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The best books of 2023

This list is part of the best books of 2023.

We've asked 1,679 authors and super readers for their 3 favorite reads of the year.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

My favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of The Running Grave: A Cormoran Strike Novel

Kat Wheeler Why did I love this book?

Regardless of one's feelings towards J.K. Rowling, her prowess as an author is undeniable. Under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, she brings us The Running Grave, another masterstroke in the Cormoran Strike series.

Strike and Robin Ellacott stand out as two of the most brilliantly crafted modern detectives. Yet, amidst their sleuthing brilliance, they remain palpably human, prone to relatable errors that only enrich their depth. This time, they're plunged into the dark world of a cult, weaving a narrative that's nothing short of captivating.

I’m the kind of mystery reader that when I think I know what's going to happen I get frustrated and start skipping pages. I read every word of this and was sad when it ended. A contender for the best read of the year, it's a must for lovers of mystery and character-driven tales.

By Robert Galbraith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Running Grave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The work of a master storyteller'
Daily Telegraph

'One of crime's most engaging duos'

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is contacted by a worried father whose son, Will, has gone to join a religious cult in the depths of the Norfolk countryside.

The Universal Humanitarian Church is, on the surface, a peaceable organisation that campaigns for a better world. Yet Strike discovers that beneath the surface there are deeply sinister undertones, and unexplained deaths.

In order to try to rescue Will, Strike's business partner Robin Ellacott decides to infiltrate the cult and she travels to Norfolk to live incognito…

My 2nd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Magic Tides

Kat Wheeler Why did I love this book?

For those mourning the conclusion of the ten-book Kate Daniels series, rejoice! Ilona Andrews gifts us with Magic Tides, a riveting extension set a few years after we last left our fierce heroine.

Kate's brilliance, unyielding spirit, and savviness have cemented her as an iconic figure in urban fantasy (and my personal fave). Now outside of Atlanta, she and her family plunge into fresh adventures, but with that familiar kickass flair and intricately woven mythology that's unparalleled in the genre. This isn't just an urban fantasy—it's the gold standard.

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Magic Tides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

My 3rd favorite read in 2023…

Book cover of Mastermind: A Theo Cray and Jessica Blackwood Thriller

Kat Wheeler Why did I love this book?

Who doesn’t love a crossover? When two intellectual titans clash with an apocalyptic adversary, sparks fly. Mastermind merges Andrew Mayne's standout characters—FBI's Jessica Blackwood and the genius Dr. Theo Cray—in a high-stakes game against a cultist serial killer named the Warlock. With cities vanishing amidst chaos, and a mystery as deep as the voids themselves, this is not just a read; it's an experience.

Dive into a narrative where every twist is meticulously plotted, and where the line between genius and madness blurs. For those craving a crossover with intelligence and suspense at its core, this thriller is not to be missed.

By Andrew Mayne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mastermind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

Plus, check out my book…

There Is No Cloud

By Kat Wheeler,

Book cover of There Is No Cloud

What is my book about?

In a world dominated by SmartTech, Cameron Caldwell must bridge her company’s products with a rival's AI device, the HomeTech Hub. But when she stumbles upon a deadly secret within its voice commands, she's ensnared in a chilling murder mystery. As deaths mount, Cameron races against time, deciphering the sinister purpose behind the AI everyone's welcomed into their homes. Beware what listens in the shadows—can Cameron unveil the truth before it's too late? Dive into this gripping AI thriller where technology might just be the deadliest weapon.