Can you judge a book by its cover? Popular opinion says no, no, no! Even so, it’s pretty hard not to, especially when there’s so much terrific book art around.
Because Rap Sheet editor J. Kingston Pierce cares enough about cover art to discuss it on January Magazine’s sister publication fairly often, he’s made it an annual practice to collect the best of what he finds and then allow readers to vote for their own favorites:
Ever since 2007, those of us at The Rap Sheet have closed out each year with a look back at some of what we considered to be the finest crime novel covers of the previous twelvemonth. It’s our small way of acknowledging the often-unheralded graphic designers who, though they don’t write the books we read, nonetheless play a vital role in encouraging us to pick up those works in the first place.
Honestly? We’d do something similar for January if only we could find the energy! Meanwhile, this year’s crop of great crime novel covers went live on The Rap Sheet this morning. You can peek at them and then let your preferences be known here.