Looking back nearly every book I read this year involved crime, whatever the genre it was romance, science fiction or mystery.
We all know that cozy mysteries are a thing, and while some of these were cozy, others were more aptly described as thrillers. The comfort in these were the archetypes (the wise detective, the resilient victim), the beats (shock, suspicions, terror and resolution) and the resolution with its restoration of order if not justice. However many of these books were also comforting in how the protagonists ended up enveloped in unexpected community. That is what I read for the most.
It was so interesting to go back and evaluate what my favorite books of each month were. Most months I can easily identify a favorite but I a few occasions it was harder, because while they were comforting to read at the time I can’t imagine recommending them (see April).
I’ve spent the last few years reading backlist over frontlist because I mostly read in audio right now. While audio ARCs are more widely available now that than they were a few years ago, I still depend on what is available through Libby (and my multiple library accounts), Audible and Scribd for most of my reading this year.
My Scribd subscription has more than paid for itself this year. While I am always loath to spend double digits $$ for backlist audio, that hasn’t even been edited since it was first released (Book blah blah continues in the next CD…), with Scribd I can listen to a half-dozen backlist audiobooks for the price of one book on Audible. It has really facilitated my binge of Nora Roberts’s Romantic Suspense as so many of her audios while plentiful on CDs at libraries are hard to find in my libraries digital collections.
Despite my backlist binges I did discover several new to me authors this year, both mystery novelists who write mystery series with incredibly engrossing mysteries and expansive supporting casts. Elly Griffiths, whose three series I very much enjoyed, Harbinder Kaur, Ruth Galloway and the Stephen and Mephisto Mysteries and Louise Penny whose Armand Gamache mysteries have enchanted my December.
The books I most enjoyed reading in 2022:
January: Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addision.
February: Hawaii Magic by Beverly Jenkins
March: Crowbones by Anne Bishop
April — I compulsively read the comforting but meh Heather Graham Krewe of Hunters books. Can’t recommend them but they gave me something.
May : Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
June: Northern Lights by Nora Roberts
July: Storm Echo by Nalini Singh
August: Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews
September : The Villa by Nora Roberts
October: Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik
November: Sacred Sins by Nora Roberts
December: Still Life by Louise Penny
Nora Roberts is my reading MVP this year. Her robust backlist gave me so much to choose from this year within the same sub-genre (Romantic Suspense) that I can only bow in admiration.