9 Enthralling Mystery Novels That Will Keep You Guessing

Whether it's about a hardened detective or an amateur sleuth, a good mystery can be a fun and thrilling read. The looming questions make you eager to skip to the end and figure out what's really going on, but getting there is half the fun with the well-written mystery novels listed here. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Enthralling Mystery Novels That Will Keep You Guessing

Title Author More by the Author
1. An Unhappy Medium Dawn Eastman Pall in the Family Be Careful What You Witch For
2. The Curse of the Bridal Chamber Hunter Murphy Imogene in New Orleans
3. IQ Joe Ide Righteous Wrecked
4. A Serpentine Affair Tina Seskis The Honeymoon One Step Too Far
5. Plaid and Plagiarism Molly MacRae Last Wool and Testament Scones and Scoundrels
6. The Teller Jonathan Stone Moving Day Days of Night
7. Death of an Alchemist Mary Lawrence The Alchemist's Daughter Death at St. Vedast
8. The Poisoned Rose D. Daniel Judson The Bone Orchard The Gin Palace
9. Mr. Flood's Last Resort Jess Kidd Himself

The History of the Mystery Genre

Some of the world's oldest known stories used the same elements that make modern mysteries so enticing. Homer's famous epic poem The Odyssey is something of a prototype of the genre. The hero's life is in constant danger as he uses his cunning to solve problems and overcome his enemies. But the genre isn't exclusive to Western culture. One of the stories in One Thousand and One Nights (commonly known as Arabian Nights) is considered to be the oldest known murder mystery. This tale, The Three Apples, is full of plot twists and revolves around a mysterious death. Centuries later, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle popularized the genre with his stories about the now-famous Sherlock Holmes. Eventually, of course, mystery made its way from the pages of books to the big screen. Some of the most well-known of these movies were directed by Alfred Hitchcock, who worked on several classics throughout his career, including Psycho, Vertigo, and Rear Window.

Classic Mystery Books

If you're new to the genre, consider diving into its rich history with these classics:

  1. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  4. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  5. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The History & Appeal of Mystery

In Depth

Nothing keeps you on the edge of your seat like a good mystery. Clever characters racing against the clock to uncover well-kept secrets is enough to keep any reader turning pages for hours at a time. In no particular order, here are nine fascinating mystery novels that will keep you guessing until the very end.

#1: "An Unhappy Medium" by Dawn Eastman. Clyde is a cop who is gifted with psychic abilities. Her nephew is organizing a Zombie Fun Run when her sister, Grace, whom she hasn't seen in years, returns home. Clyde has a strange feeling about everything that's going on, and her intuition is right. One of the participants in the fun run is murdered, and Grace goes missing. The protagonist needs to unmask the killer and search for Grace at the same time, to prevent people from suspecting that her sister is the murderer.

#2: "The Curse of the Bridal Chamber" by Hunter Murphy. Imogene and her family go to Crystal Springs Magical Park in Florida to attend a mermaid convention. While they are having fun on a boat ride, a dead body emerges from the spring. Billy, Imogene's son, is implicated as the killer. The main character must find the real culprit to clear her son's name. In doing so, she uncovers dark secrets in every corner of the park.

Billy, Imogene's son, is implicated as the killer.

#3: "I.Q." by Joe Ide. Isaiah Quintabe or "I.Q." lives in a neighborhood plagued with many unsolved murder and kidnapping cases. He possesses a near-genius intellect and extraordinary inductive reasoning skills, making him a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. His gifts are a valuable asset to the police force. When the life of a rap mogul is threatened, IQ takes on the case. But he couldn't have anticipated the dangers involved.

#4: "A Serpentine Affair" by Tina Seskis. Six former high school classmates attend their 25th reunion. As fun as the gathering may sound, all of them feel awkward about it. Two of them have slept with each other's partners, while another character suspects that one of the girls is her husband's mistress. As the evening draws to a close, one of them goes missing. Every girl is a suspect. As they search for their classmate, their trust is tested as more intriguing secrets are revealed.

#5: "Plaid and Plagiarism" by Molly MacRae. Four women, led by Janet Marsh, move to a town in Scotland to start anew. Soon, they own a bookshop, a teahouse, and an inn. Things go well for them until one day, Janet's house is heavily vandalized. Una Graham, a gossip columnist with a bad reputation, becomes the prime suspect. But when her dead body is found in Janet's garden, a perplexing puzzle begins. As the lead character and her gang investigate the murder case, the list of suspects grows longer and the mystery gets deeper and darker.

Things go well for them until one day, Janet's house is heavily vandalized.

#6: "The Teller" by Jonathan Stone. As a bank teller, Elaine's paycheck is not enough to support her disabled mother. She gets a chance to get a hefty amount of money when one of her clients dies. She quickly transfers the dead man's savings into her own account. Just as Elaine is about to leave the country with the money, things turn for the worst. Her mother dies and the government goes after all the rich man's assets, including his bank accounts. As more people are inclined to get the riches from her, she needs to untangle herself from the dangerous web that she created.

#7: "Death of an Alchemist" by Mary Lawrence. Bianca is the daughter of an alchemist who attends to poor and sick people. When her husband becomes ill, she seeks help from Ferris, an experienced alchemist who is currently working on the Elixir of Life, a potion that can cure any sickness. Bianca wants to know about the elixir's formula but, unfortunately, Ferris is murdered and his journal is stolen. The protagonist goes on a mission to retrieve the journal, possibly at the expense of her own life.

#8: "The Poisoned Rose" by Daniel Judson. Private Investigator Declan "Mac" MacManus is an upright person who is the biggest headache of the town's corrupt chief of police. One night, he witnesses a gruesome homicide. Determined to unmask the killer, he gets reunited with a prominent family he knows very well. His past will haunt him as he unearths dark secrets that put his life in danger.

One night, he witnesses a gruesome homicide.

#9: "Mr. Flood's Last Resort" by Jess Kidd. Maud is a caregiver who renders her service to Cathal, in the latter's aged Gothic mansion. The two have very different personalities, but still manage to get along just fine. At first, the main character cannot understand why Cathal's son is so angry with his father. She then learns that a crime may have taken place inside the mansion, something that the old man is trying to cover up. As she slowly gets closer to the truth, she hears strange noises and encounters ghosts.