It's a crime! (Or a mystery…)

Crimeficreader’s “Best of” 2013: books and literary matters, part 2

B4C2013Following yesterday’s part 1, here’s part 2:

Something a little different

TMShadowoftheRockIt was great to see Thomas Mogford shortlisted for the CWA’s John Creasey Dagger in 2013.  With a protagonist based in Gibraltar it would be too easy to assume his books are Gibraltar-based.  What marks out Mogford is a choice of setting for the ex-pat world and places of lower taxation.  Where his shortlisted debut Shadow of the Rock took Spike Sanguinetti to Morocco, Sign of the Cross sees Sanguinetti in Malta where all is not well with one arm of his family.  These are classic crime novels in style and do not suffer from the sometimes over-indulgent 400+ pages.

food-of-ghostsMarianne Wheelaghan’s The Food of Ghosts is set in Tarawa, a coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific.  Again, the style is classic crime but what shines here is Wheelaghan’s sympathy for another culture and fish-out-of-water, normally Edinburgh-based DS Louisa Townsend’s reunion with her distant family.

New Avenues

GarrettA D Garrett is the pen name of writing partnership Margaret Murphy – lovely to see her back in print – and forensics expert Professor Dave Barclay.  In their first outing, Everyone Lies, the forensic detail infuses the novel with more realism and Murphy’s storytelling ability is well on show.

EHHRElizabeth Haynes’s third novel Human Remains throws light into the work of a civilian police analyst in an investigation.  Described as a ‘hymn to all the lonely people’, analyst Annabel’s own life is very close to those who fall victim when alone and unnoticed.  It adds an extra and fascinating dimension to what is a gut wrenching tale of sadness at its heart.  Moving to a new publisher with Under a Silent Moon (out now in e format), it will be interesting to see what Haynes does next.

VowlerPsychological suspense with magnificent psychological depth

Tom Vowler’s What Lies Within is simply stunning.  In a remote Devon farmhouse, the equilibrium in the lives of Anna and her family is suddenly thrown off balance.  Vowler charts a much less-chosen path in this one and writes from the female point of view too.  Exceptional.

PreciousThingA Matter of Trust

Recommended: do not sit down and read this one on Boxing Day as Colette McBeth’s Precious Thing may leave you surveying your presents and questioning all the relationships behind them.  The style may prove a challenge but the plotting is exquisite.  If you’re not the most secure of people, you have been warned.

More tomorrow.  (This series of posts is also being used as a bit of catch-up after some absence in 2013.)

11 comments on “Crimeficreader’s “Best of” 2013: books and literary matters, part 2

  1. FictionFan
    December 18, 2013

    Good to see ‘What Lies Within’ on your list. I loved it, and really expected it to be huge last summer – still hoping it might take off at some point.

    • crimeficreader
      December 19, 2013

      Good to know, thanks. Merry Christmas!

  2. icewineanne
    December 19, 2013

    Just finished What Lies Within, loved it. Looking forward to reading some of your other picks for the past year. Thanks for the heads up, have Merry Christmas & wonderful holiday!!!

    • crimeficreader
      December 19, 2013

      Many thanks Anne. And the same to you!

  3. Marianne Wheelaghan
    December 19, 2013

    I am thrilled Food of Ghosts is part of your the Best of 2013, Rhian. Thanks so much. And thanks too for your list, parts one and two. I am really looking forward to having a break over Xmas and snuggling up and enjoying reading as many from the list as I can 🙂 Happy Christmas! ps: I also love that so many of the books are by women authors 🙂

    • crimeficreader
      December 19, 2013

      Thank you! Have a lovely Christmas. By the way: to be rectified with a new year post, “The Boys Are Back In Town”. No, seriously, I hadn’t even noticed. How interesting!

  4. The Little Reader Library
    December 19, 2013

    Great post Rhian, I loved Human Remains and have the Colette McBeth and Tom Vowler novels to catch up with, plus one of Marianne’s other novels The Blue Suitcase.

    • crimeficreader
      December 19, 2013

      Thanks Lindsay. You are in for a few treats!

  5. Pingback: Crimeficreader’s “Best of” 2013: books and literary matters, part 3 | It's a crime! (Or a mystery...)

  6. cleopatralovesbooks
    December 19, 2013

    Some fabulous choices;I thought What Lies Within was a particularly good read. And maybe a couple for my TBR

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