Last year was a very good year for fiction. In fact, compiling a list of the best books of 2012 took considerable effort because there were so many great novels by so many talented authors. After much consideration, not to mention hand-wringing, here are the best books of 2012 (and some 2013 titles) for you to enjoy.
Best Fiction Books of 2012
• Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson
Cross deals with terrorists and a hostage situation while trying to make it home for Christmas on time.
• The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Rowling proves that she can capture grown-up readers in her adult fiction debut. Readers around the world anticipate her next one.
• The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark
Author Mary Higgins Clark, the "Doyenne of Mystery" always leaves us guessing till the end. Clark is an international bestselling author who has sold over 100 million books. Need I say more?
• The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark
Clark serves readers delicious slices of chills and suspense in her Piper Donovan wedding cake mystery series. Piper Donovan, a struggling actress, who can also whip up the most delectable wedding cakes, is one of the most interesting characters ever to walk the pages of mystery fiction.
• Stranger in the Room by Amanda Kyle Williams Amanda Kyle Williams’ “Stranger” series has been winning over fans since her debut, The Stranger You Seek in 2011. Smart, resourceful (and sometimes ornery) private eye Keye Street is a magnet for danger and excitement with a wonderful cast of supporting characters to help her along her adventures.
Night Blind by Michael W. Sherer The suspense in Blind Night grips you with the force of a hurricane. Sherer’s prose grabs your attention from the first page and doesn’t let go till the exciting finale.
• Last to Die: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen
A fan favorite, Gerritsen has won the hearts of millions of readers with her Rizzoli & Isles novels, and Last to Die doesn’t disappoint.
• White Heat by Paul D. Marks
This dark novel set during the violent Rodney King era in Los Angeles, is a mystery shrouded within a mystery. Readers might perceive a touch of Raymond Chandler in Marks’ work.
• The Conviction by Robert Dugoni
If you ever land in a juvenile detention center and hear the name “Big Baby” – RUN! Dugoni, a lawyer-turned-bestselling author, turns this thriller into a voice for justice for all those innocent juveniles who are swallowed up into a sometimes unjust justice system.
• Dead End by Leigh Russell
Russell is the mastermind behind the Geraldine Steel mystery series. Dead End’s characters, plots and sub-plots merge into the perfect mystery books for mystery lovers.
• Death of a Schoolgirl by Joanna Campbell Slan
Author Joanna Campbell Slan seamlessly transports us into Jane Eyre’s 19th century England, where Jane is compelled to leave home in order to save a young schoolgirl from harm. Slan’s writing is generous in detail, painting a vivid picture of her protagonist’s experience.
• Indisputable Proof by Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly
It is indisputable proof that Williams and Knerly are a winning team. The thrills and excitement in Indisputable Proof will have you reading its pages faster than a Falcon Hypersonic. We demand more from this dynamic duo – and soon.
• Dare Me by Megan Abbott
Abbott’s prose insidiously takes over your subconscious. Even after you’ve put the book down, you’ll be thinking about her characters and their lives. Dare Me is a non-typical mystery novel that is sure to keep you turning the pages until the shocking revelations and turn of events at the end.
• Everybody’s Daughter by Michael John Sullivan
This travel-through-time-novel enthralls us with its spiritual journey of a father traveling to Jesus' time in order to save his daughter. Sullivan is working on the third novel of the series.
• Final Crossing by Carter Wilson
A compelling novel with characters that readers will take to heart and never forget. Wilson is a lion in today’s literary world.
• The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
This delicious piece of prose is a love letter to jazz, literary noir, and Florida’s tropical landscape. The Lola Quartet is a mystery you do not want to miss.
Honorable Mention: Magnolia by Carolina Garcia-Aguilera Garcia-Aguilera writes about the travails of Magnolia Larson, a sort of female version of Richard Gere’s American Gigolo, whose move to Miami and subsequent break up leaves her high and dry until she starts turning tricks as a ‘sports geisha.’ Garcia-Aguilera’s imagination is on fire in this departure from her Lupe Solano mystery series.
• Of Good & Evil by Gerald G. Griffin
• The Brain Vault by Lawrence Kelter
• The Fear Artist by Timothy Hilliman
• Bleeding Through by Sandra Parshall
Best Romantic Series: Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire
Best New Series: Trial Junkies by Robert Gregory Browne
Best Historical Fiction: Letter to Lincoln by William Martin
Best Book by a New Mystery Writer: Shards of an Angel by Christina Beck
2013 Must Read Titles:
Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton (on sale now) Grafton rewards her readers with 9 short stories in the first section about her P.I., Kinsey Millhone, one of the leaders in detective fiction who led the movement and opened the door for female gumshoes to enter. Mystery readers are eternally grateful for Grafton's creation of Kinsey Millhone. There are thirteen stories in the second part of the book, written in the decade after Grafton's mother passed away. These feature Kit Blue, a younger version of Sue Grafton. They are dark, tinged with unhappiness and suffering. Sue Grafton has always been a very private person, but she knows how her fans love her books and care for her. She shares this dark period in her life after years of keeping it in an emotional safe.
Daddy's Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark (On sale April 9). The "Queen of Suspense's" soon to be released novel has two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, who find themselves in the midst of tragic events. When Kate is injured, Hannah tries to find out who is the malevolent person behind this. Mary Higgins Clark is an international bestselling author who has gathered millions of loyal readers who impatiently await her latest book.
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark is the new and third Piper Donovan wedding cake mystery series. Piper Donovan finds herself in sunny Sarasota, Fl., enjoying the warm weather. She will be concocting her cousin's wedding cake, but when a bride disappears and several sinister events follow, she finds herself buried in questions, unaware that she is the next target.
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer (on sale January 15th) Brad Meltzer is a nationally bestselling author.The master of imagination is at it again. Meltzer's latest novel, The Fifth Assassin (Grand Central Publishing Hardcover; on sale January 15th, 2013), has archivist Beecher White discovering a similarity successful assassins of United States Presidents, share. Can he connect the dots to come up with why? Brad Meltzer is a nationally bestselling author. He derives facts from his thorough research, which is also a factor on his highly rated show on The History Channel, "Decoded", Meltzer conducted an investigation on the four successful presidential assassins themselves.
The Flight of the Earls by Michael K. Reynolds (on sale now) This ambitious novel encompasses the Irish-Americans' struggles in the Land of Milk and Honey. Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, cross the straits to live in New York, after escaping the somber fate they would have faced in Ireland. Clare becomes aware of a shocking secret that can negatively impact their lives forever.
Blood Money by James Grippando. In his latest novel, Grippando hands Jack Swyteck the case of a lifetime. A provocative cocktail waitress and party girl finds herself being charged with her two year old daughter's murder. In enters Jack Swyteck as her defense attorney. America is appalled by the chain of events but there is still more to come as Grippando commands page after page with suspense.