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Great Reads in 2023

Updated: Jan 4

book and coffee Kristin Noland speculative fiction and crime fiction editor

Over the course of the year, I’ve read about 45 books. That total may not be impressive to you, but I don’t read to keep a tally. I read for pleasure when I’m not editing.


And I’ll be honest; I didn’t finish every book I started. The total could have been close to 55, but the ones I didn’t finish didn’t hold my attention, or have deep characters, or I just couldn’t get past the grammatical errors. (Please get your novels edited by a pro. 😊)


Of the books I did finish, here are my top five!


            House of Marionne by J. Elle

            Listen for the Lie by Amy Tintera

            The Reaper Chronicles by Sarah McKnight

            The Quarry Girls by Jess Lourey

            The Housemaid by Freida McFadden



I really enjoyed this novel!


The set up


Quell’s life turns upside down when she must run from the Draguns who want to take her life. To survive, she must live in a foreign place with a grandmother she barely remembers. As the heir to the House of Marionne, there is a lot of pressure on her to be the best. But as she strengthens her magic, a cold reality settles in and threatens to take everything she’s worked so hard for away.



It just might be the best psychological thriller I've ever read. I absolutely love it!


The set up


Everyone in Lucy's hometown, except for her colorful grandmother, thinks she's guilty of murder. Even Lucy thinks so sometimes. She has no memory of the few hours before or after the murder of her best friend, and with the strange thoughts that run through her mind, it's possible.




Technically a series, but I read all three books in a short time and loved every one. Sarah’s humorous approach to soul reaping had me laughing from start to finish.


The set up for Book one: The Reaper’s Quota


Newly minted Grim Reaper #2497 has quotas to fill and reports to write, but he starts to question his purpose as a Reaper, especially when a woman sees him, which no human should. He embarks on a quest to find out why she can see him and how he can get out of the reaping business.



A fantastic novel based on real crimes.


The set up


Big changes are happening to Heather and her friends this summer. They are interested in boys and their band performing in front of a huge audience, but Heather and Brenda have a secret. They witness something terrible happening to their friend and then she disappears, but their friend isn’t the first local girl that’s gone missing.


This is not a tale for the fainthearted.




This is a very popular thriller, and you thriller fans may have read this one, but it stuck with me, and it’s one of my favorites this year.


The set up


Millie lives out of her car and must get a job. She applies and gets a position as a housemaid for the rich Winchesters, but everything is not as wonderful as it appeared during the interview. The wife tells lies, the daughter is creepy, and the husband is trying to hold everything together … or so it seems.


It’s a mind twisting story psychological thriller readers will love.


I’d love to hear your top five books you read this year, so drop me a line!


Happy Reading and Writing


Kristin Noland

Speculative and Crime Fiction Editor

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