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Posted by on 31 Dec, 2023 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, British Crime, British Thrillers, Crime, Domestic Suspense, serial killer thriller, Spy Fiction, Thriller | 0 comments



Each year George Easter from Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine does a mammoth job in collating the various best mystery, crime fiction and thriller lists from around the world and seeing what they tell us about the year’s best books.

In 2023 he found 113 ‘best lists’. There is a strong American flavour to the lists, but it also includes some from Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada and India.

After gathering all the lists, George checked to see which books were the most popular (ie got the most mentions) across the various lists. He found that 71 individual books appeared on the 113 lists, all of which got 5 or more mentions.

Once again, S. A. Cosby was the clear winner of the best mystery of the year, making it three out of four years for him! Cosby’s All The Sinners Bleed, got 51 mentions, which was way ahead of the other books. The next most popular book was Dennis Lehane’s Small Mercies (35 mentions), followed by Mick Herron’s The Secret Hours (29), Jessica Knoll’s Bright Young Women (27), Richard Osman’s The Last Devil To Die (24), Deepti Kapoor’s debut novel Age Of Vice (24), Lisa Jewell’s None Of This Is True (22) and Stephen King’s Holly (20). Rounding out the top ten were Everybody Knows (18) by Jordan Harper, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice For Murderers (17) by Jesse Sutanto, Michael Connelly’s Resurrection Walk (16) and William Kent Krueger’s The River We Remember (16). For the full list see George’s article at:

Not surprisingly, given the number of lists by newspaper and mainstream magazine critics, there is a strong literary feel to the top ten entries. Many core crime readers would probably consider that the books by Deepti Kapoor and Jessica Knoll are at the margins of the genre, and see them as being literary rather than crime novels. None of which is meant to take anything away from the merits of the top books on the list, but I suspect that mainstream crime readers would be more inclined to have read and greatly enjoyed books from lower down on the list by authors such as Val McDermid, Jane Harper, Steve Cavanagh and Ann Cleeves.

I read 23 of the 71 titles listed, including five from the top ten, and I am currently reading All The Sinners Bleed. Four of my favourite books of 2023 appeared in the top ten (Mick Herron, Richard Osman, Jordan Harper and Michael Connelly) and another four of my favourites were scattered throughout the 71. There were also some good Australian titles on George’s consolidated list, which had appeared on my best of list in 2022(when they were released in Australia): Exiles by Jane Harper, Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham and Benjamin Stevenson’s Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone. I was surprised that a couple of books I struggled to enjoy appeared on so many lists, while others, such as Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Saving and Michael Bennett’s Better The Blood did not appear at all. I was very pleased, however, to see Matthew Richardson’s The Scarlett Papers there. Some very good Australian crime fiction titles were missing, but this is mainly a reflection of when and how the books are released overseas.

It was good to see some Australian authors on the list, although this was mainly for books, which were released in 2022: Jane Harper (13), Michael Robotham (7), Adrian McKinty (7) and Benjamin Stevenson (7).

Many thanks to George for his great efforts in pulling this together.

Here are links to my favourite books of 2023:

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