26 Best Mystery Books of All Time

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One of the genres that have always interested me is mystery books. They are suspenseful, interesting, and always have something new to offer readers who are looking for a good read! 

So if you’re someone like me who loves reading mysteries or just enjoys watching mystery movies, you’ll want to check out this list of the best mystery books that I’ve come up with. You can’t go wrong with any one of these excellent reads!.

Best Mystery Books of All Time

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1), by Stieg Larsson

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a Swedish crime novel by Stieg Larsson. It was first published in 2005 and translated into English in 2006. The story follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist’s investigation of industrialist Henrik Vanger, who believes that his missing niece Harriet has been murdered.

The novel includes details about journalism, corporate espionage, and computer hacking, which are all topics that many readers find interesting! If you want to know more about this book, click the link and visit amazon.

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a classic tale of passion and obsession. It follows the story of an unnamed narrator who becomes obsessed with his widowed employer, Rebecca de Winter.

The novel opens with the protagonist’s involvement in a car accident that kills her husband (Rebecca’s first spouse) and leaves the woman badly injured. When she finally recovers, he persuades her to marry him out of gratitude for saving her life…

But their marriage soon takes on more sinister tones as he realizes how much power he has over this beautiful woman who will do anything for him because without him, she would be alone again.

Mystic River, by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane is a thriller novel that has won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. It tells the story of three boys who grow up to be involved in crime, drug addiction, and murder.

The characters are not deep-rooted with backstories, but their actions are just as raw and gritty as any other book you’ll read about life on the streets. This book will keep you turning pages until you get to an unforgettable ending.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt

In this book, John Berendt explores the mysterious world of Savannah, Georgia. He observes all sorts of people and their lifestyles in his adventures there-from the high society southern belles to the hustlers on the street corners.

The lives that he witnesses are both amusing and tragic; it’s hard not to become involved when you read about these people who seem so real!

Read – 4 Books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

“The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler is one of the best mystery books of all time. It’s full of mystery, witty dialogue, and an interesting plot twist that will leave you guessing until the end.

If you’re looking for a good mystery book to read this summer, look no further! The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler is perfect for any reader who loves mystery thriller books with twists at every turn!

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown

This novel is about an ancient secret society, Opus Dei, which wants to keep the truth about Jesus hidden away from the world. One of their members hires Robert Langdon to find out what’s going on, and he finds himself tangled up in murder, puzzles, codes, and conspiracies.

With this book, you’ll be taken on an intense ride through history with some surprising twists at every turn! Without a doubt, this is one of the best mystery thriller books on this list. 

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In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood is a stunning account of the murder of a Kansas farm family. The novel’s suspenseful buildup and unanticipated conclusion have kept readers spellbound for fifty years.

It is also an extraordinary social document, as Capote presents with great insight into American culture and character traits that were invisible to most people in 1959 but now seem commonplace: addiction, racism, small-town politics, celebrity worship.

Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins

Anne, a young woman in Victorian England of the 1820s, is an orphan. She has had a difficult childhood and is now living with her aunt and cousins at Limmeridge House.

One day she meets a man who introduces himself as Walter Hartright, and they soon fall in love. But when Anne starts to notice things about him that make her uneasy, like his lack of family connections or specified occupation-she begins to question everything he’s told her about himself. 

Annie finds herself entangled in circumstances too dangerous for any ordinary person; she must escape from confinement and confront not only those who would stop her but also the secrets in her own heart—and finally, determine whom she can trust: the man of mystery or herself?

The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey

In the novel, The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, a detective sergeant major in WWII is injured and spends his recovery time reading about King Richard III. He examines the many sources to try and uncover what really happened in Camelot.

In this book, you’ll find suspenseful mysteries that will have you turning pages late into the night! Join Kenneth Graham on his journey through history as he searches for clues left by scholars from centuries ago. This gripping tale is sure to keep readers guessing until the very end!

See Also – Books similar to Say Nothing 

Anatomy of a Murder, by Robert Traver

Who would have thought that a seemingly simple case of jury tampering could turn into one of the most influential court trials in history?

Robert Traver’s Anatomy of a Murder tells the story of what happens when this small town doctor is accused of first-degree murder. What begins as an investigation becomes an epic battle between right and wrong, good and evil, until justice prevails. With its vivid descriptions, gripping dialogue, and unrelenting pace, this book will keep you guessing until the very end.

This is one of the best murder mystery books on this list.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is a story about a marriage gone terribly wrong. Nick and Amy Dunne are the perfect couples, with two beautiful children. One day, though, Amy disappears from their home without any explanation or evidence of her whereabouts.

The tension in this novel builds as Nick becomes more and more suspicious that his wife has been murdered. The conclusion will leave you speechless! This is considered one of the best mystery books of all time.

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Best Murder Mystery Books

The 22 Murders of Madison May, by Max Barry

In a world where people can be killed for being different, Madison May is the only one with the ability to murder. In this book, you’ll find out how she became so powerful and what happens when she’s finally found out.

Full of witty humor and thrilling suspense, The 22 Murders of Madison May will have you going from page to page without wanting to put it down!

The Talented Mr. Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith

Tom Ripley is a man who has it all: wealth, good looks, and charm. When he meets Dickie Greenleaf, Tom’s life changes forever. He wants what Dickie has – his money, his wife Margeret, and the lifestyle that comes with it – so Tom does whatever he can to get them for himself.

But when Margaret starts to suspect that something isn’t right about her new friend, she begins an investigation of her own that leads to a shocking discovery. This book tells the story of how one man gets everything he ever wanted but loses everything in the process.

Death at Greenway, by Lori Rader-Day

Lori Rader-Day’s Death at Greenway is one of the best selling murder mystery books on this list. It’s about the death of an elderly woman in her nursing home.

The story begins with the protagonist, Jane, arriving at work for her first day as a new nurse. She soon discovers that one of her patients has died and she must report this to authorities.

When she arrives back at the facility after reporting it to the police, Jane realizes that all of the residents are missing, and they never come back!

It turns out that someone has kidnapped them all, and then there is more drama when Jane finds out who did it ???? And why? What will happen next? This book will keep you guessing until the very end!

My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, is a dark and twisted novel about family secrets. The story follows Ayoola as she tells her brother Akin about all the people she has killed.

This book delves into mental illness, abuse, and how those things can change someone’s life forever. It was an interesting read, but it wasn’t my favorite. I felt bad for Ayoola at times, but I also wanted to shake some sense into her because of her decisions in life that led to her downfall.

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, by Elle Cosimano

It’s no secret that Elle Cosimano is a fantastic writer. Her latest novel, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, is an entertaining story about a girl who moves from her small town to New York City and tries to make it as a fashion designer.

But when she gets there, things don’t go as planned, and she finds herself in the middle of a murder mystery. If you’re looking for a new read or just want something fun to do on your summer vacation, this would be perfect for you!

A Spy in the Struggle, by Aya de León

This book is a manual for a revolution. It’s about how to make your own revolution, and it’s about why we need one now more than ever. It’s not an instruction manual on how to overthrow a government or take up arms against an oppressive regime (although if that’s what you’re into, go for it).

No, this book is about how we can all be spies in the struggle — everyday heroes who are working towards change with our actions and words every day. 

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Best British Mystery Books

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

Ten strangers are invited to the secluded island home of an absent host. What starts as a friendly game turns into a race for their lives, with each guest being accused of murder and then getting killed off one by one.

It’s up to you to identify who is responsible for this horrific crime before they can escape unpunished. Will justice be served? Read this classic whodunit coming-of-age story and find out! This is one of the best murder mystery books ever written.

See Also – Books for New Readers

A Share in Death, by Deborah Crombie

The best way to describe Deborah Crombie’s latest novel, A Share in Death, is as a cozy British mystery.

The setting and atmosphere of the story could not be any more inviting with its descriptions of English country life with all its quaintness and charm. There are many twists and turns throughout this riveting read which will keep you guessing until the very end. 

If you are looking for a book that will make you feel like you’re sitting by the fire on an autumn evening, then this is it!

Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear

The year is 1929. The world is changing rapidly, and Maisie Dobbs must work to keep up with the changes in science, politics, art, society—even her own family life.

But as she struggles to retain some semblance of normalcy for herself and those around her amid deep social upheaval, a long-buried scandal threatens everything she has worked so hard for. 

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear tells the story of an unconventional woman with an uncanny intuition who takes on cases that law enforcement officials can’t solve or don’t want solved. 

Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz

Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this story about a secret society that is trying to kill the main character, Susan.

The book starts out with her death in order to draw you into the mystery. You are left on your own after reading the first few pages because all evidence points to Susan’s suicide.  This book has everything- murder, suspense, and romance!

The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous fictional detectives in history. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, has been adapted into various films and TV shows. 

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a classic detective-mystery novel published in 1902. It tells the story about an English nobleman who arrives on his friend Dr Watson’s doorstep at 221B Baker Street with fears for his life because he believes someone is trying to kill him.

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Best Mystery Books for Teenagers

Charm & Strange, by Stephanie Kuehn

Stephanie Kuehn’s new book Charm & Strange is a story about the dangers of being too charming. The main character, Cassie, has a talent for getting what she wants and making people do things they wouldn’t normally do.

It is only when her friend Bethany becomes convinced that Cassie has been possessed by an evil spirit that she starts to see how her charisma can have negative consequences on those around her.

Written in the vein of Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived In The Castle, this novel will keep you guessing until the very end as to whether there really are forces beyond our understanding at work here or if it all comes back to human nature after all. Undoubtedly, One of the best mystery books for teenagers in this list.

The Arsonist, by Stephanie Oakes

In her debut novel, The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes, the reader is introduced to a world of crime and corruption in rural Canada. 

As the protagonist’s life unravels, he sets fire to his own home with his family inside. Driven by desperation and guilt, he becomes an arsonist. But why? What led him to this point?

That is exactly what you will find out as you read this gripping story about how one man lost everything-his wife and daughter included-and then found himself on the wrong end of justice yet again for crimes that were not his doing.

This book captures both suspenseful moments as well as tender ones; it leaves readers wanting more at every turn; it offers insight into human nature.

Overturned, by Lamar Giles

Lamar Giles’ novel, Overturned, is about an African American teenager who witnesses the murder of his father. He must then take care of himself and his younger brother while trying to figure out what really happened that day.

The book challenges readers to rethink their own assumptions about justice in America. One of the best mystery books for teens on this list.

Out of the Easy, by Ruta Sepetys

New York Times bestselling author Ruta Sepetys returns to World War II with a rich and stirring tale of love, secrets, and sacrifice. Josie Moraine is the daughter of a prostitute and an unknown father.

She has grown up in the red-light district of New Orleans—the French Quarter—and been forced by her mother to become a child prostitute to survive. But when Josie’s beauty catches the eye of an aging Italian businessman, she is whisked away from her squalid life into his luxurious one.

Final Words :

The mysteries on this list are perfect for reading during the cold winter months. You’ll have plenty of time to read all 26! If you’re looking for a great mystery book, look no further than these 26 best mystery books of all time.

These novels will keep your mind racing and heart pounding with excitement as you follow the trail of clues left by clever criminals or amateur detectives alike.

Some stories are dark and twisted while others are more lighthearted in tone – but they’re all captivating page-turners that deserve their spot on any reader’s shelf.  Did one catch your eye? Check it out on Amazon!

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