What do you expect when you open a mystery novel? Probably a gripping story that keeps you guessing who the bad guy is.

The best mystery books are ones that have clever clues strewn throughout, bringing forth your inner detective.

The nicest feeling in crime fiction, in my opinion, is being presented with a suitably challenging puzzle while yet being able to jump up and exclaim, “I knew it!” when the final reveal arrives.

Classic mysteries, current mysteries, feminist mysteries, eerie mysteries, and even a children’s mystery are all included. These are the novels for you if you enjoy puzzles with a touch of murder.


Best Mystery Books to Read

1. And Then There Were None

1. And Then There Were None
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About the Book

A Top 100 PBS Great American Read selection. One of the most famous and well-loved mysteries by Agatha Christie, the Queen of Suspense! More than 100 million copies have been sold, and a Lifetime TV movie is in the works.

A host, who, shockingly, does not show, invites ten visitors to an isolated estate on Indian Island, each with something to hide and something to dread.

They are cut off from everything except each other and the inevitable ghosts of their prior lives on the island.

The guests, one by one, reveal the darkest truths of their sinister pasts. One by one, they perish. Which of them is the murderer, and will any of them make it out alive?

Book Review

There is no deception here; the reader is just befuddled from beginning to end. A tremendous career’s most colossal achievement. The novel has to be up there with Mrs. Christie’s previous finest in terms of deception.

The meticulous positioning of the red herring was what Agatha Christie taught me. She was the mastermind behind the phrase “through indirections shall we find directions.”

Push past the first few portions, and you’ll find yourself in a whole different setting that goes at a considerably faster pace.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Anyone who has ever fancied themselves as an amateur detective or a whodunit fan will be kept wondering at every turn. And the reader is introduced to the bad guy (or gal) in a truly unique way.

About the Author

Only the Bible and Shakespeare can tell Agatha Christie as the most widely published author of all time. Her books have been translated into over a hundred languages also sold over a billion copies in English.

Book Details

You can purchase this book in Paperback, Audiobook, Kindle, and Hardback versions.

  • Author: Agatha Christie
  • Pages: 247 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Dramas & Plays, Traditional Detective Mysteries, Historical Mystery.

2. The Big Sleep (A Philip Marlowe Novel)

2. The Big Sleep (A Philip Marlowe Novel)
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About the Book

Raymond Chandler’s classic first novel, starring Philip Marlowe, the “quintessential metropolitan private eye.”

When a dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to deal with the blackmailer of one of his two troubled daughters, Marlowe finds himself embroiled in more than just extortion.

Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled mystery thriller The Big Sleep (1939) is the first to feature investigator Philip Marlowe. It was adapted for the screen twice, once in 1946 and again in 1978. Los Angeles is the setting for the story.

Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just some of the problems he encounters.

Book Review

This is not a book for those types of pansies, as Chandler would describe them now. This is about how people were and what their morals were. It should be savored rather than rejected.

The conversation is crisp throughout their job, the detective is tough and intelligent, and the bodies mount up. Looking back from an eighty-year perspective, it’s all a little much.

The writing is razor-sharp, smart, frequently amusing, and memorable. There are many imitators of Chandler/Marlowe, but this is the real deal: gritty, painful, existential, and deeply human.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Characters double-cross each other and secrets are revealed throughout the novel, which adds to the story’s intricacy. The title is a euphemism for death, and the book’s last chapters contain a reflection on “sleeping the grand slumber.”

About the Author

Raymond Thornton Chandler (1888 – 1959) was the king of hard-boiled crime fiction in the United States.

Chandler spent most of his childhood and youth in England, where he attended Dulwich College and later worked as a freelance journalist for The Westminster Gazette and The Spectator, despite being born in Chicago.

Book Details

This book is available in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audible versions.

  • Author: Raymond Thornton Chandler.
  • Pages: 231 (Paperback).
  • Category/Genre: Hard-Boiled Mystery, Private Investigator Mysteries, Historical Mystery.

3. Gone Girl

3. Gone Girl
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About the Book

The instant classic “about the nature of identity and the terrible secrets that can survive and thrive in even the most intimate relationships,” as described by Vanity Fair, is “mercilessly entertaining” (Vanity Fair).

Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary on a hot summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri. When Nick’s clever and attractive wife vanishes, the presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made.

Husband-of-the-Year With cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, Nick isn’t doing himself any favors, but excerpts from Amy’s diary suggest the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anybody on edge.

The town’s golden boy parades an endless succession of lies, deceptions, and inappropriate behavior under increasing pressure from the police and the media, as well as Amy’s adoring parents.

Nick is strangely evasive, and he’s clearly bitter but is he a serial killer?

Book Review

By blending the wife’s diary entries with the husband’s first-person story, Flynn illustrates the collapse of a marriage and a recession-hit Midwest masterfully.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn combines two deceptive, creepy, seductive narrators and a plot that twists so many times you’ll be dizzy.

Well crafted and continuously captivating. The story, which twists and turns into new shapes, is a page-turning thriller as well as a study of marriage at its worst.

An enthralling summer thriller with a plot worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. This delightful summer book will give you the creeps and keep you on edge until the last page, delving deep into the murkiest parts of the human psyche.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The story unfolds in precise and captivating prose even when you know you’re being deceived, half the fun of this wickedly absorbing novel is hunting for the missing pieces.

About the Author

Gillian Flynn is the author of Gone Girl, the #1 New York Times bestseller for which she authored the Golden Globe-nominated screenplay, as well as Dark Places and Sharp Objects, both New York Times bestsellers.

She resides in Chicago with her husband and children and was previously a critic for Entertainment Weekly.

Book Details

You can buy this book in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audible versions.

  • Author: Gillian Flynn.
  • Pages: 422 (Paperback).
  • Category/Genre: Murder Thrillers, American Literature.

4. In Cold Blood

4. In Cold Blood
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About the Book

“In Cold Blood” is the best-selling true crime novel of all time, and it plagued its author long after he finished it. It chills the blood and tests the mind; it’s frightening.

Four members of the Clutter family were cruelly murdered on November 15, 1959, in the small hamlet of Holcomb, Kansas, by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no obvious reason for the crime, and there were few hints.

Truman Capote recreates the murder and the investigation that led to the criminals’ capture, trial, and execution in one of the earliest non-fiction novels ever written, generating both hypnotic suspense and astonishing empathy.

In Cold Blood is a film that goes beyond its time, offering heartbreaking insights into the essence of American violence.

Book Review

One of the most important non-fiction works of the mid-1960s, with a prestigious place in American literature today.

Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” is a classic nonfiction book written by a legendary fiction writer. The story is based on a true account of a heinous violent crime that occurred in Kansas in 1959.

The writing is lyrical, accurate, and clear. It echoes like a bell, beckoning you to return for more. The level of analysis and the sheer amount of effort put into this is incredible. It’s never gory, and it’s never written to sell copies.

Key Takeaways from the Book

Truman Capote’s novel In Cold Blood weaves a narrative of deception and terrible murder. The author based his narrative on the real-life Clutter family murders in 1959.

About the Author

Truman Capote was born in New Orleans on September 30, 1924. He was taken to live with relatives in Monroeville, Alabama after his parents divorced. He would meet his lifelong buddy, author Harper Lee, here.

Book Details

You can get this book in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook formats.

  • Author: Truman Capote
  • Pages: 343 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Criminology, Women in History, Censorship & Politics.

5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel
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About the Book

“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel” is a mystery book written by New York bestselling author John le Carre.

The guy he knew as “Control” is no longer alive, and the Circus is now managed by the young Turks who drove him out.

But George Smiley isn’t quite ready to retire, especially when a beautiful would-be defector shows up with a bombshell accusation: a Soviet mole has infiltrated British Intelligence at the highest levels.

Smiley sees the hand of Karla—his Moscow Centre nemesis—and lays a trap to arrest the traitor, relying solely on his wits and a tiny, devoted squad.

Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) directed the Oscar-nominated feature film adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which stars Gary Oldman as Smiley, Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), and Tom Hardy (Inception).

Book Review

John le Carré is the king of the spy novel. The continual flow of emotion elevates him above not only all modern suspense novels, but also most contemporary novelists.

Many people will recognize the title even if they have never read the book.

Without a doubt, one of the best spy novels ever written, the frigid atmosphere of the Cold War is beautifully brought to life via a cast of intriguing individuals, each with their own profound motivations for acts of loyalty, friendship, daring, and betrayal.

Anyone who has ever been deceived, or who has betrayed someone dear to them, should read this book. Which, regrettably, is the case for the vast majority of us.

Key Takeaways from the Book

It’s still a period piece after all these years, and a good read for anyone unfamiliar with the Cold War and its tensions, as well as anyone who enjoys a good espionage thriller.

About the Author

In 1931, John le Carré was born. He taught at Eton and served in the British Foreign Service for five years after attending the universities of Bern and Oxford. His third book, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, cemented his international fame.

Book Details

You can obtain this book in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover versions.

  • Author: John le Carre
  • Pages: 400 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Political Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers, Military Thrillers.

6. The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon)

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About the Book

Over 80 million copies have been sold. PBS’s The Great American Read named it one of America’s best-loved novels.

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call while in Paris. The Louvre’s elderly curator was assassinated within the museum, his corpse shrouded in enigmatic symbols.

As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu comb through the strange puzzles, they are astounded to find a trail of clues hidden throughout Leonardo da Vinci’s works clues that are accessible to all yet cleverly camouflaged by the painter.

Even more astonishing, the late curator was a member of the Priory of Sion, a secret society that includes Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci, and he guarded a priceless historical secret.

The explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever unless Langdon and Neveu can solve the convoluted riddle while dodging the faceless foe who follows their every move.

Book Review

Be enlightened by reading the book. The Book World of the Washington Post An adrenaline-pumping, brain-teasing experience. People, It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of thriller writing.

This book has piqued the curiosity of many individuals who have never been particularly “into” art in the idea that art is another means of recording our past, and how art has been used to support, subvert, and narrate the story of humanity throughout history.

Pick up The Da Vinci Code, borrow it, or acquire the illustrated version, but if you haven’t already, read it. It’s far superior to the film, and you’ll appreciate it as much as the rest of the world has.

Key Takeaways from the Book

If you’re looking for a good book to read, this is the one. Even though the book is a little long, it doesn’t matter when it comes to the suspense and mystery it has. Just go for it.

About the Author

Dan Brown is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons, and Deception Point. He currently resides in New England.

Book Details

This book can be obtained in Paperback, Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook versions.

  • Author: Dan Brown
  • Pages: 597 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Religious Mysteries, Religious Historical Fiction.

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)

7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)
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About the Book

A satisfyingly complicated and entertainingly atmospheric thriller combines a murder investigation, family drama, love romance, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, has been missing for more than four decades. Her elderly uncle is still searching for the truth after all these years.

Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist who was recently imprisoned for libel, is hired to investigate. Lisbeth Salander, a pierced and tattooed punk prodigy, assists him.

They tap into an unfathomable wellspring of evil and astounding corruption when they work together.

Book Review

A spunky heroine and a hottie who needs her help? This seductive, addicting thriller is everything you never imagined a crime novel could be.

Stieg Larsson’s first novel combines the icy Swedish backdrop and brooding psychodrama of a Bergman film with the gory pyrotechnics of a serial-killer thriller, then adds an angry punk heroine and a down-on-his-luck investigative journalist.

Because of its two characters, it’s a completely different type of mystery that will undoubtedly capture your attention. While the plot had several unexpected twists and turns, the scenes between Blomkvist and Salander were the most gripping for me.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The novel wraps up the two main plotlines, but leaves the social interactions between Blomkvist and Salander unresolved to entice readers to read the next volume, “The Girl Who Played with Fire.”

About the Author

Stieg Larsson was the editor in chief of the magazine Expo and a notable authority on antidemocratic right-wing extremist and Nazi organizations. He lived in Sweden.

He died in 2004, just as the manuscripts for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest were being delivered.

Book Details

This book can be bought in Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Audible, Hardcover forms.

  • Author: Steig Larsson
  • Pages: 672 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: International Mystery & Crime, Organized Crime Thrillers, Serial Killer Thrillers.

8. Rebecca

Rebecca
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About the Book

Daphne du Maurier’s famous Gothic suspense thriller, which won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century, has been adapted into a Netflix film starring Lily James and Armie Hammer.

The story opens in Monte Carlo when our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter’s unexpected marriage proposal. She’s orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, and she can’t believe her good fortune.

She learns how enormous a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives only when they arrive at his massive country house, confronting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

Book Review

Wow! Dame Daphne Du Maurier was a fantastic romantic and mystery novelist. She was born in London in 1907 to a well-known actress and the granddaughter of a well-known illustrator, and she rose to prominence as a writer of superb fiction.

If you can get through the description of Manderly in the dream and into the storey about the protagonist’s first meeting with widower Maxim de Winter, you’ll enjoy the rest.

Key Takeaways from the Book

The story is conveyed in the form of poetry written by the author. Her descriptions of the vegetation, animals, seasons, and sea that surround luxuriant Manderley are stunning.

The tale is full of twists and turns as we discover about the deceased Rebecca’s terrible secrets.

About the Author

Daphne du Maurier (1907-89) was born in London, the daughter of Sir Gerald du Maurier, a well-known actor-manager, and the granddaughter of author and artist George du Maurier. Her debut work, The Loving Spirit, was released in 1931.

Book Details

This book can be purchased in Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook, and Hardback versions.

  • Author: Daphne du Maurier
  • Pages: 416 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Gothic Romances, Classic Literature & Fiction.

9. The Maltese Falcon

9. The Maltese Falcon
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About the Book

From one of the greatest mystery authors of all time, comes a coolly gleaming treasure of detective fiction that has plagued three generations of readers.

It’s a prize worth sacrificing your life for. Sam Spade is a grizzled private investigator with his own unique set of ethics.

Joel Cairo, a perfumed grafter, Gutman, an obese man, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and deceitful lady whose loyalties turn on a dime. Dashiell Hammett’s classic, influential, and beloved The Maltese Falcon contains all of these elements.

Book Review

Hammett’s groundbreaking detective novel is well-written, and it transcended decades of popular crime pulp fiction magazines to establish a more plausible but “hard-boiled” detective fiction for a broader and more sophisticated audience.

Newer readers may find Hammett’s story boring and antiquated, failing to recognize how edgy it was at the time it was written. The novel is better, more engaging, and interesting than the 1941 classic film, which is wonderfully depicted.

This piece captures the tumultuous and ambiguous world of the 1930s when morality and fairness blurred among individuals just trying to make ends meet. It is, however, a fun classic that deserves a serious read and some well-deserved thinking.

Key Takeaways from the Book

This is the “first” portrayal of a piece of American culture that entertained and impacted subsequent generations of authors and readers.

About the Author

Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in Maryland’s St. Mary’s County. He was born in Philadelphia and raised in Baltimore.

Hammett dropped out of school at the age of fourteen and worked as a messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore before joining Pinkerton’s Detective Agency as an operative.

Book Details

You can get this book in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audible versions.

  • Author: Dashiell Samuel Hammett
  • Pages: 217 (Paperback)
  • Category/Genre: Lawyers & Criminals Humor, Self-Help & Psychology Humor, Hard Boiled Mystery.

Final Verdict

Those who are the family’s “Sherlock Holmes,” those who wake up to solve riddles and puzzles, resolve conflicts, and become intrigued by the mysterious world, as well as those who enjoy living in suspense, should surely read these best mystery books!


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