Dark Things by Jan Merete Weiss (Soho Crime)
Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet (Minotaur)
Misery Bay by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
The Informationist by Taylor Stevens (Crown)
The Terror of Living by Urban Waite (Little, Brown)
Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson (Minotaur)
Learning to Swim by Sara J. Henry (Crown)

Baltimore City Paper

Megan Abbott, The End of Everything
The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell

Pulp Pusher part one and part two and part three

Crime Fiction Lover

The Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles by Edward A Grainger
Dig Ten Graves by Heath Lowrance
Dead Mony by Ray Banks
All the Young Warriors by Anthony Neil Smith
Beautiful, Naked and Dead by Josh Stallings

Devourer of Books

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
Skating Over the Line by Joelle Charbonneau
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault

January magazine part 1

The Accident by Linwood Barclay (Bantam)
A Bad Night’s Sleep by Michael Wiley (Minotaur)
Bad Signs by R.J. Ellory (Orion UK)
Bloodland by Alan Glynn (Faber and Faber UK)
Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder (St. Martin’s Press)
The Burning Soul by John Connolly (Atria)
The Cut by George Pelecanos (Reagan Arthur)
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block (Mulholland)
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott (Reagan Arthur/
Little, Brown)
The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina (Reagan Arthur)
Falling Glass by Adrian McKinty (Serpent’s Tail)
The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury)
Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Field Gray by Philip Kerr (Marian Wood/Putnam)
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
Fogtown by Andersen Gabrych and Brad Rader (Vertigo Crime)
Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski (Mulholland)

The January Magazine part 2

The Gentlemen’s Hour by Don Winslow (Simon & Schuster)
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward (Putnam)
The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin (Reagan Arthur)
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
Liar’s Kiss by Eric Skillman and Jhomar Soriano (Top Shelf)
Perfect People by Peter James (Macmillan UK)
Ranchero by Rick Gavin (Minotaur)
The Retribution by Val McDermid (Little, Brown UK)
The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen (Mulholland)
San Diego Noir edited by Maryelizabeth Hart (Akashic)
The Sentry by Robert Crais (Putnam)
Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn (Morrow)
Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman (Knopf)
The Thieves’ Labyrinth by James McCreet (Macmillan UK)
13 Million Dollar Pop by David Levien (Doubleday)
White Heat by M.J. McGrath (Viking)
You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz (St. Martin’s Press)

Bookreporter.com Reviewers Pick Their Favorite Books of 2011

Murder, Mystery and Mayhem’s Give the Gift of Crime – Best Mystery, Suspense and Thrillers 2011

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Brian Lindenmuth

Brian is the non-fiction editor of Spinetingler magazine and one of the fiction editors of Snubnose Press. In addition to Spinetingler his work has appeared in Crimespree magazine and at BSC Review, Galleycat and the Mulholland Books website. He also heads the Spinetingler Award committee.

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11 comments

  1. Can this include books that aren’t indie? If so, I nominate Rick Riordan’s detective series, in particular “Mission Road”. Few people seemed to have read that series because he’s known for his YA but the series is excelent. Worth a read.

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