A good mystery is both captivating and thought-provoking. In this list of the best mystery books, we detail 25 thrilling and suspenseful whodunits. Several classics make this list, as well as several popular modern mysteries. No matter the decade, however, all of the mysteries on this list will satisfy your need for mystery and adventure.
For even more book-related lists, check out our list of the best young adult books. What are you waiting for? Find your next book and get to reading!
Set in modern day Dublin, Detective Rob Ryan investigates a case eerilysimilar to an unsolved mystery from his past. With this suspenseful mystery, author Tana French has readers on the edge of their seat for the entire book. If you want a delicious mystery colored with suspense, In the Woods is an excellent option.
This realistic novel details the lengths two brothers and a friend go to conceal a treasure they stumble upon. In doing so, however, these men not only become criminals but victims. For a complex, yet realistic mystery, A Simple Plan is a great bet.
This mystery by Agatha Christie is one of the best-selling mysteries of all time. And Then There Were None showcases Agatha Christie’s flair for storytelling. In the mystery, ten guests of an absentee host begin to share their darkest secrets. One by one though, the guests begin to get murdered. If you love a classic whodunit, this mystery book is a great choice.
With murder, secret societies, clues, and symbols galore, this mystery is a real page-turner. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code will send readers around the world in search of clues as you try to anticipate what is going to happen next. This fast-paced mystery offers a unique look at Western history and is sure to enthrall readers who love mystery and intrigue.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the author of this mystery, and it is one of his most popular. The Hound of the Baskervilles showcases Sherlock Holmes’ detective skills and prowess. A century-old curse, a supernatural creature, and an eerie setting provide the needed ingredients for this mystery.
Written in the 1920s, Whose Body?introduces one of Sayer’s reoccurring characters, Lord Peter Wimsey, an amateur gentleman detective. In the story, Wimsey investigates a mysterious death. He must figure out the connection between the death and the disappearance of a prominent businessman. His discoveries lead him on a chase full of twists and turns.
This mystery is a New York Times Notable Book and Book of the Month Club selection. The mystery takes place in Washington D.C. during the Watergate break-ins and brings murder and sexual assault to the forefront with a child’s accusation. Moving and tragic, A Crime in the Neighborhood is a welcome alternative from typical mysteries.
Featuring Sam Spade, a private eye with his own code of ethics, The Maltese Falcon has delighted generations of readers. Intriguing characters and an entertaining storyline make this a mystery worth coming back to time and time again.
A modern bestseller, Gone Girl, provides the perspectives of husband and wife Nick and Amy Dunne. When Amy disappears under suspicious circumstances, all eyes turn to Nick. Suspicions escalate when Amy’s diary surfaces and further incriminates Nick. But did Nick really kill Amy? For a thrilling story full of twists and turns, this mystery is a must read.
Ambler’s main character, a mystery writer himself, seeks inspiration for his next novel from a morgue. However, he soon finds himself caught up in a web of intrigue, assassination, and treachery. The characters shine in this mystery, and the Balkan setting adds a touch of the exotic. A Coffin for Dimitrios is a great choice for readers looking for adventure and mystery.
Imagine being stuck on a train with a murderer and having nowhere to go. The second Agatha Christie book on this list is Murder on the Orient Express, and it is going to cover this exact situation. This book is the most widely read mystery of all time and for a good reason.
First published in 1868, this mystery has held its own since. The Moonstone is a novel about a large valuable diamond that goes missing at a party. The suspect list continues to grow and shrink throughout the book as the culprit is searched for. Another great whodunit mystery book, The Moonstone will keep readers intrigued from beginning to end.
This book will center around Harry Bosch as he volunteers to work cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department. Before he knows it though, he finds himself right in the middle of a high-level national case. At the same time, he will have to deal with his past and his time spent with the LAPD. If you love a great detective mystery, Two Kinds of Truth is going to be the mystery book for you.
The End Game is going to center around two characters, Will Robie and Jessica Reel. Will and Jessica are who the government calls when threats of mass destruction against the United States are discovered. In this book, their longtime handler goes missing under suspicious circumstances. Together they must figure out what has happened to him before it is too late.
Originally written in 1994, The Alienist is now also a hit TV Drama as well. The time period of the book is set in 1896 and is going to take place in New York City. This mystery is going to cover the search for a serial killer that is loose and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
This mystery centers around Kinsey Millhone. She is a private detective that somehow always finds herself taking on cases for the underdog. Desperate client Nikki Fife just got out of jail after serving an eight-year conviction for the murder her husband. She claims that she didn’t do it though, and now she needs help finding her husbands real killer.
When an unknown man ends up dead in a small town in East Anglia, the job of solving the murder falls to the famous Lord Peter Whimsey. Lord Peter Whimsey is met with twists and turns as he is forced to determine the good and evil that lurks in every person.
If you love Sherlock Holmes books, you will love The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Sherlock Holmes takes on a bright apprentice in young Mary Russell. Together they must solve a case of international importance. At the same time though, they will also have to deal with clues that dig back into Sherlock’s mysterious past.
Things are not always as they seem when young attorney Mitch McDeere joins his new firm. Before long the FBI is investigating the workings of his new firm. Because of this, Mitch finds himself between a rock and a hard place with the FBI.
Anytime you mix in Nazi Germany and the Allied Forces you have the combination for a great book. The Eye of the Needle is about a German aristocrat master spy whose fate lays in the hands of a young English woman whose loyalties could easily be swayed.
Also, a major blockbuster movie, The Silence of the Lambs is must read for any mystery lover. FBI agent Clarice Starling must find a serial killer named “Buffalo Bill” before he strikes again. With the search going nowhere, she must turn to the help of another serial killer in Hannibal Lecter for help.
This mystery centers around the character Tom Ripley who is a suave young up and comer living in Manhattan. Tom finds himself employed by a wealthy businessman who wants him to go to Italy to bring back his playboy son Dickie Greenleaf. Before long though he becomes obsessed with Dickie. Tom wants Dickie’s lifestyle for his own and will do whatever it takes to have it.
Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on English crime fiction. This mystery is going to allow the reader to become the detective and will center around editor Susan Ryeland and the murder at Pye Hall. As she digs deeper into the account of the murder, she starts to suspect that there might be more there than meets the eye.
Brother Cadfael is a monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in western England. His story begins when monks from out of town come to the Abbey hoping to gather the remains of Saint Winfred. The town becomes divided and the leading protester dead. It is now up to Brother Cadfael to figure out what happened and who was behind the death.
Robert Langdon is an esteemed Harvard professor attending a presentation that is going to reveal answers to fundamental questions of human existence. When the presentation turns to chaos, Robert and Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director, must flee the presentation. It is now up to Professor Langdon and Ambra to finish the shocking discovery and make it known to the world.
Best Mystery Books Conclusion
There is just something about a good mystery book that keeps you locked in and excited for the next page turn. The right author and mystery can transport you to another time and place.
This list of the best mystery books was designed to provide 25 different books that would do just that. So choose your favorites and get ready to be transported to a world of mystery and plot twists.
Do you have a favorite mystery book that isn’t listed but think it should be? Comment it below so that other readers will be able to enjoy it.
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