Best Mystery Books: Finding the Perfect Mystery Book for You
A good mystery book is both captivating and thought-provoking. It can pull you in and also leave you wondering what will happen next. With the right book, you can be transported into another world and find yourself loving every minute of it.
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 and the best authors. What are you waiting for? Find your next book and get to reading! And, if you are really trying to enjoy one of these mystery books, try one of the snacks from our list of the best snack ideas or a drink from our list of the best mixed drink recipes.
Top 25 Mystery Books:
1. In the Woods
Book Author: Tana French
Book Price: $ 14.88 (Paperback), $9.83 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: Set in modern-day Dublin, Detective Rob Ryan investigates a case eerily similar to an unsolved mystery from his past. With this suspenseful mystery book, 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.
2. A Simple Plan
Book Author: Scott Smith
Book Price: $ 13.55 (Paperback), $11.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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 book, A Simple Plan is a great bet.
3. Anatomy of a Murder
Book Author: Robert Traver
Book Price: $17.99
About Mystery Book: Anatomy of a Murder is one of the most thrilling courtroom dramas ever written. It follows lawyer Paul Biegler as he defends Frederick Manion, accused of murdering an innkeeper. While the case is overwhelmingly against Manion, his unreliable behavior leaves room for challenges against conviction. With its informative and engaging tone, Anatomy of a Murder is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish.
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Book Author: Stieg Larsson
Book Price: $9.98
About Mystery Book: If you’re a fan of thrilling mysteries and edge-of-your-seat suspense, then you’ll love The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This best-selling mystery book has been made into an iconic movie, and for good reason — it’s a nail-biting read. Follow Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander as they investigate a decades-old murder mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Book Author: Daphne Du Maurier
Book Price: $10.19
About Mystery Book: If you’re looking for a spine-chilling mystery book to keep you entertained, look no further than Rebecca. This Gothic classic tells the story of a young woman who moves into a grand mansion and quickly realizes that she is not alone. With shadows of the first Mrs. de Winter hanging over her, the new wife must fight to protect her happiness – and her life. Beautifully written and eerily atmospheric, Rebecca will leave you captivated from beginning to end.
6. The Big Sleep
Book Author: Raymond Chandler
Book Price: $13.89
About Mystery Book: With complex characters and a twisting plot, The Big Sleep is one of the most thrilling mystery novels ever written. Raymond Chandler’s unique vision of the genre has made it a classic for all time. Private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to investigate the blackmailing of Carmen Sternwood and quickly finds himself embroiled in a complex web of relationships and lies. With sharply drawn and brilliantly realized characters, this is one of the best mystery books of all time and a novel you won’t want to put down.
7. The Secret History
Book Author: Donna Tartt
Book Price: $14.49
About Mystery Book: This thrilling novel follows a group of eccentric misfits who, under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, find a way of thinking and living that is worlds away from the norm. But when they cross boundaries of morality, their lives are changed in ways they never could have imagined. With its mix of suspense and intellectual intrigue, this novel is perfect for anyone looking for an engaging read.
8. And Then There Were None
Book Author: Agatha Christie
Book Price: $6.39 (Paperback), $1.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: This mystery book 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.
9. The Da Vinci Code
Book Author: Dan Brown
Book Price: $8.99 (Paperback), $8.54 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: With murder, secret societies, clues, and symbols galore, this mystery book 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.
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles
Book Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Book Price: $5.99 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the author of this mystery book, 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 to make this one of the best mystery books of all time.
11. Whose Body?
Book Author: Dorothy Sayers
Book Price: $6.62 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
12. A Crime in the Neighborhood
Book Author: Suzanne Berne
Book Price: $23.97 (Paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: This mystery book 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.
13. The Maltese Falcon
Book Author: Dashiell Hammett
Book Price: $12.81 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
14. Gone Girl
Book Author: Gillian Flynn
Book Price: $11.80 (Paperback), $7.11 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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 book is a must-read.
15. A Coffin for Dimitrios
Book Author: Eric Ambler
Book Price: $15.05 (Paperback), $8.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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 book, 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.
16. Murder on the Orient Express
Book Author: Agatha Christie
Book Price: $6.50 (Paperback), $0.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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. And along with it being one of the best mystery books, it has also been made into a movie with a number of star actors filling the different roles.
17. The Moonstone
Book Author: Wilkie Collins
Book Price: $12.24 (Paperback), $1.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: First published in 1868, this mystery book 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.
18. Two Kinds of Truth
Book Author: Michael Connelly
Book Price: $8.79 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
19. End Game
Book Author: David Baldacci
Book Price: $10.76 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
20. The Alienist
Book Author: Caleb Carr
Book Price: $10.75 (Paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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.
21. “A” is for Alibi
Book Author: Sue Grafton
Book Price: $1.99 (Paperback), $7.11 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: This mystery book 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 of her husband. She claims that she didn’t do it, though, and now she needs help finding her husband’s real killer.
22. The Nine Tailors
Book Author: Dorothy L. Sayers
Book Price: $12.11 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
23. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
Book Author: Laurie R. King
Book Price: $16.85 (Paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: If you love Sherlock Holme’s 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.
24. The Firm
Book Author: John Grisham
Book Price: $8.99 (Paperback), $8.54 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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.
25. Eye of the Needle
Book Author: Ken Follett
Book Price: $10.77 (Paperback), $10.23 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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 lies in the hands of a young English woman whose loyalties could easily be swayed.
26. The Silence of the Lambs
Book Author: Thomas Harris
Book Price: $14.44 (Paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: Also, a major blockbuster movie, The Silence of the Lambs, is a must-read for any mystery book 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.
27. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Book Author: Patricia Highsmith
Book Price: $9.31 (Paperback), $8.66 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: This mystery book 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.
28. Magpie Murders
Book Author: Anthony Horowitz
Book Price: $11.55 (Paperback), $10.97 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on English crime fiction. This mystery book 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.
29. A Morbid Taste for Bones
Book Author: Ellis Peters
Book Price: $14.99 (Paperback)
About Mystery Book: 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.
Book Author: Dan Brown
Book Price: $8.49 (Paperback), $7.99 (Kindle)
About Mystery Book: 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
Kyle has a background in sports, fitness/health, and business. However, he also has a passion about researching all topics, and is dedicated to making lists that will help make your life easier.