This is the time of year when people make lists for gifts -- for Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate.
This also is the time when critics, bloggers, newspapers and more make separate lists -- for their best of the year picks.
Now tell me you haven't seen at least four different lists of best mysteries of the year -- and none of those lists have the same books.
And we haven't even gotten to the Edgar Awards nominations, which will be announced in January, or the Agatha nominations, or the flurry of other best lists.
Sometimes it seems as if these lists aren't even about books published in the same year. They can be that different.
I say these lists are good a thing. These different opinions show how unique each reader is. How one novel is one reader's treasure but can be another's trash. How we each want a different experience when we read. Some of us love foreign mysteries, others prefer the lighter than light novels.
These different views also prove that it was a good year for readers. 2010 may have been a bad year in many ways, certainly for many countries' economy. But it was a very good year for readers with so many good, solid mysteries being published.
I also know it was a good year because it was difficult for me to narrow down my choices to just my top 20 and 5 debuts. So many good mysteries just had to be left off the list.
So, as 2010 draws to a close, enjoy the variety of lists. My list ran in the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and various others place. My list is, of course, the only list you should pay attention to.
The Mystery Scene family wishes each of our readers a Happy New Year. We hope that 2011 will be filled with health, personal satisfaction, professional success and everything you desire.
Happy reading to each of you. We'll be back next year...which is just a couple of days from now.