The best mysteries and thrillers to challenge your mind and grip your heart

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer and avid reader of crime fiction. Since I was four, my parents instilled in me a love for books, which has become a part of who I am. Before I became a bestselling and award-winning author, I was a reader, and I’ve always wanted to create stories that I love to read. I’m passionate about plots that stimulate my mind and characters that sneak into my heart and stay there. When I’m not writing, I work as a graphic designer. In my spare time, I watch crime shows and true crime documentaries. And when my mind needs a break from crime, I switch to my alter ego and write romantic comedies.

I wrote...

Dare Game

By Melinda Colt,

Book cover of Dare Game

What is my book about?

Detective John O'Sullivan must find out if a bizarre murder in Dublin is part of a larger killing spree. The involvement of a rebellious teen and her single mother puts both their lives in danger as John races to protect them and uncover the killer's plot.

With unsolved murders worldwide, can John crack the case before the killer strikes again?

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Naked in Death

Melinda Colt Why did I love this book?

I believe the entire In Death series represents the best of the crime fiction/mystery genre. Frankly, Naked In Death is one of the reasons I began writing crime fiction. J.D. Robb gripped me from the start through one of the most interesting and complex characters I have encountered—Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

I was compelled to follow Eve’s journey as a troubled adult with a horrible past who becomes New York’s top cop, struggling to fit into society and the new life she’s thrown into when she meets Roarke. The whodunit was excellent, full of plot twists staged by beautifully rounded characters. The author builds a well-researched futuristic world where, in 2058, a lot has changed, but human impulses for evil have not.  

By J.D. Robb,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Naked in Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Crime and punishment is Lieutenant Eve Dallas's business. Murder her speciality. Named by the social worker who found her when she was a mere child roaming that city's streets, Eve Dallas is a New York police detective who lives for her job. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all - and knows her survival depends on her instincts. But she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, a charismatic Irish billionaire - and a suspect in Eve's latest murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's…

Book cover of Cutting Edge

Melinda Colt Why did I love this book?

Cutting Edge was my first book by Allison Brennan. The story started strong and captured me from the beginning into what turned out to be a fantastic plot.

I loved how the author gave us insight into the villain’s mind yet still managed to insert plenty of unexpected twists. I liked and identified with the heroine, Nora English, from the first paragraphs. The supporting characters were just as well constructed. This book had a little bit of everything, including a love story, which was a plus because I like romance in all books; it makes them real to me. 

By Allison Brennan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cutting Edge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


When security specialist Duke Rogan’s state-of-the-art computer system fails at a controversial bio-tech firm, a raging inferno spreads, and a grotesquely charred body is discovered in the aftermath. With an extremist anti-technology group claiming responsibility, the case grows even more complex when the victim’s autopsy unexpectedly reveals that he bled to death. Heading the FBI’s domestic terrorism unit, Agent Nora English is fiercely determined to track and stop a sadistic assassin.

Book cover of Beneath Devil's Bridge

Melinda Colt Why did I love this book?

The excellent mystery thriller Beneath Devil’s Bridge was built around a cold case unearthed by podcaster Trinity Scott. The author’s writing is beautiful and expressive. From the start, I sympathized with and wanted justice for Leena, the awkward fourteen-year-old girl who was the victim of a brutal murder.

The insinuation that her killer was not punished immediately gripped my interest. I followed Trinity and Rachel, the detective who investigated the crime, as the story unraveled between then and now, interlaced with heartbreaking chapters from Leena’s perspective. Knowing this was inspired by an actual murder made it even more intense and heartbreaking. As a reader, I was one hundred percent invested in the story. As a fan of Loreth Anne White, I felt this was one of her best books.

By Loreth Anne White,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Beneath Devil's Bridge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A true crime podcast yields new revelations about a shocking murder in a riveting novel of suspense by Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author Loreth Anne White.

True crime podcaster Trinity Scott is chasing breakout success, and her brand-new serial may get her there. Her subject is Clayton Jay Pelley. More than two decades ago, the respected family man and guidance counselor confessed to the brutal murder of teenage student Leena Rai. But why he killed her has always been a mystery.

In a series of exclusive interviews from prison, Clayton discloses to Trinity the truth about what happened…

Book cover of Find Her

Melinda Colt Why did I love this book?

Find Her was my introduction to the D.D. Warren series and a book I couldn’t put down. While the primary protagonist, Detective Warren, played a typical character often seen in crime fiction, Flora Dane completely stole the show. After being the victim of a long, torturous kidnapping, she evolves into a fascinating vigilante.

Flora Dane is such a complex and powerful character that it’s no wonder she appears in more books in this series. The author did her research, and her insight into human psychology and victims’ pathology helped build exceptional characters. The plot is excellent, tense, and full of twists. I found myself thinking about the story even when I wasn’t reading. I think Find Her is a must-read for mystery, suspense, and thriller lovers.  

By Lisa Gardner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Find Her as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN ESCAPED KIDNAPPING VICTIM BECOMES AN AVENGER OF INNOCENTS. CAN SHE ESCAPE WHEN SHE'S TARGETED AGAIN? The eighth novel in Sunday Times bestseller Lisa Gardner's Detective D. D. Warren series. Harlan Coben says FIND HER is 'taut psychological suspense' which 'should not be missed'.


472 days locked in a pine box, at the mercy of a madman.

Flora Dane survived her hell with only one goal:
develop all the deadly skills necessary to make sure she's never caught again.


Detective D.D. Warren believes that Flora may be the key to finding missing college…

Book cover of Now You See Me

Melinda Colt Why did I love this book?

Book one in the Lacey Flint series, Now You See Me, got me hooked on the author and British mysteries. The writing style is evocative and deeply atmospheric, reminding me of gothic novels with a modern aspect.

I liked Lacey as a character, but what I found most compelling was the plot, which was a literary spider web. Although it was too graphic for my taste in places, the story was riveting enough to keep me engrossed until the very last page. I could barely keep track of all the twists and turns. By the time I finished reading, I had applauded the mind that could come up with such a complex story. 

By Sharon Bolton, Sharon Bolton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Now You See Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This breathtaking and exhilarating thriller from bestselling author Sharon Bolton packs a real punch: gruesome, atmospheric and utterly compelling, it relentlessly drives the reader on in their search uncover the truth. It twists and it turns and is taut with mystery and suspense...Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Cara Hunter and Karin Slaughter.

'Really special' -- LEE CHILD
'Chilling and mesmerising' -- TESS GERRITSEN
'Probably one of the best thrillers that you will read all year' -- Choice Magazine
'Brilliant story, brilliant writer' -- ***** Reader review
'A brilliantly fast-paced crime novel' -- ***** Reader review
'A real page-turner' --…

You might also like...

Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

Book cover of Return to Hope Creek

Alyssa J. Montgomery Author Of A Spanish Seduction

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Australian USA Today bestselling romance author who writes contemporary romance and uses the pen name Alyssa James to write medieval romance. I think the makeover trope resonates with me because although I’m no beauty queen now, I was definitely an ugly duckling in my teens. For reasons best known to him, my father insisted on close-cropped hair, and financial circumstances dictated out-of-style hand-me-down clothing. After university, I found my own style, but it wasn’t until I was accepted as an international flight attendant that I believed that I couldn’t be all that ugly if Qantas employed me!

Alyssa's book list on makeover romances

What is my book about?

Return to Hope Creek is a second-chance rural romance set in Australia.

Stella Simpson's career and engagement are over. She returns to the rural community of Hope Creek to heal, unaware her high school and college sweetheart, Mitchell Scott, has also moved back to town to do some healing of his own.

Mitchell, a former NFL quarterback, doesn't need the complication of encountering Stella again so long after the messy end to their relationship, but as each tries to build a new life, they are drawn together and find their chemistry is just as strong as ever.

Will their love be stronger the second time around?

Return to Hope Creek

By Alyssa J. Montgomery,

What is this book about?

When two old flames come back to their home town, sparks are bound to ignite. A rural romance from USA Today bestselling author Alyssa J. Montgomery.

A horrific car accident ended former world number-one Stella Simpson’s tennis career, and a betrayal ended her relationship with her fiancé/coach. When a family friend offers to sell her half of a property in the rural community where she grew up, it seems like the perfect place to escape, heal and begin the next phase of her life. Until she discovers that the man who broke her heart ten years ago has bought the…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Boston, billionaires, and women?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Boston, billionaires, and women.

Boston Explore 179 books about Boston
Billionaires Explore 44 books about billionaires
Women Explore 590 books about women