60+ Best Detective Books: Crack the Case in 2024

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Detective stories are where a clever detective (or sometimes an ordinary person) solves a crime that seems impossible at first, piecing together clues that lead closer to the truth—challenging readers to piece together the puzzle before the final reveal.

In this list of Best Detective Books, be ready to match wits with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Sam Spade as we take a look into the most intriguing detective stories ever written.

Table of Contents

1. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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04/03/2024 11:35 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Contemporary, Adult, Thriller

On the morning of Nick and Amy’s fifth anniversary, Amy disappears without a trace. As the police investigate, suspicion falls heavily on Nick. The story then unfolds through dual perspectives—Nick’s present-day narrative and Amy’s diary entries from the past.

As the investigation into Amy’s disappearance intensifies, the couple’s secrets and lies come to light, revealing a toxic relationship built on deception and raising questions about love, loyalty, and truth.

“Gone Girl” takes a look into the complexities of relationships and societal expectations. Flynn’s sharp, insightful writing forces readers to confront the unsettling realities beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect marriage.

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

What you might love:

  • It sharply criticizes modern relationships, media hype, and society’s gender roles.
  • It asks deep questions about trust, identity, and relationships, making it great for book clubs and friend chats.
  • Despite its extreme story, the book connects with readers through common themes like love, betrayal, and wanting control.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The story’s many plot twists and tricky characters might upset readers who prefer simple stories.
  • The book has adult themes and language, like sex and harsh words, which may not suit or attract everyone.
  • Flynn shows marriage as full of tricks and lies, which might surprise those expecting a romantic or positive view.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson — Millennium #1

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03/07/2024 07:20 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Contemporary

Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist, is hired by Henrik Vanger, a wealthy industrialist, to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, 40 years ago. Blomkvist teams up with Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but troubled computer hacker.

As they dig deeper into the Vanger family’s past, they uncover a dark history of violence, abuse, and corruption that threatens to consume them both. Despite facing numerous dangers, the pair relentlessly pursue the truth behind the mysterious disappearance.

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” stands out for its complex characters, particularly Lisbeth Salander, a fierce and unconventional heroine. The novel’s unflinching portrayal of violence against women and its critique of societal corruption make it a must-read.

Armageddon was yesterday, today we have a serious problem.

What you might love:

  • The book addresses corruption, misogyny, and injustice, appealing to readers looking for meaningful and relevant stories.
  • Salander and Blomkvist’s unexpected team-up is the story’s heart, offering excitement and teamwork that captivates readers.
  • Lisbeth Salander, a strong and different heroine, breaks stereotypes and inspires readers with her smartness and toughness.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book has detailed scenes of violence and sexual assault that might upset or trigger some readers.
  • People not used to Swedish culture might struggle with some references or social norms in the story.
  • Swedish names can confuse some readers, especially when characters have similar names or go by different names in the book.

3. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown — Robert Langdon #1

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03/09/2024 01:51 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Adventure, Crime

When a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist appeared, Harvard professor Robert Langdon was pulled into a historical conflict between the Illuminati, a secret society, and the Catholic Church.

Langdon teams up with the physicist’s daughter, Vittoria Vetra, as they follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, and deserted cathedrals. Langdon and Vetra uncover a plot that threatens the future of the world.

“Angels and Demons” is a must-read for its suspense, fascinating historical and scientific details, and themes of faith, science, and religion. Dan Brown transports readers to a world of secret societies, ancient conspiracies, and a race against time.

Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary.

What you might love:

  • “Angels & Demons” introduces readers to art history, architecture, and science, igniting a desire to learn more.
  • The book delves into the clash between science and religion, prompting readers to rethink their beliefs and see other viewpoints.
  • Its fame and provocative topics make it perfect for discussions with friends or book clubs, encouraging lively debates and idea sharing.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s unlikely scenarios and solutions may not appeal to readers who like more realistic stories.
  • The book’s moral gray areas and tough choices might unsettle those who want clear heroes and villains.
  • Brown’s detailed descriptions of art, history, and science might overwhelm readers looking for a better mix of explanation and action.

4. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman — Thursday Murder Club #1

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04/03/2024 11:36 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Contemporary

Four retirees, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim, and Ron, with a keen interest in unsolved crimes, form the Thursday Murder Club. When a local developer is found dead, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly finds themselves in the middle of their first live case.

This group of unlikely detectives, leveraging their unique skills and often unnoticed by those who underestimate them, dives into the case, solving the mystery that challenges their abilities and even their friendship.

Osman’s novel is refreshingly original, featuring a cast of elderly protagonists rarely seen in detective fiction. The combination of witty humor, plot, and the exploration of themes like aging and friendship distinguishes it from other stories.

You always know when it’s your first time, don’t you? But you rarely know when it’s your final time.

What you might love:

  • Its retirement village setting gives a unique look at older adults’ lives, showing a side of their world not often seen in fiction.
  • The novel celebrates older generations, showing their wisdom, skills, and resilience in a refreshing and inspiring way for all readers.
  • The book breaks stereotypes about older people, suggesting life can be exciting at any age, and encourages readers to seek new experiences.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s humor might not suit everyone since humor varies with personal taste and culture.
  • Some readers might see the characters as stereotypical, especially regarding their age or traits.
  • The idea of elderly amateur detectives solving crimes might seem unrealistic to those who like more realistic crime stories.

5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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03/07/2024 12:46 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Classics

The story unfolds on a secluded island, where ten individuals with seemingly nothing in common are invited for various reasons. Their mysterious host remains absent, leaving them with a nursery rhyme that predicts the grim fate of each guest.

One by one, they are murdered, aligning with the eerie verses. Paranoia escalates, with no one else on the island, the remaining guests must figure out the identity of the killer among them before it’s too late.

The use of a nursery rhyme to structure the sequence of deaths, the isolated setting and the absence of a detective character force the characters—and the readers—to engage directly with the mystery, making it a unique reading experience.

I don’t know. I don’t know at all. And that’s what’s frightening the life out of me. To have no idea…

What you might love:

  • The story’s isolated island setting builds a tight, tense mood, pulling readers into its spooky vibe.
  • The novel delves into big ideas like justice, morality, and the impact of actions, making readers think deeply after reading.
  • As characters face their past wrongs and the fear of being next, the story powerfully examines guilt, paranoia, and what makes us human.

What might not be for everyone:

  • With ten characters, remembering each one and their stories can be tough, especially at the start.
  • For some readers, the novel’s 1930s language, cultural references, and social norms might seem outdated or hard to connect with.
  • Those who like mysteries with deep social commentary or complex societal issues might find themselves too focused on the puzzle and plot.

6. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith — Cormoran Strike #1

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04/03/2024 11:36 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

Supermodel Lula Landry fell to her death from her London balcony; the police investigation then ruled it a suicide. But her brother, John Bristow, isn’t convinced and seeks the help of private detective Cormoran Strike to investigate further.

Strike, a war veteran turned detective, and his assistant, Robin Ellacott, navigate the world of the rich and famous to find the truth behind Lula’s death. As they dig further, it leads them to question whether Lula’s death was truly a suicide or a carefully staged murder.

Set against the backdrop of London’s glitzy celebrity culture, the novel explores themes of fame, secrecy, and the pursuit of truth. It’s a must-read for fans of detective fiction looking for a story that uncovers the truth in a modern world.

The dead could only speak through the mouths of those left behind, and through the signs they left scattered behind them.

What you might love:

  • As the Cormoran Strike series’ first book, it sets up future stories, letting readers evolve with the characters.
  • It also addresses class differences, disabled veterans’ struggles, and family issues, enriching the main mystery.
  • The book delves into the dark aspects of fame and fashion, critically examining modern celebrity culture through a supermodel’s death.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Non-British readers may struggle with the often-used British slang and specific locations.
  • Starting a series, this book sets up long story arcs that need more books to finish, which may not suit everyone’s reading plans.
  • Delving into social issues such as class differences and disabled veterans’ struggles can feel heavy for those looking for a lighter read.

7. The Dry by Jane Harper — Aaron Falk #1


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03/07/2024 05:40 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Australia

Federal Agent Aaron Falk goes back to his hometown for the first time in twenty years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Luke, who people believe has committed a terrible crime before killing himself.

While investigating the case, Falk discovers the town’s hidden secrets and lies, breaking apart its facade of unity and uncovering the true cost of survival in the harsh realities of living through tough times and revealing secrets about the friend he thought he knew.

“The Dry” is a story of desperation, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of truth amid adversity. It shows how people and their surroundings deeply affect each other.

Death rarely changes how we feel about someone. Heightens it, more often than not.

What you might love:

  • It addresses big issues like loneliness and community pressure, making readers think deeply.
  • The story moves well, mixing thoughtful, slow scenes with quick action for a rewarding read.
  • “The Dry” shows the toughness of people in a small, tough town, highlighting their fight against nature and personal challenges.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Australian slang and local culture references may confuse readers who are not familiar with them.
  • The story’s focus on tough topics like suicide, murder, and drought might upset those looking for lighter reads.
  • The deep look at grief and loss in a tight-knit community could overwhelm readers wanting a simpler mystery.

8. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie — Hercule Poirot #10

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03/07/2024 12:45 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

Hercule Poirot, a brilliant Belgian detective, boards the Orient Express in Istanbul, expecting a relaxing journey. However, on the second night, an American millionaire named Samuel Ratchett is found dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times.

With the train stuck in a snowdrift and the murderer still on board, he must use his “little grey cells” to solve this mystery, interview the diverse group of passengers, and gather clues to identify the culprit.

As he uncovers the secrets and connections among the passengers, Poirot realizes that there is more to the case than it initially appeared.

“Murder on the Orient Express” has a unique setting, a confined luxury train, and diverse characters. Christie’s use of misdirection creates a reading experience that is intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying.

The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.

What you might love:

  • It has led to many adaptations, like movies, TV series, and a computer game, highlighting its impact on popular culture.
  • The novel shows the 1930s’ social customs and attitudes through its characters and setting, mixing history with entertainment.
  • It explores tough questions about justice and morality, urging readers to think about the blurry lines between right and wrong.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The story unfolds entirely on a train, which may not attract readers who like changing scenes.
  • The novel’s social norms and attitudes, rooted in its time, could seem outdated or offensive to some today.
  • The book’s characters are mainly upper-class Europeans, possibly not appealing to those looking for diverse representation.

9. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

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03/09/2024 08:36 am GMT

Genres: Non-fiction, Classics, True Crime, Mystery, History, Thriller

In 1959, four members of the Clutter family were brutally murdered in their home. Capote’s book follows the investigation, the capture of the killers, Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, and their trial.

Capote provides a detailed account of the crime, the lives of the victims and the perpetrators, and the aftermath of the tragedy. His extensive research and interviews with the killers create a narrative that blurs the lines between fiction and reality.

The author’s empathetic yet vivid portrayal of the crime and its aftermath challenges readers to confront unsettling truths about society, justice, and the human psyche. It’s a compelling read that remains relevant for its exploration of these themes.

As long as you live, there’s always something waiting; and even if it’s bad, and you know it’s bad, what can you do? You can’t stop living.

What you might love:

  • Capote researched the case and interviewed people for years, creating a detailed story.
  • The book explores the lives and motives of the victims and killers, showing them in depth.
  • This book stands out as a “non-fiction novel.” Capote mixes real events with novel-like drama and style, offering a unique read.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Capote’s story jumps in time, confusing readers who want a straight story.
  • The book’s graphic details of the crime can upset sensitive readers, as it openly shows the crime’s brutality.
  • The book shows the killers sympathetically, making the moral issues complex. This might bother readers who like clear-cut morals.

10. Still Life by Louise Penny — Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1

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04/03/2024 11:36 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Canada, Adult

The peaceful village of Three Pines is shaken by the death of Jane Neal, a beloved local artist found dead in the woods. What appears to be a tragic accident is quickly suspected to be murder, prompting Chief Inspector Armand Gamache to investigate.

During the investigation, Gamache becomes closely involved with the village and a group of Jane’s friends who call themselves “Three Pines Regulars.” As he learns more about them, he begins to uncover the truth of Jane’s murder and the village’s hidden secrets.

The novel delves into love, loss, friendship, and human nature, with art playing a key role. It’s for anyone who seeks a story that reflects on the nuances of human nature and the transformative power of understanding and empathy.

Life is choice. All day, everyday. Who we talk to, where we sit, what we say, how we say it. And our lives become defined by our choices.

What you might love:

  • “Still Life” starts the Chief Inspector Gamache series, inviting readers on a long and enjoyable adventure with the characters.
  • Even with a murder story, the novel offers comfort and an escape through its cozy setting and warm community. It’s great for a real-world break.
  • The novel makes you think about art, beauty, and how we view the world, inspiring you to see the beauty around you and maybe spark your creativity.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Characters frequently have philosophical talks and thoughts, which might seem slow or off-topic to some.
  • The novel spends much time on characters’ lives and relationships, which may not suit those who like plot-driven stories.
  • Non-Canadian readers may not fully understand Quebec’s cultural details, which makes them feel disconnected from the setting.

11. The Black Echo by Michael Connelly — Harry Bosch #1

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04/03/2024 11:36 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

Detective Harry Bosch investigates the mysterious death of a fellow Vietnam War veteran found in a Los Angeles drainpipe. Suspecting murder linked to a bank heist, Bosch is pulled into a dark world of drug cartels and federal intrigue.

As he investigates, Bosch discovers that Meadows had been involved in a bank robbery that took place during the construction of a tunnel system beneath the city. The tunnel, known as “The Black Echo,” holds secrets that powerful people want to keep hidden.

“The Black Echo” introduces a detective in a plot with intrigue and moral complexity. It combines a thrilling narrative with insights into war’s impact and the quest for justice, making it a standout read in crime fiction.

But too much going with the flow is heading us into the sewer…

What you might love:

  • The book examines the Vietnam War’s effects on veterans, enriching the characters and story.
  • “The Black Echo” explores corruption, justice, and the thin line between right and wrong, making readers think deeply.
  • The novel teaches about police work, criminal justice, and the war’s psychological effects, providing relevant and thought-provoking insights.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Police and military terms make the story real but could confuse readers unfamiliar with this language.
  • The book’s focus on moral uncertainty and unclear lines between right and wrong might upset readers who like clear moral story choices.
  • Themes like corruption, murder, and war’s psychological effects make the atmosphere dark and heavy, which may not appeal to everyone.

12. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris — Hannibal Lecter #2


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03/08/2024 10:51 pm GMT

Genres: Horror, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Classics

FBI trainee Clarice Starling is tasked with interviewing the incarcerated cannibal psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to gain insight into the mind of a serial killer named Buffalo Bill.

As Starling and Lecter engage in a conversation, she races against time to uncover Buffalo Bill’s identity and rescue his latest victim. With Lecter’s cryptic clues, Starling must confront her deepest fears and the evil lurking within the human psyche.

“The Silence of the Lambs” is essential reading for anyone captivated by the complexities of psychology, the moral dilemmas of justice, the nature of evil and the human mind, and the pursuit of understanding the unfathomable.

Nothing made me happen. I happened.

What you might love:

  • It examines power, control, and manipulation within character relationships and society.
  • Clarice Starling is a smart and strong heroine who changes how women are seen in thrillers.
  • The book features the psychology of its characters, especially a serial killer, offering interesting views on human behavior and evil.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some readers might find the detailed forensic and crime scene descriptions too graphic or complex.
  • The medical and psychological terms used in the book could be difficult for some readers to understand.
  • Since the book came out in the late 1980s, its cultural references and views might seem outdated or less relevant today.

13. Along Came a Spider by James Patterson — Alex Cross #1

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03/07/2024 07:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Detective

Detective Alex Cross investigates the high-profile kidnapping of Maggie Rose, a politician’s daughter, and her teacher from an exclusive school. The kidnapper, Gary Soneji, proves to be more twisted than he expected.

Cross must outsmart Soneji, figure out his motives, and rescue Maggie Rose before time runs out. The case tests Cross’s skills as a detective and psychologist, pushing him to confront his own fears and doubts.

“Along Came a Spider” is a must-read for its thrilling pace, iconic protagonist, Alex Cross, and Patterson’s blend of complex plotting and psychological depth. It offers a compelling exploration of evil and the pursuit of justice.

They come in all shapes and sizes, all races and creeds and genders. That’s the scariest thing of all.

What you might love:

  • The book explores social issues like race and class differences, deepening the story.
  • While primarily fiction, the novel offers educational glimpses into forensic psychology and criminal investigation procedures.
  • Patterson mixes emotional stories with exciting events, making the book very engaging and connecting readers to what the characters go through.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s language and dialogue might not suit all readers.
  • The villain’s complex plan and the story’s coincidences might seem unrealistic to some.
  • Some might think the book stereotypes certain characters, affecting how they enjoy the story.

14. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie — Hercule Poirot #4

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03/07/2024 12:45 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Detective

In the village of King’s Abbot, wealthy widower Roger Ackroyd is found murdered in his study. The local doctor, James Sheppard, and his sister Caroline, become involved in the investigation, assisting the renowned detective Hercule Poirot.

As Poirot delves deeper into the case, he discovers secrets and lies surrounding the victim and the suspects, including Ackroyd’s family members and household staff. With his wit and observation skills, Poirot navigates through a series of twists and turns.

“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” is known for its innovative narrative structure and unexpected twist ending, which challenged the conventions of the detective genre at the time of its publication, making it an unmissable read.

The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to seekers after it.

What you might love:

  • Christie writes crisp, revealing conversations that move the story forward. The talks between Poirot and others are especially enjoyable.
  • The complex story pushes readers to think deeply, spot clues, and solve the mystery themselves, improving their problem-solving abilities.
  • Taking place in the early 20th century, the book shows the era’s social norms, customs, and ways of life, giving readers insight into history and culture.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel uses 1920s language, which might seem old or less captivating to some compared to modern books.
  • The story unfolds from one viewpoint, which may not suit those who like seeing the story from various angles.
  • Tracking the numerous characters and how they connect can be tough, especially for mystery novel newcomers.

15. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly — The Lincoln Lawyer #1

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04/03/2024 11:36 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Legal, Suspense

Mickey Haller is a street-smart lawyer known for defending small-time clients. His world turns upside down when he lands a high-profile case defending a wealthy realtor accused of assault.

What seems like a straightforward, lucrative job spirals into a deadly game of evidence and manipulation, pushing Haller to his limits. As he delves deeper, he uncovers a sinister plot that challenges his ethics and could threaten his life and those he loves.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” offers a unique view from the defense’s side, filled with moral complexities and a protagonist who is both flawed and relatable. Connelly’s vivid portrayal of Los Angeles and the legal battlefield makes it a unique read.

There is no client as scary as an innocent man.

What you might love:

  • Readers get an intriguing look at defense attorneys’ daily tasks and their challenges.
  • The novel explores redemption, justice, and the effects of the past, offering much to ponder.
  • The story delves into ethical dilemmas and legal gray areas, making readers think about justice’s complexities.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The characters’ challenges and struggles might make the book emotionally heavy and overwhelming for some.
  • The novel uses many legal terms and processes that could be hard for readers unfamiliar with the American legal system.
  • The story focuses on a defense lawyer’s perspective, those wanting a balanced view of the legal system, including the prosecution’s side, might find it lacking.

16. Angels Flight by Michael Connelly — Harry Bosch #6

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04/03/2024 11:42 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

Howard Elias, a lawyer famous for exposing cases of police brutality and racism, was found murdered in a cable car line in downtown LA. Detective Harry Bosch is then tasked to investigate this high-profile murder case.

Elias’s murder, just before a major trial, threatens to spark citywide unrest. Bosch must navigate through political schemes, corruption, and a city in chaos, seeking justice in a divided community, facing dangers and doubts about who to trust.

“Angels Flight,” more than its detective story, also talks about societal issues like systemic racism and the quest for justice. It offers a narrative with themes that resonate with a variety of audiences, making it a meaningful read.

Somebody once called the media the merchants of chaos.

What you might love:

  • The book introduces complex characters with unique motives and secrets, enriching the story.
  • The story delves into the blurry lines between right and wrong, urging readers to consider justice and morality’s complexities.
  • The novel offers an intriguing look at the legal system, highlighting its good and bad points, and deepens readers’ grasp of justice.

What might not be for everyone:

  • New readers might struggle to relate to Harry Bosch and other characters without knowing their backgrounds from earlier books.
  • Keeping up with the many characters can be hard, especially for readers who aren’t fully focused or read the book in bits and pieces.
  • The novel’s focus on tough issues like racism, police brutality, and corruption can be emotionally tough or upsetting for some readers.

17. Death Masks by Jim Butcher — The Dresden Files #5

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04/03/2024 11:42 am GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Urban, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal, Magic

Harry Dresden gets caught up in a duel with a vampire warlord while being hired to recover the stolen Shroud of Turin. The stakes are higher than ever as he faces dark magic, holy relics, and the potential outbreak of a supernatural war.

Dresden must use all his magical and detective skills to solve the case and survive the deadly challenges that lie ahead, all while dealing with the Knights of the Cross and the shadowy figures of the underworld.

“Death Masks” is a story of resilience, redemption, and the complexities of moral choice. The novel mixes mythological elements with a modern-day setting, a book that should not be missed by those who love detective stories with a supernatural twist.

Life would be unbearably dull if we had answers to all our questions.

What you might love:

  • As Harry encounters new obstacles and tough choices, we see him grow and change, making the story more captivating and moving.
  • The novel includes a diverse group of friends and enemies, each with unique traits and goals, making the story richer and more complex.
  • It looks into faith, sacrifice, and what makes something good or evil, pushing readers to think deeply about moral issues with the main character.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some characters or groups might seem stereotypical or clichéd, disappointing readers looking for deeper representation.
  • The novel’s complex magic and many supernatural groups might overwhelm new readers or those not used to urban fantasy.
  • Being the fifth book in the Dresden Files series, it relies on earlier books’ events and characters, which could confuse new readers.

18. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie — Hercule Poirot #18

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03/07/2024 12:46 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

In “Death on the Nile,” Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation is interrupted when a wealthy heiress is found murdered on a Nile River cruise. As Poirot investigates, he discovers that nearly everyone on board has a motive for the crime.

As more murders occur, Poirot must use his logical reasoning and psychological insight to identify the killer before they strike again. The book’s clever plot twists and red herrings make the readers guessing until the surprising revelation of the culprit.

Agatha Christie creates a captivating tale that starts with pleasure, leading to a murder on the Nile River. With a boat full of suspects, each with motives, the story dives into a thrilling investigation, making this book an essential read for any mystery lover.

It often seems to me that’s all detective work is, wiping out your false starts and beginning again.

What you might love:

  • The novel delves into timeless themes like love, jealousy, and the impacts of our choices, making it engaging and meaningful for all readers.
  • Even though it came out in the 1930s, the story’s themes and insights into human nature still resonate today, appealing to modern readers.
  • The book presents a diverse group of suspects, each hiding their own secrets and reasons, offering a captivating look at human behavior and relationships.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The language and dialogue are dated, possibly turning off those who like modern speech.
  • The plot focuses on rich, privileged characters, possibly alienating those who seek more relatable or varied backgrounds.
  • Some may view the novel’s climax, where suspects are gathered for the reveal, as clichéd or outdated against newer mystery styles.

19. Her Final Confession by Lisa Regan — Detective Josie Quinn #4

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04/03/2024 11:42 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Fiction, Suspense, Detective

Detective Josie Quinn is pulled into a challenging case following the discovery of a young student’s body. The situation took a personal turn when her close friend and colleague, Gretchen Palmer, became the suspect.

Despite Gretchen’s confession, Josie suspects a deeper mystery. As she decides to uncover the real perpetrator to save her friend and bring justice, her investigation uncovers more shocking connections, making her question what justice and loyalty mean.

Lisa Regan delivers a suspenseful, making “Her Final Confession” a must-read. More than a detective story, it’s a closer look through the complexities of loyalty, friendship, and the drive to find the truth.

What you might love:

  • The novel addresses important social issues, urging readers to critically examine society.
  • The story explores important themes like justice and redemption, deeply connecting with readers.
  • Detective Josie Quinn, the protagonist, is strong, relatable, and breaks stereotypes, attracting many readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some plot points or actions might seem unlikely, asking readers to suspend disbelief.
  • While it works as a standalone, newcomers might miss out on Josie Quinn’s backstory or past events.
  • The book’s focus on guilt, trauma, and crime’s psychological effects might overwhelm some readers.

20. Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan — Detective Josie Quinn #1

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Detective

“Vanishing Girls” follows Detective Josie Quinn in the small town of Denton, where a string of girls have gone missing. The plot thickens when a girl is found alive, barely holding on, leading Josie into a race against time to uncover the truth behind this disappearance.

As she investigates, she finds ties to a cold case and realizes the kidnapper is closer than she thought. With her own past haunting her, Josie must go through lies and family secrets to save the girls and bring justice to Denton.

“Vanishing Girls” centers on themes of resilience, justice, and the impact of the past on the present. The book is for those who love a mystery with a strong female lead and for anyone looking to dive into a series that gives excitement and depth.

Fear was a fist in her chest, squeezing her heart into her throat.

What you might love:

  • It addresses themes of family, loss, and trauma’s enduring effects, deeply resonating with readers.
  • The book presents a detailed group of supporting characters, each distinct in personality and motive, enriching the story.
  • “Vanishing Girls” exposes the grim truths of child abduction and human trafficking, urging readers to think about these critical issues.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Exploring loss, trauma, and its impact on victims and families can lead to a heavy read.
  • Using many viewpoints to tell the story might confuse readers who like one clear narrative voice.
  • The story’s moral gray areas, with characters making tough choices, may not appeal to those who want straightforward heroes and villains.

21. In the Woods by Tana French — Dublin Murder Squad #1

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03/07/2024 09:16 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Ireland, Suspense

As a child, Ryan was the sole survivor of a mysterious disappearance in the woods, a trauma that left him with no memories of the incident. Years later, he finds himself investigating a murder in the same woods, where a young girl’s body is discovered.

The case is eerily the same as the unsolved mysteries of his own past, and as the case progresses, Ryan’s suppressed memories resurface, complicating the investigation and his personal life.

“In the Woods” presents the themes of memory, identity, and the impact of the past on the present. It’s an excellent choice for readers who appreciate mysteries that go beyond the surface of crime and punishment, exploring the darker recesses of the human psyche.

When I couldn’t find it, I responded, bewildered and wary, in the only way I knew how: by planting it there myself.

What you might love:

  • The book, set in Ireland, lets readers discover Irish landscapes, society, and culture through an engaging story.
  • It delves into themes like memory’s reliability, identity formation, and the past’s influence on us, prompting personal reflection.
  • Solving the mystery with the characters enhances critical thinking and deduction, involving readers in piecing together clues and making predictions.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Its strong Irish cultural references might be hard for international readers to relate to, possibly weakening their engagement.
  • The novel focuses heavily on the characters’ inner worlds, which may not appeal to readers who are more interested in the plot.
  • The story’s moral and narrative ambiguity requires readers to form their own conclusions, which might frustrate those seeking clear answers.

22. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Sherlock Holmes #5

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Classics, Thriller

When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead with a look of terror on his face, rumors circulate about a cursed bloodline and a demonic hound. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are called to investigate the case and protect the new heir.

The detectives travel to the eerie moors of Devonshire and dig into the mystery. Holmes and Watson must use their wits and deductive skills to find the truth behind the legendary hound and solve the case before it’s too late.

The setting of the Devonshire Moors, combined with the legend of a monstrous hound, provides a unique mystery that challenges the analytical mind of Sherlock Holmes in unexpected ways and urges readers to question the extent of human belief and fear.

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.

What you might love:

  • Set in the late 19th century, the novel shows life in Victorian England, offering entertainment and learning.
  • The eerie English moors set the scene for the mystery, increasing the story’s tension and mood. The setting feels like its own character.
  • The story gives moral questions and justice through its characters and events, making readers think about right and wrong beyond legal terms.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Victorian English might confuse modern readers with its old phrases and complex words.
  • The mystery’s many characters and clues can be tough to follow for those new to detective stories.
  • The story’s early focus on supernatural elements may not attract fans of strictly logical or realistic mysteries.

23. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz — Susan Ryeland #1

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller

Susan Ryeland, an editor for a small publishing company, receives the latest manuscript from their bestselling author, Alan Conway. The manuscript, titled “Magpie Murders,” follows detective Atticus Pünd as he investigates a murder in a quiet English village.

But Conway’s novel ends abruptly without a resolution, prompting Susan to seek the missing chapters. Her pursuit of this chapter suddenly reveals disturbing truths about Conway, leading to a real-life murder mystery event she did not sign up for.

“Magpie Murders” is unique with its novel-in-a-novel structure, offering readers two distinct but connected mysteries. Its structure challenges the conventions of the genre and engages readers on different levels.

Our lives continue along the straight lines that have been set out for us. Fiction merely allows us a glimpse of the alternative. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we enjoy it.

What you might love:

  • The novel examines themes like truth, deception, and fiction, encouraging readers to think deeply about these ideas.
  • The contemporary storyline offers an intriguing look at the book publishing world, giving readers a peek behind the scenes.
  • The book includes many references to literature and British culture, enriching the reading experience for those who know these topics.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Exploring fiction within fiction is intriguing but may seem too complex or self-focused to some readers.
  • The many British cultural and literary references may confuse international readers or those unfamiliar with British culture.
  • The book’s story-within-a-story format can confuse readers, especially if they like simple plots. The switch between stories may interrupt the flow.

24. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver — Lincoln Rhyme #1

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Detective

Lincoln Rhyme, once a top forensic criminalist, is left paralyzed after an accident on the job. When a notorious serial killer known as the Bone Collector begins a spree of murders in New York, Rhyme is drawn back into the world of crime-solving.

With the help of Amelia Sachs, a determined patrol officer, Rhyme uses his intellect and expertise to analyze the killer’s clues. As the Bone Collector’s crimes grow increasingly brutal and personal, Rhyme and Sachs must identify the killer and prevent more deaths.

“The Bone Collector” sets itself apart with its protagonist, who has a physical immobility. It’s a perfect read for those fascinated by the fusion of technology and detective work, demonstrating that physical limitations cannot constrain a brilliant investigative mind.

Sometimes you can’t be what you ought to be, you can’t have what you ought to have.

What you might love:

  • The story inspires readers by showing resilience and the quest for justice despite physical challenges.
  • The novel’s focus on the characters’ personal struggles and development adds emotional depth, making the story more powerful.
  • Lincoln Rhyme stands out as a forensic expert with his complex nature and keen intellect. His unique circumstances and methods offer a new viewpoint.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The detailed forensic science in the story can overwhelm readers who prefer simpler narratives without technical specifics.
  • The story’s fast pace and quick scene changes aim to engage readers, but those who like to take their time might find it too rushed.
  • The honest portrayal of the protagonist’s disability offers depth, but the intense focus on personal struggles may be tough for some readers to handle.

25. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie — Hercule Poirot #1

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03/07/2024 12:46 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective, Classics

Emily Inglethorp, the elderly owner of Styles Court, is found poisoned in her locked bedroom, and suspicion falls on her family members and household staff. Hercule Poirot, a refugee staying at the manor, takes on the case with his friend, Arthur Hastings.

Employing his characteristic “little grey cells,” Poirot navigates through misleading clues and red herrings, revealing not just the identity of the murderer but also the ingenious method of administering the poison.

“The Mysterious Affair at Styles” is Agatha Christie’s first novel, featuring the debut of Hercule Poirot. It’s a must-read for its clever mystery-solving, marking it as a classic in detective fiction.

Instinct is a marvelous thing. It can neither be explained nor ignored.

What you might love:

  • Published in 1920, the novel’s themes and portrayal of human nature remain relevant to modern readers.
  • This book introduces Hercule Poirot, a famous detective known for his sharp observation and deduction skills.
  • Christie uses a varied cast to dive into human nature, motives, and complex relationships, enriching the mystery.

What might not be for everyone:

  • New readers might take time to get used to Hercule Poirot’s unique detective methods and quirks.
  • The book’s formal language and old-style dialogue could be hard for young readers or those who like modern speech.
  • The early 20th-century setting and old social norms might seem less relatable to those used to modern stories and language.

26. Rules of Prey by John Sandford — Lucas Davenport #1

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Detective

Lieutenant Lucas Davenport of the Minneapolis Police Department faces his most challenging case yet when a series of brutal murders terrorizes the city. The killer, dubbed “Maddog,” leaves a trail of cryptic notes and seemingly random victims.

As the death toll climbs, Davenport sees the killer taunting the police, daring them to catch him before he kills again. Using his tech savvy and unconventional tactics, Davenport probes the mind of a psychopath, putting his life on the line to stop him.

What distinguishes “Rules of Prey” is its compelling protagonist, Lucas Davenport, whose complex personality and unconventional methods blur the lines between lawman and vigilante.

What you might love:

  • The witty dialogue lightens the novel’s intense moments.
  • The smart antagonist makes the chase more intense and suspenseful.
  • As the series’ first book, it welcomes readers to a world and characters they can explore in later books.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The antagonist’s dark and disturbing psychology may unsettle some readers.
  • Some sexual content and references may not suit those who avoid such topics in books.
  • The novel explores mature themes like crime, morality, and evil, possibly unsuitable for younger readers or those who prefer lighter stories.

27. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Italian Literature

Brother William of Baskerville arrives at a wealthy Italian abbey to attend a theological debate. However, the abbey is soon shaken by a series of mysterious and gruesome deaths.

With his sharp intellect and knowledge of the latest scientific methods, William and Adso look closely into these mysteries. Their inquiry soon leads them through secrets, heretical texts, and the abbey’s library filled with forbidden knowledge.

“The Name of the Rose” challenges readers to ponder the complexities of truth. It also provides insights into medieval philosophy, theology, and history, making it a unique and unforgettable read.

Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means…

What you might love:

  • The novel examines power, knowledge, and the church’s societal role, sharing insights that still speak to readers today.
  • It provides insights into medieval culture and philosophy, which is valuable for those interested in history and how people thought.
  • The book vividly brings the 14th century to life, detailing medieval life, politics, and religion, educating and immersing readers, taking them back in time.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Eco’s use of open-ended interpretations adds complexity but may frustrate those who like clear, straightforward stories.
  • Latin and foreign phrases without translation may confuse readers unfamiliar with these languages, disrupting reading flow.
  • The novel’s focus on semiotics and philosophy might not appeal to those looking for a straightforward mystery or entertainment.

28. Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

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04/03/2024 11:43 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Horror, Suspense, Crime

U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, are summoned to Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a patient who inexplicably vanished from her locked room.

As a hurricane cuts off communication with the mainland, the investigation takes dark turns through the hospital’s corridors, revealing the disturbing treatments and secretive experiments.

The deeper Daniels digs, the more he suspects a conspiracy, blurring the lines between reality and delusion. “Shutter Island” is a must-read for challenging readers’ perceptions of truth and madness, creating an unsettling and captivating reading experience.

Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?

What you might love:

  • Lehane delves into the human mind, making readers ponder perception, memory, and sanity.
  • The story’s tense, isolated island setting boosts suspense, feeling eerily real through vivid descriptions.
  • The well-crafted characters, particularly Teddy Daniels, have complex personalities and emotional depth.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel’s dark themes, like trauma and human experimentation, may not suit everyone.
  • The characters’ moral ambiguity, especially the protagonists, may challenge those who prefer clear heroes or villains.
  • The extensive details on mid-20th-century psychiatric practices could overwhelm or bore those not interested in medical history.

29. Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

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04/03/2024 11:59 am GMT

Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction, Suspense, Crime

Alex Armstrong has left her past behind, changing everything from her name to her appearance after being acquitted of her family’s murder, a crime that had once captured the nation’s attention.

Now a legal investigator, Alex investigates the disappearance of a college student, Laura McAllister. Delving into the case, Alex finds shocking links between Laura’s disappearance and her family’s murder.

“Those Empty Eyes” combines the past and present, connecting different mysteries. This interconnectedness of events makes it a compelling narrative.

Gory crimes captured the public’s interest, especially if they involved young, attractive women. But that curiosity lasted only as long as there was mystery surrounding the gore and the girl.

What you might love:

  • It explores dark themes like child abuse and murder, giving the story depth and a touch of realism.
  • The legal investigator, the main character, adds a fresh angle with crime-solving and legal drama elements.
  • The book critically examines the legal system, entitlement, and exploitation, adding depth to its thrilling story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Shifting timelines in the story could confuse or interrupt the flow for some readers.
  • It offers limited insight into the murder victims’ lives, leaving readers wanting more depth and connection.
  • The novel explores themes like child abuse, pedophilia, and graphic violence, which may upset some readers.

30. The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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04/03/2024 11:59 am GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy, Crime

Aiden Bishop wakes up in a forest without memory of who he is or how he got there. He soon learns that he is trapped in a time loop at Blackheath, a crumbling mansion, and must solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle to escape.

Every day, Aiden wakes up in a different guest’s body, using their memories to gather clues. Soon, as he pieces together these secrets, he realizes that nothing is as it seems. Aiden must quickly solve the murder before the day resets, wiping all his findings.

“The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” stands out for its innovative premise, combining a classic murder mystery with a supernatural body-swapping element. Its use of a time loop structure creates a complex and engrossing narrative.

Too little information and you’re blind, too much and you’re blinded.

What you might love:

  • The story’s time loop central feature is fun and makes you think, especially about fate and our ability to choose freely.
  • The story is set in a crumbling country mansion filled with fascinating characters, creating a classic mystery feel with a fresh spin.
  • The protagonist switches between different hosts, giving us diverse perspectives and stories. This approach shows character growth and human nature.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Its intense, gloomy mood may not appeal to those looking for cheerful or easy stories.
  • The novel’s mix of many perspectives and time loops can confuse those who like simple stories.
  • It explores complex philosophical and moral themes, which might not suit readers wanting a light read.

31. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch — Rivers of London #1

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Urban, Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Paranormal, Magic

During a murder case, Peter Grant, a young London cop, realizes he has magical powers after meeting a ghost. He’s then taken under the wing of Thomas Nightingale, England’s last wizard, and a detective, to learn magic and work in a special part of the Police.

As Peter learns to harness his newfound powers, he and Nightingale delve into supernatural crimes, facing spirits and a dark magician’s scheme. Peter juggles his police duties and magical learning to safeguard London from these mystical threats.

With its witty narrative, detailed world-building, and integration of folklore into a modern setting, the novel offers a fresh perspective, making “Rivers of London” an unmissable read.

Could it have been anyone, or was it destiny?

What you might love:

  • The book blends London’s history and diverse cultures into its story, making it educational and fun.
  • It showcases characters from all walks of life, mirroring London’s diversity and highlighting inclusivity.
  • As the series opener, “Rivers of London” invites readers into an expansive world, promising more thrilling adventures in future books.

What might not be for everyone:

  • It explores London’s diverse cultures and histories, but some portrayals may not reflect every reader’s views or experiences.
  • The book heavily features London culture and slang, which may require extra research for non-British readers to fully understand.
  • The plot centers on supernatural and magical elements, which might not suit those who prefer realistic or traditional detective stories.

32. The Alienist by Caleb Carr — Dr. Laszlo Kreizler #1

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Crime

When a series of gruesome murders terrorizes New York City, Theodore Roosevelt forms a secret team with Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, John Moore, and Sara Howard, diving into criminal psychology to solve the case.

The team looks into the city’s shadows and uses new forensic methods and profiling to find the murderer. With time running out and the killer’s brutality escalating, Kreizler and his team must confront their own demons while racing to stop the murderer.

“The Alienist” focuses on the psychology of crime, combined with a suspenseful narrative and well-developed characters, it adds depth and complexity to the narrative, giving readers a new perspective.

Change isn’t something that most people enjoy, even if it’s progressive change.

What you might love:

  • Character interactions propel the story while enriching the narrative by offering insights into human psychology, morality, and justice.
  • “The Alienist” prompts readers to rethink views on deviance and insanity, questioning the essence of evil and the human mind’s complexity.
  • The novel delves into the beginnings of forensic psychology and criminal profiling, appealing to those curious about criminal investigation history.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s many detailed storylines can be challenging for those seeking a simpler mystery.
  • Carr’s use of historical language and criminology terms might be hard for some without extra context.
  • The characters are deep and complex, needing more thought and engagement than some readers prefer.

33. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — Sherlock Holmes #1

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Classics, Thriller

Dr. John Watson, after being injured in the Afghan War, returns to London. Seeking affordable lodging, he meets Sherlock Holmes and moves into 221B Baker Street with him.

After a man is murdered in a deserted house without any clues, Sherlock Holmes steps in. With his analytical brilliance and help from Dr. John Watson, Holmes’ investigation leads them through discoveries, uncovering the mystery of love and revenge.

“A Study in Scarlet” introduces one of the most iconic detectives in crime-solving literature, showcasing the power of observation, making it an essential read for fans of mystery, history, and literature.

What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.

What you might love:

  • It gives a peek into late 19th-century England, covering social issues, class differences, and early forensic science.
  • The story explores deep topics like justice, revenge, and legal morals, sparking discussions and making it perfect for book clubs.
  • This book introduces the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend Dr. John Watson, showing how their incredible partnership started.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some characters might seem stereotypical or offensive today, especially from other cultures.
  • Readers who like stories told in order might find the book’s two-part structure and flashbacks less appealing.
  • Since the book is from the late 19th century, its language and expressions may feel outdated or hard for modern readers to understand.

34. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz — Horowitz’s Holmes #1

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Historical, Crime, Thriller

Holmes and Watson are approached by an art dealer named Edmund Carstairs, who fears for his life after being stalked by a man from America. As the duo investigates, they uncover a corruption and murder tied to a secret society known as the House of Silk.

The trail leads them through the darker sides of London, where they encounter dangerous criminals and uncover a scandal that threatens to shake the very foundations of England’s social hierarchy.

In “The House of Silk,” Anthony Horowitz stays true to Arthur Conan Doyle’s original vision but adds a modern twist. Its complex story, detailed historical setting, and morally complex characters refresh the classic Sherlock Holmes mystery.

For all men are equal at the moment of death and who are we to judge them when a much greater judge awaits?

What you might love:

  • The Conan Doyle Estate officially approved Horowitz’s novel as a true Sherlock Holmes story, making it a faithful addition to the series.
  • The book explores deep themes like justice, corruption, and morality, offering readers much to think about and adding depth to the story.
  • Horowitz blends classic Sherlock Holmes elements with new characters and plots, striking a balance that appeals to both fans and new readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The novel describes violence and crime more graphically than the original stories, which might upset some readers.
  • Horowitz adds some female characters, but the story mainly centers on men and their relationships, similar to the original tales.
  • Since this is the first officially approved Sherlock Holmes novel, readers with high expectations might feel disappointed if it doesn’t match their tastes.

35. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen — Department Q #1

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04/03/2024 01:35 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Fiction, Denmark, Scandinavian Literature

Detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad start working in Department Q, focusing on cold cases. They first tackle the case of Merete Lynggaard, a politician who has been missing for five years.

As Mørck and Assad investigate, they find out that Lynggaard is trapped in a hidden location. The story shifts between their investigation and Lynggaard’s struggle, escalating tension until both stories converge.

“The Keeper of Lost Causes” introduces readers to a narrative filled with suspense, redemption, and the relentless pursuit of justice. Adler-Olsen’s writing captivates and encourages deep connection with detectives and victims.

But promises based on ignorance always prove disappointing.

What you might love:

  • It delves into justice, redemption, and perseverance, deeply touching readers’ emotions.
  • The book offers a detailed and realistic view of police work and detective procedures, giving a glimpse into a homicide department’s operations.
  • The novel’s clear descriptions bring Copenhagen and its surroundings to life, making readers feel like they’re in Denmark, experiencing their culture.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s detailed crime scene and injury descriptions could be too graphic or disturbing for some.
  • The complex plot, full of twists and different timelines, might confuse or overwhelm readers who like simpler stories.
  • Danish names and places might be hard for some readers to follow or say, possibly lessening their enjoyment of the story.

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

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Cozy, Contemporary Adult

Vera Wong, a 70-year-old widow, leads a quiet life running her beloved tea shop in Chinatown. Her routine is disrupted when she discovers a body in the shop’s backroom. Disappointed by the police investigation, Vera takes matters into her own hands.

Empowered by her curiosity, wisdom, and a locked flash drive found on the victim, Vera engages in the world of amateur sleuthing, uncovering secrets about the murder and about the people she has known her whole life.

Through a blend of humor, warmth, and detective work, Vera and her companions discover a story much bigger than they initially imagined, proving that age is no barrier to solving mysteries or changing the lives of those around them.

People always say that your wedding day is the happiest day of your life, but honestly, people should try solving murders more often.

What you might love:

  • Vera Wong’s character inspires readers with her strength and independence as she faces challenges.
  • The novel highlights the complex and important relationships between generations, especially between Vera and her children, giving the story emotional depth.
  • The story offers a look into Chinese-Indonesian culture, sharing traditions, family life, and the immigrant journey in an easy-to-understand way.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The mix of humor with murder and crime might not suit or attract all readers.
  • Vera Wong’s advice, meant to be funny and wise, might not appeal to or fit well for everyone.
  • The novel covers themes like family, culture, and aging, which might overwhelm some readers or seem not fully explored.

37. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler — Philip Marlowe #1

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04/03/2024 12:00 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Classics, Crime, Noir, Detective, Thriller

In “The Big Sleep,” we follow detective Philip Marlowe, who gets a job from a wealthy man who is worried about a blackmail problem with his daughter. What starts as a simple task soon turns into a tangled mystery with killings, hidden truths, and shady characters.

As he digs deeper, he discovers connections and truths that are dangerous and shocking. Taking readers through a thrilling ride in Los Angeles, showing the dark and complicated sides of people and their actions.

This novel introduces readers to the iconic detective Philip Marlowe, a detective who is trying to do what’s right in a world full of lies.

He didn’t know the right people.

What you might love:

  • Chandler’s witty and memorable dialogue makes character interactions stand out in the story.
  • The story takes you through 1930s Los Angeles, from luxury homes to dark alleys, vividly bringing the city to life.
  • The book delves into moral ambiguity, challenging readers to rethink right and wrong. This deepens the reading experience.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s violent scenes and portrayal of women might upset some readers.
  • The narrator’s distant and cynical view may keep readers from feeling connected to the characters.
  • Chandler’s use of slang and jargon from the past may confuse modern readers without extra research.

38. Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie — Miss Marple #2

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03/07/2024 12:46 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Classics, Crime, Thriller, Detective

In the quaint English village of St. Mary Mead, everyone knows each other’s business. But when the unpopular Colonel Protheroe is found shot in the vicar’s study, the list of suspects is long.

Enter Miss Marple, the sharp-witted elderly spinster who uses her keen observation skills to solve the mystery. Christie keeps readers on their toes with clever red herrings and surprising twists.

“Murder at the Vicarage” showcases Miss Marple’s wit and charm, making her an instantly likable protagonist. The colorful cast of villagers adds to the story’s appeal, making this book an appealing classic whodunit.

The young people think the old people are fools—but the old people know the young people are fools.

What you might love:

  • Christie writes in a clear and engaging way, so many readers, even those who find some books hard, can enjoy it.
  • The story uses humor, especially from the vicar’s view, to make village life and the investigation funny, making the book fun and easy to read.
  • Miss Marple shows deep insights into human nature and the hidden darkness in a peaceful community, adding depth and encouraging discussion.

What might not be for everyone:

  • It shows social norms from its time, which might feel old or uncomfortable today.
  • The book’s old language and expressions might seem outdated to modern readers.
  • The charming village setting may not attract readers who like urban stories or different locations.

39. One by One by Ruth Ware

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03/15/2024 01:16 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense, Adult

A secluded ski chalet in the French Alps becomes a chilling crime scene. Erin, the chalet girl, finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation when one of the guests, a shareholder of the tech startup Snoop, is found dead outside the chalet.

As an avalanche cuts off access to the chalet, tensions rise among the remaining guests. With no escape and a killer among them, Erin must work with the guests to uncover the truth behind the murder and the dark secrets that led to it.

“One by One” is a gripping locked-room mystery that creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that keeps the readers guessing whodunit. This book is a must-read for readers looking for a mystery with a clever twist.

I found that I couldn’t stand to be there with the people still walking in that perpetual golden sun while I lived in a place that was black with guilt and grief.

What you might love:

  • The setting of a corporate retreat gone terribly wrong offers a unique backdrop for drama, power struggles, and survival instincts to unfold.
  • The pacing of the novel varies, with moments of calm before sudden accelerations that spike the adrenaline and keep the narrative exciting.
  • The story delves into the psychology of survival, group dynamics, and individual moral choices under pressure, adding depth to the thriller aspect.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Details about skiing and running a ski resort might bore readers who are not interested in skiing.
  • Readers not into survival stories or who like their mysteries focused more on puzzles might find the harsh winter survival aspect stressful.
  • Some might struggle to connect with the characters if they seem unlikable or shallow, affecting how much they care about the story.

40. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith — No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #1

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Africa, Crime, Thriller, Botswana, Detective

Precious Ramotswe takes a leap of faith and opens the country’s first female-owned detective agency. With her keen intuition, a strong sense of justice, and an understanding of human nature, Precious is ready to take on any case that comes her way.

As Precious navigates through her first cases, she encounters a wide range of clients and mysteries, from a missing husband to a suspicious doctor. With the help of her loyal assistant, Grace Makutsi, they try to bring resolution to those who seek her help.

“The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” is a heartwarming exploration of life in Botswana. Its endearing characters will make readers fall in love with the first book in the series.

Women are the ones who knows what’s going on.

What you might love:

  • It addresses universal themes like love, friendship, and justice, making it relatable to many readers.
  • It gives an authentic look into Botswana’s daily life, showing its traditions, values, and lifestyle with respect.
  • The book shares life lessons about kindness, forgiveness, and community through the main character’s experiences and the mysteries she solves.

What might not be for everyone:

  • It contains many small stories instead of one big plot, which might not suit those who like a focused storyline.
  • The book solves conflicts calmly, without much confrontation. Readers wanting intense drama or complex villains may not find what they want.
  • Although the book showcases Botswana’s culture, some readers may find the cultural details hard to grasp, which could lessen their enjoyment of the story.

41. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams — Dirk Gently #1

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Sci-fi, Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Comedy

When Richard MacDuff discovers his boss dead, and his girlfriend accused, he seeks help from Dirk Gently, an eccentric “holistic detective” who thinks everything in the universe is connected and uses this to solve cases.

While investigating, Dirk and Richard meet odd characters like an electric monk, a time-traveling professor, and a ghost. They go through weird and funny situations to clear Richard’s girlfriend’s name and solve the murder.

Douglas Adams brings his signature wit and absurdist humor to the detective genre in “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.” If you’re looking for a detective story that’s equally hilarious and mind-bending, this book should be your next read.

Let’s think the unthinkable, let’s do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.

What you might love:

  • Besides being fun, it teaches traders about philosophy, history, and science in surprising ways.
  • It uses humor to give sharp insights into people and society, making readers laugh and think simultaneously.
  • The novel makes traders think about reality, free will, and how everything is connected while still being fun to read.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Its British setting and humor may not be what everyone likes, especially if they are unfamiliar with British culture.
  • With its complex story and many ideas, the book requires lots of focus and thought, which could be demanding for some readers.
  • The book delves into time travel, quantum mechanics, and holistic ideas. Some parts might be less interesting for readers who are not into these topics.

42. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy — L.A. Quartet #3

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Noir, Thriller, Historical, Detective

In 1950s Los Angeles, a massacre at the coffee shop sets off a chain of events that links the lives of three different cops: Ed Exley, an ambitious and straight-laced detective; Bud White, a tough and violent officer; and Jack Vincennes, a narcissistic narcotics detective.

While investigating the crime, the three cops encounter corruption, scandal, and betrayal within the LAPD and Hollywood’s elite. They face their personal demons and moral dilemmas as they reveal the dark secrets behind L.A.’s glamour.

“L.A. Confidential” is a gritty, uncompromising look at the underworld of 1950s Los Angeles. With its complex characters, intricate plot, and evocative prose, this book is a must-read for fans of hard-boiled crime fiction.

All dressed up and no one to kill.

What you might love:

  • Its rich content makes the book highly entertaining, blending mystery, drama, and action to keep readers hooked.
  • The book examines corruption, power, and redemption, critiquing institutional decay and highlighting personal change.
  • The author’s sharp, concise style and quick dialogue capture the era’s spirit and the story’s urgency, making it engaging.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The use of explicit language and slang true to the era and setting might not appeal to those who prefer milder language in their reading.
  • As a reflection of its 1950s setting, the book portrays racism and sexism, which, while historically accurate, might be uncomfortable for some.
  • The novel’s often cynical view of human nature and institutions might not resonate with readers looking for more optimistic or redemptive narratives.

43. The Overnights by Ian K. Smith — Ashe Cayne #3

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction

Ashe Cayne is hired to protect Morgan Shaw, a prominent Chicago news anchor who fears for her life. Initially reluctant as he’s not a bodyguard, Cayne’s involvement deepens after Shaw’s car is vandalized.

Shaw is then embroiled in a battle for ratings during the critical “sweeps” period, risking everything to investigate a controversial police shooting that boosts her popularity but makes dangerous enemies.

“The Overnights” centers on racial tensions, the impact of media, and the search for truth in a society filled with secrecy and corruption. Its unique take on a racially sensitive investigation distinguishes it from other reads.

What you might love:

  • It gives a behind-the-scenes look at the competitive news broadcast industry, showing how far people will go to remain on top.
  • The book’s rich themes and conflicts make it great for book clubs and discussions, encouraging diverse viewpoints and debates.
  • The story explores big societal issues like racial tensions and how the media influences public opinion, offering a deep, thought-provoking experience.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Detective work and broadcasting terms might confuse readers new to these topics.
  • Characters’ moral ambiguity might unsettle those who prefer straightforward heroes and villains.
  • The Chicago setting and its cultural references may not connect with those unfamiliar with the city or its issues.

44. Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie — Hercule Poirot #9

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03/07/2024 01:00 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Classics, Thriller, Detective

The wealthy Lord Edgware is found murdered in his library, all eyes turn to his estranged wife, the famous actress Jane Wilkinson. She had recently announced her intention to kill him, but there was one problem: she had an airtight alibi.

Enter Hercule Poirot, the brilliant Belgian detective, who takes on the case at the request of Jane’s friend. As he investigates, he finds secrets, lies, and hidden motives among the suspects, including Lord Edgware’s daughter, his nephew, and his household staff.

“Lord Edgware Dies” showcases a clever plot, memorable characters, and a satisfying conclusion, making it a true classic of the genre. It’s an unmissable read for fans of whodunits with a touch of elegance.

Do you know my friend that each one of us is a dark mystery, a maze of conflicting passions and desire and aptitudes?

What you might love:

  • Christie uses clever and funny dialogue to make characters vivid, offering a fun and engaging read.
  • It touches on timeless topics like love, jealousy, and the impact of our choices, making it relatable to readers of all ages.
  • The book deepens the characters’ minds, revealing their motives, secrets, and wishes, making the mystery even more fascinating.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some readers may find the language and social norms in the book outdated, as it was written in the 1930s.
  • The novel’s emphasis on the lives and problems of the wealthy upper class may not be relatable or interesting to all readers.
  • It reflects the gender norms of its time, which may be off-putting to readers who prefer more progressive or balanced representations of gender.

45. A Is for Alibi by Sue Grafton — Kinsey Millhone #1

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective

Nikki Fife is released from prison after serving time for her husband’s murder. She claims she was wrongfully convicted and wants to find the real killer. Nikki then turns to Kinsey Millhone, a resourceful private investigator, to help clear her name.

As Kinsey begins to investigate, she’s caught in the secrets surrounding the murder, including a possible affair, a bitter business partnership, and a twisted family dynamic. With each new lead, Kinsey finds herself drawn deeper into danger.

“A Is for Alibi” is the first book in Sue Grafton’s bestselling Kinsey Millhone series. With its sharp wit, engaging characters, and clever plot twists, this novel sets the stage for one of modern literature’s most beloved detective series.

You try to keep life simple but it never works, and in the end all you have left is yourself.

What you might love:

  • Kinsey narrates in first person, mixing sharp comments, dry humor, and modest jokes, making it a fun read.
  • The book explores trust, betrayal, and how past decisions affect us, offering an emotionally rich reading experience.
  • The author’s detailed portrayal of the investigation adds realism to the story, appealing to readers who value accuracy.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Kinsey Millhone uses 1980s technology and methods, which may seem old to today’s readers.
  • The book starts slowly, focusing on character and backstory setup, which might feel slow to those used to faster-paced mysteries.
  • The characters may not fully represent today’s diverse society, which might disappoint those seeking broader representation.

46. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Classics, Crime, Noir, Detective, Thriller

A beautiful and mysterious woman walks into Sam Spade’s San Francisco office, setting off a chain of events that will change his life forever. The woman, Miss Wonderly, hires Sam and his partner to follow a man named Floyd Thursby.

The case escalates quickly, and Sam is soon on the hunt for a valuable object, the Maltese Falcon. During his search, he meets various characters, like the cunning Casper Gutman and the deceptive Brigid O’Shaughnessy, all with their own hidden agendas.

“The Maltese Falcon” is a classic detective novel that introduces readers to the gritty world of private eye Sam Spade. Set against the backdrop of San Francisco, the book dives into themes of greed, deception, and the quest for a legendary treasure.

I distrust a man that says when. If he’s got to be careful not to drink to much it’s because he’s not to be trusted when he does.

What you might love:

  • It looks at the 1920s’ history and social issues, taking readers back to a different time.
  • Hammett’s tale prompts deep thought on character motives, blending moral boundaries.
  • The book makes readers rethink what’s right or wrong by showing complex characters with murky motives.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Some readers may find Hammett’s sharp, clever dialogue unrealistic or hard to connect.
  • Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s portrayal as a femme fatale might seem clichéd or outdated to some.
  • The book’s focus on mostly white, male characters mirrors its era but might not engage those looking for diverse viewpoints.

47. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

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04/03/2024 12:28 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Classics, Crime, Victorian, 19th Century, Historical Fiction

Meet Rachel Verinder, the beautiful heiress who receives the Moonstone on her birthday. But when the gem vanishes overnight, suspicion falls upon everyone in the household, from the servants to Rachel’s own relatives.

As the mystery deepens, secrets, betrayals, and hidden motives emerge. Clues seem to lead nowhere, and new suspects arise. With the help of Sergeant Cuff, the family must strive to find out the truth.

“The Moonstone” set the standard for modern detective fiction. Its plot, vivid characters, and clever twists make it a timeless classic that’s as thrilling today as it was 150 years ago!

See with nobody’s eyes, we hear with nobody’s ears, we feel with nobody’s hearts, but our own.

What you might love:

  • Collins crafts a group of unique, detailed characters that captivate the story.
  • “The Moonstone” offers an intriguing look at the social life of Victorian England.
  • Multiple narrators tell the story, giving readers a fuller view and making the mystery more intriguing.

What might not be for everyone:

  • “The Moonstone” is long, which could overwhelm some readers or demand a lot of time.
  • Its changing narrators and viewpoints can confuse readers, as they need to adapt to various perspectives.
  • The novel explores sensitive topics like colonialism and drug use, which might unsettle some readers.

48. Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey — Perveen Mistry #1

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04/03/2024 12:29 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction, India, Thriller

When a wealthy Muslim mill owner leaves three widows behind, Perveen—India’s first female lawyer—suspects foul play. As the only woman allowed to speak with the secluded wives, she must face danger and deception to protect their rights.

But as Perveen goes deep into the case, she finds secrets that threaten to resurface her own tragic past. From the glittering heights of Bombay’s elite to the city’s dark alleys, she must risk everything to bring justice to the widows of Malabar Hill.

“The Widows of Malabar Hill” transports readers to a historical setting. It’s a perfect read for those who love a good puzzle and a strong, compassionate heroine.

Her father had thought it too much to throw in the faces of clients who needed a gentle introduction to the prospect of female representation.

What you might love:

  • It addresses important themes like gender equality, colonialism, and religious conflict, making it entertaining and insightful.
  • The novel provides a detailed look at the era, offering insights into Indian culture, society, and the history of women’s rights.
  • The author vividly describes Bombay, from its busy streets to the serene Malabar Hill, making the setting a key part of the story.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book’s many plots and character histories, mixing mysteries with legal specifics, can be difficult to keep straight.
  • The novel’s 1920s Indian setting requires knowledge of that time’s social and political scene, which may overwhelm readers not keen on history.
  • Parts of the book slow down to detail legal processes and characters’ thoughts, possibly trying the patience of those who prefer steady excitement.

49. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde — Thursday Next #1

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04/03/2024 12:29 pm GMT

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Humor, Sci-fi, Time Travel

What if you could change the ending of your favorite book? Thursday Next, a fearless literary detective faces this dilemma when Jane Eyre is kidnapped from the pages of her own novel.

As the narrative progresses, Thursday meets eccentric characters, time travel, and a parallel universe where literature is a matter of life and death, aiming to rescue Jane Eyre and preserve the integrity of literature itself.

“The Eyre Affair” is a wildly inventive mystery that’s perfect for book lovers. Fforde’s clever world-building and humor make this a one-of-a-kind reading experience. It’s a testament to the power of literature and its impact on both the reader and society.

Take no heed of her…. She reads a lot of books.

What you might love:

  • Fforde packs the novel with witty nods to classic books, delighting readers familiar with those works.
  • Thursday Next, the story’s clever and determined heroine propels the plot with her smarts and resourcefulness.
  • The novel explores themes like reality’s nature and choice’s value, prompting readers to think about their lives and views.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Fforde’s unique humor and wordplay might not suit everyone, as it’s specific and unconventional.
  • Readers must embrace a world with time travel and book-jumping, challenging those who like realistic stories.
  • Mixing mystery, fantasy, and alternate history, the novel might confuse readers used to simple, one-genre stories.

50. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson — Jackson Brodie #1

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04/03/2024 12:29 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, British Literature, Detective

Jackson Brodie, a private investigator with a troubled past, tackles three haunting cases: a lost child, a murdered woman, and a missing sister. He discovers these mysteries, though seemingly unrelated, are linked by decades-spanning secrets and lies.

Jackson moves from Cambridge’s busy streets to the quiet countryside, facing his demons as he fights for justice. He meets unique characters, each marked by their past. As history meets the present, he rushes to uncover the truth.

“Case Histories” blends mystery, tragedy, and hope, showcasing Atkinson’s storytelling. Her keen insights into the human heart and her ability to put together multiple narratives make this a deeply satisfying read.

Time was a thief, he stole your life away from you and the only way you could get it back was to outwit him and snatch it right back.

What you might love:

  • “Case Histories,” featuring Jackson Brodie, starts a series for those wanting to follow his adventures.
  • The novel prompts readers to think about coincidence, the impact of actions, and redemption’s power.
  • Atkinson crafts complex characters with unique stories and motives, making the story emotionally compelling.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The book discusses violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, which could upset some readers.
  • It strays from the typical mystery formula, possibly letting down those who expect a traditional whodunit.
  • The novel uses British English and cultural references that might confuse readers from different backgrounds.

51. An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Crime, Mystery, Thriller

In 1663 Oxford, a servant girl is murdered, and a young woman is accused. But when four witnesses share their stories, the truth blurs. Each narrator adds a new piece to the puzzle, questioning the others’ stories and revealing the dark side of Restoration society.

As the trial progresses, secrets, lies, and hidden agendas emerge, taking the reader from Oxford’s academic circles to political intrigue—the story twists and turns, leading to a shocking final revelation.

“An Instance of the Fingerpost” blends detailed historical research with engaging storytelling. It’s a story that transports readers to a time when science, religion, and superstition collide.

Who you are is less important than what you seem.

What you might love:

  • Pears develops memorable characters with complex motives that propel the story.
  • The book delves into religion, science, politics, and truth, offering much to ponder and discuss.
  • “An Instance of the Fingerpost” prompts deep questions about knowledge, belief, and human life.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Unreliable narrators may frustrate readers who like direct storytelling, making it hard to figure out the truth.
  • The novel delves into deep philosophical themes, possibly challenging for those who enjoy simpler mysteries.
  • The story slowly reveals itself, focusing on historical context and character growth, which might seem slow to fans of quick plots.

52. The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke — Dave Robicheaux #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective, Noir

Dave Robicheaux, a New Orleans detective, investigates the death of a young prostitute in a motel, unknowingly stepping into corruption, drugs, and murder. His search pits him against a powerful crime syndicate and a deadly assassin.

With his partner Cletus Purcel and Annie Ballard’s help, they go around New Orleans’ dangerous streets and Louisiana’s bayous to expose the truth and catch the killers. But as dangers escalate and deaths increase, they wonder if they can outsmart the killers.

“The Neon Rain” puts together themes of redemption, corruption, and the blurred lines between good and evil as Robicheaux investigates a series of murders. Its vivid writing and a closer look into human nature create a daunting world worth exploring.

It’s a great burden, being one of the good guys

What you might love:

  • Burke vividly depicts New Orleans, from its streets to its culture and inhabitants.
  • It examines the characters’ inner conflicts, offering an emotionally impactful read.
  • “The Neon Rain” tackles corruption, racism, and the Vietnam War’s effects on American society.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Burke’s use of New Orleans dialect and slang in conversations might confuse some readers.
  • The novel mentions drug use, prostitution, and other adult themes, which might not be appropriate for everyone.
  • Being the series’ first book, “The Neon Rain” leaves some storylines open, nudging readers to continue the series for complete closure.

53. Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith — Arkady Renko #10

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Russia, Thriller, Crim,e Detective

Once a Moscow prosecutor’s investigator, Arkady Renko gets drawn into a deadly political intrigue in Kyiv’s Independence Square. Now an interpreter for a Ukrainian oligarch, Renko goes through corruption, ruthless business, and violent protests to solve a murder.

As Renko investigates, he meets a Ukrainian activist, an American diplomat, and a Russian assassin, each with their own motives. He discovers the situation is more critical than he thought, with Ukraine’s future at risk.

“Independence Square” is a political thriller that brings to life the turbulent world of post-Soviet Ukraine. With the author’s trademark wit, plotting, and deeply human characters, Smith creates a timely and timeless story.

If he pretended that he didn’t have it, he could ignore the ways it was affecting his life. Denial sounded good.

What you might love:

  • While part of a series, “Independence Square” can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, making it accessible to new readers.
  • The novel delves into the complexities of power, corruption, and the impact of political change on individuals and society.
  • The book touches on themes of loyalty, identity, and the consequences of one’s actions, providing ample material for reflection.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The relationships between Arkady Renko and his colleagues are complex, demanding careful reading.
  • It addresses corruption, betrayal, and political turmoil’s emotional toll, which might weigh heavily on some readers.
  • Set during the Soviet Union’s fall, the novel’s political background may confuse readers who are not versed in that history.

54. Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley — Easy Rawlins #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Crime, Noir, Thriller, Historical Fiction

Recently unemployed war veteran Easy Rawlins takes a job to find a missing woman, Daphne Monet, aiming to earn enough to cover his mortgage. However, Easy discovers the case is much more complex than he anticipated.

In his search for Daphne, Easy meets underworld figures like the dangerous DeWitt Albright and the mysterious Mouse, each clue pulls him further into corruption, racism, and murder, risking his life and everything important to him.

“Devil in a Blue Dress” introduces one of the most iconic characters in the genre: Easy Rawlins. Mosley’s vivid prose, authentic dialogue, and unflinching exploration of race and identity create a gritty and beautiful narrative.

The law is made by the rich people so that the poor people can’t get ahead…

What you might love:

  • It introduces complex supporting characters like the mysterious Mouse, enhancing the story’s depth.
  • Easy Rawlins faces moral ambiguity, moving through a world where distinguishing right from wrong is challenging.
  • The book examines the lives of African Americans in post-war America, focusing on racism, discrimination, and identity.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The 1940s setting means the book has racial slurs and language that might offend some readers.
  • As the first in a series, “Devil in a Blue Dress” might leave readers wanting to read more to understand Easy Rawlins’ journey fully.
  • Characters, including Easy Rawlins, often make morally gray choices, possibly troubling those who like clear-cut heroes and villains.

55. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy — L.A. Quartet #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Crime, Noir, Historical Fiction, True Crime, Thriller

In 1947 Los Angeles, the brutally mutilated body of Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the Black Dahlia, is discovered in a vacant lot. Two driven LAPD officers, Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard, are determined to solve the gruesome murder and bring the killer to justice.

As they investigate, they find themselves in a world of corruption, scandal, and depravity at the highest levels of Hollywood society. The deeper they go, the more obsessed they become, risking their careers, relationships, and even their sanity to uncover the truth.

“The Black Dahlia” is a haunting, unflinching exploration of the dark side of the American dream. It’s a book for those brave enough to confront what lies beneath the glitz and glamour of postwar L.A.

Some people don’t respond to civility.

What you might love:

  • Based on the real, unsolved Black Dahlia murder, the novel weaves in historical intrigue.
  • It portrays 1940s Los Angeles’ grim side, drawing readers into a realm of corrupt police, gangsters, and Hollywood scandals.
  • “The Black Dahlia” uncovers corruption in the Los Angeles police and the characters’ quest for redemption in a murky moral landscape.

What might not be for everyone:

  • It has graphic scenes of violence, murder, and sexual content, which could disturb some readers.
  • The book’s shifting perspectives and flashbacks might confuse readers, needing careful attention to keep track.
  • Those who know the real Black Dahlia case might find their expectations influence how they view the book, making the fiction feel less surprising.

56. City of Glass by Paul Auster — New York Trilogy #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Literature, American, Novels, Contemporary, Classics

Crime writer Daniel Quinn gets a mysterious call meant for a detective named Paul Auster and decides to play along as him. He takes the case of Peter Stillman, who just got out of prison for abusing his son.

Quinn’s investigation into the Stillman family’s dark history pulls him into a strange and complicated situation. The deeper he looks, the more reality and fiction begin to blur, and he starts to doubt his identity and what truth really means.

“City of Glass” offers a twist on traditional detective stories, blending mystery with philosophical questions. It’s a book that questions reality itself, making it a meaningful read.

He would conclude that nothing was real except chance.

What you might love:

  • Auster turns New York City into a story character, plunging readers into its gritty, noir atmosphere.
  • The novel’s unique structure, with various narratives and changing viewpoints, surprises and captivates readers.
  • It’s filled with references to literature, philosophy, and art, rewarding knowledgeable readers and sparking curiosity.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The non-linear plot and various storylines may disorient readers used to simpler tales.
  • The book’s mix of author, narrator, and character roles might confuse or annoy some readers.
  • Its long philosophical talks can slow the story, possibly bothering mystery-focused readers.

57. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson — Ernest Cunningham #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Crime, Adult

Ernest Cunningham, a crime novelist with a unique family history, arrives at a remote ski resort for a family reunion, hoping for a relaxing getaway. But when a body is discovered on the first night, Ernest finds himself at the center of a real-life murder mystery.

As the police investigate, Ernest realizes that everyone in his family has a motive for murder, and they all have a history of killing someone. With his brother’s forensic expertise, Ernest applies his crime-writing knowledge to find the killer.

“Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone” is a clever, witty take on the classic locked-room mystery. Its unique premise, colorful characters, and sharp humor create a delightfully entertaining read that will keep readers engrossed.

Family is not whose blood runs in your veins, it’s who you’d spill it for.

What you might love:

  • The novel’s title and concept quickly capture interest, offering an exciting and unique murder mystery.
  • The Cunningham family’s intricate relationships and hidden secrets add depth and mystery to the story.
  • Ernest Cunningham, a clever and self-aware narrator, unravels family secrets and the murder for readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • The pacing can be uneven, with some parts slow as the author explores the characters and their connections.
  • The novel’s dark humor and satire might not suit everyone, especially fans of traditional or serious crime novels.
  • The Cunningham family’s complex relationships and history may confuse readers, especially with ongoing secrets and revelations.

58. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers — Lord Peter Wimsey #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Classics, Crime, Thriller, Detective

A naked corpse wearing only a pair of pince-nez is found in a London flat’s bathtub. Lord Peter Wimsey, an aristocratic amateur detective, takes on the case despite the police’s suspicion that the body belongs to the missing wealthy financier, Sir Reuben Levy.

As Wimsey and his valet, Bunter, investigate, they find clues leading them from London’s elite social circles to the city’s shady corners. With a cast of suspects and motives, Wimsey must use his wit and intellect to solve the mystery of the body in the bathtub.

“Whose Body?” is a novel that creates an engaging and intellectually satisfying read. It’s a novel for those who love classic mysteries with a touch of wit and elegance.

Even idiots ocasionally speak the truth accidentally.

What you might love:

  • Sayers opened doors for future female writers as an early female detective novelist.
  • Sayers fills the novel with witty and humorous character exchanges, providing entertainment.
  • The book examines social class and privilege, showing Lord Peter unraveling the crime within high society.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Sayers uses complex vocabulary and literary references, possibly challenging readers to use a dictionary.
  • She occasionally goes off-topic with discussions or descriptions that can interrupt the mystery plot for some.
  • The plot and character development mainly happen through dialogue, which might not satisfy fans of action-packed mysteries.

59. Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham — Tom Thorne #1

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04/03/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Genres: Crime, Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Detective, British Literature

A young woman, Alison Willetts, is found brutally attacked and left in a coma, unable to reveal her attacker’s identity. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is tasked with the case, determined to uncover the truth and bring the assailant to justice.

As he investigates, he uncovers a connection between Alison and other victims of a sadistic serial killer dubbed “The Sleepyhead.” With each new attack, the stakes grow higher, and Thorne must hurry to stop the killer before they strike again.

“Sleepyhead” is a psychological thriller that has complex characters that create a dark, twisted journey that will intrigue the readers. It’s for those brave enough to look into the mind of a serial killer.

What you might love:

  • The book delves into tough moral choices, especially for Tom Thorne, in their pursuit of justice.
  • “Sleepyhead” kicks off the acclaimed Tom Thorne series, attracting readers new to this crime fiction hero.
  • Billingham surrounds Tom Thorne a group of detailed supporting characters with distinct personalities and stories, enhancing the main narrative.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Its dark, gritty, and intense tone might not suit readers looking for lighter or more escapist stories.
  • The story has many subplots and character arcs intertwining with the main case, possibly confusing some readers.
  • The book uses medical terms about the victims’ conditions, which might be hard for those without medical knowledge.

60. IQ by Joe Ide — IQ #1

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04/03/2024 12:31 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

In East Long Beach’s harsh streets, Isaiah Quintabe, or IQ, uses his sharp mind to solve crimes the police can’t. Tasked with protecting a famous rap mogul under threat, IQ aims to save his client and secure funds to support his struggling detective agency.

IQ plunges himself into the world of gangsters, hitmen, and crooked cops, dodging his troubled past. Assisted by his partner, Dodson, he relies on intelligence and street savvy to decode the clues and pinpoint the mastermind threatening his client.

“IQ” is a fresh, inventive take on the classic detective novel. Its sharp, witty, and authentic portrayal of life in East L.A. offers a captivating experience. This book is for those looking for a smart, engaging mystery with a modern twist.

I can’t be diminished by people talking no matter who they are but I will be if I take that money.

What you might love:

  • The book dives into important issues like poverty, racism, and the struggles of marginalized groups.
  • The dialogues in “IQ” are clever, funny, and full of life, which makes the characters more real and enjoyable to read.
  • Isaiah Quintabe, or IQ, is a smart, self-taught detective from a tough part of Los Angeles. His background and commitment make him very likable.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Readers seeking pure escapism might not enjoy the novel’s focus on social issues.
  • Street slang and jargon add realism but can confuse or deter readers not used to it.
  • As the start of a series, the book introduces long-term plots and characters that require the reader to commit to them for full enjoyment.

61. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James — Cordelia Gray #1

Buy on Amazon
04/03/2024 12:43 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Detective, British Literature

After her mentor, Detective Bernie Pryde, commits suicide, Cordelia Gray inherits his detective agency. Her first case is to probe the supposed suicide of Mark Callender, a Cambridge student whose rich father insists his son did not kill himself.

Cordelia discovers secrets and lies in Mark’s past, leading her into a dangerous mix of privilege, corruption, and murder. Each revelation pulls her deeper into a world where there is always more than what it looks like.

“An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” merges mystery with themes like independence, morality, and the complexities of human nature. Its characters combine vulnerability with resilience and intellect, making it a satisfying read.

The secret of contentment is never to allow yourself to want anything which reason tells you you haven’t a chance of getting.

What you might love:

  • Cordelia Gray, smart and independent, breaks social norms by becoming a private detective.
  • “Cordelia Gray makes her debut in “An Unsuitable Job for a Woman,” leading to more novels and a TV series.
  • The book explores gender roles and women’s challenges in male-dominated jobs, offering insightful views.

What might not be for everyone:

  • It describes death and decay in detail, potentially disturbing for sensitive readers.
  • The book’s melancholic and introspective tone might not suit those seeking a lighter or more action-filled mystery.
  • The novel mainly has white, middle-to-upper-class British characters, possibly not appealing to those wanting diversity.

62. Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon — Inspector Maigret #1

Buy on Amazon
04/03/2024 12:43 pm GMT

Genres: Mystery, Fiction, Crime, France, Detective, Classics, Thriller

Inspector Jules Maigret of the Paris Police is called to investigate a report of Pietr the Latvian, who’s found dead in a train. Soon, he finds out Pietr is alive and caught up in a dangerous international conspiracy.

Chasing Pietr across Europe, Maigret meets mysterious figures like a rich businessman, a beautiful woman, and a deadly assassin. He relies on sharp instincts and perseverance to solve the mystery and uncover the truth about Pietr.

“Pietr the Latvian” introduces readers to the iconic Inspector Maigret, a character who would go on to star in over 75 novels by Georges Simenon. Its themes of identity, morality, and the nature of justice make it one of the classics of the detective genre.

It’s a problem with one or more unknowns that a rational mind tries to solve.

What you might love:

  • It explores human nature, identity, deception, and actions’ consequences.
  • “Pietr the Latvian” shows real 1930s police work, giving insight into the era’s methods and challenges.
  • Though from the 1930s, its themes, characters, and insights into human behavior still resonate with today’s readers.

What might not be for everyone:

  • Frequent smoking and drinking scenes, typical of the time, might bother some readers.
  • The 1930s social norms and attitudes in the novel could seem outdated or offensive today.
  • French cultural references and settings might confuse readers without background knowledge.

Final Thoughts

As readers, we’re drawn to detective books for the thrill and their reflection of our world—flawed, unpredictable, yet always fascinating.

These novels remind us that every story has layers, and understanding them requires empathy, patience, and a keen eye for detail. Showing readers the importance of logic and the determination to seek out the truth, no matter how well it’s hidden.

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Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.