LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

Mystery Series Lineup, February 1, 2012

Dams, Jeanne M. The Evil That Men Do. Severn House. Feb. 2012. c.224p. ISBN 9780727880901. $28.95. M

A Cotswolds vacation turns into a busman’s holiday for Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt (A Dark and Stormy Night), when they discover a corpse in a quarry and Dorothy suspects murder. A pleasing traditional cozy for Anglophiles. [See Prepub Alert, 8/2/11.]

Flora, Kate. Redemption: A Joe Burgess Mystery. Five Star: Gale Cengage. Feb. 2012. c.364p. ISBN 9781594153792. $25.95. M

Det. Joe Burgess of Portland, ME, struggles with Vietnam War memories when his latest case involves a dead vet. The third entry (after The Angel of Knowlton Park) in a gritty procedural series that has received starred LJ reviews. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/11.]

Fluke, Joanne. Cinnamon Roll Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery with Recipes. Kensington. Mar. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780758234933. $24. M

Lake Eden’s spring jazz festival is off to a rocky start when the headliner act’s tour bus overturns, killing a musician. In her 15th outing, Hannah (Devil’s Food Cake Murder) thinks there is something suspicious about the accident. Save some time to drool over the delectable recipes.

Hess, Joan. Deader Homes & Gardens: A Claire Malloy Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780312363628. $24.99. M

Real-estate problems escalate into murder when newly married Claire Malloy (Mummy Dearest) stumbles into a dangerous housing market. This long-running series never loses steam.

James, Miranda. File M for Murder: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery. Berkley Prime Crime. Feb. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780425246184. pap. $7.99. M

Librarian Charlie’s daughter is accused of murdering her old boyfriend, a famous playwright. Charlie and his detecting Maine coon cat settle in for serious research in James’s third charming Southern cozy (after Classified as Murder).

Lourey, Jess. November Hunt: A Murder-by-Month Mystery. Midnight Ink. Mar. 2012. c.288p. ISBN 9780738731360. pap. $14.95. M

Tom Kicker dies in a freak hunting accident, but aspiring PI Mira (October Fest) learns Tom had a dark secret that probably led to his untimely death. Seventh in this engaging series.

Lutz, Lisa. Trail of the Spellmans: Document #5. S. & S. Mar. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 9781451608120. $25. M

The Spellmans make a business out of quirkiness, and they’re running at full tilt in title number five (after The Spellmans Strike Again). Izzy’s the one who must maintain order. [See Prepub Alert, 8/26/11.]

Stabenow, Dana. Restless in the Grave: A Kate Shugak Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 9780312559137. $25.99. M

A suspicious small plane crash turns out to be tied into big crimes with a long history in Alaska. Series favorite Aleut Kate Shugak (Though Not Dead) goes undercover to find the crooks, with cop Liam Campbell involved as well. [See Prepub Alert, 11/11/11.]

White, Kate. So Pretty It Hurts: A Bailey Weggins Mystery. Harper: HarperCollins. Mar. 2012. c.336p. ISBN 9780061576607. $24.99. M

Sexy true crime journalist Bailey Weggins (Lethally Blond) gets tangled up in a supermodel’s death in her breezy sixth outing. [See Prepub Alert, 9/19/11.]