The best books to mix crime & romance

Who am I?

I adore suspense, mystery, and romance, but more so, I love books that inspire me and also aren’t necessarily easy to figure out. I’m a published and Christy award-winning author in this genre myself, but I have been reading this genre for over thirty-three years. I would definitely have to say my qualifications as a reader of suspense and mystery far outweigh those of an author. When I read suspense and romance, I look for two key elements: hard-to-figure out suspense and believable romance. I’m not out for bells and whistles as a reader, but instead look for well-crafted stories that are more like a puzzle that must be solved. 


I wrote...

The Souls of Lost Lake

By Jaime Jo Wright,

Book cover of The Souls of Lost Lake

What is my book about?

Wren Blythe has long enjoyed living in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. But when a little girl in the area goes missing, an all-out search ensues, reviving the decades-old campfire story of Ava Coons, the murderess who is believed to still roam the forest. Joining the search, Wren stumbles upon the Coonses' cabin ruins and a sinister mystery she is determined to unearth.

In 1930, Ava Coons has spent the last several years carrying the mantle of mystery since the day she emerged from the woods as a thirteen-year-old girl, spattered with blood, dragging a logger's ax. She has accepted she will never remember what happened to her family. After a member of the town is murdered, and another goes missing, rumors spread that Ava's secret is perhaps more malicious than previously imagined.

The books I picked & why

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Her Darkest Secret

By Jessica R. Patch,

Book cover of Her Darkest Secret

Why this book?

Jessica Patch is putting on her crown as the master of psychological creepy and she has made her mark with this novel. As an avid fan of the television show Criminal Minds, this book delivered all of that intrigue, creep, serial killer, and shivers while also merging it with faith and solid relationships. I thoroughly enjoy Jessica Patch, but definitely leave a light on!


Living Lies

By Natalie Walters,

Book cover of Living Lies

Why this book?

This was the first book I read from Natalie Walters and it was fabulous! She is an auto-buy for me with a riveting story that is not only crime-centric but with relatable and real characters! Her romance is light and expertly woven through a story that will keep you guessing, biting your fingernails, and skipping dinner!


The Killing Tide

By Dani Pettrey,

Book cover of The Killing Tide

Why this book?

Dani Pettrey is the master of suspense and romance! So if you’re wanting a story that will thrill you in alllllll the feels, this is it! It’s the first of a trilogy and has characters you will fast be drawn to. She doesn’t hold back on the action or the suspense. Pettrey provides us with a story that is fast-paced and designed to be read with your eyes half-closed holding your breath for the next high-octane moment. And her heroes? Don’t get me started. (insert all the heart emojis here)


The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

By Michelle Griep,

Book cover of The Thief of Blackfriars Lane

Why this book?

Who doesn’t love history and suspense and romance all piled together into one story? Also, the streets of London are a fabulous place to kick off this combo, and Michelle Griep does it in style and with finesse. I thoroughly devoured this book as a fun-paced, historical suspense with a hero who isn’t an alpha, but is definitely a hero, and a heroine who is pretty much an alpha in her own right and will continue to prove it (and also stay loveable). This is such a great read and definitely one for the keeper shelf!


Lady Jayne Disappears

By Joanna Davidson Politano,

Book cover of Lady Jayne Disappears

Why this book?

Politano brings history to life in such a drama-filled, Gothic nature in a blend of Wuthering Heights meets Northanger Abbey. The story of a missing mother and lady, family secrets and scandals, and more are all the ghosts that plague the pages of this deliciously dark and delightfully hope-filled book. This was Politano’s debut novel, and yet it has become one of my all-time favorites and will definitely be read again and again. A true classic for the annals of Christian fiction.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, murders, and family secrets?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, murders, and family secrets.

Romantic Love Explore 417 books about romantic love
Murders Explore 340 books about murders
Family Secrets Explore 83 books about family secrets

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Better Sister, Royal Decoy, and Where the Crawdads Sing if you like this list.