The Best Mystery, Crime, And Thriller Books Of The Last Year
To tide you over until the television adaptation of Stephen King's Edgar Award-winning novel Mr. Mercedes hits the Audience network this fall, check out the best mystery, crime, and thriller books of 2016. The Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2017 Edgar Awards on Thursday, and the eight titles honored with crime fiction's highest honor are the perfect reading material to get you through the long wait until the next hot thriller series.
Since the organization's establishment in 1945, the Mystery Writers of America have bestowed the annual Edgar Allan Poe Awards on the best mystery, crime, and thriller books and authors. Although Poe is best known for short horror fiction, such as "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum," his detective hero, C. Auguste Dupin, "established Poe as 'The Father of the Detective Story.'" Among the first recipients were Watchful at Night, Julius Fast's debut novel, and Murder, My Sweet, the film adaptation of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely.
Below, you'll find the winners of this year's Edgar Awards, the best mystery, crime, and thriller books of 2016. Below each winner, I've listed the other shortlisted titles in that category, so you have even more books to explore.
1. 'The Shattered Tree' by Charles Todd
The eighth Bess Crawford Mystery centers on a nurse investigating the case of a supposedly French patient who reveals himself to be fluent in German before disappearing in the fog of World War I.
Charles Todd's The Shattered Tree won the 2017 Mary Higgins Clark Award, beating out:
2. 'Girl in the Blue Coat' by Monica Hesse
Set in Amsterdam during Nazi occupation, this novel follows an undertaker's assistant tasked with finding a 15-year-old Jewish teenager who has disappeared from her attic hiding place.
Monica Hesse's Girl in the Blue Coat won the 2017 Edgar Award in the Young Adult category. The other shortlisted titles were:
3. 'OCDaniel' by Wesley King
Daniel Leigh, an 8th-grader with OCD who just wants to be neurotypical, finds his life turned upside-down after he gets a chance to play football and investigate the disappearance of a quiet classmate's father.
Wesley King's OCDaniel won the 2017 Edgar Award in the Best Juvenile category, beating out:
4. 'Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life' by Ruth Franklin
The author of The Haunting of Hill House and "The Lottery" comes alive in this celebrated biography from A Thousand Darknesses author Ruth Franklin.
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life won the 2017 Edgar Award in the Best Critical/Biographical category. The other books in contention were:
5. 'The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer' by Kate Summerscale
This microhistory busts open the case of two English boys, Robert and Nattie Coombs, who murdered and robbed their mother in 1895.
Kate Summerscale's The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime, beating out:
- Morgue: A Life in Death by Vincent DiMaio and Ron Franscell
- The Lynching: The Epic Courtroom Battle that Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer
- Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder: The Unsolved Murder That Shocked Victorian England by Paul Thomas Murphy
- While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness by Eli Sanders
6. 'Rain Dogs' by Adrian McKinty
Set during the Irish Troubles, this novel centers on a down-and-out detective inspector whose investigation of a robbery case quickly turns sour when a journalist reporting on it is found dead.
Adrian McKinty's Rain Dogs won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. The other shortlisted titles were:
7. 'Under the Harrow' by Flynn Berry
When she arrives for a visit with her sister, Nora finds both the woman and her dog brutally murdered, and inserts herself into the investigation, which yields more questions than answers.
Flynn Berry's Under the Harrow won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, beating out:
8. 'Before the Fall' by Noah Hawley
One of only two passengers to emerge the wreckage of a plane crash, a painter searches for reason in his survival under suspicious circumstances.
Noah Hawley's Before the Fall won the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel. The other top contenders were: