Welcome to the Cup of Tea’s Best Books of the Year, where I list the best of the best books I read this year.
For today, I am highlighting the best fiction and mysteries of 2022. Although I didn’t get to read as much literary fiction I would have liked to this year, however, I did manage to pick some thought-provoking and exciting books where the storytelling had me hooked from beginning to end. But as always, I excelled in the mystery department, where my choices brought thrills and chills that will stay with me when the clock strikes 12 on December 31. I know you are dying to just hear what made my list, so without further ado, here are the best fiction and mystery books of 2022:
Fiction & Literary
Foster by Claire Keegan
I absolutely loved “Small Things Like These,” and I was excited that “Foster” was getting a US release (even though I had the UK/Irish edition for a while). Just like “Small Things…”, here is a heartbreaking but thought-provoking story that is beautifully compelling in such a few pages. You don’t realize what you have until you experience it in a whole new light and Keegan does such a great job telling a poignant tale that is a must read for the masses.
Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner
Natalie Jenner has written another winner that is full of heart and determination, something we need in 2022. The women who ban together to fight against the status quo and take charge of their destiny is what most are even lucky to strive in real life but Jenner provides readers an inspirational story that makes it relatable and captivating. Once again, the characters come alive and you won’t forget them once you are introduced to them!
The Ruins by Phoebe Wynne
Yes, this was slow paced but I really appreciate the dark and atmospheric setting Phoebe Wynne did with this story. Love reading about with unlikable characters and they are definitely unlikable ones here. You think you’re reading about one thing but completely thrown a curve ball and discover so many hidden themes and meaning thrown in.
Mystery & Thrillers
The Appeal by Janice Hallett
You wouldn’t think a mystery (or a story) told through emails and text messages would work but Janice Hallett has proven everyone wrong with this up and coming thriller! Not only is Hallett bringing a lost literary for back to the forefront, but she has told a captivating and chilling thriller from beginning to end that even you as the reader become involved and try to discover the culprit. You become involved with the many characters and their lives and you can’t stop reading about them. Agatha Christie would definitely be proud of this one!
The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson
Absolutely loved this! Nadine Matheson is becoming one of my favorite authors! Not only she writes gripping and heart-racing thrillers, she also develops realistic characters that leap off the page and make you as the reader identify with them and want to learn more about them. If you are fan of mysteries, then Matheson’s books need to be on your list!
The Guest House by Robin Morgan-Bentley
How far would you go to protect the ones you love?
Jamie and Victoria are off for a last quick vacation before the arrival of their first baby. The remote country guesthouse Victoria chose seems like the perfect retreat–miles away from the distractions of work and their regular life. And the older couple that run the establishment, Barry and Fiona, are more than accommodating.
But when Jamie and Victoria awake on their first morning, they find the house deserted. Barry and Fiona are nowhere to be seen. All the doors are locked. And their cell phones and car keys have disappeared.
They have no way out and no way to call for help and the contractions are getting stronger. (Credit: Poisoned Pen Press)
Run Time by Catherine Ryan Howard
A story, within a story, within another story?! Once again Catherine Ryan Howard has taken has taken her readers on a mind bending thriller! I absolutely loved “56 Days” and I awaited with anticipation for this one and it did not disappoint! This was a like a love letter to the slasher film genre, but still keeping the twists and surprises you love to see in any mystery. And the fact that Howard created one compelling story into another and another is so innovative and mind boggling. You as the reader try to figure out who was telling the truth and like the protagonist, what’s real and what’s not. If you haven’t read anything by Howard, then this is a great book to start with!
P.S. The audiobook of this is amazing as well. The narrators did a great job!
You’re Invited by Amanda Jayatissa
Mind blown after reading this one! The twists and turns had me on the edge of my seat. I really didn’t know where this was going and I loved the ride that I was put on with this thrilling mystery. Fans of Lucy Foley and Gillian Flynn will love to read this one by Jayatissa!
The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict
Knives Out meets The Westing Game in this fun holiday mystery that will have readers desperately trying to figure out the puzzles and anagrams. This family has a lot of secrets and mysteries that are just itching to get out and you will have fun trying to figure it out!
The Blood Tide by Neil Lancaster
You get away with murder.
In a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman vanishes without trace. His remains are never found.
You make people disappear.
A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. DS Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can’t find out what cost them their lives, it won’t be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue…
You come back for revenge.
Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max’s past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die…
The Last Party by Clare Mackinstosh
It’s the party to end all parties….but not everyone is here to celebrate.
On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests. His vacation homes on Mirror Lake are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbors.
But by midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.
On New Year’s Day, Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects. The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbors, friends and family–and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.
With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead…but who finally killed him.
In a village with this many secrets, murder is just the beginning. (Credit: Sourcebooks Landmark)