The list author says: "Martha Grimes, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, John Grisham, Janet Evanovich, and countless other mystery writers have offered remarkable diversions over the years. I fear I might have exhausted this genre but I will not give up without a fight. P.S. I'm sensing an upswing as the year draws to a close."
"This is an even better story than French's debut novel, Into the Woods. Nothing terribly surprising happens but the characters are believable, the descriptions hit home, and I came away from this book reflecting on how the block on which I grew up made me the person I am today. (Dec 10)"
"Richard and Melrose are back and so is Mungo, the insightful and mischievous dog. Why do I love Grimes' characters so much? I have no idea. But I was very fond of Grimes' writing way before she told me I have attractive children . . . (May 16)"
"Castillo has created a marvelous character in Kate Burkholder, the 30-year old police chief in a small Ohio town ringed by Amish farms. Kate confronts her Amish past when a series of murders shake the community. Linda Castillo has earned a spot on my reading list. (Aug 30)"
"A fast-paced story with a noir flavor. A young reporter at an underdog Chicago newspaper is sent to her hometown in Missouri's boot heel to follow an investigation into the murders of two little girls. (July 28)"
"Box won my attention with last year's Blue Heaven and this is another riveting story set west of the Mississippi. A federal judge seeks to wrest his nine-month old granddaughter from her adoptive parents. Seamy, gritty, and incredible in a nice way. (Sept 17)"
"More satisfying than the last few books in this series, this time Brunetti simultaneously chases down a charlatan and a murderer. Wait until winter to read this story or you will surely be sweating along with Guido. (May 26)"
"Ah, Reg, Reg, Reg. You are waxing philosophical in your twilight years, dreaming of righting old wrongs but foiled at every turn. Not Rendell's best effort, but a must-read for those who have come to love Inspector Wexford over the years. (Jan 23)"
"I had every intention of giving this story two stars until I turned the final page and experienced one of those "Aha! We're on the same wavelength" moments. Still, I won't be going out of my way to find another Yoshida book. If you want to dip your foot in the Japanese mystery stream, get Out. (Dec 13)"
"Apparently this book falls into a genre called Weimar Noir, mysteries set in Germany in the years corresponding with Hitler's rise to power. This gritty story tells of a female crime reporter's search for information about the death of her homosexual brother. I totally forgot the plot within a week of finishing the book. (June 7)"
"Evanovich's decision to gouge readers who choose electronic formats caused me to put off reading this book until the price dropped. The characters are increasingly unbelievable but are still incredibly likeable and entertaining. (Aug 24)"
"Get a grip, Ms. George! This book is barely better than the last one but I keep reading because you have managed to make me care about Lynley and Havers. The relationship angle in this one is beyond belief. (Sept 10)"
"I don't recall 2001 as being a bad year for mysteries but how else could this book have been designated Best First Novel by the Edgar Award committee and several other literary groups? The pedantic and overwrought writing might have earned a PhD for Liss but made a tale that had all the earmarks of interesting a chore for this reader."