My Favorite Books of 2009: All are Thrilling, But Not All are Thrillers

As I looked back over my 2009 reads, I realized that it would be hard to choose my top ten favorites, but here goes…..

 Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg is the true story of Pepperberg’s 30-year relationship with a gray parrot named Alex that will touch your heart as well as provide fascinating details of his astonishing abilities.

 Await Your Reply by local author Dan Chaon addresses the issue of identity and place as it tells the story of three people’s lives that intersect due to identity theft. Think literate thriller.

 Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan is a stunning work of noir fiction in which the editor of an Ann Arbor mystery magazine enlists the help of an associate to bury the body of a home intruder he accidently killed. Just when you think you know what is going on, Dolan throws in another twist.

 The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin is a historical mystery set in 1860s Istanbul and Venice with a distinct Holmesian feel about it. What’s not to like?

 The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips is the sequel to The Rossetti Letter. Claire Donovan is now a fellow at Cambridge researching the diary of Hannah Devlin, physician to the king’s mistress in the 1670s. If you like Lauren Willig, give these books a try.

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett tells the story of three women working as maids for white families in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi and is probably my top favorite of the year. It is absolutely fabulous on audio!

 The Last Child by John Hart is a mystery about teenager Johnny Merrimon searching for his missing twin sister in rural North Carolina. If you like atmospheric settings and complex characters, this one is a sure bet.

 The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe tells the tale of a grad student who find a book of spells from a Salem witch in the ancestral family home. This book is part historical and part thriller, with a little magic and romance thrown in for good measure.

 Plea of Insanity by Jillian Hoffman is a legal thriller about an attorney who must confront her own past when defending a doctor accused of murdering his family. I guarantee that you’ll re-read the ending of this book at least twice.

 Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo is a “non-put-downable” thriller set in Ohio Amish country in which new sheriff Kate Burkholder tracks a serial killer who may have links to her past. So accurately written, it’s hard to believe that the author is from Texas.

Hope you enjoy these books as much as I did.                                  ~Evelyn

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