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Customer Discussions > Mystery forum

Mysteries /Thrillers - Your Favorite Reads in 2012

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Showing 26-50 of 53 posts in this discussion
Posted on Dec 12, 2012 1:12:20 PM PST
nigel p bird says:
Just finished Cheapskates: A Novel of Crime - 5 stars and one of my favourites for the year:

I've been through a period of grieving these last couple of months and it hasn't been easy.

One thing that was radically affected was my ability to concentrate upon any fiction longer than around a thousand words.

What I needed to conquer the reader's block was a book that would grab me from the start, would work as a page-turner, had sharply drawn characters and kept a really high standard of quality writing.

I tried 3 or 4 before finding my solution and in the end it was Charlie Stella's Cheapskates that whisked me back to reader heaven.

I'm grateful to Mr Stella for that.

`Cheapskates' is a fantastic read.

Early on, the book visits a prison cell where a couple of inmates of very different personalities are housed just before their release. The thing they have in common is a strong sense of justice and a need to see the right thing done.

For one of those inmates, Peter Rizzo, he's all set to retrieve money from his ex-wife who owes him 50k plus interest.

Cellmate Reese Waters is a placid man, a drummer and a reader and something of a sage. He's done his best to talk Rizzo after going after the cash and has persuaded his friend to allow him to act as a go-between in order to save Rizzo from a parole violation.

When the pair get out from Fishkill and go their separate ways, they agree to meet up and work things out.

Reese goes along to meet Rizzo's ex as planned. She's as much of a cheapskate as he's been told and he takes an instant dislike for her when she gives him the brush-off.

What Reese doesn't know at that point is that the ex has had Rizzo bumped off, using connections to the mob via her lover Jimmy Valentine.

From then on the plot gathers apace and really thickens.

Reese needs to see justice done. The cops get involved, the mob do what they can to tie up loose ends before they're indicted for one thing or another, there's a drunken bus driver, a mean old man who eats discount cakes all week for lunch, there's a radical Muslim brotherhood offering muscle, a discredited officer from the organised -crime squad and there are solicitors with hearts and without.

It's a tangled web they all weave and it's clear from the beginning that some of them are going to get caught up by their own dealings. What's not so clear is who that's going to be.

Stella works the plot like a master plate spinner. The points of view change at regular intervals and this is managed with immense skill. The plot thickens at every turn and the twists make this interesting from start to finish.

I loved many things about Cheapskates.

Firstly, the characters are diverse and very-well defined. They come from different backgrounds entirely and Stella uses the differences in ways that play with stereotype as much as they buck the obvious to find the unique. What this allows is for changing the angle of story-telling with ease as the people involved are immediately recognisable.

Next there is the mob background. I can't help it, I'm a sucker for a good gangster tale. What makes it all the better is that it feels like Stella has been there and lived the life. It has a real authenticity to it all that you won't often find in fiction.

There's the dialogue. It's a pleasure all on its own.

And there's the humour. Amidst all of the serious plays is a really dry comedy that provided another dimension. I like to laugh and I laughed a lot - with people like the ones on these pages, it would be difficult to keep a straight face.

The overall work is a piece of class. If the book was in the mafia it would be the Godfather. And you'd better believe that, believe me.

Posted on Dec 12, 2012 1:17:58 PM PST
nigel p bird says:
Other big favourites of mine include:


The End of Everything
All The Young Warriors
The Bitch


Lost Things
Ishmael Toffee
Dig Two Graves

short story collections:

Ugly Behavior
Old School

Great reads each and every one.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 13, 2012 6:38:43 PM PST
Greggorio! says:
Well i would vote for LULLABY by Ace Atkins. it is set in Robert b parker's Spenser Detective series and i simply loved it. Others hated it but as i am not from the US i did not go over it with as much local knowledge as they did.

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 7:01:02 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 13, 2012 7:03:36 PM PST
Cluny says:
There are no right or wrong recommendations here. Reading is a very personal experience and what one person loves, another reader may not. It is like falling in love, diferent people, different tastes. Thanks for your recommendation. I havent read any Spenser books in a while, will have to catch up

For those looking for Greggorio's suggestion under Ace Atkins, I am providing product link as I had difficulty at first pulling up this book on Amazon.
Robert B. Parker's Lullaby (Spenser)

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 7:04:09 PM PST
Greggorio! says:
What a great response!!! I could not agree with you more. Have a great day from down under. :-)

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 12:21:56 PM PST
jan2000 says:
Would like to start by thanking all of you faithful posters who make these discussion boards so informative and so interesting to follow. Because of your recommendations I've discovered so many new-to-me authors and so much great reading.

Some of my favorite reads this year:
The Dark Winter by Mark David
The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Still Midnight by Denise Mina. I have the rest of the series on my TBR stack.
Cse Histories by Kate Atkinson. I've read all of the Jackson Brodie books as well. Love the way the author can keep so many threads going and tie them up so neatly.
All of the Peter James books in the Roy Grace Series. I've only the newest one left to read.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 14, 2012 12:46:06 PM PST
Cluny says:
While not his best, NOT DEAD YET is good once you get about twenty five per cent into the book...I felt that at the beginning , Peter had too many storylines going for one book and early in the book it slowed things up. However ultimately he manages to tie most of them up nicely.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 3:38:57 AM PST
Some of my favorite mystery/thriller reads from 2012 are:

The Taste of Fear by Jeremy Bates, which is a story of survival.
Chalk Valley by DL Johnstone, quite a gritty thriller
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
The Stonehenge Legacy by Sam Christer, based around the prehistoric monument
11/22/63 by Stepehen King and one of my all-time favorites

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 3:52:53 AM PST
Helena Macul says:
Hi Susie,
I finished reading The Death of Summer and I found it just ok.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 4:12:15 AM PST
I've read a lot of good mysteries this year. One of my top discoveries was mystery writer G. M. Ford.

He's been writing since the mid-90's and has over a dozen books in print but I'd never heard of him until I ran into the kindle edition of one of his books on promotion here on Amazon a few months ago. I've now read three of his books. All were good and I look forward to reading more this year.

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 6:16:33 PM PST
Cluny says:
Anyone interested in participating.....I created this discussion thinking that it sounded fun and interesting.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2012 7:13:34 PM PST
@James R. Scarborough. G.M. Ford's work is excellent. He wrote six Waterman novels and six Corso novels. The way he ended the last Corso book was the best ending to a series I have ever read.

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 10:10:35 AM PST
Bkworm Bren says:
The Keeper of Lost Causes (A Department Q)
A Simple Plan
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel (P.S.)
Boy's Life
Faithful Place
The Silent Girl: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (with bonus short story Freaks) (Rizzoli & Isles Novels)
Dead Simple
Detour: A Novel
Think of a Number (Dave Gurney, No.1)

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 2:38:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 5:56:19 AM PST
janebbooks says:
My favorite mystery/thriller reads of 2012.....?

Broken Harbor: A Novel (Dublin Murder Squad) by Tana French

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (far superior to GONE GIRL)

The Priest: A Novel-Mike Mulcahy #1 by Gerard O'Donovan

The Affair by Lee Child (the best ever Jack Reacher...)

Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves (#4 of her Shetland Island series)

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (#1 Ruth Galloway)

And I read a few less-than-exciting books, too. THE FORGOTTEN by David Baldacci (John Puller #2), THE ART FORGER by Barbara Shapiro,
and POTBOILER by Jesse Kellerman.....and another art/mystery disappointment...Caravaggio's Angel by Ruth Brandon.

Not much of a mystery...but my favorite Southern melodrama...CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin.

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 9:43:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 6:13:41 AM PST
Cluny says:
Janebooks (ETA sorry Janebooks, you were right!)
Just to clarify, CROSSING PLACE is not the first Ruth Galloway in series by Elly Griffiths(ETA I AM WRONG!!!!! IT WAS BOOK ONE IN SERIES!)..THE JANUS STONE was the first book of the series.(ETA NO, THIS WAS BOOK TWO) I have read all but the last one and next one will be out soon.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 5:54:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2012 6:01:32 AM PST
janebbooks says:
Sorry, are wrong.

SYKM....and probably the Elly Griffiths website....list The Crossing Places as published in 2009
with The Janus Stone, the #2 Ruth Galloway...a year later in 2010. I'm rather particular about
reading mystery/thriller series in order!

By the way....I'm interested in the Reading Challenge you have posted for 2013. Reminds
me of a favorite blogger's challenge several years ago...A is for Archeology...B is for Bibliophile
.....etc. Will everyone start off with A and then progress the next week or so?

Bernadette of REACTIONs TO READING did most of the alphabet and really served up a lot of
good recommendations. That's where I found Elly Griffiths...


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2012 6:09:24 AM PST
Cluny says:
RE: Elly are right, I am wrong about first book....will edit previous posting.....In the challenge, you can read in any order that you desire.I have started my first book of challenge. It starts with a W.... Just have lots of reading fun. The guidelines are not rules, just ideas

Posted on Dec 23, 2012 9:47:44 AM PST
Thanks to a recommendation from Cphe and a couple of others, I read a couple of the 'Baby Shark' novels. I was very pleasantly surprised. Also, I came across a couple of pretty good authors that write only Ebooks, J.D. Rhoades and Russell Blake. I won't say I liked all of their books, but there were a some from each author that I found to be very good.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 9:14:53 AM PST
lizzy says:
Try any thing by Harlan Coban !

Posted on Dec 28, 2012 9:02:11 PM PST
mydogwhistle says:
I love hearing people's favorites. I was just running out of good reads :) Here are some of my favorites in 2012:

All of the The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde. I had never before read a Michael Connelly book. I decided to try his Harry Bosch series early in 2012 and spent the whole year reading the series. I even just read the latest book. I LOVE these books! My favorite author ever now. Police procedural based in LA.

Opal Fire (A Reluctant Witch Mystery: Stacy Justice Book One) A very cute cozy paranormal mystery series. Just read her latest release (book 3 of the series) and still love them. Stacy Justice is a news reporter with a Great Dane sidekick and some crazy witch family members.

Alone (D. D. Warren) Lisa Gardner mystery. An intense police procedural mystery. Intense and can be graphic. This is part of a series. Based in Boston.

Absolute Liability (Southern Fraud Suspense 1) Jennifer Becton mystery. Not quite cozy, not intense. A little different view of the police world as this series is based on a state fraud investigator in Georgia.

I just started reading The 7th Woman (Nico Sirsky, Chief of Police) based on recommendations from this thread. I haven't finished it yet but enjoying it so far! Thanks for the recommendation!

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 1:14:34 PM PST
Amazed Grace says:
The best thing I read all year, I didn't actually "read". I listened to Creole Bell, writtten by James Lee Burke and read by Will Patton. The genius of Burke's writing and the incredible performance by Patton make my commute a welcome interlude instead of a chore.

Posted on Dec 30, 2012 3:56:14 PM PST
Scrapmom says:
I found several new to me series thanks to recommendations on the forums so I appreciate reading all the posts. Here were some of my favorite mysteries this year not in any order.

The Broken Token I read all three books in this series.
V is for Vengeance (Kinsey Millhone) I listened to this on audio for a change and really liked the voices.
The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (13)
A Fatal Winter: A Max Tudor Novel
Delusion in Death

Posted on Jan 9, 2013 3:33:03 PM PST
cod says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2013 3:37:39 PM PST
Dog Lover says:
Also spammed this all over the Romantic Suspense Forum under the member name "C. O. DONOGHUE" six times.

Sigh. Never learns.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2013 7:32:24 PM PST
Amazed Grace says:
Spammer be gone
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Discussion in:  Mystery forum
Participants:  29
Total posts:  53
Initial post:  Dec 5, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 15, 2013

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