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December 2022

A Year in Review 2022 — The comfort of community

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.


Mini-Reviews 2022: December

December reading is like much of the past year. Full of romantic suspense and books by much trusted authors like Nora Roberts, Ilona Andrews and Molly Harper.  I have also begun what will likely be my next binge author, Louise Penny whose Armand Gamache mysteries have completely  charmed me.


111. Nightwork by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, thief, Cw: cancer)  the first 1/3 of this book is all about Booth and his journey into larceny as a child to support his mother dying of cancer.  It is super compelling and I cried so hard. Romance is 2nd chance. Cw:crimes,lies, betrayal.

112. Carnal Innocence by Nora Roberts (WM/WW, violinist, Mississippi delta, serial killer, CWs: murder, depictions of racism, racist violence & slurs)


I should have quit this. I guessed the murderer early on & the rest was just a mess. Might do good for this to go out of print.

113. Hidden Riches (WM/WW, cop/antiques dealer, grumpy neighbor/sunshine landlord).  A shipping mishap, an auction & obsessed collector’s minions combine for an engrossing story. Cried buckets at the end. (CWs: grief, rape attempts, guns, murder, past trauma: child abuse )

114. Sweep of the Heart  by Ilona Andrews (UF, WM/WW, intergalactic spouse selection competition!) the innkeeper books are a non-stop roller coaster and this one was a fantastic ride ( CWs: grief, murder, betrayal, violence and shenanigans).

115. Witches get Stuff Done by Molly Harper (audible audio original WM/WW, witch/librarian) When Riley inherits a ghost-stuffed manor, she finds purpose, community & romance. 1st in series (CWs: grief, murder, harassment, secrets) .

116. Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths (Harbinder Kaur #3, contemporary mystery series, lesbian Anglo-Indian DI) A death at a school reunion with ties to a long-ago death of student, untangles memories and relationships (CW: murder, betrayal, buried memories).

117. Still Life by Louise Penny (WM Québécois Detective, small town murder mystery) this has long been on the TBR but finishing the tv series spurred me to meet the real characters. Really rich storytelling (Cw: murder, homophobia, bullying, kidnapping, fatphobia).

118. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny (Inspector Gamache 2, WM, Québécois detective) the first two ep of the book are based on this and wow there is just so much that doesn’t make it in!  Would you know God? Cw: emotional abuse, fatphobia, mental illness, past trauma: abandonment

119. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (WM Québécois detective, IGM #3) the murder takes a backseat to the machinations of those looking to force Gamache out.  (CWs: fatphobia, murder,betrayal, guns).

120. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (IGM #4, WM, québécois Detective)


A rich estranged family gather and soon one in murdered.  Vastly different than the TV adaptation. 


CWs: murder, child endangerment, emotional abuse, slut-shaming, name-calling.