The Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2017 So Far

FronticeIt's a lot of fun picking the Best Mysteries & Thrillers of the Year So Far, but it's not easy. Here are four selections below, but there are standouts all through the list. Check out the full list here.

 

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Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles - At this point, you have probably heard of Greg Iles' "Natchez Burning" trilogy. But if you haven't, consider this: out of 1,128 customer reviews for Mississippi Blood on Amazon.com (as of this writing), 82% of them are five star ratings. That's roughly 925 of them by my count. This is a classic crime fiction trilogy, and Mississippi Blood brings it all home. For those who want to start at the beginning of the trilogy, Natchez Burning is the first book in the "Natchez Burning" trilogy.
 

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The Dry by Jane Harper - From the old to the new. In her January 2017 Best of the Month review, Amazon's Penny Mann described the book this way: "I was surprised to realize that The Dry was Jane Harper's debut novel. The writing is fantastic, and the plot - where many mystery/thrillers fall short these days - was completely unpredictable in the best ways possible. Federal Agent, Aaron Faulk, returns to his hometown in Australia to mourn, and inevitably investigate, his best friend's apparent suicide. What comes next is a series of twists and turns that will keep you guessing all the way until the end. I repeatedly found myself shocked and pulled in by Harper's fast-paced and engrossing writing. Truly a fantastic read and hopefully the first of many to come from Ms. Harper."
 

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Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr - There's a throwback quality to Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels that I really enjoy. If you aren't familiar with him, Bernie is a detective working in Nazi Germany. But there are two Gunther threads in Prussian Blue--one set in 1956 that has him being sent (forced, really) on a mission to poison a female agent, and one set in 1939, just weeks before Hitler's 50th birthday, where Bernie has a week to solve a murder that has occurred in an elite Nazi community. The threads come together perfectly, and you don't need to have read the previous books to read this one. Kerr is a master storyteller, so if you're looking for a great anti-hero created by a wonderful author with writing chops and a grasp of history, read this book.
 

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Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz - This is a fun, Agatha Christie-style mystery. In her June Best of the Month review of the book, Amazon's Vannessa Cronin wrote: "When editor Susan Ryeland begins to read the latest manuscript by curmudgeonly, bestselling author Alan Conway, she has no idea that by the time she gets to the end, the author will be dead from a mysterious fall, and that the last chapter of his last novel will be MIA. Sounds simple enough, but Horowitz uses this set-up to construct a clever novel-within-a-novel framework. One novel is set in 1950s Saxby-on-Avon, the English village where Conway’s Poirot-like fictional detective Atticus Pund arrives to investigate a murder, the other in modern-day London where Susan’s reading of the manuscript leads her to suspect that Conway’s death may not have been accidental. Two novels for the price of one means double the fun for readers: two mysteries, two detectives, and possibly two murderers. Paying homage to the vintage British manor house mysteries, Magpie Murders is a masterfully dark, twisty thriller with only one down side: reading it will make you wish there really was a series of Atticus Pund thrillers."

 

Again, you can see the full list here.

 

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