Some people who review mysteries came up with the list of what they thought were the best ones published in 2011. The list covers alot of terriorty - London to New Orleans to Thailand. The first 5 titles are:
1) Sara Gran's Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead introduces a private detective that oneeviewer describes as a mixture of Nancy Drew and Sid Vicious. She lives, eats and breathes detection. Someone had given her a book entitled Detection and it has become her bible. She is called to post-Katrina New Orleans to look for a missing person. Very noire, very gritty - a detective that is hard to like but for which you will have compassion.
2) Chris Nickson has written Cold Cruel Winter, a historical mystery that focuses on capturing a serial killer in a 1700's Leeds. This is the second in a series (follows The Broken Token) which follows Richard Nottingham, Constable of the City of Leeds. He searches for a serial killer who is seeking revenge.
3) Michael Stanley in Death of the Mantis has penned a police procedural that takes place in Botswana. This is the 3rd of a series that follows David “Kubu” Bengu, an assistant superintendent. Africa plays a large part in the story which investigates crimes that have been blamed on bushmen. Don't think you will be getting another Alexander McCall Smith. this is not a cozy.
4) Donna Leon penned Drawing Conclusions, another entry into the long running Commissario Guido Brunetti series. It takes place in Venice, Italy where an old woman dies of a heart attack or was it something more? Brunetti investigates. This series has long been considered one of the better written.
5) Elly Griffiths has written The Janus Stone, the second in a series featuring Ruth Galloway, a forensic anthropologist. Griffith is called to investigate when a child's partial skeleton is unearthed beneath an old mansion that once served as a children's home.