26 December 2009

Your Best Crime Fiction reads in 2009

Lots of people are publishing their "best reads" for 2009.
Mine are easy to find.

For the second year running readers of this blog have the opportunity to give me their top 10 crime fiction reads for 2009 via a comment, and then in about 2 week's time I will collate the lists with mine and give a definitive list.

O.K. So the rules are
  1. it is about crime fiction you've read in 2009. Year of publication doesn't matter.
  2. about 10 titles in the format of title, author (no need for description etc).
  3. any order will do. If you think one was so much better than the others, you might like to put it in your list twice.
  4. You have until Jan 7 to do it.
  5. You can help on your own blog by writing about what I am doing and pointing people to this post, so they can come here and contribute their list.
I'm looking forward to seeing what the final list looks like.

Last year we came up with a very interesting list from 42 crime fiction bloggers. If you've written a post with your own personalised list in it, then feel free to use the Mr Linky below to link to your post. But please leave your list in a comment too because they are the ones that I will count (unless you email them to me).

Last year I also produced lists of the most popular authors and the top 20 books.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea, Kerrie! I will definitely mention this on my blog : ).

Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Kerrie, I enjoy very much your blog and I'm learning a lot about crime fiction. Great fun. Thank you.

Kerrie said...

Thanks Margo. You are very welcome Jose

Uriah Robinson said...

Good idea, Kerrie. I explained last year that Euro Crime reviewers send their choices to Karen, so if you don't mind I will wait to participate on this one until Karen has posted her lists.
I have three lists:
a] three non European best.
b] two European non translated.
c] five European translated.

Hope you had a Happy Christmas.

Paul D Brazill said...

Kerrie, mine should be up later today or tomorrow . Cheers,Paul


Deb said...

Kerrie--what if you're one of those poor deprived individuals who doesn't have a blog? I'd love to post my favorites of 2009--can I just do it here, or do I need to have a blog to participate?


Susan said...

Hi Kerrie - I'll do a post and list later. Just wanted to let you know that I'm joining this! I have some new mysteries for Christmas, so I might be able to squeeze some onto my year's list! lol Happy Holidays!

Kerrie said...

Deb, I was hoping people would put their list in a comment, so please do.

Gavin said...

Kerrie - I haven't reviewed all of these but here are my favorites in no particular order. Please give two votes to Irdridason!

Nemesis and Redbreast - Jo Nesbo
Silence of the Grave - A. Irdridason
The Girl Who Played With Fire -Stieg Larsson
Echos From The Dead - Johan Theorin
Still Life - Louise Penny
Dark Places - Gillian Flynn
The Last Child - John Hart
Exit Music - Ian Rankin

Kerrie said...

Thanks Gavin.
Paul, Norman, Susan, I await your lists with anticipation

raidergirl3 said...

Here's my list. I put the series books together, because I think of them as one big book. Wife of the Gods was the best of them all, so 2 votes? First in a series, but I don't know when the next will be.

1. Wife of the Gods, Kwei Quartey

2a) The Draining Lake Indridason
b) Arctic Chill, Indridason
c) Hypothermia, Indridason

3. Still Life, Louise Penny
4. Sacred Cows, Karen E Olson

5a) Excurson to Tindari, Camilleri
b) The Smell of the Night, Camilleri
c) Rounding the Mark, Camilleri
d)The Patience of the Spider, Camilleri

6. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris
7. Three Bags Full, Leonie Swann
8. December Heat, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

Kerrie said...

Many thanks Raidergirl3. Interesting point you make about a series really being one big book.

Deb said...

Thanks Kerrie. I suppose I should get my own blog, but I fear it would be like the scrapbooking kit my sister-in-law gave me when my oldest child was born: Something that reproaches me for never getting done (my oldest child is now 17 and scrapbook sits exactly as it was the day it was given).

Anyway, here are my ten favorite crime/mystery books read in 2009. It was a hard list winnow down--and I don't think any of them were actually published this year, but here goes:

The Headhunters - Peter Lovesey

Mystery of the Blue Train - Agatha Christie

The Death Wish - Elizabeth Sanxay Holding

Out - Natsuo Kirino

An Air That Kills - Andrew Taylor

Death on Doomsday - Elizabeth Lemarchand

The Ewe Lamb - Margaret Erskine

The Ax - Donald Westlake

The Killings on Jubilee Terrace - Robert Barnard

Bury Me Deep - Megan Abbott

Kerrie said...

Many thanks Deb. My advice - don't create a blog unless you really want one - otherwise it will become a millstone.

Kerrie said...

Paul, I now have your best 10 on my spreadsheet and I've adjusted the link in Mr Linky.

Kerrie said...

Mine are settled now:
SHATTER Michael Robotham
PLAY DEAD Richard Montanari
SHADOW Karin Alvtegen
A PALE HORSE Charles Todd
ARCTIC CHILL Arnaldur Indridason
THE SERPENT POOL Martin Edwards (publ. Feb 2010)
A TEST OF WILLS Charles Todd

Bernadette said...

I've started to whittle down my list, but with two and a bit more reading days available (and two books on the go right now) my list is still a work in progress so I'll be back after the 31st. But I like looking at other people's lists as they appear - interesting to see one of your very recent reads made the list Kerrie - just shows you should never be too early

Nan said...

Here are my favorites in alphabetical order. The two I loved the very best are those by Henning Mankell.

Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Ruling Passion by Reginald Hill

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan by Nancy Springer

The Cruellest Month by Hazel Holt

The Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell

The Skeleton in the Grass by Robert Barnard

Valley of the Lost by Vicki Delany

Kerrie said...

Thanks Nan

Martin Edwards said...

Kerrie, thanks for mentioning THE SERPENT POOL!

Here are my top 10 (not in order -that's too difficult!):

Miles Tripp - Woman at Risk
Christopher Fowler - The Victoria Vanishes
Peter Lovesey - Skeleton Hill
Ann Cleeves - Red Bones
Frederic Valmain - The Jackals
Kate Ellis - Seeking the Dead
Detection Club - The Scoop
Jim Kelly - Death Wore White
Margaret Larminie and Jane Langslow - Gory Knight
L.C. Tyler - The Herring Seller's Apprentice
Best nonfiction: The Secret Notebooks of Agatha Christie by John Curran.

Kerrie said...

Thanks Martin

Literary Feline said...

Here is my list (in no specific order):
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Zoo Station by David Downing
In the Woods by Tana French
The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris
A World I Never Made by James LePore
The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson
The Last Dickens by Matthew Pearl
No One You Know by Michelle Richmond
Prime Time by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Shades of Grey by Clea Simon

Paul Beech said...

Hi Kerrie,

Greetings from the Weaver Valley in Cheshire, England. Here are my Top 10 (in no particular order):

The Arsenic Labyrinth – Martin Edwards
Dying to Sin – Stephen Booth
Cold in Hand – John Harvey
Dead Sight – Glenn Chandler
Little Face – Sophie Hannah
Raven Black – Ann Cleeves
White Corridor – Christopher Fowler
The Lemur – Benjamin Black (John Banville)
Naked to the Hangman – Andrew Taylor
The Secret Hangman – Peter Lovesey

Happy New Year!


Xavier said...

There are only three years left before the big jump so I think I can safely post my Top Ten.

1. Smile and Murder by F. Addington Symonds
2. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
3. La Raison Du Meilleur Est Toujours La Plus Forte (The Best One's Will Is Always The Strongest) by René Reouven
4. Swan Song by Edmund Crispin
5. Sleep with Slander by Dolores Hitchens
6. The Puzzle of the Blue Persian by Stuart Palmer
7. Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets by Georges Simenon
8. Mathilde Et Ses Mitaines (Mathilde and Her Mittens) by Tristan Bernard
9. Into the Web by Thomas H. Cook
10. Le Cauchemar de l'Aube (Nightmare at Dawn) by Frédéric Dard

Happy New Year everybody!

Kerrie said...

Many thanks Literary feline, Pual, and Xavier. A heap of interesting titles there.

Rob Kitchin said...

Kerrie, here you go. I have reviews of all of them up on my blog. http://theviewfromthebluehouse.blogspot.com/2010/01/best-crime-novel-reads-2009.html

1. Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (1947 in German, translated 2009)

2. Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell (2006)

3. Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland (2006)

4. The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Benyon Rees (2007)

5. The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski (2005)

6. The Foreign Correspondence by Alan Furst (2006)

7. Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty (2009)

8. Walking the Perfect Square by Reed Farrel Coleman (2002)

9. Go to Helena Handbasket by Donna Moore (2006)

10. The Twelve by Stuart Neville (2009)

Xavier said...

Oops, I meant three *hours*.

Corey Wilde said...

My top ten for 2009:

1. Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty
2. Pariah by Dave Zeltserman
3. Print the Legend by Craig McDonald
4. Small Crimes by Dave Zeltserman
5. The Gentlemen's Hour by Don Winslow
6. The First Rule by Robert Crais
7. Mixed Blood by Roger Smith
8. Cape Disappointment by Earl Emerson
9. The Little Sleep by Paul Tremblay
10. This Wicked World by Richard Lange

Bernadette said...

My final list

Karin Alvtegen, MISSING
Colin Cotterill, THE CORONER’S LUNCH
Tom Rob Smith, CHILD 44

Kerrie said...

Many thanks Rob, Corey, and Bernadette

Chris Well said...

In alphabetical order:

CASE CLOSED (manga series), Gosho Aoyama
TANTALIZING LOCKED ROOM MYSTERIES, Isaac Asimov, Charles G. Waugh, Martin Harry Greenberg, ed.
WILD SHEEP CHASE, Haruki Murakami

Bonus: Nonfiction
MAPS AND LEGENDS, Michael Chabon

Kerrie said...

Thanks Chris. I'm not sure I know what manga is though.

Anonymous said...

Kerrie - This really was a fabulous idae, and thanks for compiling our lists. Here is my "Top 10" list, in alphabetical order by author.

The Coroner’s Lunch – Colin Cotterill

The Cipher Garden - Martin Edwards

What Came Before He Shot Her – Elizabeth George

The Girl of His Dreams – Donna Leon

A Surfeit of Lampreys – Ngaio Marsh

The Brutal Telling – Louise Penny

Still Life – Louise Penny

Exit Music – Ian Rankin

Silent in the Grave – Deanna Raybourn

Blue Shoes and Happiness – Alexander McCall Smith

Kerrie said...

Thanks Margot

BooksPlease said...

Here are my top ten (in a-z order of title, anything else is just too difficult):

Among the Mad by Jacqueline Winspear
The Black Book by Ian Rankin
The Brading Collection by Patricia Wentworth
The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards
Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell
The Falls by Ian Rankin
Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell
The Riddle of the River by Catherine Shaw
Strange Affair by Peter Robinson

I read far more crime fiction last year than ever before, mainly thanks to your blog and the books themselves of course.

Kerrie said...

Thanks BooksPlease

Anonymous said...

Kerrie, here's my top ten in crime fiction. Since I've been away from blogging for many months, I don't think very many of them have a review. They are in the order I read them. Thanks for doing this and come visit me sometime.

Rule Against Murder – Louise Penny
In the Woods – Tana French
The Virgin of Small Plains – Nancy Pickard
The Coffin Trail - Martin Edwards
Faithless – Karin Slaughter
Desert Wives – Betty Webb
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played With Fire – Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
Kindness Goes Unpunished – Craig Johnson

Kerrie said...

Thanks Kay

Wendy said...

Hi Kerrie, I read some good crime fiction/thrillers this year (I don't have 10). Here's my list of favorites in no particular order:

1. Breathing out the Ghost by Kirk Curnutt
2. Christine Falls by Benjamin Black
3. The Silver Swan by Benjamin Black
4. In the Woods by Tana French
5. What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
6. Best Intentions by Emily Listfield

Kerrie said...

That's great Wendy - thanks

Unknown said...


Sorry I ran over - I had trouble getting this list down to twelve, actually!

Thanks for hosting this very worthwhile exercise.

Here are my choices for best reads in crime fiction in 2009:

The Piper on the Mountain by Ellis Peters
The Water’s Edge by Karin Fossum
Skeleton Hill by Peter Lovesey
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Turning Point by Peter Turnbull
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor
Wycliffe and the Tangled Web by W.J. Burley
Hit and Run by Lawrence Block
Fell Purpose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
The Fire Engine That Disappeared by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo

Kerrie said...

Thanks Roberta. A good mixture of old and new there.

Maria said...

I had such a busy year, that my reading list was woefully light this year. I don't think I read 10 crime books that I would put on the list, but I do have a *few* that I just have to mention:

Murder on a Girl's Night Out by Anne George

Curiosity Killed the Cat Sitter by Blaize Clement

Big Hair, Flying Cows by Dolores Wilson

I had a hard time deciding whether to include this last one because I think that many of her other books are much better--but that is not to say that this one is not good:

Bone by Bone Carol O'Connell

More an Urban Fantasy, but with definite crime twists and my favorite book of the year:

Unleashed by John Levitt

Kerrie said...

Thanks Maria - I'll add them in

The other one said...

Favorite crime/mystery fiction read this year:

The Revenge of the Spellmans -- Lisa Lutz
The Tremor of Forgery -- Patricia Highsmith
The City and The City -- China Mieville
The Ax -- Donald E. Westlake
Inherent Vice -- Thomas Pynchon
Await Your Reply -- Dan Chaon
The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes -- K.C. Constantine
The Cold Dish -- Craig Johnson
Child 44 -- Tom Rob Smith
The Dawn Patrol -- Don Winslow

Kerrie said...

Thanks Bullwinkle. Another good list!

Susan said...

Hi Kerrie, I finally have mine ready! I'm going to do a separate post later this week, I only did my favourite books read (all genres) today on my blog. I'll link back when I do the mystery post, but for now, here are my choices - and I've had so much fun looking over all the books nominated! Only a few are recurring, which is even more interesting!
In no particular order:

Turnstone - Graham Hurley
The Draining Lake - Artur Indridason
Various Haunts of Men - Susan Hill
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear
Mistress of the Art of Death - Ariana Franklin
The Cruellest Month - Louise Penny
Case Histories - Kate Atkinson
Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurdottir
This Night's Foul Work - Fred Vargas
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher (my book of the year)- Kate Summerscale

Peter Rozovsky said...

I waffled. My list contains 14 titles by 11 authors.

The Assassin, Liam O'Flaherty
Hard Man and Savage Night, Allan Guthrie
Havana World Series, Jose Latour
Death in the Truffle Wood and The Messengers of Death, Pierre Magnan
1977, David Peace
Scalped, Jason Aaron (author), R.M. Guera (illustrator)
Breathing Water, Timothy Hallinan
Gallows Lane, Brian McGilloway
Lorraine Connection and Rough Trade, Dominique Manotti
Arctic Chill, Arnaldur Indriðason
Wake Up Dead, Roger Smith
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Kerrie said...

Thanks Susan and Peter

Elizabeth Frengel said...

What a lovely idea! Miss Lemon loves lists! (Almost as much as she loves mysteries!)

1.Taken at the Flood, by Agatha Christie
2.Lonelyheart 4122, by Colin Watson
3.A Pocket Full of Rye, by Agatha Christie
4.In the Small Hours of the Morning, by Margaret Yorke
5.The Sittaford Mystery, by Agatha Christie
6.Written in Blood, by Caroline Graham
7.Gentlemen & Players, by Joanne Harris
8.Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days, by Jared Cade
9.The Chinese Bell Murders, by Robert Van Gulik
10.The Lodger, by Marie Belloc Lowndes

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

My top 5 euro crime reads :)

Andrea Camilleri - August Heat
Arnaldur Indridason - Silence of the Grave (audio)
Stieg Larsson - The Girl Who Played with Fire
Alexander McCall Smith - Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (audio)
Jon Stock - Dead Spy Running (audio)

Kerrie said...

Thanks Miss Lemon, Saerah, and Karen. The lists are certainly looking realy interesting.

Vicki Delany said...

At the group blog in which I am a member, Type M for Murder, we annual provide a list of recommended books for gift-giving. Our rules are strict - the book must have been published in this year or the previous and can not have been writing by anyone with whom we are personally acquainted. On the other hand, we can recommend any type of book, fiction or non. So its a nice change to be invited to provide a list of crime novels with no rules!

Hard Rain - Barry Eisler
Pleasing the Dead - Deborah Turrell Atkinson
The Sky Took Him - Donis Casey
The Suspicions of Mr. Whichter (not fiction, but still crime) - Kate Summersdale
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
Playing with Fire - Peter Robinson (a short story collection, including an Inspector Banks Novella)
Where Memories Lie - Deborah Crombie
Devil’s Food - Kerry Greenwood
One Careless Moment - Dave Hugelschaffer
A Passage to India - E.M. Forster
Stone's Fall - Iain Pears

Mack said...

I was pretty undisciplined in record keeping in 2009 and thought about ducking out but Kerrie noticed I was hiding so here is my list of favorites in no order. I borrowed Raidergirl3's idea about recording a series which allows me to fit in 11 titles.

1a) The Girl Who Played With Fire - Stieg Larrsson
b) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

2) Mixed Blood - Roger Smith

3) Fifty Grand - Adrian McKinty

4) The Rule Book - Rob Kitchin

5) Bury Me Deep - Megan Abbott

6) Bad Traffic - Simon Lewis

7) Damn Near Dead - Duane Swierczynski, editor

8) A Vengeful Longing - Roger Morris

9) 9 Dragons - Michael Connelly

10) Pain Killers - Jerry Stahl

Kerrie said...

Thanks Mack and Vicky. What a wonderful range of crime fiction we are getting

Meg Gardiner said...

Four of my 2009 favorites, by authors I read for the first time last year:

Bury Me Deep, Megan Abbott
The City and The City, China Mieville
Finch, Jeff VanderMeer
The Siege, Stephen White

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Larson
Starvation Lake, Brian Gruley
The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
Small Crimes, Dave Zeltserman
Life Sentences, Laura Lippman
The Long Division, Derek Nikitas
Rogue Males, Craig McDonald
The End of Everything, Megan Abbott
The Name of the Game is Death, Dan Marlowe
Tomato Red, Daniel Woodrell

Lesa said...

Thanks, Kerrie. Here's my list.

Dog On It - Spencer Quinn
A Bad Day for Sorry - Sophie Littlefield
13 1/2 - Nevada Barr
The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny
Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
U is for Undertow - Sue Grafton
Holiday Grind - Cleo Coyle
The Silent Spirit - Margaret Coel
Secondhand Spirits - Juliet Blackwell
Awakening - S.J. Bolton

Kerrie said...

Thanks Meg and Pattinase. The running total is 447 titles suggested by 44 contributors!

Kerrie said...

Many thanks Lesa.

Margot said...

Hi Kerrie,
Here's my list - not in any particular order.
1. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
2. Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deciption by Eric Van Lustbader
3. The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
4. The Way Home by George Pelecanos
5. The Associate by John Grisham

Kerrie said...

Thanks Margot

Vicki Delany said...

I made a mistake with the Peter Robinson title. It should be The Price of Love

Kerrie said...

Thanks Vick - I'll fix it on the final list


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