Top 20 Mystery Book Recommendations

Shreya Jain

Updated on:

A summer day out at the pool with your friends and lemonade is cool (pun intended), but have you ever sat on a couch near a desert cooler, holding a gripping novel that has you flipping pages?! 

Sometimes, the only escape we need is to lose ourselves in a world full of mysteries and sudden plot twists. So, since we are already here in the summer weather with most of us having ample time in our hands, if you ever want to take some time off, here is a list of novels that will have you put all your brain cells in wondering “who is behind this…”; 

Top 20 Mystery Book Recommendations

By Agatha Christie

1. And Then There Were None

Of course, we cannot talk about mystery books without talking about the legend, of Agatha Christie. 

The story circles around ten people who are brought to an empty mansion on an island. Two of them are assigned to lead the group according to the instructions left by the anonymous hosts. As the days by coming by, the lyrics of one particular nursery rhyme, one by one, all of the people face the consequences of their disturbing pasts. This is Agatha Christie’s one of the best-selling novels for a reason!

2. Murder On The Orient Express 

The luxurious Orient Express, which is all booked for the first time in a year, is hurdled by a snowstorm and must spend the night still on the tracks. In the morning, a prestigious American tycoon lies dead after being stabbed a dozen times. What’s strange is that his compartment was locked on the inside. 

Detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer among them, to avoid further killings. 

3. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd

The attractive widow Ferrars is reported dead because of a veronal overdose. The English village of King’s Abbot is in shock as not even twenty-four hours later, her fiancé- Roger Ackroyd, also gets murdered. 

This case is full of blackmail, violent deaths, and suicide. Hercule Poirot reaches conclusions that are one of the most startling ones in his entire career. 

By Gillian Flynn

4. Gone Girl 

On their fifth anniversary, Amy, the wife of Nick Dunne, disappears. Under the blanket of lies, inappropriate behavior, and deceits, Nick is the prime suspect of the police, Amy’s parents, and the media. 

The question is, where is Amy and whether she is dead or alive because even though Nick stands clueless and innocent, is he telling the truth? If not, where did he left his wife? And if yes, where and why did she go?

This is a dark story that exerts a force on the reader to keep flipping pages because of its well-put mix of wit, a wrong and toxic marriage, and chilling plot twists and revelations about the characters’ lives.

5. Sharp Objects 

Gillian Flynn does her magic yet again by writing this electrifying novel. 

Camille Preaker, a journalist, staying at a psych hospital for a brief period, returns to her small hometown on an assignment regarding a girl who has been murdered and another one who has been reported missing. 

Homecoming is tough because of her estranged family relations. As she is staying in her old Victorian family house, she realizes that she relates with the victims at an abnormal level. As she, along with Richard Willis, unravel the mysteries, she must also untangle and face the demons of her past to solve this puzzle and survive in this town. 

This book will leave the readers in shock by the wonders of how far the effects of a broken family reach. 

By Dan Brown

6. The Da Vinci code

Dan Brown writes his book with such intricate details that it is ought to blow away minds. The reader is likely to feel smarter after completing his books!

The Da Vinci Code is set up in the beautiful city of Paris. And as the name suggests, it relates to the artworks of legendary artist Leonardo Da Vinci. Robert Langdon, the protagonist, a Harvard professor, arrives in France to help the cops solve the bizarre and suspicious murder of the elderly curator of the Louvre. 

As the story moves ahead, shocking revelations are made that were secretly hidden behind the legendary paintings. Langdon and Sophie Neveu, the sidekick, find out astonishing facts about the curator’s life, age-old secret societies and follow the hidden clues to decipher the puzzle and find the reason behind the murder amidst running away from a faceless shadow that wants to destroy all shreds of evidence.

7. Angels And Demons

This is another gem of the mystery genre world by Dan Brown. This time, Robert Langdon is set on a journey to save the world from what seems to be a deadly scientific weapon after he is called to decipher a mysterious symbol seared on the chest of a murdered physicist. 

He does so with the help of Vittoria Vetra, who is a mysterious scientist. Together they embark on a dangerous journey in catacombs, across chapels alongside mysterious people. 

This movie is set up in the Vatican City around the Sistine Chapel and has its roots buried in history. The amalgamation of science and religion in this book is commendable. Similar to The Da Vinci Code, this story is also highly enthralling, and the plot twists leave the readers shook. 

By Other Authors

8. The Girl On The Train- Paula Hawkins 

Rachel Watson, a divorced middle-aged woman with an alcohol problem, travels back and forth to the city centre from her house on a train. On her way, she looks out of the train and creates stories about the people she observes in her mind. To her, these people in her mind have perfect lives which are way different from hers. 

This is her daily routine until one day when she somehow comes across something disturbing, which makes her an active part of the lives of these people. On top of this, Rachel suffers from a short-term memory loss because of alcoholism and has little recall of the incidents.  

This book will have the reader in confusion as to who the actual threat is. 

9. The Silent Patient- Alex Michaelides 

Five years ago, a woman with a superficially perfect life shot her husband dead and has not uttered a single word since. The reason behind her taking this step remains a mystery until a criminal psychotherapist gets obsessed with getting her to talk and unravel the reason behind her actions. 

Things take a turn when his own life takes a twisted path only to consume him and affect his motivation. 

10. A Murder On Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey 

Set up in Bombay in 1921, Perveen Mistry became the first female lawyer in India after joining her father’s law firm. Because of Perveen’s tragic personal past, she is inclined towards the protection of women’s rights. 

As she starts handling the will of the late Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy mill owner who left all his money for his three widows, who live on Malabar Hill, things take a turn when all of them sign to donate all the wealth to the charity. 

This raises suspicion in Perveen’s mind as she suspects that the widows might have been taken advantage of. As this escalates to murders, she takes on the responsibility of interrogating the truth behind the murders on Malabar Hill. 

11. The Hound Of Baskervilles- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

This is the story of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes was presumed dead until he returned to light after being notified about the suspicious murder of his friend Charles Baskerville. 

Rumour has it, that there is a strange demonic beast roaming which is behind these killings, and some supernatural powers are controlling this. Sherlock, being too rational to believe in this, puts all his wits and starts his quest to find the truth.

12. Anatomy Of A Murder- Robert Traver

Fredrick Manion is accused of murdering an innkeeper. The case seems almost absolutely against Manion until his lawyer Paul Biegler argues in his defense. Manion, with his unpredictable behavior, leaves the court challenged against his conviction, Biegler’s laid-back attitude makes the courtroom drama a thrilling adventure and its readers on the edge of their seats. 

13. The Detective- Roderick Thorp

This is a classic detective setup. Private eye Joe Leland has been asked by a widow to unravel the truth behind her husband’s death. As he dwells on the investigation, he realizes that the dead is one of his fighter friends from World War II. The further he moves in, Leland discovers unthinkable details about the victim’s past. 

14. The Lost Night- Andrea Bartz 

Lindsay wakes up after a drunken night having no recollection of the night before when she went to a hipster party. The only thing she remembers is that she found her close friend Edie dead in her apartment next to a suicide note. 

Ten years since that incident, although she has moved on from the incident and has stopped drinking, she finds a disturbing video from that night that makes her question what happened that night and the real reason behind Edie’s death. As the story takes twisted and unpredictable turns, she comes across the demons of her past and her involvement. 

15. Shutter Island- Dennis Lehane 

Ashecliffe Hospital is an asylum for the criminally insane on a distant, isolated island. Rachel Solando, a murderer, has escaped, and US Marshal Teddy Daniels is summoned to help the institution recapture her.

The main question is, how did a mentally ill, barefoot woman escape a locked room? As the investigation deepens, strange truths are revealed about the ill practices of the asylum and the mysteries behind different wards. This story encapsulates Gothic elements alongside modern-day psychology. 

The way this story is put up creates an atmosphere so captivating that it will make it difficult to keep down the book. 

16. The Wife Between Us- Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

When you start reading this, it might seem like a mainstream story with a love triangle in which the first wife is jealous of the younger and prettier woman who is her soon-to-be replacement. 

You will feel like you know the analogy of this triangle…but do you? Are your assumptions right? 

17. The Woman In White- Wilkie Collins 

This is probably the first psychological thriller ever written. It is set up in the late Victorian era. 

It might seem like a simple story of two lovers- Walter Hartright and Laura Fairlie at first, but as destiny does its deed, Laura gets engaged to Sir Percival Glyde. Things take a mysterious turn and get complex as a white woman starts roaming around the dimly lit streets of that area (as the name suggests).  

This story is set up in the dark paths and corridors of the English countryside houses, with a hint of Gothic horror and a puzzling story whose end will leave the readers satisfied. 

18. Rebecca- Daphne Du Maurier 

This classic gothic mystery is set up in a grand, old mansion which adds drama to this bone-chilling thriller. As the nameless protagonist marries Mr. de Winter, a wealthy man, and moves into his stately house, the Manderly, the shadows of his ex-wife start threatening life and peace. 

This story is elegantly crafted and stunningly told. 

19. The Big Sleep- Raymond Chandler

The plot of this story is somewhat simple, but the intricate details about the atmosphere and characters make this is a highly conventional book. Carmen Sternwood, the second daughter of a wealthy general, is being blackmailed. Philip Marlowe, a private eye, is hired to investigate this subject. 

The further the story develops, the business gets messier and more complicated, and a strange web of relations gets formed among the characters. The signs are complex for the readers to figure out the culprit, and this is what makes this a book that is hard to keep down. 

20. Night Film – Marisha Pessl 

A young woman Ashley Cordova’s dead body, is found at a deserted warehouse in Manhattan on a rainy October night. Although it is said that the cause of death is suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. 

McGrath, driven by curiosity to unleash the truth, digs deeper into the Cordova family only to find out dark and unsettling things.

The last time McGrath came across this family, or say this ‘dynasty,’ for another case, he lost his marriage and career. This time he might lose everything else. Is this a coincidence that there’s a second suspenseful death in this family?

If you are also intrigued by any of these books and want to find out the answers to these mysteries, don’t wait!! Go and grab a copy for yourself, sit back and relax.

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