Best Crime Fiction/Mystery of 2021

The Turnout
by Megan Abbott

Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott’s revelatory, mesmerizing, and game-changing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio, and an interloper who arrives to bring down the carefully crafted Eden-like facade.

Razorblade Tears
by S.A. Cosby

A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change – and maybe even redemption.

Lightning Strike
by William Kent Krueger

When twelve-year-old Cork O’Connor stumbles upon a body hanging from a tree, it is up to his father, the town sheriff, to find answers. But meanwhile, a determined Cork begins to look for answers on his own.

The Killing Hills
by Chris Offutt

A literary master across genres, award-winning author Chris Offutt’s latest novel, The Killing Hills, is a compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods.

Dead Dead Girls
by Nekesa Afia

Harlem, 1926. When a girl turns up dead in front of the café where she works, Louise Lloyd is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore-two other local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own.

The Madness of Crowds
by Louise Penny

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is asked to provide crowd control at a statistics lecture given at the Université de l’Estrie in Quebec, he is dubious. Why ask the head of homicide to provide security for what sounds like a minor, even mundane lecture? But dangerous ideas about who deserves to live in order for society to thrive are rapidly gaining popularity, fuelled by the research of the eminent Professor Abigail Robinson. When a murder is committed days after the lecture, it’s clear that within crowds can lie madness.