12 reasons to pick up a crime novel, thriller or murder mystery

Crime novels, murder mysteries, thrillers; call them what you will, 2022 has been a great year for them. These were my favorites from the past year:

“Shifty’s Boys” by Chris Offutt. Second book in a series set in the hills of E. Kentucky. Mick Hardin, an Army CID officer home on leave tries to figure out who murdered a local heroin dealer. Shifty, the victim’s mother, demanded to know who had killed her son.

“Things We Do in the Dark” by Jennifer Hillier. Two similar gruesome murders, 25 years apart, are connected somehow to a woman, a former stripper, living under an assumed identity when they found her brandishing a razor near her dead husband in a bathtub brimming with blood.

“Confidence” by Denise Mina. A young YouTube influencer filmed herself in an abandoned French chateau then vanished. Two podcasters follow her trail hoping to solve the mystery of what happened to her.

“The Burglar Who Met Fredric Brown” by Lawrence Block. The author of over 200 books returns with another in his series about a beloved bookseller who is also a cat burglar. Block is like fine wine, he gets even better with age.

“A Heart Full of Headstones” by Ian Rankin. The Scottish crime master returns with one of the most shocking books in his legendary series featuring now retired police inspector John Rebus. Could it be the final showdown between Rebus and his nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty?

“The Deal Goes Down” by Larry Beinhart. A retired private investigator gets hired to murder an inconvenient husband. Why would he ever do such a thing? Maybe he wants to be wanted.

“Racing the Light” by Robert Crais. Another long-time series that gets ever better with the passage of time. Elvis Cole and Joe Pike are hired to locate a podcaster who went underground after he began uncovering government corruption.

“Every Cloak Rolled in Blood” by James Lee Burke. An aging novelist who recently lost his daughter encounters white supremacists and devil worshippers in Montana. Burke, an aging novelist himself who has been grieving the death of his own daughter has written his most personal fiction ever.

“The Island” by Adrian McKinty. A family from Seattle on vacation in Australia decides to visit a coastal island. Big mistake. The crazy family who live there start hunting down the family. What insanely gripping horror.

“The Hidden One” by Linda Castillo. Chief of police Kate Burkholder departs her regular jurisdiction in Ohio Amish country to decipher the mystery of the skeletal remains of an Amish bishop found recently unearthed in Pennsylvania.

“Whereabouts Unknown” by Meredith Doench. Theodora Madsen is a homicide detective with the Dayton Police Department. When two teenage girls go missing, one in Dayton, the other up near Cleveland, Theo thinks there could be a connection.

“Blue Book” by Tom Harley Campbell. Retired Dayton homicide detective John Burke rockets out of retirement to solve a cold case murder. Was evidence of alien visitations being concealed inside WPAFB? Campbell will sign copies of his books in Beavercreek this month.

How to go

What: Tom Harley Campbell book signing

When: 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17

Where: Barnes & Noble at The Shoppes at Beavercreek, 2720 Towne Dr #200, Beavercreek

More info: https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2873

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.com.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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