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9 best reads for 2023

Searching for your next page-turner? We've got you covered with a selection of the best books to read this year – from pacy thrillers to uplifting gems.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jan 10, 2023

Isolation Reads

It’s the perfect time of year to get cosy with a gripping read. That’s why we’ve curated a list of bestselling books and thrilling debuts.

So grab a cup of tea (or wine – your choice) and snuggle up with one of these top reads.

1. The Cutting Place by Jane Casey

Cutting Place

From multi-award-winning and Sunday Times bestselling author Jane Casey comes her most exciting Maeve Kerrigan crime thriller yet.

Everyone’s heard the rumours about elite gentlemen’s clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are outrageous – and what goes on behind closed doors is darker than you could possibly imagine.

Paige Hargreaves was a young journalist working on a story about a club for the most privileged men in London. She was on the brink of exposing a shocking scandal. Then she disappeared.

DS Maeve Kerrigan must immerse herself in the club’s world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour to find out what happened. But Maeve is keeping secrets of her own. Will she uncover the truth? Or will time run out for Maeve first?

Price: £4.50 for paperback

2. Life In Pieces by Dawn O’Porter

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.

From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn has been doing a lot of thinking about life in lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard.

Discover the daily diaries that track the journey for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.

Price: £8.99 for hardback

3. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List

A gripping, twisty murder mystery thriller from the number one bestselling author of The Hunting Party. On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.

Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. 13 guests. One body. The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. All have a secret. All have a motive. One guest won’t leave this wedding alive.

Price: £4.50 for paperback

4. The Killings At Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

Killings at Kingfisher Hall

The world’s greatest detective, Hercule Poirot – legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile – returns to solve a fiendish new mystery.

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate, where Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. But there is a strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there.

The coach is forced to stop when a distressed woman demands to get off, insisting that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. Although the rest of the journey passes without anyone being harmed, Poirot’s curiosity is aroused, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered with a macabre note attached.

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And if Helen is innocent, can Poirot find the true culprit in time to save her from the gallows?

Price: £14.59 for hardback

5. The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

The Last Widow
I've read and loved all her books.

She might be the first victim, but she won’t be the last.

Three… A woman is abducted in front of her child.

Two… A month later, a second is taken in explosive circumstances.

One… But the web is bigger and darker than anyone could imagine. The clock is ticking to uncover the truth.

Pick up the latest gripping thriller from the Sunday Times No.1 bestseller.

Price: £4.50 for paperback

6. My Lies, Your Lies by Susan Lewis

My Lies, Your Lies

Uncovering the secrets of the past comes at a deadly price in the unputdownable new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Susan Lewis.

One life destroyed by a lie. Freda has never shared her history with anyone before. But now she’s ready to tell the story that has haunted her for 40 years – about a 15-year-old girl falling madly in love with her teacher. One life destroyed by the truth.

Hired by Freda, Joely is there to help uncover what really happened. But as the story starts to unravel, it will end in a way she could never have imagined. Uncovering the secrets of the past comes at a deadly price.

Price: £4.50 for paperback

7. Strangers by C.L. Taylor


The million-copy bestseller returns with a gripping new novel that will keep you guessing until the end.

Ursula, Gareth and Alice have never met before. Ursula thinks she killed the love of her life. Gareth’s been receiving strange postcards, and Alice is being stalked.

None of them are used to relying on others. But when the three strangers’ lives unexpectedly collide, there’s only one thing for it – they have to stick together. Otherwise, one of them will die. Three strangers, two secrets, one terrifying evening.

Price: £6.55

8. The Chalet by Catherine Cooper

The Chalet

French Alps, 1998. Two young men ski into a blizzard, but only one returns.

20 years later. Four people connected to the missing man find themselves in that same resort. Each has a secret. Two may have blood on their hands. One is a killer-in-waiting. Someone knows what really happened that day. And somebody will pay.

An exciting new debut for anyone who loves Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and C.L. Taylor.

Price: £6.55 for paperback

9. The Vow by Debbie Howells

The Vow

Everything was perfect. And then her fiancé disappeared. Two weeks before her wedding, a stranger stops Amy in the street and warns her she’s in danger. Then that night, Matt, her fiancé, doesn’t come home.

Desperate, Amy calls the police. But when Matt fails to emerge, she’s forced to call off her wedding day. Then another man is reported missing by a woman called Fiona – a man meeting Matt’s description, who was about to leave his fiancée for her. He was supposed to be moving in with her but, instead, he’s vanished.

Amy refuses to believe Fiona’s lover can be her Matt. But photos prove otherwise, and it soon becomes clear that Matt has been leading a double life. As the police dig deeper, two conflicting, yet equally plausible, stories emerge from two women who allegedly have never met. The wedding day never happened. But the funeral might.

Price: £7.03 for paperback

Read next: For more reading recommendations, head to our 'What we're reading' forum

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