Best Tressed

The Golden Tresses of the Dead, which our starred review described as Alan Bradley’s “excellent 10th Flavia de Luce novel set in 1950s England,” debuts at #6 in hardcover fiction. Bradley began his crime fiction career in 2009, the year he turned 71, with the first book starring his 12-year-old sleuth, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It’s since sold 309K print copies, and although subsequent novels haven’t quite reached those heights, Bradley has built a career with more than 650K in print unit sales to date and solid first-week turnouts.

(See all of this week's bestselling books.)

Vanishing, Appearing

YA author Maureen Johnson launched her Truly Devious mystery series with the 2018 novel of the same name. Critical acclaim for the book, whose high-concept plot hinges on a long-unsolved murder at a prestigious Vermont private school, included our starred review, which described it as “riveting”: “Johnson remains a master,” our review said, “at combining jittery tension with sharp, laugh-out-loud observations.” The second installment, The Vanishing Stair, garnered more than twice the sales in its first week as book one did, landing the series on our children’s fiction list for the first time, at #18.

Media Watch

Caroline Kepnes debuted in 2014 with You, which our review called a “seriously unsettling depiction of stalking [that] nevertheless manages to invoke glimmers of sympathy for its perpetrator.” A 10-episode TV adaptation premiered on Lifetime in September, and Netflix picked up the series for its second season, which will be based on Kepnes’s 2016 sequel, Hidden Bodies. Netflix began airing season one at the end of December, and the tie-ins, which pubbed in August, enjoyed a bit of a bump. The e-book has been on our Apple Books list all of January.

New & Notable

James Rollins
#3 Hardcover Fiction
In the 13th Sigma Force thriller, a contemporary kidnapping has mysterious roots in the Spanish Inquisition and a sinister medieval text.

The Rule of Law
John Lescroart
#14 Hardcover Fiction
“Lescroart’s enthralling 21st Dismas Hardy novel,” our review said, stands out with its “sharp dialogue and a timely plot” in which attorney Hardy discovers that his secretary has been helping undocumented immigrants flee ICE.

Top 10 Overall

Rank Title Author Imprint Units
1 Becoming Michelle Obama Crown 68,877
2 Brawl of the Wild (Dog Man #6) Dav Pilkey Graphix 38,217
3 Girl, Wash Your Face Rachel Hollis Nelson 33,497
4 It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way Lysa TerKeurst Thomas Nelson 20,149
5 The Tattooist of Auschwitz Heather Morris Harper 19,439
6 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owens Putnam 18,775
7 Educated Tara Westover Random House 15,842
8 The Meltdown (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #13) Jeff Kinney Abrams 15,471
9 Liar Liar Patterson/Fox Little, Brown 15,136
10 You Are a Badass Jen Sincero Running Press 13,685

All unit sales per NPD BookScan except where noted.