About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Reviewing World Best Crime Fiction of 2012

What were the best crime fiction books in 2012? On my blog I did a post highlighting four books as my Best of 2012 Fiction. All happened to be mysteries. Blogger Kerrie Smith at Mysteries in Paradise has gone far beyond her own list. She has compiled lists from 28 different bloggers around the world. In recent posts she advised that there were 366 books chosen by the bloggers. I encourage readers of this post to go see the posts Kerrie has done on the Best of 2012 crime fiction. I appreciate the time she has spent putting the information together.

Bloggers define their own criteria for best of or favourites. I include books published before 2012. A book is eligible for me if I read it in 2012. I am glad that Kerrie lets each blogger set their own rules for eligibility.

What is striking is the diversity in books. Out of the 366 no books were chosen by 4 or more bloggers. Only 12 were nominated 3 times. An additional 36 were nominated by 2 bloggers. Thus there were 258 books that received single nominations!

The top 12 are:
1.) Another Time, Another Life by Leif G.W. Persson;

2.) Broken Harbor by Tana French;

3.) Dare Me by Megan Abbott;

4.) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn;

5.) Lake Country by Sean Dolittle;

6.) Last Will by Lisa Marklund;

7.) Phantom by Jo Nesbo;

8.) The Caller by Karin Fossum;

9.) The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty;

10.) The Gods of Gotham by Lindsay Faye;

11.) The Nameless Dead by Brian McGilloway; and,

12.) What It Was by George Pelecanos
I did not read any of these 12 books. In 2011 I had read several of the top choices.
It is a significant change from the 2011 lists when 7 books were nominated by at least 5 bloggers with the top choices of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and The Keeper of Lost Causes (also published as Mercy) by Jussi Adler-Olsen on 7 lists.
Out of the authors there was slightly more consensus though it came from multiple books. Two authors had 5 nominations:

1.)   Deon Meyer for Blood Safari, 7 Days and Trackers

2.)   Jo Nesbo for The Bat and The Phantom

I certainly concur on Meyer. I have read all 3 of books nominated and included Trackers in my list. I think he has become one of the world’s best mystery / thriller writers.

My top choice for 2012 was The Suspect by L.R. Wright which was actually written in 1985. It was also nominated by another blogger. Going into the year I would never have expected a book written 27 years ago would turn out to my best of 20112.

On why there was little accord between bloggers in 2012 I am going to do some reflecting. With over 65 cm of snow around and on the house and more coming and the temperature at -15C it is a good evening to stay inside and think about books.


  1. Bill - With weather that cold, and that much snow, you are definitely better off staying inside and reflecting on books. I agree with you completely about Deon Meyer - a highly talented author and I hope he continues to get the recognition he deserves. I agree too that one thing that's interesting about these top choices is their diversity. People really do have a wide variety of opinions about what the best books they've read are.

  2. Interesting about The Suspect, a book I liked so much and recommended to everyone.

    However, have you read any more books by L.R. Wright? I read two others and didn't like them as much.

    Felony and Mayhen Press is publishing another one of hers, too.

  3. Bill, thanks for summing up some of the best crime-fiction books bloggers read in 2012. I read Kerrie's novel list earlier. I am planning to read some of the books nominated (and recommended) starting with Deon Meyer and Jo Nesbo. Frankly, over the past few years I have read very little fiction published beyond 1980.

  4. Thanks for promoting the results Bill

  5. Margot: Thanks for the comment. I think I am glad about the diversity but I find myself wishing that a few books had judged consistently the best as in 2011.

  6. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I have read the second in the series and found it a good but not outstanding book. I am going to read the third to see what I think on the series.

  7. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. If I were moving from the 1980's to 2013 in reading I would start with Deon Meyer.

  8. Kerrie: Thanks again for putting all the information together.