Welcome to Sharon's Top Mystery Reads of 2011, part one.
I've taken a tip from Margaret Cannon's list this year - I also have 11 top books.
Not all these books were published in 2011 - my only criteria is that I read them in 2011.
Download a printable copy of the entire list here.
Lee Child: The Affair (2011)
Book # 16 with ex-military policeman Jack Reacher, now drifting around the U.S.
This is a prequel to the series, back when Reacher was still in the military police. You could go right from this one to the first book in series - the perfect circle. After a woman is murdered in a small town near a military training base in the U.S., Reacher is sent to town undercover to see what he can find out. Interesting to see Reacher in the military.
First book: Killing Floor
## Related posts:
MBTB review of Bad Luck and Trouble # 11
MBTB review of 61 Hours # 14
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Michael Connelly: The Drop (2009)
American police procedural.
Book # 17 with renegade cop Harry Bosch, now with the LAPD Cold Case squad.
The case: Harry gets a special request by a city councilor to investigate the death of the councilor’s son. It looks like the man jumped or fell or was pushed from his hotel balcony. Bosch and the councilor never got along and Bosch can feel the influence of backroom politics and manipulations. Lots of good twists. Reminds me why I love this author.
First book: The Black Echo
## Related post: MBTB review of Nine Dragons # 15
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Tana French: Faithful Place (2010)
All Tana French’s books feature police detectives on the murder squad in Dublin, Ireland. They are not a series, but loosely connected. This one features Frank Mackey, a senior undercover cop.
A suitcase is found belonging to his girlfriend from 20 years ago who he was planning to run away with. She disappeared that very night. Not a standard police procedural.
First book: In The Woods
## Related post: MBTB review of The Likeness # 2
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Sara J. Henry: Learning to Swim (2011)
Book # 1 with Troy Chance, a young woman who works in Lake Placid, NY.
While on a ferry trip across the lake, Troy thinks she sees a child fall from a passing ferry. Without thinking, she jumps in and yes, a 6-year-old boy has been tied into a sweatshirt and is underwater. She rescues him and heroically swims to shore. The pace hardly slows down after she traces the boy’s father to Ottawa and accompanies the child back home. Troy is determined to get to the bottom of who threw the child in the water, and she doesn’t completely trust that the father had nothing to do with it. Enthralling writing style, a good balanced character in Troy and an interesting narrative voice. A great read.
The author’s website says the next book will be out in 2012.
## Related post: MBTB mini-review of Learning to Swim
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Stuart MacBride: Shatter the Bones (2011)
British police procedural (Scottish noir)
Book # 7 with Logan “Lazarus” McRaie, DS, in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The case: a young mother and daughter singing sensation from a competition TV show have been kidnapped for ransom and the police have very little to go on. There is a breakneck pace to the policing and McRaie’s personal life that makes the book hard to put down.
First book: Cold Granite
## Related posts:
MBTB review of Cold Granite # 1
MBTB review of Dark Blood # 6
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Margaret Maron: Three-Day Town (2011)
Book # 17 with Judge Deborah Knott, now married to police officer Dwight.
This book is set in New York City where Deborah and Dwight are taking a delayed honeymoon. Staying in a friend’s apartment, they are invited down the hall to a neighbour’s party. When they return to their apartment, there is a dead body in it. NYPD detective Sigrid Harald from Maron’s other series plays a big part.
Nicely done from multiple points of view – mostly Deborah and Sigrid. It’s refreshing to see Deborah operate outside the cloying cushion of her endless relatives on the home front in North Carolina.
First book: Bootlegger’s Daughter
## Related post: MBTB review of Rituals of the Season # 11
Watch for upcoming post: Sharon's Top Mystery Reads of 2011, part two
posted by Sharon
WHAT I'M READING NOW:
by Taylor Stevens
Book # 2 with Vanessa Michael Munroe, the daughter of American missionaries in Africa, now works all over the world as a researcher and investigator
Description: Eight years ago, five-year-old Hannah was spirited out of school and into the closed world of a cult known as The Chosen. Ever since, followers of its leader, The Prophet, have hidden the child and shielded her abductor. Now, childhood survivors of The Chosen who have escaped to make a life for themselves on the outside know where to find Hannah and turn to Vanessa Michael Munroe for help. . .
Munroe must navigate unpredictable cult members, their dangerous cohorts and the struggle against her own increasingly violent nature so she can rescue the child.... (book jacket)
First book: The Informationist