Here we are! We are officially into the end of year posts!! I am starting off this series of posts by highlighting my favourite murder mysteries of this year. I didn’t read as many murder mysteries this year as I wanted to which was disappointing and what I did read this year unfortunately didn’t amaze me. Some of the books are on this list are purely on there because I didn’t read enough to have other options and I had to include 5 books. But I am happy to say that there are 2 books in this list that blew me away and I can’t wait to talk about them. So, let’s jump right into it!
- Title: The Inugmai Curse
- Author: Seishi Yokomizo
- Series: Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #2
- Rating: 3 stars
Plot: In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan’s terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer, and lift the curse wreaking its bloody revenge on the Inugamis.
I loved the first book in this series. It was a 5 star read and made it onto the list last year but while this one wasn’t awful, it wasn’t amazing either. I figured out the ending pretty early on so it just ended up being that I was reading the novel to see if I was right. On a more positive not some of the highlights included, the protagonist, I really like the Detective in this series, he was entertaining to read and I enjoyed watching him work to uncover the mystery. I also really enjoyed exploring the family dynamic between everyone in the Inugami Clan. That was super interesting and intriguing to read and explore. I just wish I hadn’t figured out the ending as early as I did. It would have made it a more enjoyable read.
- Title: The Mystery of Three Quarters
- Author: Sophie Hannah
- Series: New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #3
- Rating: 3.5 stars
Plot: Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met. Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy… Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?
Again, not as good as the previous book in the series which I also read last year. This time however I did not guess the ending at all and the ending was super interesting. A little bit far out there but those are my favourite kinds of endings. There were a couple of plot holes which was disappointing but the writing was super easy to get lost into and I enjoyed Hannah’s iteration of Poirot.
- Title: Lord Edgware Dies
- Author: Agatha Christie
- Series: Hercule Poirot #9
- Rating: 4 stars
Plot: When Lord Edgware is found murdered the police are baffled. His estranged actress wife was seen visiting him just before his death and Hercule Poirot himself heard her brag of her plan to “get rid” of him. But how could she have stabbed Lord Edgware in his library at exactly the same time she was seen dining with friends? It’s a case that almost proves to be too much for the great Poirot.
I really enjoyed this novel. I always enjoy Christie’s novels, well most of the time, not sure if any of you have seen my Murder on the Orient Express review. This novel though was really enjoyable. Poirot, as per usual, is incredible. I always enjoy him but it was in fact Hastings as narrator which made me enjoy the book the most. Normally, I find his accounts to be annoying, he is always way-laid or distracted by the women in the novels, but this time around he was really good to have as our eyes and ears as a reader. I also felt the writing was super easy to follow. Also it wouldn’t be a Christie novel without that punch of an ending.
- Title: The Devil and the Dark Water
- Author: Stuart Turton
- Series: Standalone
- Rating: 5 stars
Plot: It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Traveling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent. But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered. And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel. Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes? With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.
Now we are finally onto the books that blew me away! I was super nervous going into this book as I loved The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle when I read it and I desperately wanted to love his sophomore novel as well. Well, I did just that and more. This book was so good and so enjoyable and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time! I could even go as far as saying that I loved this novel more than his debut! I read about 60% of the book in one sitting. I didn’t do anything but read it all day I was that invested. This was a phenomenal book and I need another book by this author ASAP.
- Title: The Appeal
- Author: Janice Hallett
- Series: Standalone
- Rating: 5 stars
Plot: Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death. Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed. Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered. Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?
And here we have it! My favourite murder mystery of 2021! This novel is INCREDIBLE! Written entirely through emails, texts and other forms of mixed media the journey you go on uncovering this mystery is so intoxicating. I devoured this novel in 2 days and immediately started making everyone read it. The plot was incredible and I felt that this novel really made you feel like you were the detective rather than an onlooker into the case. I literally cannot praise this book enough.
So, there you have it. My top 5 murder mysteries for 2021. I cannot wait to see what 2022 has in store. I have some interesting novels up my sleeve.