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4. John McFetridge – Black Rock (2015)

Black Rock is the first book of the series of Eddie Dougherty. Set in the city of Montreal, in 1970, it is centered around a wannabe-detective named Eddie Dougherty, and a young cop. The 1970s were a turbulent time in Montreal, featuring police kidnappings, bombings, strikes, and protests. McFetridge loves minimalist descriptions and humorous, tongue-in-cheek dialogue.

3. Peter Robinson – Innocent Graves (1996)

The wealthy and powerful man’s daughter has been murdered. Banks investigates the case and discovers that there are secrets everywhere, and this is no simple case. Suspects include the father. A simple plot becomes complicated and masterly interwoven. In 1997, Innocent Graves won the Arthur Ellis Award.

2. William Deverell – Needles

Needles takes place in Vancouver. It shines a light on drug trade and prostitution in a legal thriller pulsating with noir mystery. Foster Cobb, a lawyer, is a heroin addict responsible for the prosecution of a drug lord. This novel won an award in the 80s and is known for its humor, authorly prowess, and wit.

1. Ross MacDonald – The Chill (1964)

The Chill is the eleventh book in its series. Archer investigates a murder case that the police have wrongly concluded. He finds a serial of murders and realizes that the wrong person has been arrested. The female characters are complex and innovative. Outstanding plot twists, a great ending, and unmatched wit – a must-read.

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