The best murder mysteries to brighten your day, from ghosts to vicars to drag queens…

Why am I passionate about this?

I adore crime fiction, especially mysteries. They make sense. In the real world, crime rarely has the resolution of fiction, and almost never has Belgian detectives with very neat moustaches, or old ladies solving a who-dunnit… I grew up reading these books, mentally inhaling everything from Christie to Rankin to McDermid, and now I spend my days writing brutal but quite silly murders solved by a woman who would really rather wear an old grey fleece and jeans than a sparkly dress, and her friends, the fictional TRASH drag family. Murder mysteries are fun – perfect escapism. In a world so messed up as ours is right now, don’t we need to escape into fiction?


I wrote...

Death in Heels

By Kitty Murphy,

Book cover of Death in Heels

What is my book about?

The first in a series of murder mysteries set in a fictional Dublin drag scene – think Poirot meets Priscilla!

From the gutter to the stars, from broken friendships to shattered dreams, to a seven-foot-tall drag queen riding through Dublin on the back of a moped. It’s a classic murder mystery, but not as you know it.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Murder Before Evensong

Kitty Murphy Why did I love this book?

Great characters, high drama over a toilet, and a very murdery murder. Perfect cozy crime.

Canon Daniel Clement stands between two sides of a war over the installation of a new toilet in the church. The writing is gentle and yet brilliant, comfortable and funny, and also has moments of poignant tenderness. 

Extra points for having dogs in the story.

By Richard Coles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Murder Before Evensong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE FIRST NOVEL IN THE REVEREND RICHARD COLES' CANON CELEMENT MYSTERY SERIES

'Cosy crime with a cutting edge'
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

'Even better than I knew it would be'
INDIA KNIGHT, THE SUNDAY TIMES

'Devotees of Midsomer Murders and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple stories will feel most at home here'
GUARDIAN

'Charming and funny'
OBSERVER, Thriller of the Month

'I've been waiting for a novel with vicars, rude old ladies, murder and sausage dogs ... et voila!'
DAWN FRENCH

'The unlikely heir to Barbara Pym'
DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Whodunnit fans can give praise and rejoice'
IAN RANKIN

'A cunning whodunnit... A sharp…


Book cover of Grave Expectations

Kitty Murphy Why did I love this book?

Think Rentaghost, but with a dead, sulky teenager running the show.

I read this for review and I loved this book so much. It’s great fun and sassy as hell, and the deaths – and the dead – are very well written.

A play on the classic country house mystery, Grave Expectations pulls together nods to true crime and to clairvoyance, adding a dash of modern pop culture. 

By Alice Bell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A pacy and hilarious debut crime novel, in which a burnt-out Millennial medium must utilize her ability to see ghosts to figure out which member(s) of a posh English family are guilty of murder.

Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English countryside: performing a seance for the family matriarch's 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered…


Book cover of The Marlow Murder Club

Kitty Murphy Why did I love this book?

Who doesn’t enjoy a grumpy, demanding old lady with a mind of her own and a brain that sees through other people’s nonsense?

Judith Potts loves crosswords, and wild swimming, and she doesn’t need anyone else in her life, let alone a man. I adore her.

The other characters are equally well written and together the women use their minds and their friendship to solve what the police can’t  – it’s a cozy enough mystery but it’s really a puzzle-style crime, too.

Cracking read from the author of Death In Paradise.

By Robert Thorogood,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Marlow Murder Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first in a stunning new series introducing the Marlow Murder Club!

'A hugely enjoyable murder mystery written with wonderful verve, humour and compassion. Utterly delightful' Robert Webb

'I love Robert Thorogood's writing' Peter James

From the creator of the BBC One hit TV series, Death in Paradise

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero...

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there's no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep…


Book cover of Unsolved

Kitty Murphy Why did I love this book?

Darker than the others on my list, this is a dip into the world of true crime podcasts and a really twisty, edgy read.

The main character, Cal Lovett, is passionate about justice, and about getting to the root of a crime – not just for the family and the people involved, but for doing the right thing.

This book kept me awake until I’d finished it, and blew me away by the end.

The word ‘gripping’ is massively overused in crime fiction reviews but Unsolved is as gripping as a gripping thing that grips the reader. Hard.

By Heather Critchlow,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A remarkable suspense debut... exciting and unsettling.' A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

He won't rest until he finds out the truth...

Cal Lovett is obsessed with finding justice for the families of missing people. His true crime podcast is his way of helping others, even if he can't help himself.

His sister, Margot, disappeared when he was a child. Only one man seems to know something. But he's behind bars and can't be trusted.

So when the family of a missing Scottish woman begs for his help, he heads to Aberdeenshire in search of the truth.…


Book cover of Murder on the Orient Express

Kitty Murphy Why did I love this book?

I hate this book for all the reasons I love it: because it’s perfect.

It’s a perfect crime novel and a perfect mystery, with perfectly awful characters, set in a perfectly fabulous situation, and as a mystery writer I know I will never ever top Christie’s brilliance but oh my, any chance I have, I fall into this story.

Romance. Deception. Murder. Shiny things.

Genius.

Forget the movie, pick up the real thing. Poirot at his best.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Murder on the Orient Express as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE MOST WIDELY READ MYSTERY OF ALL TIME—NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY KENNETH BRANAGH AND PRODUCED BY RIDLEY SCOTT!

“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s…


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The Blue Prussian

By Eve Penrose,

Book cover of The Blue Prussian

Eve Penrose

New book alert!

What is my book about?

The Blue Prussian is a spellbinding story told by Blake O’Brien, a beautiful, young executive with a globetrotting career. Blake returns to her native Manhattan from San Francisco after escaping—or so she thinks—her marriage to a dashing man who turned out to be a prince of darkness. She had been hoping for a fresh start but learns that she has been poisoned with thallium—a deadly neurotoxin referred to as the poisoner’s poison.

Blake is treated with the only known antidote—Prussian blue—the same synthetic pigment with the deeply saturated hue used in dazzling masterpieces like The Starry Night and The Great…

The Blue Prussian

By Eve Penrose,

What is this book about?

"A modern-day Gaslight"

The Blue Prussian is a spellbinding story told by Blake O'Brien, a beautiful, young executive with a globetrotting career. Blake returns to her native Manhattan from San Francisco after escaping—or so she thinks—her marriage to a dashing man who turned out to be a prince of darkness. She had been hoping for a fresh start but learns that she has been poisoned with thallium—a deadly neurotoxin referred to as the poisoner's poison.

Blake is treated with the only known antidote—Prussian blue—the same synthetic pigment with the deeply saturated hue used in dazzling masterpieces like The Starry Night…


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