30 Best Murder Mystery Books For Sleuths

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Are you ready to be whisked away to a thrilling, suspenseful world of murder mysteries? If so, you’re in luck! From classic tales to modern whodunnits, this list has some of the best murder mystery books that will have you turning pages late into the night.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Set in a small town in North Carolina, this novel tells the story of Kya Clark, the mysterious ‘Marsh Girl’ believed to be the murderer of handsome golden boy Chase Andrews. But Kya’s story is more deep and complex than the townsfolk know, and starts with two young men who fell in love with her wild beauty and sensitivity. 

Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful debut from Delia Owens brimming with mystery, romance, and the exquisite beauty of the marshlands.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie 

Looking to test your wits and crack the case? Step aboard the luxurious Orient Express with Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.

The luxurious Orient Express is derailed by a sudden snowdrift and the last thing the passengers expect to find is a dead body! But luckily, Detective Hercule Poirot is onboard and is ready to use his wit and skill to uncover the murderer among them. Follow along as Poirot unravels the clues and discovers the killer — it’s a surefire page-turner perfect for mystery fans!

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Every town has its mysteries. For Pippa Fitz-Amobi’s town, it’s the murder of Andie Bell, a case that was laid to rest five years prior. Curiosity pushes her to reopen the case to conduct her own amateur investigation for her final year project. However, Pippa’s investigation uncovers secrets long since buried—secrets someone in town desperately wants to remain hidden.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is a nail-biting YA murder mystery brimming with deadly secrets, high stakes, and heart-pounding thrills.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Unlock the greatest mystery of the decade with Alex Michaelides’ gripping psychological thriller, The Silent Patient.

After famous artist Alicia Berenson shoots her husband in the face five times, she never speaks again. That is, until criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber enters her life, determined to uncover the secrets buried within her mind.

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It follows single mom Finlay Donovan as she navigates a troubled ex-husband, his scheming fiancee, two young kids, and a severe case of writer’s block. When a misunderstanding leads to her being mistaken for a contract killer, Finlay makes the fateful decision to take on a job that soon embroils her in a real-life murder investigation. 

Packed with witty dialogue and unexpected turns, Elle Cosimano’s debut is a captivating mystery that will leave you laughing while desperately trying to uncover the truth.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Can you stomach a thrillingly twisted mystery? 

On the fifth wedding anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne, their marriage is upended by Amy’s mysterious disappearance, leaving a flurry of clues pointing to the possibility that their seemingly perfect love story wasn’t what it seemed. 

As Nick’s life spirals out of control and everyone questions whether he could have committed murder, Gone Girl will draw you into an unputdownable ride of unexpected twists and shocking turns. 

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie is hell-bent on avenging her sister’s murder—and uncovering the killer—after the botched police investigation. Armed with nothing but her relentless spirit and a few measly clues, she embarks on an emotionally draining and potentially deadly journey to uncover the truth.

When radio personality West McCray overhears Sadie’s story, his interest ignites and sparks his own obsession with finding the missing girl and solving the puzzle before it’s too late. 

In this captivating YA murder mystery, readers are sure to be enraptured by the emotional and chilling story of Sadie’s pursuit of justice.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Discover the thrilling mystery of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, where Hercule Poirot is presented with the daunting task of obtaining justice in the death of Roger Ackroyd.

Follow Poirot as he unravels the complex web of clues and dark secrets, delving into a journey that is full of danger and numerous suspects. 

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is the perfect murder mystery that will have you guessing until the very end.

The Maid by Nita Prose

Molly Gray may be inexperienced in the social arena, but as a Regency Grand Hotel maid, she excels at organization and cleanliness. Her predictable life changes drastically when she discovers the wealthy Charles Black dead in his bed. A web of secrets awaits Molly as she races to decipher the clues and find the killer before it’s too late.

For readers who appreciate the best in murder mystery books, Nita Prose’s The Maid is an enthralling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its nail-biting conclusion.

One of Us Is Lying Karen M. McManus

If you’re looking for the perfect murder mystery to get you hooked, then Karen M. McManus’s One of Us Is Lying is the perfect book for you. 

Five students enter detention – Cooper, the golden boy and star athlete; Addy, the future homecoming princess; Bronwyn, the future Ivy League alumnus; Nate, the bad boy caught for selling drugs; and Simon, the infamous mastermind behind the school’s gossip blog – but only four leave alive. Who is the killer? 

Uncover the mystery as you follow the four remaining suspects and piece together the clues.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Four decades ago, Harriet Vanger, the scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, vanished. Harriet’s uncle Henrik Vanger never stopped searching for her.

Now, he has brought together the journalist Mikael Blomkvist, on the brink of ruin, and the prodigal hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate the case.

Join them as they uncover a twisted and convoluted conspiracy in Stieg Larsson’s bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Unlock your inner detective with The Guest List, a thrilling murder mystery set on an idyllic Irish island.

When the wedding party arrives, a shocking discovery stirs panic and suspicion, leaving it up to the guests to unearth the truth. 

Gather your sleuthing skills, sharpen your wits, and unravel the puzzle before the murderer strikes again! Perfect for readers who love a good challenge, this riveting thriller will hold the audience captive until the very end.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Every day, Evelyn Hardcastle dies. Aiden Bishop has the power to end this fatal cycle—but to do so, he must first identify the killer. However, Aiden finds himself waking up in a different houseguest’s body each morning, and not all these guests are as eager to help in piecing together the puzzle of Evelyn’s death.  

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is the ultimate whodunit that will have mystery readers captivated. With its enthralling plot and suspenseful dialogue, this is one of the best murder mysteries on the market today.

The Maid’s Diary by Loreth Anne White

Kit Darling is a maid who, while on the job, uncovers a secret so dark it could destroy the life of her wealthy employers. Little does she know that this discovery also makes them a threat to her. 

When homicide detective Mallory Van Alst is called in to investigate an attack, she’s met with a blood-soaked scene, two absent homeowners, and a missing maid. Nothing is as it seems as Mallory embarks on the case.

Loreth Anne White’s The Maid’s Diary is an enthralling murder mystery that grips readers with its chilling turns and surprises. 

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

If you’re looking for a thrilling murder mystery, look no further than The Maidens.

Cambridge professor Edward Fosca is beloved by his students and members of a secret society known as the Maidens. But when Mariana Andros discovers one of the Maidens has been murdered, she sets out to uncover the truth about Edward’s murderous alter ego. 

With complex characters, unexpected twists, and atmospheric settings, this is one of the best murder mysteries of 2021.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Behind the idyllic facade of Monterey, California, lies a dark and dangerous underworld of deadly secrets, devious lies and family scandals.

In Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty takes readers on a gripping journey that is refreshingly witty, intricately layered and intensely emotional. Follow the lives of three women as they navigate the complexities of motherhood, marriage, friendships and the small-town gossip of Monterey.

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

Vera Wong is living an uncomplicated life when she finds a dead man clutching a flash drive in her quaint tea shop. Instead of leaving the investigation to the police, she decides to take the flash drive and solve the case herself. After all, she will undoubtedly do a better job than the police. 

Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers is a thrilling murder mystery packed with twists and turns at every corner. Add this cozy page-turner to your list of must-reads now!

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

For readers searching for the perfect crime-solving fix, Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders is the ultimate murder mystery. 

Susan Ryeland, an editor, is thrown for a loop when she discovers the manuscript for Alan Conway’s next novel deviates drastically from his usual formula.

Soon, she discovers something grim and sinister hiding within the pages of the whodunit and starts to suspect Alan’s fiction could be hiding a dangerous truth. 

Fallen by Linda Castillo 

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is stunned when she learns that the woman murdered in her small Ohio town is someone she once knew. After leaving Painters Mill years ago, Rachael Schwartz has returned only to be killed. But as Kate delves into the mystery, she discovers that Rachel made many enemies—and that they don’t want her uncovering their secrets. 

Fallen is the perfect murder mystery for readers looking for an unputdownable thriller. Complex characters, a suspenseful plot, and plenty of twists and turns await in this gripping novel from New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

October 30th is the night Jen’s world is turned upside down. When her son Todd is arrested for murder, all she can do is watch. But the next morning, Jen wakes to find it’s the day before. With time reclaimed, her one chance to unravel the truth and save Todd from his destiny. 

Gillian McAllister’s Wrong Place Wrong Time is a wild ride of a murder mystery. A cleverly twisted narrative, it’ll keep you guessing until the explosive ending. Don’t miss out on this remarkable piece of suspense!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie 

Are you ready to solve the biggest mystery of all? Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is here to test your detective skills. 

Ten strangers receive an invitation to a secluded mansion on an island, unaware that the secrets they are all hiding will unravel in the most twisted of ways. With every mystery revealed, each guest meets their demise. Who is the killer? 

Agatha Christie is the queen of murder mysteries and her popular thriller And Then There Were None may be one of the best murder mystery books yet.

Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni

Robert Dugoni’s Her Deadly Game is a thrilling murder mystery that turns the tables on Seattle prosecutor Keera Duggan. 

Seeking to rebuild her career and her family’s failing criminal defense law firm after a bitter breakup, Keera’s chance to skyrocket her career comes in the form of Vince LaRussa, an investment advisor accused of murdering his wealthy wife. With a former lover intent on destroying her in court and secrets that turn the case deadly, this case proves to be the hardest trial of her career.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Descend into the dark secrets of Ellingham Academy: the prestigious and mysterious 1930s institution with unsolved puzzles and a horrific unsolved crime. 

When Albert Ellingham and his three-year-old daughter were kidnapped and a student murdered, no one was ever able to solve the case…until now. 

True crime fan Stephanie “Stevie” Bell has made it her mission to unravel the mystery of Ellingham Academy in the thrilling novel Truly Devious

Offering a masterful blend of intrigue, suspense and a hint of romance, this is undoubtedly one of the best young adult murder mystery books.

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

Follow the Thursday Murder Club as they take on a decade-old cold case that refuses to stay buried. Join the four amateur detectives—Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron—as they bravely unearth clues and unravel the truth behind a sinister plot. 

Richard Osman’s The Bullet That Missed is the third installment of the best-selling Thursday Murder Club series. Discover why this series is one of the top cozy murder mysteries and why readers of all ages love it. 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Are you ready for an enthralling, unpredictable mystery? Step into the shoes of thirty-something agoraphobic psychiatrist Anna Fox, a woman whose reality appears to unravel as she becomes a witness to a crime in a neighboring house during her days of drinking wine, watching movies, and spying on neighbors. Feel the tension rise to paralyzing heights as you race to uncover the truth behind the Woman in the Window.

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

When Jess arrives at her half-brother Ben’s surprisingly upscale apartment in Paris, he is missing and the other residents offer no answers. Now Jess must unravel the truth behind his disappearance and uncover the secrets hidden within the ominous apartment building. 

This gripping whodunit from the author of The Guest List is brimming with twists and turns. Read The Paris Apartment for an unforgettable suspenseful mystery.

In the Woods by Tana French

Investigate a chilling murder with Dublin Murder Squad Detectives Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox in Tana French’s masterful In the Woods

When the past comes knocking, Dublin Murder Squad detective Rob Ryan answers the call. 

Two decades ago, three kids ventured into the woods and only one made it out: Rob Ryan. Now, he and Cassie must work together to uncover the past and present clues to crack the case before it’s too late. This atmospheric murder mystery is perfect for fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.

One by One by Ruth Ware

When eight coworkers become snowed in at a luxurious ski chalet in the remote French Alps, they soon realize that it is not the storm they have to fear, but the killer inside who is picking them off one by one.  

Ruth Ware’s One by One is a claustrophobic spine-tingling murder mystery reminiscent of Christie Agatha’s And Then There Were None

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

When the boundaries between play-acting and reality fade away, suspense, treachery, and obsession take center stage. 

In M. L. Rio’s debut novel, Oliver Marks emerges from his ten year imprisonment eager to share the story of a tragedy so powerful it drastically altered his life. But to tell the truth, he must return to Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of ambition and dark secrets. 

If We Were Villains is an utterly enchanting murder mystery that chronicles friendships, jealousies, and deadly rivalries. 

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Head to the creepy, crumbling gothic island home of Daisy Darker’s Nana for a birthday celebration that quickly turns into a terrifying night of murder.

When Nana is found dead at midnight and another body an hour later, Daisy and her family find themselves in an Agatha Christie-worthy mystery that spells trouble for everyone on the remote island.

Fans of murder mysteries will love Daisy Darker, a gripping whodunit that keeps you guessing until the very end.