Sunday, January 6, 2019

My Favorite Books Read in 2018

Time for one final post looking at 2018.  After that, it will be full speed ahead into 2019.  But before we get there, I want to look back at my favorite books of 2018.  These are not necessarily in any order, but they are roughly in the order I read them.  The links will take you to my full reviews.


I Know What You Bid Last Summer by Sherry Harris
Sarah Winston find putting on a sport equipment swap gets dangerous when she is attacked and then finds a dead body the night before it opens.  As always, some great twists and strong characters, plus there's a very funny sub-plot.

Fly Me to the Moon by Diane Vallere
I'm always on the lookout for something new, and this series delivers.  After all, the main character is an alien, and the book is set on a space ship.  Yes, it is still a cozy, and we get to know the world over the course of the book, so fans looking for a different take on a cozy will feel right at home.

Cardiac Arrest by Lisa Q. Matthews
I can't believe it took me so long to start this series.  This debut, about an unusual sleuth pair, is a pure delight.  Lots of laughs, solid characters, and good twists.  And I can't believe I still haven't made it to the sequel.  I must change that soon.

Lost Legacy by Annette Dashofy
I know, I know, I'm way behind on this series.  And I really need to get caught up.  The characters are strong, and the plot keeps the pages turning.  It leans toward the traditional side of the spectrum and is definitely more serious than many of the cozies I read, but it is so good.

Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett
From serious back to fun.  This is the second in Kellye's series, and it was just as much fun as the first.  Of course, the Hollywood during award season setting helped.  A great mystery and a cast of great characters will keep you hooked.

Murder Flies the Coop by Jessica Ellicott
England in the 1920's is the setting for this fun series featuring a pair of mismatched sleuths who make a perfect pair.  I was smiling as I read this one.

Death of a Russian Doll by Barbara Early
A mystery with many layers, a Christmas setting, and a vintage toy shop.  Did I mention puns?  Seriously, what's not to love about this book.  Still need to be convinced?  There's a character named Mark Baker in it.  Yes, this book would have made my list anyway, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Killed on Blueberry Hill by Sharon Farrow
A familiar set up (main character clearing someone dear to her accused of murder) leads us into a mystery where the red herrings provide their own complications.  This is complex, and the characters are as well.

Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day
I was hooked right from the premise - a group of cozy mystery readers solving a real life mystery.  The execution is perfectly fun, and cast of characters is one I am looking forward to visiting again soon.  This is a Barnes and Nobel exclusive until the end of 2019, so it might take a little extra work to track down, but it is totally worth it.

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross
This is one of my favorite series, and it didn't disappoint again.  The suspects prove to be much more complicated than they first appear, and I love the development they got.  Plus several series threads advance as well, and we get to know a main character much better, too.

Lark! The Herald Angels Sing by Donna Andrews
I've been a fan of this series for years, but Meg and company are at the top of their game with this Christmas mystery.  The plot kept me turning pages, but I was glad I read most of this one at home alone.  Why?  I was laughing so hard at some of what happened.


Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
Gregg's books always leave me turning pages, but this book really dove into his main character and showed us yet another side of him.  I had a very hard time putting this book down.

True Fiction by Lee Goldberg
I was hooked from the premise - a writer recognizes a terrorist attack as a worst case scenario he dreamed up for the CIA and goes on the run.  And I wasn't disappointed in the slightest.  Humor and twists kept me turning pages as quickly as I could.


As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
The behind the scenes story of filming The Princess Bride as told by the actor who played Wesley.  Any fan of the movie will be delighted to read this book.  Just one warning, it will make you want to watch the movie again.

How to Be a Perfect Christian by The Babylon Bee
The popular Christian satire site collects some of their best material and puts to together in a book.  At times funny and other times extremely convicting, but was a fast but very fun read.

Middle Grade

Waste of Space by Stuart Gibbs
This is the final book in a mystery series for kids set in space, and the series goes out with a bang.

Worlds Apart by James Riley
Another final is series, this one about what happens when the fictional world and the real world are separated.  A little meta at times, but a whole lot of fun the entire time.


  1. Thanks. There are two books that I kept looking at but couldn't decide. You sold me on both. Love the list.
    Jeanie Whitmire Jackson

  2. Carstairs, I looked all over this site for an email address or phone number to contact you with, and couldn't find one. I gave you a few suggestions for books some time ago, and you said that you would look into them-especially the Alex Rider books, and the Irene Adler series by Carole Nelson Douglas. I haven't heard anything in that time, so I was wondering if you came to a decision? Sorry to contact you here, in the comment section of an unrelated article, but I didn't know how else to get in touch with you


    1. Sean, my TBR pile is really long. I don't know if I will get to them. Sorry.

    2. Ok. Well, thanks for getting back to me. I do appreciate that


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