I continue to assemble my Best of lists at the end of the calendar year. This post has Bill’s Best of 2022 Fiction. My next post will have Bill’s Best of 2022 Non-Fiction and a personal category of Bill’s Most Interesting of 2022. The lists do include books published earlier than 2022.
For the best of 2022 fiction:
1.) Going to Beautiful by Anthony Bidulka - I have long been a fan of Tony’s books. I especially enjoyed each book in the Russell Quant series. In 2004 his first in the series, Amuse Bouche, was my Most Interesting book of the year. The next year Flight of Aquavit was my choice for 2nd best Fiction. For 2022 Going to Beautiful is my favourite work of fiction. Anthony is the first Saskatchewan writer to be Bill’s No. 1 fiction read of the year.
In the letter forming my review I described the book as his “masterpiece”. It is a great book that evokes rural Saskatchewan emotionally and physically while providing an intriguing mystery.
I then had the good fortune to be able to attend his book launch in Saskatoon. It is the only time a pair of socks has become a vivid memory for me. As set out in my post, a link is below, the heel came off one of Tony’s shoes so he strode upon the stage in striking pink socks. More memorable was seeing Tony and his mother, Johanna, at the signing table after the launch.
The book has gained major attention through the year. Well done Tony!
2.) Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby - The story of ex-cons, Ike Randolph and Buddy Lee Jenkins, avenging the deaths of their gay sons, Isiah and Derek, was riveting. Both fathers had deep regrets over their treatment of their sons who were gay.
I set out in my review:
Each man lives with the burden of not accepting their sons as gay and letting that disdain govern the relationship. They desperately wish they had given up their prejudices.
Ike weeps alone:
Tears for his son. Tears for his wife. Tears for the little girl they had to raise. Tears for who they were and what they all had lost. Each drop felt like it was slicing his face open like a razorblade.
There is graphic violence. Yet it is not an oxymoron to say the violence was thoughtful.
3.) Mindful of Murder by Susan Juby - Another Canadian book was my choice for 3rd best Fiction of 2022. Helen Thorpe was my favourite new sleuth. She is a skilled butler who effectively uses her training to solve the mystery of the death of her former employer, Edna Todd, What was thought to be suicide was murder.
The setting at a New Age retreat centre on an island just off Vancouver Island was fascinating.
There are excellent secondary characters.
Her butler friends, Murray and Gavin, are suave clever butlers. All three butlers reminded me of the wonderful butlers Sharon and I have had on Oceania ships. A link to a post on butlers is below together with a link to an exchange with the author.
Jenson Riley and Wayfarer are amazing as the instructors of the Arranging Your Inner Flower and Devi Dance courses. I would not have imagined you could gain so much inner knowledge from flowers and dance.
It is a skilled writer who can make a sleuth in an unlikely profession for crime investigation into a memorable character.
If you have not read any of the above, good reading awaits you.