A few times a year Auntie M lets readers know about books she’s bought herself that she’d enjoyed. With review copies of books coming almost daily, her house a towering To Be Read pile, but that doesn’t stop her from buying books from some of her favorite authors.

The multi-talented Anthony Horowitz (just read his bio to see what he’s written that you have read or watched) returns with the second book in his series featuring private investigator Daniel Hawthorne and a writer fellow named … Anthony Horowitz in The Sentence is Death.

The two men are not exactly fans of each other, but Horowitz has signed on to document Hawthorne’s escapes for a series of books about his exploits. He soon finds himself enmeshed in Hawthorne’s new case, when wealthy barrister Richard Pryce is found battered to death inside his modern home on Hampstead Heath.

With an eye for detail, killer instincts on plot, and the relationship between the two men a focal point, Horowitz has created his alter ego’s narrative that neatly explores Hawthorne’s secrets while at the same time thinking he’s helping to solve the case. Highly readable, filled with sly asides, mocking humor, and a complex plot. Highly Recommended.

Peter Robinson’s DS Alan Banks series is one other crime writers mention when asked how they read. The award-wininng author brings Banks a pair of crimes what confuse his entire team, when the body of an lovely woman dressed for an evening out is found in the countryside in an abandoned car in Careless Love. It quickly becomes clear the car not only wasn’t the victim’s, it had been in an accident the week before and left where she is found.

Compounding things a second death, a well-dressed man found on the moors with injuries sustained in a fatal fall. But was this an accident, or was he pushed? His tony clothes indicate he wasn’t a hiker and there are no signs of how he could have arrived at this spot.

Neither victim carried identification; both died around the same time. With his DI Annie Cabot running the man’s case, Banks concentrates on the dead woman. Until the cases become connected and all bets are off. A strong entry in a compelling series Auntie M won’t miss.

Screenwritere Alex Michaelides turns to a debut crime novel with a wholly original and creative premise in The Silent Patient. Forensic psychotherapst Theo Faber is determined to treat his new patient where others have failed. Artist Alicia Berenson is a devoted wife to Gabriel——until the night she shoots him, not once or twice but five times, and then never speaks again.

What happened to lead to that fateful night? Only Alicia’s diary can give the clues that will help Theo get to the bottom of this inexplicable murder. This one packs a wallop with such a twist at the end you will lose your breath. Trust me.

Another of Auntie M’s favorites series is Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan, and Cruel Acts brings the detective sergeant and her DI, Josh Derwent, a complex crime, amdist their own complicated relationship.

Leo Stone had been convicted of murdering two women and was to spend his life in prison. But suddenly that conviction is deemed a miscarriage of justice and he’s out, free to kill again. Unless he wasn’t guilty the first time.

Meticulous police investigation coupled with a copper’s instinct soon has Maeve questioning what she believed. Then another woman disappears, and soon Maeve is desperate to find what’s happened to her.

This is one that will have you flippng pages way after the light should be out. With chilling creepiness, Casey manages to find the humanity in her character’s story while having Kerrigan be the smartest gal around. Highly Recommended.

A UK friend recommended Cass Green’s In a Cottage in a Wood. Neve is a young gal who needs income and more than that, a future. She’s on her way across Waterloo Bridge after a one-night stand when she meets a woman called Isabelle, who thrusts an envelope in her hands before jumping to her death in the Thames.

Neve soon finds out Isabelle has left her a little cottage in Cornwall. Suddenly she can see a future, a way out, but when she arrives to stay, the cottage is isolated in dark woods. What could be a charming cottage has bars across the windows. Why did Isabelle have to have bars on her windows? And most of all, why did she leave this nightmare of a place to Neve?

A gripping psychological mystery readers will gobble up.

Tana French’s Wych Elm is everything one wants in a thriller: an original premise, a strong cast of interesting characters, and a way to tell a story that will leave the reader paying rapt attention.

When Toby is attacked, it leaves him mentally frail and traumatized, having memory issues and having to relearn things. He recuperates at his family’s home, he Ivy House, where his memories of teenaged parties and years growing up alongside cousins reverberate.

But soon after his arrival, a skill is found neatly tucked inside the elderly wych elm in the house’s garden. And then the rest of the body is unearthed.

Who does the body belong to? Could one of Toby’s own family be responsible, and if not, what do they know? Could Toby himself be the culprit and he can’t remember? With a suspenseful plot, French knows how to construct a story that manages to be unstinting in its view of families. Tragic yet clever.