Wednesday, January 02, 2019

My Best Reads of 2018

Normally I just include my Best Reads list with the rest of my reading statistics, but I thought I'd do something a bit different this year. Since I read right down to the wire, I don't post these statistics until after the New Year. (There's been at least one year when one of my Best Reads was finished on December 31.) Of course, I run the risk that y'all have already overdosed on Best Of lists, but... maybe you have room for one more? We shall see! (And if you are waiting for the rest of my reading statistics, those will be posted Wednesday, January 9. I'm taking my time this go-round!)

First of all, let's take a look at all the covers of the twenty books I gave my highest rating to in 2018. Strange how that number remains steady at twenty year after year because it's not a goal that I intentionally set.

Wonder of wonders, this group is evenly divided: ten were written by women and ten by men. Of the twenty, six are set somewhere in the United States, eight are set in the United Kingdom, and six are set in other countries around the world. I'm glad that more than half the list are set in countries outside the United States. It's a great big world out there, and I like learning about as much of it as I can.

How does the list break down by genre/subgenre? (By the way, you can click on the linked title for my review of the book if you're interested.)

=== Police Procedurals === 

Crime on the Fens by Joy Ellis
White Corridor by Christopher Fowler
The Birdwatcher by William Shaw
Field of Bones by J.A. Jance
Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless
The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson

=== Other ===

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
The Player by Brad Parks
Fogland Point by Doug Burgess
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

=== Historical Mysteries ===

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee
The Women of Baker Street by Michelle Birkby
A Coin for the Hangman by Ralph Spurrier

=== Private Investigator ===

The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton
The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
Nighttown by Timothy Hallinan

=== Cozy Mystery ===

Hitting the Books by Jenn McKinlay

=== Humorous Mystery ===

Lost Luggage by Wendall Thomas


A few months ago on Facebook, another Cathy-with-a-C asked me if I ever chose one book as my favorite book of the year. My answer was no. Normally, all the books are so good that I don't feel like splitting hairs and declaring one the "winner." They are all winners in my book. However... 2018 had two clear standouts, so I thought I would pay them a bit of special attention even if it does make me feel a bit guilty.

Which two books are my standouts of 2018? 

The first book in Jónasson's Hulda Hermannsdóttir series blew me away. The main character grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let me go, and... Jónasson does something with the whole series format rulebook that threw me for a loop. I cannot begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, The Island!

And you have to know that the overwhelming sense of anticipation holds true for Wendall Thomas' Drowned Under, the next book in her Cyd Redondo series. Not only did I learn a lot by reading Lost Luggage, but it's also been years since I've laughed so hard while reading a book. Humor and knowledge are two of the greatest gifts this world has to give, and I love Thomas for packaging them up with a huge bow for me.

Have you read any of the books on my Best Reads of 2018 list? Which ones? Which books from your own personal lists do you think I would enjoy? Inquiring minds would love to know... and they're always on the lookout for more reading material!


  1. I'm very glad you had some excellent reads this year, Cathy. And I like the variety in the books that made your list. Here's to great reading in 2019!

    1. As some people would say, I'm a "splasher"-- I like to dabble in all sorts of genres/subgenres!

  2. I read seven of your top reads. Four of them became my top reads for 2018. They are The Widows of Malabar Hill, The Silent Companions, Fogland Point and The Stranger Diaries. I have The Darkness here to read. I am not caught up in the J.A. Jance, Timothy Hallinan and Brad Park series or I probably would have read your 2018 best reads books by them.
    Silent Companions is a standout for me. I read at night in bed. This book I read with full lights blazing in the living room with the TV on. It was creepy. I would say Fogland Point was the most different. The Secret Diaries was so good and comforting to be back reading a new Elly Griffiths.
    One book that I found out about on your site was The Death Of A Rainmaker. It made my top 2018 books. I just loved this book. It and Silent Companions were probably my top two standouts.

    1. Death of a Rainmaker came very close to being on my Best Reads list, too, Lynn. I'm glad you enjoyed Fogland Point. It's difficult to talk about it without giving too much away.

      We share a lot of the same reading DNA. Here's to a marvelous bookish year ahead of us both!

  3. I love that you've done this, Cathy, and I'm not overdosed on 'best of' lists. Mine will go up maybe Friday, maybe early next week. I know the books, but I need to write it. Ah well. Soon. I've read 1 of your top books, the Joy Ellis book. I have many of them on my Kindle to get to. Maybe in 2019? Hopefully? I'll try to make a point of the two you featured at the end. I'm pretty certain I own both. Plus, along with Lynn's recommendation and yours I'll get to The Silent Companions, which I also own. Can't wait!

    1. Here's to all the books waiting for us in 2019!

  4. I really liked The Widows of Malabar Hill too and am anxiously waiting for the next one this year!


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