2021 In the Books

We made it through 2021, and it’s time to celebrate our authors!

The Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine staff picked four ARLA titles for their Best of the Year list – THE COVER WIFE, DARK SKY, DEAD BY DAWN, and SAVAGE ROAD all earned nods.

Booklist called SAVAGE ROAD “wildly entertaining,” and Mystery and Suspense cheered, “SAVAGE ROAD is a brilliantly plotted thriller with plenty of edge-of-the-seat moments, twists, and turns to satisfy the most ardent of fans. The central premise is eerily possible. And then there’s the indomitable Hayley Chill: a protagonist with so much bite, readers had best wear a flak jacket.”

DARK SKY, one of the Washington Post’s five best thrillers of March, is a Bookworm gift book pick. Of the latest Joe Pickett mystery, the Providence Journal said:

“It’s hard to come up with new superlatives to describe C.J. Box. But his latest, DARK SKY, demands the attempt…a pure, modern-day Western of the highest order…the moral complexities and portrayal of the New West in DARK SKY evoke comparisons with the classic John Wayne film The Searchers. Box’s sparse and pragmatic prose is the perfect complement to the wilderness vistas Pickett knows like the back of his hand. This is terrific reading entertainment, as riveting as it is relentless.”

Paul Doiron’s DEAD BY DAWN was a Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week in July – PW called it “nail-biting…the best yet in a superior series.” Also biting their nails? Campus Circle’s reviewer, who named DEAD BY DAWN one of the best books of the year.

THE COVER WIFE was singled out by CrimeReads as one of the best-reviewed books of July. In the New York Times, David Gordon called Dan Fesperman’s latest “a thriller…that is all the more chilling for running right into fact…[one that] uncovers a deeper truth, about human limitations and the consequences of systemic failure.” LitHub also gave THE COVER WIFE kudos, naming it a summer reading pick.

And finally, those Dumb Birds of North America continue to be bestselling favorites, spending fifteen weeks on the IndieBound bestseller list this year, and earning a spot on Wired’s gift guide.


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