As we move into 2020 (that is so fun to type), it's time for one last look at 2019 with my favorite books of the year. These are the books I enjoyed the most during the year. And, for once, all the books on the list were first published in 2019. Keep in mind that there are others that almost made the list, but I couldn't just list every book I read in the year, right?
The books are listed in the order I read them, and the link will take you to my full review.
The Gun Also Rises by Sherry Harris
We were treated to three book in this excellent series this year, and any of them could have been on the list. However, this one edged them out because Sarah is organizing a mystery book sale, and that sets her on the path to another mystery in her life. All the mentions of classic mysteries had me smiling the entire time I read it.
Drawn and Buttered by Shari Randall
The third Lobster Shack mystery featured Halloween and a puzzling mystery. The first in this series won the Agatha for Best First this year, but in my mind, the series gets better with each entry.
With a Kiss I Die by J. A. Hennrikus
I've always loved the idea of a cop turned theater manager involved in solving crimes since I love theater so much. Add in the fact that this plot involves a lot of business related intrigue (my day job is as an accountant), and I was in Heaven for this book. Sadly, this series was a casualty of Midnight Ink shutting down, but I'm still hoping we will see more.
A Dream of Death by Connie Berry
I find myself most drawn to books set in the United States, but this debut, set in Scotland, drew me in from the first page. It is atmospheric and completely puzzling with strong characters. If you enjoy books set in the British Isles, you need to check this series out.
The Scent of Murder by Kylie Logan
I know Kylie Logan best from her light, fun cozies. This book is a tad grayer, but such a pleasant surprise. The characters sprang to life, and I can tell we only got to know one layer of them. I'm looking forward to exploring more as the series progresses.
Ripe for Vengeance by Wendy Tyson
Another grayer entry on my list, this isn't a typical culinary cozy series. However, the tone works for this series, and this book allowed us to get to know several characters better as we worked to solve a complex mystery.
Mulberry Mischief by Sharon Farrow
My second Halloween themed entry on the list (and I have only one Christmas cozy on the list this year). This has quickly become a favorite series. The plot moves along quickly and the characters are well drawn. It was sad when I turned the final page of this book.
A Killer Carol by Laura Bradford
I have been raving about this series since I read the first book, and this entry was another outstanding visit to Heavenly, Pennsylvania. The characters are charming, and the pace feels more relaxed. Yet, I am drawn to the characters and what they are going through and can't turn pages fast enough to find out what happens to them next even as I want to savor every page.
The Chocolate Shark Shenanigans by JoAnna Carl
I was delighted when I saw this book was coming out. I've loved this series since book one, so it was fantastic to be able to visit the characters again. The books are light, but they are fun - much like a piece of chocolate.
Crime Travel edited by Barb Goffman
This collection of short stories features a crime element and a time travel element in each story. The creativity of the entries was refreshing - no two stories are alike. You never quite know what twist you will see next.
Sealed Off by Barbara Ross
This series makes my list almost every year, and this year's entry was another winner. The plots kept me glued to the book and the characters are absolutely outstanding.
Becoming Superman by J. Michael Straczynski
The only non-fiction book to make my list this year, I picked it up because JMS is the creator of Babylon 5, my favorite TV show of all time. This book was not easy to read at times, but it was worth it in the end. This is the story of a man who overcame much to create a life doing what he loved.
Spy School: British Invasion by Stuart Gibbs
Okay, so this series is part mystery, but I'm putting it here since it is aimed at middle schoolers. This book is set on two continents and is filled with twists, action, and comedy. What else could readers of any age want?
Legacy by Shannon Messenger
When you finish an 800 page book and ask yourself when the next entry in the series comes out, you know you've read a good book. That was the case with this middle grade fantasy novel. You don't want to start here, but fans will be rewarded with some answers we've been wanting and other interesting plot developments.