The most recommended new mystery books

Who picked these books? Meet our 201 experts.

201 authors created a book list with a new mystery book, and here are their favorites. 

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Book cover of The Birthday Party

Martin S. Fridson Author Of The Little Book of Picking Top Stocks: How to Spot Hidden Gems

From Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Financial analyst History buff Music lover

Martin's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Martin S. Fridson Why did Martin love this book?

I love the author’s style, which goes deeply into character and motivations in an unhurried way. 

The suspense in this noir builds powerfully as it takes the time to detail the remote setting of the events and interactions. Here is one thriller that definitely cannot be called a guilty pleasure, given the intense involvement to which it compels you.

By Laurent Mauvignier, Daniel Levin Becker (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buried deep in rural France, little remains of the isolated hamlet of the Three Lone Girls, save a few houses and a curiously assembled quartet: Patrice Bergogne, inheritor of his family's farm; his wife, Marion; their daughter, Ida; and their neighbour, Christine, an artist. While Patrice plans a surprise for his wife's fortieth birthday, inexplicable events start to disrupt the hamlet's quiet existence: anonymous, menacing letters, an unfamiliar car rolling up the driveway. And as night falls, strangers stalk the houses, unleashing a nightmarish chain of events.

Told in rhythmic, propulsive prose that weaves seamlessly from one consciousness to the…


Book cover of A Game of Deceit

D.L. Marshall Author Of Anthrax Island

From D.L.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Author Rusty car nut Skate dad History enthusiast Book hoarder

D.L.'s 3 favorite reads in 2023

D.L. Marshall Why did D.L. love this book?

I was out of breath when I finished this.

This book hops between locales brilliantly, and following Knox through the claustrophobic maze of Kowloon walled city of was fantastic. The highlight for me - if you can call it that - was a certain scene in a grain silo - the stuff of nightmares.

Somehow, these books manage to improve each time, which is no mean feat when the first was my favorite spy novel in years. But mostly, I’m excited that this trilogy, as it stands so far, looks poised to be a springboard into a new world with a deadlier foe. I really hope we’ll see more!

By Tim Glister,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this crackerjack Cold War thriller, MI5 faces a deadly threat, one only Richard Knox can avert. But he only has six days and the clock is ticking fast.

How long can you survive in the shadows?

Richard Knox, freshly returned to active duty after a year out of the field, is ordered to uncover the invisible enemy that's infiltrated the Service in his absence.

His quest takes him to Hong Kong, a city on the brink of chaos, where he discovers the lines between friend and foe have never been more blurred.

Who is behind the assault on MI5?…


Book cover of Blood Sugar

Tamim Ansary Author Of The Invention of Yesterday: A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection

From Tamim's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Storyteller Afghan American History buff Secular mystic

Tamim's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Tamim Ansary Why did Tamim love this book?

On the surface, Blood Sugar seems like a suspense thriller told in workman-like prose without literary pretensions: it just sets forth what happened next and next and next, hooking you with suspense that keeps tightening until your fingers are sore from gripping the book.

Many might finish the novel and see nothing more. I however saw Rotschild doing here what Nabokov did in Lolita. The key lies in the fact that the story is told in first person by an unreliable narrator. After you’ve finished it, you find yourself pondering what really happened and who the various characters really are—because, remember, you don’t know anything about any of them except through the eyes of that unreliable first-person telling the story. 

By Sascha Rothchild,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

She's accused of four murders. She's only guilty of three...

When Ruby was a child growing up in Miami, she saw a boy from her school struggling against the ocean waves while his parents were preoccupied. Instead of helping him, Ruby dove under the water and held his ankle down until he drowned. She waited to feel guilty for it, but she never did.

And, as Ruby will argue in her senior thesis while studying psychology at Yale, guilt is sort of like eating ice cream while on a diet - if you're already feeling bad, why not eat the…


Conditions are Different After Dark

By Owen W. Knight,

Book cover of Conditions are Different After Dark

Owen W. Knight Author Of The Visitors

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Visionary Compassionate Imaginative Conspiracist Apophenia (or apophenic)

Owen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In 1662, a man is wrongly executed for signing the death warrant of Charles I. Awaiting execution, he asks to speak with a priest, to whom he declares a curse on the village that betrayed him. The priest responds with a counter-curse, leaving just one option to nullify it.

Over four centuries later, Faith and James move to the country to start a new life and a family. They discover their village lives under the curse uttered by the hanged man. Could their arrival be connected? They fear their choice of new home is no coincidence. Unexplained events hint at threats or warnings to leave. They become convinced the village remains cursed despite their friends’ denials. Who can they trust, and who are potential enemies?

Conditions are Different After Dark

By Owen W. Knight,

What is this book about?

In 1660, a man is wrongly executed for signing the death warrant of Charles I. While awaiting execution, he asks to speak with a priest, to whom he declares a curse on the village that betrayed him. The priest responds with a counter-curse, leaving just one option to nullify it.
Over four centuries later, Faith and James move to the country to start a new life and a family. They learn that their village lives under the curse uttered by the hanged man. Could their arrival be connected?
Faith and James fear that their choice of a new home is…


Book cover of Murder in the Family

Stephen Henning Author Of Jesus of the North

From Stephen's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Writer Runner Sci fi lover Film maker Cat lover

Stephen's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Stephen's 9-year-old's favorite books.

Stephen Henning Why did Stephen love this book?

Murder in the Family is a hurricane of fresh air in the whodunnit genre. It was one of my holiday reads, and from the moment I started, I didn’t want to put it down.

I was even disappointed when my flight touched down because I wanted to keep going. The worst part about the book was nearing the end, because I knew that there’d be no way my second book could live up to it. I haven’t felt like that about a book in years.

It’s written in the style of a script from a Netflix true crime show. If I’d known that in advance, I might not have bought it, because I would have assumed that would get tedious. But Cara Hunter writes with such skill that it reads like you’re watching the show. In summary: Amazing!

By Cara Hunter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE *INSTANT* NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND TORONTO STA BESTSELLER *THE FIRST EVER STAND-ALONE FROM AUTHOR OF THE DI ADAM FAWLEY MILLION-COPIES-SOLD SERIES*

**A Financial Times Best Book of 2023**

**A Guardian Best Crime and Thriller book of 2023**

'This devilishly clever, ground-breaking novel will keep you guessing' IAN RANKIN

'This book had me riveted to the page. It is original, inventive and totally 21st Century... Just brilliant!' JANICE HALLETT

From the author of IN THE DARK and CLOSE TO HOME comes a brilliant standalone thriller you'll never forget

----

IT WAS A CASE THAT GRIPPED THE NATION

LUKE…


Book cover of Forbidden City

Alysa Wishingrad Author Of The Verdigris Pawn

From my list on for chess lovers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love games; board games, card games, head games*; any kind of situation in which employing strategy is the only way forward. And yet, I’m not a big game player—aside from word games. I’m also endlessly fascinated by the mechanisms of power and how societies arrange themselves. The marriage between writing and understanding politics (in the traditional, not the partisan sense) is my true north. Writing a book in which a chess-like game provides the foundation felt inevitable for me, for what game better explores the dynamics of power and strategy? *I don’t play head games, but I do find manipulation fascinating fodder for writing.

Alysa's book list on for chess lovers

Alysa Wishingrad Why did Alysa love this book?

Let me begin by saying that if you haven’t yet read the first two books in the City Spies series, please get on it. Packed with adventure, fantastic characters, and brilliant plots twists, the entire series is a complete treat. As with the two previous installments, the book follows a diverse group of international kids who’ve been brought together to keep the world safe from the nefarious Umbra, a secret organization bent on world domination. The plot of this adventure revolves around team member, Paris, when he’s sent undercover to an international chess tournament to keep tabs on the son of a North Korean nuclear physicist. Like a well-played game of chess, the story relies on clever tactics, keen insights into your opponent, and good old-fashioned strategy.

By James Ponti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Forbidden City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

In this third “thrilling” (Kirkus Reviews) installment in the New York Times bestselling series from Edgar Award winner James Ponti, the young group of spies help a fellow agent in another international adventure perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

After taking down a mole within their organization, the City Spies are ready for their next mission—once again using their unique skills and ability to infiltrate places adults can’t. The sinister Umbra has their sights set on recruiting a North Korean nuclear physicist by any means necessary, and the City Spies plan to keep…


Book cover of Fearless

Graham Smith Author Of The Flood

From Graham's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Father Hotelier Author Sportsfan Joiner

Graham's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Graham Smith Why did Graham love this book?

Craven is an author whose career I have been following for several years as he’s a friend, but that’s not the reason he’s made this list.

With Fearless he’s embarked on a new series and not just hit the ground running, but left a crater while setting an Olympic record. Ben Koenig is a fascinating character and while he’s firmly in the Jack Reacher mold, he’s different enough for the drawing of comparisons to be little more than an academic exercise.

Strong plotting, excellent characterization, and a dry wit peppering the narrative make Fearless a wonderful introduction to a fascinating character.

By M.W. Craven,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

MAJOR STREAMING NEWS TO COME

'Koenig's insouciant style and sharp thinking pack a very hefty punch' The Times

'A superb thriller that will have everyone gasping' David Baldacci

'Badass and brilliant' Chris Whitaker

' "Thrill-ride" gets tossed around a little too generously these days, but Craven has written one. A highly entertaining, brilliantly violent tale, full of unforgettable set-pieces' Peter Swanson

'A superbly executed thriller with intelligence, wit, humour and rib cracking action' Amer Anwar

Five million reasons why Ben Koenig had to disappear. Only one to bring him back . . .

Ben Koenig is a ghost. He doesn't…


Book cover of The Socialite's Guide to Murder

T.A. Willberg Author Of Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose

From my list on historical mysteries with female protagonists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Books have always been an escape for me, historical mysteries in particular. Getting lost in another world, another time and someone else’s life is like therapy for me and something I will never tire of. Which is perhaps why I went on to write my own historical mystery trilogy. The Marion Lane series consists of The Midnight Murder, The Deadly Rose, and The Raven’s Revenge—all set in 1950’s London, in a mystical private detective agency concealed beneath the city streets. 

T.A.'s book list on historical mysteries with female protagonists

T.A. Willberg Why did T.A. love this book?

Set in 1958, Manhattan, at the fictional Pinnacle Hotel, this is a closed-setting, classic cozy mystery that I really adored. The story’s lead—Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy (first off, what a name, right?)—is such a brilliantly written character. I love how ditzy and superficial she seems at the beginning, but as the plot unravels, and her sleuthing skills are put to the test, we get to see her complexities and flaws and learn to love her. What I love even more is that this book is the first in a (hopefully) long-running series. Encore, Evelyn! 

By S. K. Golden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Socialite's Guide to Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hotel was her refuge, but scandal is afoot—and a killer stalks the halls in this charming series debut perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.

It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and…


Book cover of A Killing of Innocents

Judith Mathison Author Of Dead Lawyers

From Judith's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Mystery lover Retired attorney Anglophile

Judith's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Judith Mathison Why did Judith love this book?

Deborah Crombie, a Texan, has authored this successful British series featuring two Scotland Yard detectives, Det. Sup. Duncan Kincaid and his wife Det. Insp. Gemma James. A Killing of Innocents is the 14th entry and it does not disappoint.

First, because Crombie knows the Brits well and writes like a native. Second, Crombie combines clever plots with a realistic portrayal of the couple and their balancing act of demanding police work while also maintaining a blended family with three children. 

The story concerns a stabbing victim Duncan notices in a pub. He is called to investigate the homicide, and so is Gemma, now employed at a different branch, but sent as part of a task force on the increase in knife crimes in London. Their parallel investigations twist and turn as another killing occurs, upping the ante to solve the murders.

Crombie highlights the different approaches Duncan and Gemma take…

By Deborah Crombie,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Killing of Innocents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestseller Deborah Crombie returns with a new novel featuring Scotland Yard detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James as they race to solve the shocking murder of a young woman before panic spreads across London.

On a rainy November evening, trainee doctor Sasha Johnson hurries through the evening crowd in London's historic Russell Square. Out of the darkness, someone jostles her as they brush past. A moment later, Sasha stumbles, then collapses. When Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his sergeant, Doug Cullen, are called to the scene, they discover that she's been stabbed. 

Kincaid immediately calls in his…


Book cover of Mastering the Art of French Murder

D.J. Adamson Author Of Admit to Mayhem

From my list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father estranged himself from his sister because she was an alcoholic. I never met my aunt. However, when looking for a strong character for my Lilian Dove Mystery Series, I decided this aunt was a good mentoring character. Fictionally, I gave my aunt sobriety, but her recovery is not so much from drinking as it is recovering from the past to take on life anew. The mysteries Lillian Dove becomes involved her help her see how to do this. And first, she needs to learn to admit life is full of mayhem. Small-town Iowa amateur sleuth who ends up owning a liquor store.

D.J.'s book list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend

D.J. Adamson Why did D.J. love this book?

This book is incredibly enjoyable to read, to the point where I'm already planning on revisiting it purely for my own pleasure, without the intention of writing a review.

The protagonist is not only sweet and wonderful, but the other characters, including Julia Child and two gay uncles, are exceptionally well-developed and intriguing. They are so rich in character that I find myself longing to live across the street from them or even contemplate moving to Paris. 

By Colleen Cambridge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mastering the Art of French Murder as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Marie Benedict, Nita Prose, and of course, Julia Child, will adore this magnifique new mystery set in Paris and starring Julia Child’s (fictional) best friend, confidante, and fellow American. From the acclaimed author of Murder at Mallowan Hall, this delightful new book provides a fresh perspective on the iconic chef’s years in post-WWII Paris.

“Enchanting…Cambridge captures Child’s distinct voice and energy so perfectly. Expect to leave this vacation hoping for a return trip.” –Publishers Weekly

As Paris rediscovers its joie de vivre, Tabitha Knight, recently arrived from Detroit for an extended stay with her French grandfather,…


Book cover of The Island of Lost Girls

Karen E. Olson Author Of An Inconvenient Wife: A Modern Tudor Mystery

From my list on mysteries told from more than one point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a former journalist, I was trained to look at all sides of a story. When I read, I am drawn to books that have multiple characters with their own narratives. Sometimes the stories intersect with an “aha!” moment, and sometimes they’re told side-by-side inside each character’s head. Either way, it’s intriguing to have different perspectives—especially in a mystery or thriller. That’s why I use the points of view of three wives in An Inconvenient Wife to give my readers insight into each of these fascinating women.

Karen's book list on mysteries told from more than one point of view

Karen E. Olson Why did Karen love this book?

I have always been drawn to stories that are ripped from the headlines but are still so entirely their own.

When I first got the book, I was a little daunted by the length but as I read, I discovered I couldn’t put it down and was so sorry when it was over. A missing girl, a desperate mother—all set against the backdrop of an island that’s the playground of the ultra-wealthy. What’s not to love?

By Alex Marwood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Island of Lost Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Gripping, stomach-churning . . . Marwood is in a class of her own' LISA JEWELL

'Heart stopping' SUNDAY TIMES, CRIME BOOK OF THE MONTH

'A ripped-from-the-headlines thriller . . . I couldn't put it down' MARK EDWARDS
________________

Sun-drenched glamour and obscene wealth hide the darkest of secrets and lost girls in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller.

1985
For twelve-year-old Mercedes, La Kastellana is the place she calls home. It is an island untouched by the modern world, with deep-rooted traditions - though that is all about to change with the arrival of multimillionaire Matthew Meade and his spoiled young daughter, Tatiana.…