For the last two years I’ve published a list of my recommendations of the best mystery books for book clubs. These have become my most popular articles. In considering what was important for a book club, I realized you need more than just an excellent book. Book clubs need stories where there are philosophical discussions and moral issues.
These are my recommendations based on the books I have reviewed this year. I read so many outstanding books this year it was difficult to narrow the list down to only ten. All of the books on this list received a five star out of five rating.
I have presented them in alphabetical order. They span the mystery genre. There are cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, thrillers and even a short story. The authors span the gamut from names you see in the grocery store to a first time author. There are books from large publishers, small presses and one is only e-published.
Many of these authors are pleased to attend book clubs depending on the distance either in person or by Skype.
Please comment and share your favorite book for a book club.
(Scroll through the photos to see the top 10 books.)
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“A Basket of Trouble” - Beth Groundwater
“A Basket of Trouble” addresses the topic of illegal immigration. Beth Groundwater features all sides of the issue: the current difficulties employers face in hiring, the human side of the immigrants who are here illegally and the danger of human smuggling.
“The Geneva Option” - Adam Lebor
“The Geneva Option” blends current international political issues with an entertaining story. The book made me think and question preconceived theories about the United Nations and the functions it serves.
“The Player” – Brad Parks
While there are many humorous aspects of the book, “The Player” offers the reader many important issues to consider: redevelopment, the problems involved in cleaning up old industrial sites, banking and outsourcing government jobs. It also considers the issues involved in class action law suits.
“Poisoned Ground” – Sandra Parshall
“Poisoned Ground” deals with the significant social issues of development and jobs versus the rights of homeowners to keep their property and farm country undeveloped. The book highlights the problems that arise when all the homeowners, whose property the developers want, don’t want to sell.
“Erased and Other Stories”– Thomas Kaufman
“Erased” offers two perspectives, one during the time of the Holocaust and one of today. It is based on the emotions, the guilt, and the helplessness of the survivors. The twist in this story is how one man dealt with the aftermath.
“Killer Image” – Wendy Tyson
“Killer Image” revolves around family dynamics. The theme of the story, and I’m hoping the series, is that people have the power to change. Allison, the main character’s mentor tells her, “Self-reinvention is the key to survival, in this line of work and in life.”
“Small Town Spin” – LynDee Walker
“Small Town Spin” examines the issue of suicide in children: what factors lead to it and what can be done to prevent it. This is a very heavy topic, which LynDee handles skillfully. While never downplaying the issue, she intersperses humorous moments in Nichelle’s day so that the reader is never left depressed.
“Aunty Lee’s Delights” - Ovidia Yu
“Aunty Lee’s Delights” set in Singapore offers an exploration of a country many have never visited. The characters in Aunty Lee's Delights come from the many ethnic communities. Aunty Lee is a fascinating character and her behavior and relationships with her family, her patrons and her employees will provide interesting discussions.