Best genre fiction of 2013

Instead of compiling an all-encompassing “best fiction” list, these top 10s focus on particular genres.

Science Fiction:

The Guardian says after many decades, “the domination of the (science fiction) genre by US and UK writers is starting to crumble.” Among its top sci-fi books is “The Shining Girls” by South African writer Lauren Beukes.

Buzzfeed calls its top science fiction book, “Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance” by Lois McMaster Bujold, “a romp in the best possible meaning of the word.”

Mystery:

One of Bookpages’ top 10 mysteries is “Tatiana” by Martin Cruz Smith.

To say that Smith is in top form with Tatiana would beg the question: When has he not been in top form? Smith balances plot, characters and atmosphere with talents equal to the best writers in the genre, and his latest effort is guaranteed to please his longtime fans and likely to win him many new ones.

The Seattle Times’ top 10 mysteries are chosen by Adam Woog. A book by Charles McCarry, “the best-kept secret … in spy fiction,” made the list. It’s called “The Shanghai Factor.”

In this wily and often very funny story of double- and triple-crosses, a young CIA operative in Shanghai gets entangled with an enigmatic lover and an equally enigmatic businessman, either one or both possible spies.

Romance:

Sarah MacLean’s “One Good Earl Deserves a Lover” was named a top romance of 2013 by Library Journal.

A brainy bluestocking engaged to a sweet but rather dim earl needs to learn all she can about the physical side of marriage before the big day. She chooses her brother-in-law’s seductively charming business partner at the Fallen Angel to be her research assistant, and they both learn more than they expect in this witty, offbeat story that sparkles despite its dark undercurrents.

You Give Good Love” by J.J. Murray made Publishers Weekly’s top 10 romance books of 2013.

Murray’s tale is a genuinely heartwarming romance starring a broken heroine in need of mending. Hope Warren, an African-Bahamian-Canadian with an M.F.A., works glumly at a Brooklyn print shop. She’s been miserable for eight years, ever since being dumped one Christmas Eve. With charming persistence, kind-hearted Irish-American Dylan Healy, owner of a greeting card company, coaxes Hope out of her shell.