Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Top Reads of 2010

Along with my love of statistics, comes my attraction to lists.  Some of us have discovered we have similar reading "DNA."  Others of you may be looking for new mystery authors to try.  Either way, I give you my list of "Top Reads" for last year.  Please remember, these are purely my opinion. 

Books I rated "Excellent" for 2010 were (author, title, copyright date):

1    Adam, Paul                  Paganni’s Ghost                      2010   
      Great characters, wonderful information on history related to music and instruments, very well plotted.   

2.   Alleyn, Susanne          Game of Patience                     2006   
      Post-French Revolution, very good sense of time and place, complex plot, ending was sad, poignant, tragic and satisfying.

3.    Bolton, S.J.                  Blood Harvest                            2010   
       Her best book yet, wonderfully creepy even if the prologue should have been at Chap 50/51, appreciated the humor and the ending.

4.    Cleverly, Barbara         Strange Images of Death          2010   
       Excellent characters and dialogue, very visual writing, powerful opening, a well thought-out, well-executed traditional mystery

5.    Crombie, Deborah        Dreaming of the Bones            1997    
       Characters are vivid and interesting, wonderful style to writing, story is emotional, intelligent and thought-provoking.

6.    Dickinson, David           Death of a Chancellor               2005    
       Wonderful characters, wry humor, excellent sense of place and time, plot that builds and interesting historical information.   A series that has improved with each book. 

7.    Fowler, Christopher       Bryant and May Off the Rails    2010    
       Humor balanced with poignancy.  Well written characters, wonderful humor, excellent writing.

8.    Krueger, William Kent    Vermilion Drift                           2010    
       Krueger is a very fine author who knows how to create characters, write dialogue, set a scent and develop a plot.

9.     McGregor, Rafe              The Architect of Murder           2009   
        Informative, educational, exciting, suspenseful, dramatic and altogether wonderful.

10.   Marston, Edward          The Owls of Gloucester          2000   
        Nothing I didn’t like about this book.  Interesting and intricate plot, various threads brought together in a double climax.

11.   Nabb, Magdalen            The Marshal’s Own Case       1990   
        Each book better than the last.  The plot is engrossing, emotional, tragic and poignant, with an ending which avoids cliché.

12.   Robertson, Imogen         Anatomy of Murder                2010   
        A straight-through read; captivating plot, good twist, insightful, evoked strong emotion. 

13.   Vargas, Fred                  Wash this Blood Clean from My Hands    2004   
        Wonderful characters, dialogue and humor.  Author has an excellent voice.  Very good plot with excellent twists.

Those I rated as "VG+" being just one or two points away from "Excellent" and are well worth reading were:

1     Alleyn, Susanne          Palace of Justice               2010   
2.    Boyle, Gerry                Port City Shakedown         2009   
3.    Bradley, Alan               The Weed that Strings      2010   
                                                the Hangman’s Bag
4.    Butcher, Jim               Changes                             2010   
5     Carrell, Jennifer Lee   Haunt Me Still                      2010   
6.    Cotterill, Colin             The Coroner’s Lunch         1976   
7    Cotterill, Colin              Thirty-Three Teeth              2006       
8.    Ellis, Kate                   The Armada Boy                 1999   
9     Finch, Charles            A Stranger in Mayfair          2010   
10    Franklin, Ariana          A Murderous Procession   2010   
11    Frederickson, Jack    Honestly Dearest,              2010   
                                               You’re Dead
12    Gerritsen, Tess         Ice Cold                               2010   
13    Griffiths, Elly              The Janus Stone                 2010   
14    Hill, Reginald              An April Shroud                   1975   
15    Lake, Deryn               Death in the Valley of          2003   
                                               the Shadows
16    Leon, Donna              A Noble Radiance               1998   
17    Nabb, Magdalen        The Marshall and the           1987   
18    Penny, Louise           Bury Your Dead                   2010   
19    Todd, Charles           A Lonely Death                    2010   
20    Vargas, Fred             Seeking Whom He              1999   
                                              May Devour
21    Walker, Martin           Bruno, Chief of Police         2008   

From the  moment you enter my place, you know you've come to the home of a reader.  Doesn't everyone's front hall look this way?  A portion of my "to-be-reads" are on the left and some of my "have-reads" are on the right.

I'd love to see your lists of top 2010 reads and also photos of your book collections.  Feel free to share.

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