Favorite page turning Mystery Books for Adults that will keep you guessing until the very end!
I love a good mystery book, particularly one with a fast pace, complex characters, and a thrilling plot. I’m especially delighted when I can’t guess the ending!
I’ve read a lot of mysteries, but these 25 stand out as my favorite mystery books for adults.
If you love to puzzle away the time with a good mystery, then you’ll enjoy these books. But be warned: these are the types of books that keep you up too late at night because you can’t stop reading until you figure it all out!
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Mystery Books for Adults
Long Bright River: A Novel
By Liz Moore
I really enjoyed this police mystery set in a Philadelphia neighborhood that's been rocked by the opioid crisis. As young women start turning up dead in an area known for drug deals, police officer Mickey renews her search for her missing sister. It's an emotionally complex story and a page-turning mystery with unexpected twists!
The Widows of Malabar Hill
By Sujata Massey
I LOVED this murder mystery set in India in 1921. Perveen Mistry has just joined her father's law firm, an unusual accomplishment for women at the time. She's been appointed to execute the will of a wealthy Muslim mill owner who left behind three widows, but when she examines the paperwork she notices something suspicious. Her instincts lead her to dig in and suddenly things have escalated to murder.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
By Stuart Turton
This book is so fun to read and so unexpected - you've never ready anything quite like this! Aiden Bishop is stuck at Blackheath Manor but every day he wakes up in the body of a different guest at the manor and presumably will continue to do so until he solves the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle.
By Sally Hepworth
Lucy always felt like her mother-in-law disapproved of her and their relationship remained tense and distant. But when the mother-in-law dies and all signs point to murder, we get to see just how complicated their relationship really was. The story is told in alternating chapters by Lucy and by her mother-in-law Diane. I had no idea how this one was going to end and was thoroughly satisfied by all the twists and turns!
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
By Ruth Ware
I've read all of Ruth Ware's mysteries and this one, set in a spooky old British mansion, is my favorite!
When Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance, she realizes right away that it's probably a case of mistaken identity. However, she's in a pretty tricky financial bind, so she decides to go to the funeral of the deceased and see if there's a way for her to claim any money. But it doesn't take long before she realizes that there's something mysterious happening and she's all tied up in a very strange situation.
The Last Thing He Told Me: A Novel
By Laura Dave
What begins as an ordinary day turns into a nightmare when Hannah turns on the news and see's that her husband's boss is being arrested for fraud. Things spiral quickly when she realizes that her husband has disappeared and the only clue he leaves her is a large sum of money and a cryptic note about his daughter. I had a lot of fun reading this one!
The Word Is Murder: A Novel
By Anthony Horowitz
This murder mystery is especially good on audiobook! The author includes a fictional version of himself in the story as a writer hired to tell the story of disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, but he ends up becoming a Watson to Hawthorne's Holmes as they solve the murder of a famous actress.
THE PERFECT STRANGER
By Megan Miranda
After making a big and embarrassing mistake at work, journalist Leah Stevens reconnects with an old roommate and they rent a place together in rural Pennsylvania where Leah hopes to just lay low for a while. But when a girl who looks a lot like her is found dead in a ravine near by and her new roommate goes missing, Leah's life gets even more complicated. I raced through this one!
Only Ever Her
By Marybeth Whalen
Annie Taft's wedding is just four days away but she's missing. As her family and friends try to figure out what happened, all their secrets come out. I loved the audiobook version of this twisty mystery.
The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel
By Diane Setterfield
This Gothic mystery is one of my favorite mystery books for adults! Vida Winters is a famous but reclusive author. In her old age and nearing death, she calls a young biographer to come and listen to the secrets of her haunted past that she's held onto for decades.
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel
By Kate Morton
I think this is one of the first books that got me hooked on audiobooks. It's completely captivating! Secret gardens, historic houses, mysterious inheritances, intriguing art history, and complicated family relationships. I loved it!
The Secret Keeper: A Novel
By Kate Morton
When Laurel was 16 years old, a stranger shows up at her family farm. Laurel watches from a distance as he exchanges a few words with her mother before her mother pulls a knife out of a nearby cake and stabs the man, killing him instantly and changing Laurel's life forever. Fifty years later, Laurel is still grappling with her past and now that her mother is about to die, she desperately wants to understand what happened.
Big Little Lies
By Liane Moriarty
This is my favorite Liane Moriarty book! I flew through this mystery about a group of female friends, their complicated relationships with the men in their lives, and their elementary school age kids.
Apples Never Fall
By Liane Moriarty
This was a real nail biter! The four grown Delaney siblings are facing a big dilemma. Their mother has gone missing. Their father is the most likely suspect, but two of the Delaney children think he's innocent and want to protect him, while the other two worry that he's hiding something darker.
Rock Paper Scissors: A Novel
By Alice Feeney
Adam and Amelia win a weekend away to Scotland, but when they arrive at the isolated historic chapel where they're supposed to stay, peculiar things start happening. It's only after they realize just how far away they are from everyone and everything that they begin to question why they are there. How did they win this trip again? I was completely hooked right up to the very last page!
The Book of Cold Cases
By Simone St. James
This is a genuinely spooky murder mystery!
In 1977, two men were murdered and although the deaths seemed random, taunting notes were left behind at both murder scenes. Beth Greer, an eccentric and rich young woman was seen fleeing one of the crimes. Although she was the main murder suspect, she was acquitted and subsequently isolated herself in her mansion.
Now, it's 2017 and Shea, who runs a popular true crime website, has secured an interview with Beth Greer, who has been a recluse for many years. But this interview is about to stir up a lot of old ghosts. It's a spooky, twisty book and you'll love it!
The Maidens: A Novel
By Alex Michaelides
I flew through this audiobook about a charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge, his exclusive secret society of female students, and a string of murders.
The River: A novel
By Peter Heller
Wynn and Jack, best friends since their Freshman year of college, head out on a canoeing trip in Northern Canada. But they hear something one night that makes them suspect that a murder might have been committed. And, to make matters worse, there's a forest fire heading their way!
The It Girl
By Ruth Ware
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about a group of friends at Oxford, the mysterious death of the "It girl" in their friend group, and a young journalist who starts stirring things up a decade after the tragedy.
I Let You Go
By Clare Mackintosh
This book opens with a hit-and-run and follows the grief stricken survivor as she tries to start a new life after the accident. It's super twisty and jumps back and forth in time and I had absolutely no idea what was going to happen.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
By Robin Sloan
A mysterious bookstore and a quirky secret organization! Yes and yes! I read this one with my book club and loved it.
The Thursday Murder Club: A Novel (A Thursday Murder Club Mystery)
By Richard Osman
This is a cozy mystery series about a group of old folks in a retirement village who meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a murder happens in their sleepy village, they have to put their crime solving skills into action. Very fun on audio!
The Half Sister
By Sandie Jones
Sisters Kate and Lauren have just lost their father, but when a young woman comes knocking at their door claiming to be their half sister, their whole world goes into a tailspin and all the family secrets start unraveling.
The Dry: A Novel
By Jane Harper
Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home to the Australian outback after his best friend dies by this foreboding message: "You lied. Luke liked. Be at the funeral." To solve the mystery of the note and his best friend's death, he has to dig into a lot of secrets from the past. I loved this one on audiobook because of the Australian narrator!
Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
By Louise Penny
This series of books are my most favorite mysteries of all. It's a cozy murder mystery series with a psychological twist set in a tiny village outside Quebec and the books just get better and better as the series goes along.
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