Now that we’ve rung in 2016, let’s take a moment to look back at the most popular mysteries of 2015. Based on circulation figures at the library where I work, these were the most checked out mysteries in 2015. One author in particular dominated this list.
- The Scam by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg— The 5th Fox and O’Hare novel. Con man Nicolas Fox and FBI agent Kate O’Hare investigate the money-laundering operation controlled by brutal casino magnate Evan Trace. The scam will take Fox and O’Hare from Vegas to Macau.
- Proof Positive by Archer Mayor— The tragic death of a hoarder and former Vietnam vet with PTSD may be more than unfortunate accident. Unsettled by the circumstances, the medical examiner alerts Joe Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation.
- The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo— A man is found hanging from the rafters of his dilapidated barn, and Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene. His murder points in the direction of a long-buried secret about the disappearance of an Amish wife and the night her husband and children perished.
- Cold Betrayal by J. A. Jance— In the 10th Ali Reynolds book, two cases will engage Ali’s attention. One involves an elderly woman receiving anonymous threats, and the other involves a young pregnant woman hit by a car after escaping from a polygamous cult.
- The Laws of Murder by Charles Finch— In 1876, Charles Lenox has given up his seat in Parliament to return to his first love, detection. In this 8th book in the series, Lenox parses the peculiar details of a Scotland Yarder’s murder.
- Obsession in Death by J. D. Robb— In the 40th book in the In Death series, Eve Dallas has become the object of one person’s obsession. “Someone who finds her extraordinary, and thinks about her every hour of every day. Who believes the two of them have a special relationship. Who would kill for her – again and again…”
- Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich & Phoef Sutton— In the 3rd Lizzy and Diesel book, the search continues for an ancient relics mysteriously linked to the seven deadly sins. This time the hunt focuses on the Stone of Avarice.
- Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich— A used-car dealer caught selling more than used cars is on the lam, and Stephanie Plum’s leads to his whereabouts are quickly turning into dead ends and turning up dead bodies.
- Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell— In the 22nd Kay Scarpetta book, Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds seven 1981 pennies on a wall behind her house. Then, not far from her home, a high school teacher is shot “with uncanny precision.” And he’s just the first victim…
And the Number One Mystery of the Year is …
- The Job by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg— Evanovich has nabbed the top spot two years in a row! Though last year’s number one mystery was Takedown Twenty, Stephanie Plum has been ousted by Evanovich and Goldberg’s 4th Fox and O’Hare novel, which incidentally was released at the end of 2014. In this Fox and O’Hare adventure, the scam is to take down one of the world’s most-wanted crime lords, a brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling ring.
And voila! The most popular reads of 2015. Janet Evanovich continues to rank as one of the most popular authors; two of her books appeared at the top of 2014’s list. I should note that though both Evanovich’s 22nd Stephanie Plum adventure, Tricky Twenty-Two, and Cornwell’s 23rd Kay Scarpetta book, Depraved Heart, were released in 2015, they were released too late in the year to break into the top ten. However, I expect they’ll appear on 2016’s list!
As for the top mystery picks of 2015, are you delighted or disappointed? How many have you read? And which books would make your list of the top ten mysteries of 2015? What are your 2016 mystery reading resolutions?