The Ultimate List of Mystery Books for 2024

The Ultimate List of Mystery Books
The Ultimate List of Mystery Books for 2024 63

The ultimate list of mystery books features dozens of our favorite mysteries divided by sub-genres.

We’ve got female spies, detective mysteries, mystery series, historical fiction mystery novels, and more from our favorite authors.

Many of the lists below link to bigger lists on the topic, so feel free to click around to find more mystery books in the category of your choice.

As always, we hope to hear which mystery books you are planning to read and which ones we might be missing from the list!

* Mystery novels Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you.

Table of Contents

Ultimate List of Mystery Books

Best of 2023 // Best of All Time// Book Series // Mystery Thriller // Locked Room Mystery// Espionage // Female Detective // Detective Series // Celebrity Book Club // Historical Mystery // Set in Britain // Dark Academia// Family //For Book Clubs // About Books // Middle Grade Mystery //

Best Mystery Books of 2024

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

True crime author Amanda Bailey is looking to revive her career. She decides to write a book about The Alperton Angels, a cult that almost convinced a teenage girl that her baby was The Anti-Christ and needed to be killed. But after she calls the police and is dropped off at the hospital, she disappears and so does the baby.

Now Amanda is trying to find the perfect angle for this book when she discovers that Oliver, another author, is also on the case. When they decide to collaborate, they discover that the story goes deeper than they could have imagined.

I started reading this book but then switched to the full-cast audio version and could not put it down. The book is written as WhatsApp messages, emails, and transcripts. I absolutely loved this five-star read and highly recommend the audio version for a deeper reading experience. #gifted

Find this book in Cult Books / Full Cast Audiobooks / Ultimate List of Mystery Books

Best Mystery Books of 2023

Death comes to marlow

Death Comes to Marlow by Robert Thorogood

This is the second book in the Marlow Murder Club series. We are back with Judith, Becks, and Susie. If you have not read the first book, do not worry, you can read this locked room mystery novel and love it.

When Judith gets a call from Sir Peter Bailey inviting her to his house for a pre-wedding celebration, she cannot say now. She is even more interested in why he would invite her. When Sir Bailey is found dead in a locked room crushed by a cabinet, it seems like a horrible accident or suicide. However, busy-body, skinny-dipping, crossword puzzle author, Judith is not so sure. #gifted

Vera Wongs Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Vera Wong lives above her tea shop in Chinatown in San Francisco. When she finds a dead body in the shop, she calls the police immediately but also cleans up a bit, uses a Sharpie to trace the body, and takes the flash drive out of the man’s dead hand. She is sure that she can do a better job of finding the murderer than the police.

She comes up with a plan to find the killer and finds four suspects who she grows to care for. I loved this mystery book and have recommended this cozy book too many times to count.

Find this book in Ultimate List of Beach Reads 2023 / Books Like a Man Called Ove / Fiction Books About Tea.

The Twyford Code

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

Name a more unique mystery writer than Janice Hallett. You can’t because her mystery books are unlike any I’ve ever read before. 

It’s not just the incredible mysteries that keep you on your toes – it’s HOW the stories are told.

The Twyford Code is laid out as a collection of audio file transcripts that you need to decipher to find the treasure. The ending BLEW MY MIND. The genius of Hallett to lay it out like that… I’m in awe of this pick from our list of ultimate beach reads 2023.

Happiness Falls

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

September 2023 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

Happiness Falls is a captivating and heartwrenching tale about a Korean-American family in Virginia. When her dad mysteriously vanishes, Mia is convinced there’s a logical explanation. But as the search unfolds, family secrets unravel, and Mia’s younger brother, who is non-speaking Autistic, becomes the only witness.

Packed with shocking twists and thought-provoking questions, this book explores love, language, disabilities, and the lengths a family will go to understand one another. It was more than just a mystery. It was an exploration of the bonds of family.

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The Appeal and more mystery books
The Ultimate List of Mystery Books for 2024 64

Best Mystery Novels of All Time

The Appeal

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

I was utterly charmed by this unique murder mystery book! The premise is great – a detective duo has been given a stack of correspondence (text and emails) and asked to read through and determine who was murdered, why, and who was wrongly accused.

Of course, we readers get to come along for the ride – reading their post-it notes or texts to each other as they try to solve the mystery. I was desperately trying to solve it along with them but I was stumped!

The ending was truly shocking and the many twists and turns had me flying through the story. I read part of it and listened to part. Both formats make for a wonderful experience! This is one I’ll be recommending this pick from the ultimate list of mystery books for years to come!

The Maid

The Maid by Nita Prose

January 2022 Good Morning America Pick

Molly Gray works as a maid in a grand hotel and gets joy from leaving things orderly and pristine. Molly struggles with reading social cues and has had even more trouble since her gran can no longer help.

When Molly finds a dead body in a room at the hotel, she becomes a prime suspect and will need all her friends to help her.

Why We Loved it: I loved the description of this book and I hoped it would live up to my expectations. It did that and more. I adored every minute of this story and closed the last page smiling.

Find This Book in: The Maid Book Club Questions / Books like Lessons in Chemistry / Best Mystery Books / Feel-Good Book / Books for Book Clubs

You’ll find these on our list of the best books of 2022!

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Best Mystery Book Series

Angels & Demons and more mystery books

Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon Series #1) by Dan Brown

Dan Brown found a way to incorporate symbolism and brilliant riddles into this modern-day mystery. The plot does not slow for a minute from the first page to the last. This is one of our favorite mystery books.

It is the first of the Robert Langdon books and my favorite as well. This story revolves around an Illuminati plot against the Catholic Church. The Tom Hanks-led Netflix book adaptation is worth a watch!

The Long Call and more mystery books

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

There are so many things about this book that I loved. The book starts when Matthew Venn attends the funeral of his estranged father.  When a murdered man is washed up on the beach, Matthew is brought back into the community that he left years before.  

The characters are rich, real, flawed, and likable.  The story is driven by the characters who make the story compelling and unpredictable.  I did not predict “who Dun it” which is always a huge bonus for me when I am reading mystery books. 

The Dry and more mystery books

The Dry by Jane Harper

One of the best mysteries I’ve read in recent years, Harper spun quite the web. Set in an old farming town in the Australian Outback, The Dry was actually two mysteries in one.

When an old friend of Agent Falk ends up committing a double murder and homicide, he ends up in the town he hoped to never visit again. As he stays to investigate the current murder, memories and old enemies come out of the woodwork as he recalls what happened 20 years ago when he and his father were driven out of town.

One for the Money

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

The first is the Stephanie Plum series (which is currently 29 books deep!) this story lays the groundwork for Stephanie’s new career as a bounty hunter.

I love the female empowerment of this mystery series because Stephanie is a total badass. Her first job is to go after a crooked cop who happens to have deflowered her at 16 and then told the town all about it.

Finlay Donovan is Killing it

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Easily one of the most unique premises I’ve read recently for a mystery, this mystery-comedy mash-up was so enjoyable! Finlay Donovan is struggling to pay her bills on her meager book advance, so when someone mistakes her for a hired hitman and offers her 50k, she almost considers doing the job.

Until someone else beats her to it and she’s left to deal with the body. Soon her nanny-turned-sidekick is helping her literally bury the body. Can Finlay figure out who might be framing her before she ends up in big trouble?

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Woman on Fire and more mystery books

Mystery Thriller Books

silent patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

This popular thriller book was Michaelides’s debut novel and sold over 65 million copies for good reason. This psychological thriller sucked me in immediately – a woman murders her husband and then doesn’t say a word for 10 years.

Convinced he can help, a psychologist named Theo transfers to the facility where Alice is staying to try to get the real story behind the fateful night of the murder.

Soon, he will become obsessed with Alice and finding out the truth behind the murders.

Find this book in Unreliable Narrator Books / Best Mystery Books of All Time / Best Psychological Thriller Books

Woman on fire

Woman on Fire by Lisa Barr

Buckle up for a stunning story in Lisa Barr’s newest book, Woman on Fire. Jules, an ambitious investigative journalist, is working on a story about a piece of art that was stolen by the Nazis during WWII. 

But she’s not the only one looking to track down Woman on Fire. Margaux, a gallerist and art thief, also wants to get her hands on the painting.

As we learn the origins of the painting and the many hands it switched to over the years, we also discover the dark underbelly of the art world.

I was ENTHRALLED with this novel about art. I’ll be putting this pick from mystery books on every must-read list we do this year. It was thrilling and informative. Buy it now, and thank me later.

The Sanatorium

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

February 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Oh boy, was this a creepy haunted house book! I wish I had chosen to read it during the wintertime instead of the summer because seeing snow while reading it would have made it that much creepier.

With dead bodies piling up, and a blizzard keeping the guests of the fancy sanatorium-turned-hotel stuck inside, will Elin be able to solve the mystery before she becomes a victim herself? This is such a great blizzard book for mystery book lovers and is perfect for anyone who loves locked room mysteries or isolation novels.

sharp objects 1

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Recently made into an HBO mini-series, this story is another dark one from the writer of Gone Girl. This was a psychological thriller and mystery, and it was fabulous! I’ve recommended this story to so many people — it’s so much better than Gone Girl.

When 2 girls are found murdered in her dingy old town, a reporter is sent to investigate. In the process, she digs up some old wounds and resurrects family drama. This is one of the books about mothers that will give you chills.

Love Thrillers? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Thriller Books!

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Locked Room Mystery Books

and then there were none

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

I was so hooked by this British murder mystery/thriller. A mysterious person is trying to right the wrongs of the past by luring unsuspecting criminals to a deserted island…and then murdering them one by one.

But who is the killer? Why are they killing? And just how long have they been stalking their prey? You have to figure out whodunit in this unreliable narrator book.

Find this book in Unreliable Narrator Book / Best Classic Novels / Historical Mystery Books / Agatha Christie Books in Order / Best Mystery Books / Locked Room Mysteries

Daisy Darker

Daisy Darker: A Novel by Alice Feeney

Daisy’s family is gathering for Nan’s birthday on a tiny, private, tidal island after not seeing each other for years. When the tide comes in, they will be cut off from everybody for 8 hours.

When Nana’s body is found dead with a creepy poem written on the wall beside her, they each begin to suspect each other- after all, one of them is a murderer. Soon, everybody’s secrets start to come out as the members of the family die one at a time.

This pick from isolation books had me guessing until the very end and definitely has the feeling of “And Then There Were None”. In the true Alice Feeney style, I had no idea what was going to happen next so, I stopped trying to guess so I could just enjoy the thrill of the ride. You will love this pick from the Ultimate List of Beach Reads 2023. It is a locked room mystery at its finest. If you are looking for books for fall to snuggle up with, this one will not disappoint.

the woman in cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Shortly after being burglarized, a travel journalist boards a small luxury cruise liner to cover its inaugural voyage. When she thinks she sees a passenger thrown overboard – but everyone is still accounted for – she has to decide if what she saw was real or only in her head.

This book wasn’t as creepy as some of Ware’s others, but it still kept me on the edge of my seat. This book has an unreliable narrator which also makes a perfect psychological thriller. You just might want to wait until you are off a boat to read this one! If you love thriller novels, this book is a must-read.

Find this book in Sailing Novels / Isolation Books / Psychological Thriller Books / Unreliable Narrator Books

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Mystery Books about Espionage

The Rose Code

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

While the main portion of this story features 3 code breakers at Bletchley during WWII, one of the main characters is dating Prince Philip. You know, the same Prince Philip who eventually marries the queen?

It’s a dual-timeline story and one of those storylines is set against the backdrop of Philip’s wedding to QE2. Plus it’s a Kate Quinn royal novel, so the writing and story are both top-notch.

Find this book in Ultimate List of Mystery Books / WWII Books / Royal Reads / Books With Color in the Title

Mr. Churchills Secretary

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal

The thing I love about Susan Elia MacNeal is that she doesn’t make the females in her series meek. She puts them center stage in the middle of the war; solving mysteries, spying, fighting, and the like.

The women in this historical fiction mystery series are tough cookies who don’t need a man’s protection. I adored Maggie Hope who is whipsmart and at the center of this female spy series. I’m only a few books into this British mystery series but I love each one.

For more books like these, check out our list of female spy books.

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Female Detective Books

the scottish ladies detective agency

The Scottish Ladies’ Detective Agency by Lydia Travers

This is a delightful detective novel set in Scotland about two women who decide to start a detective agency in 1911. While no one takes them seriously at first, they soon have their first client and case – to stop a jewel thief who repeatedly hits up house parties.

I loved this cozy mystery book. It was the perfect story to escape into during a rough week. I look forward to the next book in this detective series- they are delightful historical mystery books.

the last party

The Last Party (DS Morgan #1) by Clare Mackintosh

This is by far the best mystery I have read in a long time. One party, one body, and everyone had a reason for wanting him dead. This is a brilliant well-thought-out, locked room mystery that reminds me of Agatha Christie or the movie Clue- because everyone had motive and opportunity.

The answer is brilliant and kept me guessing until the last page- and I was still left with my mouth agape!!! This is a must-read from our list of mystery books and a great pick from our list of summer reads 2023!

Maisie Dobbs

Maisie Dobbs  by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs is not your typical PI. For a start, she is a woman working as a PI in 1929. 

Her first case seems like it should be a simple case of infidelity. Instead, it leads her to a murder and back to WWI where she was a nurse.

She is smart, thoughtful, and fun to read. Maisie Dobbs is a psychologist and a detective who trained under renowned Maurice Blanche a former member of Scotland Yard. She branches out and decides to start her own business.

Why We Loved it: I read this cozy mystery novel in one day.  It was so refreshing to see post-war England through Maisie’s eyes as she enters a field dominated by men. I cannot wait to read more books in this fabulous series.

Find this book in Detective Books / Historical Mystery Books / British Mystery Books / Jazz Age Novels

beekeepersapprentice

The BeeKeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

This one is for all the Sherlock fans out there. It takes place after the classic canon ends with the introduction of the retired Holmes and his new neighbor – Mary Russell. I adore this historical mystery book series, as does my dad who is a mystery reader exclusively.

When an American Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, Holmes and his protege are called to help Scotland Yard with the case. This is one of my favorite detective books and my favorite Sherlock Holmes retelling!

a study in charlotte

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

I enjoyed the first book in the Charlotte Holmes Trilogy. I’ve mentioned before that I am a big Sherlock Holmes fan. This Sherlock Holmes retelling differs from the others because it occurs in modern times.

The central characters are the teenage descendants of Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson. I love detective books that take a different look at a favorite character.

The adolescent angle leaves room for error in Holmes’ deductive reasoning skills. Watson is also a more fleshed-out character who has deductive reasoning skills of his own. This classic retelling wraps up nicely and the characters solve the mystery leaving enough open ends to allow for a sequel.

This is one of my favorite mystery books set in High school.

detective books

22 Captivating Detective Books You Won’t Want to Put Down

For more detective mystery books, head over to this list!

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Detective Book Series

the no 1. ladies detective agency

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

I have read so many of the mystery books in this series that I have lost count.  If you are a die-hard mystery lover this series may be too tame for you. 

But, if you are new to the mystery genre or like a lighter, cozy mystery book series, these books set in Africa are amazing.  Precious Ramotswe is so hilariously self-assured you cannot help but love her.

Cuckoos calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike is a private investigator on the verge of failure when a client walks through the door with an amazing story.  

He is the brother of the recently deceased Lulu Landry, a famous supermodel. Refusing to believe his sister’s death was a suicide, he wants Cormoran to prove she was murdered.  

If I am honest, I would have read this book no matter what because of who wrote it.  However, I kept reading the series because I love it.  The last book was close to 700 pages so, there was no way I was reading that if I wasn’t totally invested in these characters. 

Rowling has a way of starting small, introducing you to characters, and sucking you in.  Cormoran Strike is the exact opposite of Chief Inspector Gamache.  He is flawed and cranky but, you will love him just the same.

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life by Louise Penny (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1)

The first in the series of Chief Inspector Gamache. I fell in LOVE with the Inspector, the town of Three Pines, and its residents. Louise Penny CAN WRITE.

The mystery was great (and I didn’t solve it) but what got me the most was Penny’s writing style and reflections on the human psyche. This is one of the best mystery books I have ever read. Be sure to check out Louise Penny Books in Order: Complete Guide to Inspector Gamache

Sherlock Holmes

The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I am a HUGE detective story lover and no one does detective stories better than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes’ ability to solve the crime is fascinating. His observations are astute and I can never, ever guess who committed the crime. If you are looking for the best mystery books of all time, Sherlock Holmes cannot be missed.

Again, love all the various adaptions of this series, but Sherlock on the BBC is my absolute favorite.  (Narrated by Stephen Fry – the British narrator of the Harry Potter series and Mycroft Holmes in one of the adaptations.)

Find this book in Sherlock Holmes Books / Literary Classics / Best Mystery Books / British Mysteries

The last thing he told me and more mystery books

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Celebrity Book Club Mysteries

the christie affair

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

February 2022 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I adored this mystery novel set during the 11 days of Agatha Christie’s disappearance. It’s told from the perspective of Christie’s husband’s mistress and it is utterly absorbing. This biographical novel is totally fictional because there is no account of what actually happened to Agatha Christie during those 11 days.

There are layers of mystery throughout, with a side of a love story. It’s actually a hotel novel because the majority of the book takes place at a small hotel.

I never felt I would be able to sympathize with a mistress but I was cheering for her by the end. If you love mystery books, historical mystery books in particular, this is a must-read.

The Violin Conspiracy

Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

February 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

WHAT A MYSTERY! The Violin Conspiracy opens with a man’s 14 million-dollar Stradivarius violin being stolen and the drama doesn’t let up.

Ray McMillian is a young black musical prodigy who just so happens to have inherited his grandpa’s busted-up fiddle – which turns out to be a rare violin built by one of the greats. But when the origins of the violin come into question along with Ray’s claim to the instrument, the plot keeps thickening.

Truly the story was a gripping page-turner I could not put down. Slocumb’s ability to weave a multi-faceted tale was astounding. When it comes to novels about music, this is a must-read mystery book!

The Last Thing He Told me

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

May 2021 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I raved about this book when I read it earlier this month! Well-chosen, Reese! The story of a stepmother and her daughter as they try to find the girl’s father after his abrupt departure. This is a powerful book about motherhood.

This mystery has so much heart as you see Hannah bond with and try to protect her new stepdaughter, Bailey. I did not see the ending of this book coming, but absolutely adored it. This is one of the mystery books that will keep you turning the page.

The Guest List

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

June 2020 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I’ve just read THE thriller of Summer 2020 and it’s soooooo good.⁣ A murder at a wedding. On an isolated island. In the middle of a power outage.⁣ Yaaaaaaaaas. ⁣This is an unputdownable psychological thriller book and a vacation I would NOT want to be on.

The murder sets the scene and then we get the story in flashbacks without knowing who is murdered until the end. ⁣I’ve become very picky about thrillers recently and this one is hands down my favorite of the year so far.⁣ It also made our Best of 2020 list!

Can you guess who the killer is? I can’t wait to see this added to the list of Hulu book adaptations.

Find this book in Locked Room Mysteries / Books Like People We Meet on Vacation / Best British Mysteries / Books Becoming Movies in 2024

For more books like these, check out the list of our favorite celebrity book club picks.

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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie and more mystery books
The Ultimate List of Mystery Books for 2024 65

Historical Fiction Mystery Books

Murder on the Orient

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This is a classic and a must-read on our list of detective books.  It’s one of those books that unless you know the ending, you would never guess it.  So well-devised, this book is a definite favorite and it all takes place on a train in the middle of a snowy tundra.

Will you be able to guess who the murderer is in this locked room mystery before the famed Hercules Poirot? This is one of my favorite adaptations of the Hercule Poirot books.

Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes

Party Girls Die in Pearls by Plum Sykes

This British mystery book takes place at Oxford University in the 1980s when a socialite is murdered. Ursula Flowerbutton, an English country girl, is trying to investigate the murder for the college paper while trying to befriend the glamorous crowd.

It’s a comedic spoof and the outfit descriptions alone had me giggling. I hope it becomes a series of mystery books because I would love to read more of Flowerbutton and her Sloane Ranger friends. The secret societies and prestigious schools make this one of our lighter dark academia books set in college and as historical mysteries go, this is a really fun pick.

pride and premeditation and more YA historical fiction books

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

This Pride and Prejudice retelling is actually a murder mystery! In this version of the story, Mr. Bennett is a barrister and Lizzie is desperate to prove herself and be the first female barrister.

But while she offers to help Mr. Bingley find the real culprit of the murder he’s been accused of, she ends up butting heads with her rival, Mr. Darcy of Pemberley and Associates.

This delightful take on the classic story was a refreshing and fun historical mystery book. I look forward to reading the rest of the ya historical fiction retellings in this series.

Love Historical Fiction? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Historical Fiction!

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Mysteries Set in Britain

The Windsor Knot

The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett

This cozy murder mystery was an absolute treat. I loved the Queen Elizabeth is the investigator in this mystery book (the first in a series) along with her assistant, Rosie.

Together they figure out who was behind the murder at Windsor Castle during one of the Queen’s Dine-and-Stays. This pick from books about Queen Elizabeth II is perfect for fans of Maggie Hope, Maise Dobbs, and the Royal Family.

the royal secret

The Royal Secret by Lucinda Riley

I love guilty pleasure royal romances, but this is so much more! Part romance, part mystery, this book has something for everyone and is an amazing beach read.

A young journalist is given a mystery to uncover after an old actor passes away, but her investigation quickly turns deadly. I felt all the feelings on this one. There were a couple of times when I was truly angry at the author, but in the end, I really enjoyed this mystery book about royalty!

Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

A young girl is abandoned on a ship headed to Australia. When she arrives, the only thing in her possession is a suitcase with some clothes and a book of fairy tales. The dock master and his wife adopt Nell and tell her the story of her arrival in Australia on her 21st birthday. She goes back to England on a quest to find her lost identity.

Unsuccessful, her granddaughter later takes up the search and tries to assemble the pieces of her grandmother’s mystery and unlock the secrets of her past. I adored this family saga story. This historical mystery book set in Cornwall swept me away. This is a gothic fiction that is a perfect book for fall.

We’ve got a full list of British mystery books if you are looking for more books like these!

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Dark Academia Mystery Books

they wish they were us

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

At a prestigious private school in New England, a group of kids known as “The Players” rule the school. They get top grades, get into the best schools, and rule the social scene. This is one of the books set in high school that makes me glad I never have to go back.

But when one of the girls in the group is murdered, her best friend Jill begins to investigate who the real murderer is and just how dark their privileged world is. This is a book that will make you think about what privilege means and the lengths people will take to get what they want.

Find this book in Books About Secret Societies / Best Mystery Books / Best Psychological Thriller Books

The Secret History (Read with Jenna Book List) and other December 2022 Celebrity book Club spoilers

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

December 2022 Read with Jenna Book Pick

Richard is one of a select group of six students who have been hand-picked to work under the guidance of a classics teacher named Julian Morrow. Richard is narrating the story and he begins by telling about the death of one of the students named Bunny.

As the story progresses, it is clear that this secret society of students rides the line of morality. The strained friendships and sexual tensions continue to push the edge until Bunny is killed.

This is one of the books about secret societies that was deeply disturbing and difficult to read. It certainly earns its place on our list of dark academia books and books about cults! And as with most books set in college, this one is a perfect book for fall.

Ace of spades

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Hello Dark Academia. Centered around Devon and Chiamaka, the only black students at an elite private school, this is one wild thriller.

After being chosen by prefects on the first day of their senior year, Devon and Chiamaka quickly become the targets of the mysterious Aces – a dangerous gossip girl-type character out to ruin their lives.

I was on pins and needles as this thriller unraveled, addressing systemic racism in private institutions in the process.

Find this book in Books Set in High School / Dark Academia Novel / Stalker Books / Psychological Thriller Books

Love books like these? We do too! That’s why we created a list of our favorite dark academia books!

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Mystery Books about Family

Thicker than water

Thicker Than Water by Megan Collins

Julia and Sienna are best friends, business partners, and sisters-in-law. Julia’s husband, Jason, is Sienna’s brother. When Jason’s boss is murdered and Jason is put into a medically induced coma, the police identify him as the prime suspect.

As Julia and Sienna try to prove his innocence, Julia becomes less sure she can defend him. Soon these best friends have opposing views of exactly what Jason did.

Colins perfectly captured the dynamic of female friendships in this one. While I was invested in finding out if Jason actually committed murder, I was even more invested in Julia and Sienna’s bond.

The Love of My Life

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh

March 2022 Good Morning America Book Club Pick

I was swept away by this marvelous story. Emma and Leo’s love story seems to be one of romantic legend. They have a charming daughter, Emma has just beaten cancer, and they have a wonderful life.

But soon Leo is discovering secrets from Emma’s past that don’t add up to the life Emma has described to him all these years. As readers, we see Leo trying to uncover who his wife really is and Emma trying to prevent him from doing just that.

This book was not what I was expecting but I can’t stop thinking about it. The twists and turns had me second-guessing so much of what I had read. It’s a story of love, strength, mystery, and secrets. An absolute must-read.

thirteenth tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I adored this gothic story when I read it on vacation a few years back. A young biographer is called to help a reclusive author of 12 books tell the story of her life.

In the process, she learns there is a thirteenth tale after all. It’s a gothic romance, a mystery, and a story about family ties all in one. Although it is a long one from the best mystery books,  I absolutely adore this book for fall. It’s the perfect book to snuggle up with on a chilly autumn day. If you love historical mystery books, this one is a must-read.

dead letters

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

Where to begin with this thrilling story? I loved just about everything in this A-to-Z mystery. The dark, twisted plot of Dead Letters begins when Ava returns hometown to her family’s failing vineyard to deal with the death of her twin, Zelda, in a barn fire.

The story immediately launches into a few mysteries. First, and the most easily solved, why did Ava flee the family vineyard for Paris 2 years ago? Second, is Zelda really dead? This is one of the fiction books about wine you won’t want to miss.

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Mystery Books for Book Clubs

The lost Vintage

The Lost Vintage by Anne Mah

This mystery book feels like a warm hug. A little bit of historical fiction, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of romance. It was so lovely to read at sunset with a glass of wine.

The writing, the story, the whole thing made this book a no-brainer for our feel-good books list and our fiction books about wine.

Kate is working to become a certified wine expert and the only thing standing in her way are the Burgundy wines at her family’s estate (and her first love who lives nearby).

While dealing out the basement filled with generations of belongings, Kate starts to learn about her family during the WWII occupation. Of all the WWII books, this is the one we recommend the most and we have never had anyone not love it.

Where the Crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing Deluxe Edition by Dehlia Owens

September 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I will admit when I saw the description of this coming-of-age book, I was not sold.  A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap.  And wow, am I glad I did.  I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew.  It is one of the best mystery novels I have ever read.

This 70s book has that spark, that special something, that makes it extra. The book begins when a body is found in a North Carolina marsh and is identified as Chase Andrews. The story moves between the past and the present to tell the story of Kya Clark, The Marsh Girl, who is a suspect in the murder.

We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it which makes it a perfect book for book clubs! If you love this book, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing.

Love book club books? We do too! That’s why we created a list of our favorite book club books.

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Mystery Books About Books

The mystery of Mrs. Christie

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict


⁣Marie Benedict is the master of bringing women back to life in her historical fiction novels. The Mystery of Mrs. Christie is my favorite to date and I found it hard to put down. ⁣In December 1926, Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days. She re-emerged as mysteriously as she disappeared and more questions than answers persist.

Why We Like it: Benedict does a wonderful job of building the mystery using her brilliant imagination and bringing us into the world of Agatha Christie. It is the perfect blend of fiction and mystery and is an absolute delight.

Find this book in Historical Mystery Books / 13 Fiction Books about Writers / Books About Books / Biographical Fiction Novel / 1920s Novels

Mr. Penumbra

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel by Robin Sloane

While this secret society book was not what I was expecting, it was so fun and quirky that I loved it.  Clay gets a job in a bookstore that has a strange clientele coming at very strange hours. 

What is even weirder are the books that they check out rather than buy.  I loved the mysterious parts of the book and the character development. This is one of my favorite books about bookstores!

bookshop of yesterdays

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson

Miranda’s uncle dies leaving her a failing bookstore and a scavenger hunt of clues to decipher.  What she learns over the course of her summer tracking down clues and trying to save the bookstore will turn her whole world on its head.

I guessed the ending fairly early on, but this mystery book is all about the journey. You can see our interview with Amy here.

For more books like these, check out our list of books about books.

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Trenton lee Stewart and more mystery books

Middle-Grade Mysteries for Adults

The Mysterious Benedict Society and more books like Keeper of the lost cities

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This is a middle grade mystery book for tweens that all adults should read but you can also find it on our list of books for 13-year-olds. It’s about a group of extremely gifted children who are sent to spy on an evil organization.

This is the first middle grade book in a series that is geared toward older kids. It was funny and interesting and extremely clever.

winterhouse

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson

We like to listen to books as a family when we are in the car together or doing a puzzle. The standout book for me this month was Winterhouse. It’s such a fun hotel novel!

This middle grade mystery was as enthralling to me as it was to my boys. I loved the slight bits of magic in the story and the captivating setting of an expansive ski hotel on a snowy mountain at Christmas time. If you love a cozy mystery book for a 10-year-old, pick this one up! We also included this in our list of paranormal books and it is one of the best.

The sweetness at the bottom of the pie

Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

This is the first book in the Flavia De Luce series. This 11-year-old aspiring chemist is a wonderful heroine. I love her- she is smart and precocious. This is one of the best historical mystery books for YA readers and does not have violence. 

It is 1950 and Flavia has a love of poisons. When she finds a man taking his last breath in a cucumber patch, she is not scared at all, rather, she delights in solving the mystery. The rest of this detective series is on my list of books to read. We also included this British mystery book on our list of Books for 13-year-olds and in our favorite books by Canadian Authors.

For more books like these, check out our list of Mystery Books for Tweens.

Love Mysteries? You’ll probably love this swag too!

What is the Best-Selling Mystery Book of all Time?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is the best-selling mystery book of all time.

What are the Most Popular Mystery Books Right Now?

Mystery books are always so popular. The best-selling mystery books right now are The Thursday Night Murder Club by Richard Osman and None of This is True by Lisa Jewell. We love the Louise Penny Chief Inspector Gamache Series.

Did you find any mystery books to add to your reading list?

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