Though it took me a bit longer than I’d like, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the most checked out ebook mystery titles in 2020. After digging through various reports, I came up with a massive list of titles tagged as mystery or suspense, but not all of them would be considered a traditional mystery—at least, they likely wouldn’t be found in the mystery section of a library or bookstore. After careful review, here are the top ten ebook mysteries from last year.
10. The Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green — In her first appearance, Miss Amelia Butterworth witnesses two people entering her neighbor’s home late at night. The next day, a young woman is found dead. Detective Ebenezer Gryce is assigned to the case, but Miss Butterworth is determined to solve whodunit. Originally published in 1897.
9. The Searcher by Tana French—In this standalone title from the author of the Dublin Murder Squad series, an ex-Chicago cop moves to a small Irish town where he is drawn into the search for the older brother of local kid.
8. Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming—It happened in 1952. Again in 1972. And in the present, a third young woman has been found dead in a party dress. Who could have killed them decades apart? Book 9 in the Fergusson/Van Alstyne Mystery Series.
7. Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain— A woman accused of a crime she didn’t commit is given the opportunity to restore a mural in an old post office. But what secrets do the mural hide? And what happened to the original artist, Anna Dale, in the 1940s?
6. The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter—GBI investigator Will Trent is brought in to investigate the murder of an inmate during a prison riot. Another inmate has information, but to get it, Trent will need to look into the recent murder of a young woman in Atlanta. It’s a crime that shares the same MO as the one the inmate with information was accused of. Is he innocent or guilty? And is the information he possesses actually useful? 10th in the Will Trent Series.
5. All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny—While on vacation in Paris, Gamache witnesses an attempted murder. The intended victim? Gamache’s godfather. The event spurs Gamache to discover buried secrets that his godfather has kept for decades. 16th in the Chief Inspector Gamache Series.
4. Long Range by C.J. Box—Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett investigates the attempted murder of a prominent local judge’s wife who was severely wounded in a sniper attack. 20th book in the Joe Pickett Series.
3. Golden in Death by J.D. Robb—A pediatrician receives a seemingly innocent gift that poisons him. Then another victim suffers the same fate. It’s up to Eve to hunt for the killer sending such deadly packages in this 50th entry in the long-running series.
2. When You See Me by Lisa Gardner—FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren lead a task force to investigate clues left behind by a deceased serial kidnapper whose worst secret is yet to be discovered.
And the Number One Mystery of the Year is …
- The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel — A Vancouver Island bartender meets Jonathan Alkaitis and poses as his wife. When Jonathan’s massive Ponzi scheme collapses, one of his defrauded investors is hired to investigate the disappearance of a woman from the deck of a container ship between ports of call. By the author of the award-winning Station Eleven.
And there you have it, the most popular ebook mysteries read in 2020. Some authors, like Louise Penny and J.D. Robb, have also ranked in the top ten of print mysteries for 2020. But perhaps the biggest surprise is the unexpected appearance of Anna Katharine Green’s The Affair Next Door. Ebooks have given new life to many renowned mystery authors from eras past. Books that have gone out of print or where otherwise hard to come by have been made available again and seen a resurgence of popularity. Catherine Aird, Patricia Moyes, and Patricia Wentworth are just some of the mystery authors whose books have become available to read once again.
So are you delighted or disappointed by the top ebook reads of 2020? How many have you read?