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Vannessa Cronin arrived in the U.S. from Ireland over two decades ago and has spent the intervening years working in the book industry as a book buyer, a sales rep, an Amazon Bookstore curator, and now an Amazon Books senior editor.

She covers the mystery, thriller & suspense category but, really, there’s almost no genre she won’t read.

Vannessa came on the podcast to talk about the Amazon Books Editors’ picks for best mysteries and thrillers of 2021. Vannessa’s latest articles and reviews can be found here.

Book Discussed

Covering all tweny picks would turned this into one of those 2-hour podcasts, so we discussed three books in the list that stood out for me, as well as three books Vannessa highlighted. So here are those six books we discussed during the podcast.

Show Notes & Links

Amazon Book Editors’ Best Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021 (Complete List)

  1. Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby
  2. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
  3. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz
  4. The Dark Hours   by Michael Connelly
  5. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
  6. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  7. Billy Summers by Stephen King
  8. The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
  9. False Witness by Karin Slaughter
  10. Lightning Strike   by William Kent Krueger
  11. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
  12. When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash
  13. The Good Sister  by Sally Hepworth
  14. The Madness of Crowds   by Louise Penny
  15. Chasing the Boogeyman  by Richard Chizmar
  16. Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara
  17. The Stolen Hours by Allen Eskens
  18. How Lucky by Will Leitch
  19. Falling: A Novel   by T. J. Newman
  20. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Books to look out for in 2022

January 4, 2022
February 22, 2022
April 26, 2022

Jacqueline Woodson’s Ted Talk was referenced for offering great advice for aspring writers:

Transcript

Please note transcript is provided by an automated program called HappyScribe which claims to have 80% accuracy rate. I only did a light edit, so there might be errors in the transcript or it might read wonky here and there.

[00:00:00.130] – Alan Petersen
You are listening to Meet the Thrillerr Author, the podcast where I interview writers of mysteries, fillers and suspense books. I’m your host, Alan Petersen, and this is episode number 179. This episode is going to be a little different. I’m not of talking to an author, but instead I’m welcoming one of Amazon Books senior Editors. Her name is Vannessa Cronin. She arrived from the United States from Ireland over two decades ago and has spent years working in the book industry as a book buyer, a sales rep and Amazon bookstore curator, and now an Amazon Books senior editor. She covers the mystery, thriller and suspense category, but really there’s almost no genre she won’t read. Amazon recently released its Editor’s picks for the best books of the year, including the best mystery and Thrillers of 2021. So I asked her to come onto the show to talk about those books, and she was nice enough to agree to it. And so I’m going to have that interview here in just a minute. It was a lot of fun talking to Vannessa about the books, and it was fun getting to a peak behind the curtain.

[00:01:06.310]
Over at Amazon Books, you can check out the Amazon Editor Picks for Best Mystery and Thrillers of 2021 by going to ThrillingReads.com/2021 I’d love to also hear from you, which were your favorite thriller, mystery books of the year. Head on over to Thrillingreads.Com/best 21. And let me know or just email me at alan at thrillngreads dot com. Let me know which one is your favorite mystery and thriller books of the year. I’ll share all the listener choices that I receive. I’ll share them on the last episode of the year, and it’ll be kind of fun. And I’ll also share my top picks of the year on the final episode of this year. Coming up here in just a couple of weeks, year is almost over. It’s just hard to believe. I’m excited to have her on the podcast to talk about the Amazon Editor’s picks for the Best Mystery and Thrillers of 2021. Welcome to podcast, Vannessa.

[00:02:24.400] – Vannessa Cronin
Thank you. Thank you for inviting me.

[00:02:26.020] – Alan Petersen
So before we get into the nitty gritty and talk about books, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started in the publishing industry?

[00:02:33.240] – Vannessa Cronin
It was funny, actually, I started working for a calendar company in Seattle, and in those days, the major publishing companies will produce their own calendars. And so I parlayed that into a job as a buyer at Amazon. And then I had a boss at Amazon. I was buying lifestyle categories, but I had a boss at Amazon who was super into thrillers. And so she gave me a list kind of like a boot camp list of all the things of all the thrillers, mysteries and thrillers she thought I should read. And I barely remember most of the titles. But I remember that The Killing Floor by Lee Child was at the top of the list, and I loved it so much that that was it. I was off. I just started reading every mystery and thriller that was recommended to me.

[00:03:12.920] – Alan Petersen
After that, you got hooked.

[00:03:14.800] – Vannessa Cronin
Totally hooked. Yeah.

[00:03:16.400] – Alan Petersen
Kind of curious to know. So you’re currently a senior editor for Amazon Book. Can you explain that a little bit. What your role is, what the job entails.

[00:03:23.570] – Vannessa Cronin
Yeah. So there’s a group of us and our jobs are to manage certain categories, in my case, mystery and thriller. And our job is to help Amazon customers find their next great read, their next favorite read. And so we read a ton, as you might expect. And we talk about the books we advocate and champion titles and really try and, as I say, bring these great reads to our customers.

[00:03:52.320] – Alan Petersen
Oh, my gosh. That’s like a dream job.

[00:03:55.650] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s always been my job to read books for a living, and I’m doing it. I love it.

[00:04:00.810] – Alan Petersen
Are you the ones behind? Like, when we get as a customer, you get the email recommendations for Thrillers and all those books. Are you part of the creating as list?

[00:04:09.420] – Vannessa Cronin
Yes. One of our big programs is the Best of the Month program. And you can find that on the books home page. And yeah, every month we read as many books as we possibly can. And we vote for the ones that we love the most. We have ten Editors picks. And then across all categories, and then we have a bunch of category picks, mystery history, nonfiction, bio, all of that. And so, yeah, we read a ton.

[00:04:44.660] – Alan Petersen
So one of the reasons we have you on here is because recently published the best list and all the different categories, including the mystery and thriller books for 2021. And there’s 20 pics on there. And so I’m kind of curious what that process was like. You all vote for. It is like arguing, how does that process work?

[00:05:03.720] – Vannessa Cronin
Yeah, that’s exactly. Basically what we do. So just for people listening, if you go to Amazon.Com/bestbooks2021, you’ll see what we’re talking about here. I mentioned earlier. We do Best of the Month, where we pick our favorites for each month. Well, twice a year in June, we do Best of the Year so far. And in November, as you mentioned, we do the best books of the year. And that’s where we go back through all of the books that we read and loved and championed over the year. And basically in the old days, of course, we would get in a room this past two years we had to get on a call and lots of coffee, just kind of locked ourselves away and just went through the books one by one, came up with our long list, tried to edit that down to our short list all the way, championing the books that we love. Sometimes we would say, you know what? I really believe this needs to be in the top ten. But if you don’t believe me, someone else needs to read it and other members of the team will be like, okay, I’m going to read that and they will come back and go, yeah, you’re right that was amazing. Top ten for sure. Or top 20 or whatever.

[00:06:14.210] – Alan Petersen
Fascinating to seeing how the magic happens behind the scenes.

[00:06:19.230] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s so much fun.

[00:06:21.030] – Alan Petersen
Because obviously, since you read so many books and what were some of the trends and key themes that you noticed there for mystery and thriller books this year?

[00:06:28.610] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s interesting because I think the female lead thrillers, which have been huge for the last few years ever since Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train female thrillers continue to rule now is like the last thing he told me, still doing really well. It was interesting. One of the trends I noticed was authors crossing over from other categories to write in mystery, beginning, like in 2020 with Alyssa Cole, a well known romance author, moved to Mystery, one of the books we loved last year or actually this year, the good sister Sally Hepworth started out writing women’s fiction, and now with the last couple of books, she’s starting to write mystery, which has been fantastic. The last book was a great hit, which we loved and even one of the best selling books of the year. The plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. She is best known for writing women’s fiction, and this was her first time writing in the mystery space and first mystery hit it right out of the park. So that was an interesting theme that’s been going on, and it’s continuing into next year as well, because one of the books of 2022 that we love so far is Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski, who started out as a young adult author. And the other trend I would see then is the locked door mysteries continue to be really popular. And we’re definitely comment in 2021. Authors like Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley are really keeping the flag flying for that. And of course, the Agatha Christie Renaissance that’s been happening over the last couple of years has definitely put wind in those sales.

[00:08:10.920] – Alan Petersen
Yeah, I’ve been noticed that trend, too, with the locked rooms. I think that’s the movie that nice out probably is influencing it a lot. Do you see, like, movies and other pop culture stuff influence books, the books that are published?

[00:08:23.430] – Vannessa Cronin
Yeah. And I see it the other way around as well. I feel like there has been an uptick in mystery novels being adapted for screen things like Caroline Kapani’s you has been hugely popular, obviously. And Killing Eve started out as a thriller. So that’s been another trend that’s ongoing, but has seen a marked uptick in the last year.

[00:08:44.570] – Alan Petersen
Interesting. What do you think? Anything new? You think that might be popping for next year and the trends that you see brewing out there?

[00:08:51.860] – Vannessa Cronin
Well, one of the things that I’m seeing and there’s been a big conversation in the last couple of years about representation and BIPOC authors and mystery has traditionally been a space where they don’t appear to have been very many mystery authors Besides of color Besides Walter Mosley and lately, Attica Locke. And now we’re seeing a lot more. There were quite a few debuts in 2021 with BIPOC authors. Sean Cosby is a perfect example. S.A. Cosby’s career has exploded since he started writing mysteries, starting with Black Top Wasteland, and now this year’s, Razor Blade Tears, which was one of our favorite mysteries of the year. So it’s really nice to be able to see a lot more authors of color writing in this space. And I think that’s a trend that’s going to continue.

[00:09:43.660] – Alan Petersen
Yeah, that’s great. And I did recognize some of the names on the list like, of course, Michael Connolly, Stephen King, Karen Slaughter. But three new authors to me on that list. One was S.A. Crosby, who wrote Razor Blade Tears. And then you mentioned the plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. I hope I didn’t butcher her name. And Richard Osman is the man who died twice. Those two kind of jumped out at me. Can you tell us a little bit about those three books? And why do you think they’re resonating so well with the readers and Editors and critics?

[00:10:14.890] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s funny, because they kind of couldn’t be different. S. A. Cosby has been described as writing rural Southern noir, so Razor Blade Tears is a vengeance epic about two fathers whose sons were married to one another and were killed murdered. And so they go in search of vengeance, basically. And he has this amazing knack of writing these, like pedal to the metal thrillers. The action is unflinching and the pacing is crazy. And yet there’s emotional heft in what he writes. He really does the little relationships between people so well, in this case, you’ve got two fathers, one both ex cons, one black, one white. They couldn’t be more different. They don’t even like each other all that much. But they have one goal in common, which is to figure out who killed their sons, and they enter on this quest, and the relationship between them is done. So. So well, as I say, emotional heft and just pedal to the metal action is kind of the hallmark of SA Cosby’s writing. And then with the plot. This is one of those ones where if you are looking for a novel that has just twists and reveals, if you like reading novels where people make that one choice, that ripples out across their life and causes untold trouble. Then this is the novel for you. It’s basically a writer who has never hit the heights of authorly success that he wanted to. And he meets a student who has a plot that he thinks is going to be super successful. And so the professor steals the plot. Basically, the student dies. Professor steals the plot and publishes it to greater claim, great success, and then discovers that someone knows what he did. And so it’s one of those things where the suspense comes from, thinking, what would I do in his position at every turn? He kind of does the wrong thing and gets further into trouble. And then, like I say, there’s amazing twists and reveals with the man who died twice. The hook is the humor. And so this is a story of basically four septuagenarian friends who live at this retirement home in rural England. And one of them has a career in law enforcement in her past. And the four of them have this. They’re really into true crimes. They have this club where they meet and discuss true crimes called Thursday Murder Club. And what happens is that they inadvertently stumble on to some real life murders and end up solving them. And like I said, hook here is kind of humor. I think in the last few years, shows like Vera and Midsummer Murders have really grasped the imagination of American viewers. And so I think this very British, very funny mystery series kind of appeals that same audience.

[00:13:19.980] – Alan Petersen
So it’s kind of like a cozy mystery kind of subgender, maybe.

[00:13:23.550] – Vannessa Cronin
Yeah. In that, it’s amateur sleuth. Yeah. It is cozy. But there are some real murders. They happen off the page. But, yeah, it is a cozy read. Great escapism. One of those ones where when you’re reading it, you’re imagining people like Judy Density being cast in the movie, which I believe Steven Spielberg has optioned. So that may actually happen.

[00:13:46.090] – Alan Petersen
Oh, wow. Awesome. That’d be kind of cool. If you’re envisioning Judy Dench ends up being on there. You’re like, I knew it.

[00:13:51.910] – Vannessa Cronin
I know, right?

[00:13:53.370] – Alan Petersen
Yeah. So I’m kind of curious to know for your personal list of the top 20, any other, maybe two or three books that you would like to talk about. I like to talk about them all, but yeah.

[00:14:06.720] – Vannessa Cronin
Well, since we talked about those three, which I loved, I’ll move on to a couple of other ones. One that I loved was The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker. And it basically takes you into the mind of Christie, a very young girl who has been abandoned by her father, lives with a narcissistic mother and ends up basically committing murder. She murders a young child. And that sounds horrible. And it is. But the way Nancy Tucker has written this character is just amazing. It feels so authentic. It is genuinely disturbing. And at the same time, there are bolts of dark humor that just really keep it from being too dark. And it just feels so rivetingly authentic because the author is actually a psychologist. So she knows what she’s talking about. And it was one of those books where I started reading. It not quite sure what I was getting myself into because Child Killers doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. And once I started reading, I didn’t stop. I think I finished the book at like 2 in the morning. So that one I loved. False Witness by Karen Slaughter. I love Karen Slaughter in any case, but this one, I think, is one of her best. And it begins with a chapter in which you think one thing is happening. And to your horror, you realize something else. An entirely different scenario is being set up. And then the second chapter cuts to decade later, decade or more later, when this lawyer, this woman who’s a lawyer, is told by her boss that she must represent this wealthy gentleman who’s been accused of multiple rapes. And when she goes to see him, to her horror, she realized she knows him. She has known him years and years ago. And from there, it’s just this taut thriller where you find out what their history is. And it is again, one of those books where it’s just gripping from start to finish, and the reveals are fantastic. The characterization, particularly of the two sisters, the lawyer and her sister. At the heart of it, there’s a subplot involving the sister’s drug addiction, and that whole aspect of the book is also fascinating how she deals with addiction in such a sympathetic way, and at the same time, it helps drive the plot can’t recommend that one highly enough. And the other one that I loved is When Ghosts Come Home. By Wiley Cash. Wiley Cash is kind of more known for writing literary fiction. In this case, he writes about Sheriff Winston Barnes, who is a Sheriff in a small South Carolina town. He’s approaching retirement age, and one night he hears a plane in the distance and follows it to the local airdrome, where he finds the plane empty and the son of the local high school principal shot to death lying on the runway. And it goes from there to bring in all kinds of issues about racism that the principal and his son are black, about life in a Southern town, about law enforcement and all kinds of different issues. There’s a whole family dynamic going on, and it is just so well written. The plot doesn’t sound particularly involved, but the quality of the writing is so superb and the characterizations. And then there’s a twist at the end that literally left me with my mouth open. It was one of those books where I couldn’t wait to tell the other Editors. You have to read this one. It is so good.

[00:18:00.140] – Alan Petersen
Wow. I want to put that to the top of my list now because especially if it surprises you. You read so many books.

[00:18:05.680] – Vannessa Cronin
I know I couldn’t believe this. No, he didn’t.

[00:18:13.750] – Alan Petersen
Shifting in here a little bit now on industry question because I’m kind of curious about this stuff with the ongoing pandemic that we’ve all been going through now for going on two years seem tired to believe, but that’s where we’re at how is epidemic affected the publishing industry? And do you think it’s going to affect the type of mystery through the books we’ll see post pandemic?

[00:18:35.110] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s interesting. I mean, the biggest effect that it’s had has been the number of books that moved release dates. Things are moving at a moment’s notice because of course, in person author events weren’t possible at bookstores, and even media opportunities changed. And so that was one aspect. We were seeing books moving all over the calendar. In fact, at one point, I had read and absolutely loved the new book by Don Winslow called City On Fire, and I was getting ready. We were talking about making it one of the best of the month. And I was getting ready to write my review. And then it moved into 2022. And then you’re hearing about how there was congestion at the ports. There were long lines of printing presses which affected books and caused things to move as well. So the logistical aspect of that has been one of the biggest parts of the industry to be affected by covid. As far as the type of mystery trailers will see post pandemic, the most interesting thing to me has been that in literary fiction, we’re already starting to see Pandemic lit happening. You’ve seen Louise Urdrich, the sentence Gary Stengarth, our country friends. Both of those books deal with the pandemic and with the aftermath. And yet in mystery and thriller. And at this point of the year, we pretty much have seen a lot of the books that are publishing through early summer of 2022. And it’s funny that the Pandemic hasn’t been mentioned barely at all. In fact, the only two books that I can think of that mentioned it were Michael Connolly’s Excellent, The Dark Hours, the latest in the Renee Ballard and Harry Boschbook. And even then, it was just like brief mentions here and there of covert protocols. And there was like, you knew it was in the background. But it certainly wasn’t spotlighted or made part of the plot. And I read an interview with Louise Penny where she was talking about how she waited until the final third of her latest Gamash book, Madness of Crowds, to even mention COVID just because she thought that it would be the last thing people would want to hear about after living through so much sadness. And I feel like mystery and thriller novels are where we go to escape. And so I don’t anticipate that there will be a lot of pandemic thrillers. People, publishers and authors alike will kind of take that tack. That mystery is where we go to escape. So you don’t want to bring in anything that is too real.

[00:21:16.120] – Alan Petersen
Yeah, definitely. We’re all with covi fatigue. And that’s something. The past year I’ve been asking my guest authors that question about whether or not they’re going to address the pandemic and way over 90% say no. They’re going to ignore it. Even like Dean Koontz and other big names. They’re like, no, I’m ignoring it.

[00:21:34.230] – Vannessa Cronin
I think so. I definitely think, like I say that that’s different. Not that we don’t read literary fiction to escape, too, but I feel like literary fiction. Maybe sometimes where we go to kind of process big ideas and big events and mystery and thriller is kind of where we go to escape some of that. And so, yeah, I don’t anticipate that anybody will be writing the big pandemic thriller. Although given what we were talking about earlier, with the locked door mysteries still being a huge trend, I feel like Lockdown would lend itself to one of those, but we’ll see if anybody does it right.

[00:22:12.880] – Alan Petersen
That’s a good idea. There you go.

[00:22:17.770] – Vannessa Cronin
I know it’ll be like the plot part too.

[00:22:20.770] – Alan Petersen
Someone is going to steal your plot. I wanted to ask you this kind of weird question, but my to be red pile is obviously huge, and you’re a professional reader. Any tips on how to get through books a little faster? Is that even possible?

[00:22:35.290] – Vannessa Cronin
Well, first of all, I make no great claim to have solved that problem. My apartment is just more books than anything else pretty much. But I also feel like it’s like when you’re shopping, I kind of mentally and sometimes using an Excel spreadsheet physically divide books between nice to read and must read, and that helps me kind of cut down on the declutter, because obviously I have to get through the must read pile first. And one of the things I do is I definitely give myself 60 to 100 pages. I check in with myself at 60 pages, and again at 100. Am I hooked? Can I wait to finish this book? And if the answer is yes, it’s not really grabbing me. Then I stop reading and I pick up something else. Life is too short. Keep going with a title that hasn’t really grabbed you, particularly in this category. And then the other thing that I like to do that helps me get through things faster. You can get burnout when you’re reading the same thing over and over again, even when it is a category that you love. And so if ever I’m feeling a little bit of fatigue and I don’t feel like reading. I pick up what I like to call a palette cleanser. So for instance, last year I picked up Dial A for Auntie’s purely on the basis of the jacket, which looks very fun. And it’s a book about an Asian family of wedding planners, and the mum wants to get the daughter hooked up with a man. And so she goes online catfishing posing as her daughter sets her up with a guy. And long story short, he ends up dying during their date, and then the entire family have to try and help the daughter cover it up. And so it’s way more. Well, it’s at least equal parts romance and mystery, but it was so different from the dark things that I had been reading at the time that I absolutely loved it. And like I say, it acted as a total palette cleanser. I was ready to go back to Murder in Mayhem after that.

[00:24:33.710] – Alan Petersen
Yeah, I do the same thing, too. When it starts getting a little too heavy and I’ll throw in, like, a little cozy mystery or something.

[00:24:39.030] – Vannessa Cronin
Yeah. It totally revives you. And you can go back to your normal diet, as they say of murder and mayhem.

[00:24:45.770] – Alan Petersen
Yeah. And also because I do have aspiring writers that listen to this podcast. And since you have a lot of experience and have your hand on the pulse of the industry, any advice for aspiring writers who want to write thrillers and mysteries?

[00:25:00.850] – Vannessa Cronin
Well, since I only write about mysteries and thrillers, not write actual mysteries and thrillers, I don’t feel like I can speak from experience here. So I do, though, have some advice from other authors. One of my favorite pieces of advice was when Jackie Woodson, who is better known as a children’s author. She answered this question in a Ted talk, and she said, if you can’t find writing that mirrors you, take it as your chance to fill the gap. And so I feel like they all say, write what you know. And I do feel like to our earlier point about representation and authors of color, et cetera, that there is definitely space on the shelf for more of those books. And so to have writers do that would be great. And then I also think of the child who, when he was asked what advice he would give to aspiring mystery thriller writers. He just said, Read as many mysteries and thrillers as you can read across all the genres and subgenres. Read espionage, read, cozies read thrillers. Nothing beats knowing the category inside out for you to be able to identify a maybe where that gap is that Jacqueline Woodson was talking about and B, you know what the trends are and you know what’s happening. You can put your fresh spin on it. Those two things, I think would be very good pieces of advice for any aspiring thriller writers.

[00:26:31.130] – Alan Petersen
Yeah. Excellent advice. And then also, since you have experience in the publishing industry, you’ve been a book buyer and sales and an editor. Now, any advice for somebody for a listener who wants to break into the publishing industry?

[00:26:45.620] – Vannessa Cronin
Well, the first piece of advice would be the same as the last question you ask. Read, read, read. It sounds obvious, but it’s very necessary. Obviously, as we were talking about earlier, there are trends in publishing. And so the only way to stay on top of those is to just read, read, read and know what’s current and know what’s going on. The other thing is that I think a lot of people think about publishing and think that editor is the ultimate job, and that’s what they’re going for. And in actual fact, in my case, I kind of inadvertently ended up in sales, and I found I loved it so much that my desire to become an editor for a publishing house evaporated and I stayed in sales for over 13 years and absolutely loved it. So I definitely think do not hold tight to editorial is the only job that you can get in a publishing house, be open to working as a marketing assistant or as a sales assistant, and get that experience. Learn the business. That’s where you’ll find mentors and people who are already doing the job you would like to have and then can help you get where you want to go or, as in my case, help you realize that where you thought you wanted to go is not actually where you want to go. So that would be my take.

[00:28:00.120] – Alan Petersen
I notice that you were in book curation. What job is that?

[00:28:03.880] – Vannessa Cronin
So book Curation refers to when I first returned to Amazon because I was a book buyer there in the late 90s. So for the physical bookstores, it was a different job to the one I’m doing now in that we were literally stalking the bookstores. And so we had to figure out what do our customers want to read in the physical bookstores? What do we have to have? What kind of things can we introduce to customers that they might not realize that they like? And so it was literally about looking at sales, doing the analysis, figuring out what our customers would love.

[00:28:36.090] – Alan Petersen
There are fascinating jobs in the industry.

[00:28:39.730] – Vannessa Cronin
It really was. Yeah.

[00:28:41.890] – Alan Petersen
So before I let you go now, I want to ask about the kind of Crystal ball here and see what books you think might make the list in 2022. Which books should I be hitting that pre order on?

[00:28:53.120] – Vannessa Cronin
Okay. Well, I thought of three. The first one is a book called The Maid. It is a book set in New York, and it concerns a young woman, Molly, the maid who is working for a hotel when she discovers that the husband of this young, beautiful trophy wife has been discovered dead in his hotel bed. And Molly, it never says it in the book, but she’s on the spectrum that you assume that there is something like that going on. She is a totally sweet, natured woman, and she tries to help the young wife figure out who killed her husband. It is sweet. It’s funny. It’s a cozy and it has been optioned for movie, which I think it will make a great movie. And it was just one of those books where the publisher was really excited about it. And when we read it, we all loved it. So we’re excited for that one. And then the apartment, the Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley. She’s the author of The Hunting Party and the Guest List. We were talking earlier about Lockdoor Mysteries. She is definitely a writer who has perfected that kind of plot. Those books I mentioned, The Hunting Party and the guest list are not so much locked door mysteries as closed circuit mysteries where you get, like in the Christie tradition, a bunch of people are kind of trapped in a similar location, and then somebody dies in the Paris apartment. She’s doing a slightly different take on all of that. And because we love those first two books so much, we are really excited for this one. And then the third one that I can’t wait for is called I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown. And she’s the author of Pretty Things, which was also one of our best of the year mysteries the year before last, that one was about a few grifters meeting in Lake Tahoe. The new one is about identical twin sisters and former child actors, and one of them disappears, and that causes all kinds of secrets to come to the surface. We love Pretty Things so much that we are really excited about. I’ll Be you. And side note, twins has been one of the minor trends in the last year or two as well. There’s been at least a dozen books involving twins, usually twin sisters and thrillers involving twin sisters. In the last year or so. We’re excited about this one.

[00:31:25.430] – Alan Petersen
Awesome. Well, great. Sounds like a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing with us. Thank you so much for joining the podcast to talk to you about books. It was a lot of fun.

[00:31:35.960] – Vannessa Cronin
Yes, definitely. And thank you so much for asking me. That was a lot of fun.

[00:31:39.660] – Alan Petersen
Yeah. And what was the link again to the Amazon?

[00:31:42.550] – Vannessa Cronin
It’s Amazon.Com/bestbooks2021. And that’s where you’ll get all of the best books of 2021. And you will also get the category picks. So for the mystery and thriller fans, check out our top 20.

[00:31:57.020] – Alan Petersen
Great. Well, Vannessa, thank you so much again for coming on the show.

[00:32:00.530] – Vannessa Cronin
You’re so welcome. Thank you.

[00:32:02.100] – Alan Petersen
Thank you for listening to this special episode of the podcast. Don’t forget to let me know which mystery thriller books made your top picks of the year. You can let me know by going to Thrillingreads.com/best21 and fill out the form there with your choices. Or you can just email me your favorite mystery thriller books of the year to podcast at thrillingreads. Com and I’ll share your favorite books in the last episode of the year, which will be posted on December 28. Thanks again to Vannessa and make sure to check out the wonderful books we covered during this show. And to find out some new Thrilling reads and discover some new authors. You can go to thrillingreads.Com/2021 to check out the Amazon Book Editor’s Pics of the Year and also have these titles that we discussed. I’ll have it listed in the show notes for this episode, which you can find at my website at thrillerauthors.Com. Please don’t forget to rate and review this podcast on your favorite podcasting app. It’s a great way to help others discover the show. If you’ve already done that, thank you so much. You’ll find all my links to social media and my website and my author page and all that good stuff over at. Thrillingreads.com/links. All right, thanks for listening. And until next time, stay safe out there.

About the Author
I write thriller and crime fiction novels and host the Meet the Thriller Author podcast where I interview authors of mystery, thriller, and suspense books.

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