Our Favorite Books of 2022

2022 was another stellar year for crime fiction, mysteries, and thrillers. Criminal Element is thrilled to share this list that includes some of our favorite reads from last year. We're looking forward to discovering more great reads with you in 2023!

Click through on the titles below to read more about each book on our site, or head over to BookShop to begin your shopping spree.

The Fall Girl by Marcia Clark

“Clark utilizes a dual narrative technique…It’s a clever, well-executed move that emphasizes the psychological aspects of the story over the procedural elements, which largely predominated earlier works…The Fall Girl shows Marcia Clark at her absolute best.”


Child Zero by Chris Holm

“Chris Holm’s Child Zero is one of the most horrifying books you’re likely to encounter in the age of COVID-19 (or perhaps ever, really)—not simply because its premise exists within the realm of possibility but, arguably, probability.”


You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa

“Self-aware, suspenseful and scandalously witty, You’re Invited… is the homicidal version of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, and deserves to be just as much of a blockbuster.”


Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty

“Station Eternity is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys cross-genre mashups, and ought to be highly regarded by anyone who cares about either speculative fiction or mystery novels. It’s also a perfect gateway book for readers who want to dabble in genres outside of their own comfort zones, as it does an excellent job of being outstanding in both fields.”


The Unkept Woman by Allison Montclair

In Allison Montclair’s fourth Sparks & Bainbridge mystery, The Unkept Woman, Miss Iris Sparks has to deal with aspects of her past exploits during the recent war that have come back around to haunt her. “If you haven’t met the partners who comprise the Right Sort Marriage Bureau, you’re in for a treat.”


Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris

“In Anywhere You Run, Wanda M. Morris offers a poignant, page-turning reminder that we can’t escape the past—but we can find the courage confront it. Part crime novel and part character study, it’s also a cataloging of conscience that shows how the journey toward absolution begins from within.”


The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey

A wealthy family shrouded in scandal; a detective tasked with solving an impossible cold case; and a woman with a dark past collide in Hannah Morrissey’s stunning new Black Harbor mystery, The Widowmaker.


My Dirty California by Jason Mosberg

“I was completely blown away by this novel… Our protagonists are flawed and scrappy and utterly sympathetic as they fight against the criminal conspiracies that threaten to destroy their lives. With references not only to sci-fi staples but also to more recent Internet horror memes—in addition to very current political and legal issues—this is an of-the-moment novel that deserves to find a wide audience.”


The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman

It is an ordinary Thursday, and things should finally be returning to normal. Except trouble is never far away where the Thursday Murder Club are concerned. A decade-old cold case—their favorite kind–leads them to a local news legend and a murder with no body and no answers.


Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

“Readers will adore Killers of a Certain Age, especially anyone who feels invisible—Raybourn posits that invisibility can be a secret weapon.”


Secret Identity by Alex Segura

“Secret Identity is the book Alex Segura was born to write. His passion for the world of comics, in all its complexities and colorfulness, comes through on every page and will fascinate both the fandom and casual readers alike.”


The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub

In Wendy Corsi Staub’s The Other Family, a family making a fresh start moves into a house that was the site of an unsolved triple homicide and has been unoccupied since—but not unwatched…

“The Other Family is Wendy Corsi Staub’s triumphant return to her roots. While the trilogies of recent years allowed her to show the true breadth and depth of her talents, there’s an undeniable appeal to standalone efforts such as this. The simplicity of the storytelling is immediately arresting and immersive, even as you come to realize just how complex the book’s plotting and precision really is.”


  1. David Sayles

    Any best mystery list which doesn’t have the latest Louise Penny book (A World of Curiosities this year) is not a list with any credibility. Not to mention that Thomas Perry, Anne Hillerman, Archer Mayor, etc are not on the list either. The must be for obscure writers.

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  3. Wendy Corsi Staub

    What an honor to join my talented colleagues on this list. Thank you so much!

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  9. TheBigSavers

    These are my favourite books of 2022:

    A Heart That Works.
    All the Lovers in the Night.
    All This Could Be Different.
    An Immense World.
    Ancestor Trouble.
    Animal Joy.
    Anna: The Biography.

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  14. berty

    Muchas gracias por este maravilloso escrito. Me interesan mucho tus publicaciones y me ayudan mucho. Sigue haciendo el gran trabajo. Seguro que siempre estaré pendiente de tus trabajos, gracias.

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