10 Riveting Mystery Novels Written by Women
Women have been writing compelling mystery stories for decades, and that tradition didn't die with Agatha Christie. There are many contemporary female authors who are still crafting amazing books that leave readers guessing until the very end. Here are ten riveting mystery novels written by talented women. When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue to support our research. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.
10 Riveting Mystery Novels Written by Women
Classic Mystery Books
The authors on this list stand on the shoulders of many amazing writers who influenced the genre. Consider diving into mystery's rich history with these classics:
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Popular Categories of Mystery
- Legal Thriller
- Cozy Mystery
- Traditional Mystery
- Police Procedural
- Medical Thriller
- Detective Fiction
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.
The Role of the Detective in Mystery & Suspense
Mystery books are often full of unexpected twists and turns, and they're almost guaranteed to keep readers glued to their seats, anxious to see how everything will play out. These stories typically revolve around one big secret, and clues as to what it is are sprinkled throughout the novel until the shocking revelation at the very end. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of ten riveting mystery novels written by women. Take note that this list is done in no particular order.
First up, at #1, we have "Wonder Valley" by Ivy Pochoda. The story is about six different characters whose paths intertwine after a strange man starts streaking on a highway in Los Angeles. The main characters are all running away from their lives for mysterious reasons, and each of their stories and shocking connections with one another are unraveled throughout the novel.
At #2 is "Every Wild Heart" by Meg Donohue. Gail Gideon is a popular radio show host who first gained mainstream success by ranting about her divorce. Her daughter, Nic, is a quiet girl who's very passionate about horses, but her relationship with her mother is tested after a devastating accident drastically changes her personality. The novel mainly focuses on their relationship and how they deal with a potentially dangerous stalker that's been harassing both of them.
Gail Gideon is a popular radio show host who first gained mainstream success by ranting about her divorce.
Next up, at #3, we have "The Book of Secrets" by Elizabeth Joy Arnold. When Chloe Sinclair's husband suddenly disappears, she finds out that he returned to their hometown, which they both escaped several years ago. Chloe is forced to revisit memories of her troubled childhood in order to piece together why her husband left, and it all culminates in one shocking twist that readers won't see coming.
Next, at #4, is "You Are One of Them" by Elliott Holt. Set during the cold war in the 80s, it revolves around a girl named Sarah Zuckerman. One day, she and her best friend, Jenny, both write letters to Yuri Andropov asking for peace. Andropov only replies to Jenny, and she's invited to the USSR where she becomes a media sensation. A few years later, she and her family die in a tragic plane crash.
About a decade later, Sarah receives news that her former friend's untimely death may have been a hoax. She sets off to Russia in order to find the truth and hopefully learn to move on.
She sets off to Russia in order to find the truth and hopefully learn to move on.
At #5 is "Pull Me Under" by Kelly Luce. When Chizuru Akitani was a child, she murdered a bully who was tormenting her because of her weight and biracial parents. Several years later, she moves to the US with a new identity. She eventually graduates from nursing school and gets married. When her father, a renowned violinist, dies, she returns to Japan and is forced to face her past and recall the events that led to her crime.
At #6 is "Leave No Trace" by Mindy Mejia. When a boy who's been missing for a decade suddenly resurfaces, he's caught stealing from a store and is sent to a psychiatric facility. After a violent encounter with the boy, speech therapist Maya Stark is assigned to his case and is determined to help him find his father, who also disappeared with him all those years ago after a camping trip gone wrong.
Next up, at #7, we have "Here We Lie" by Paula Treick DeBoard. Megan Mazeros first became friends with Lauren Mabrey, a politician's daughter, when they became college roommates. Before senior year, Megan finds herself spending time with Lauren's family on a private island, and something horrible happens that drives the two friends apart. It's an emotional story that deals with political scandals and other sensitive issues, such as sexual assault.
It's an emotional story that deals with political scandals and other sensitive issues, such as sexual assault.
Next, at #8, is "Holy Island." Written by LJ Ross, it's the first entry of her "DCI Ryan Mysteries" series. Set on the island of Lindisfarne, it's a murder mystery revolving around the seemingly ritualistic death of a young woman. Detective Chief Inspector Ryan's sabbatical is cut short when, a few days before Christmas, a body is found in the ruins of a nearby priory. Together with his consultant, a former local named Anna Taylor, they have to find the killer before anyone else in their small community is harmed.
At #9 is "Doubt" by C.E. Tobisman. Caroline Auden is a fledgling lawyer who managed to land a job at a top law firm. On her first case, she's told to look into a popular GMO and determine if it really causes healthy people to get sick. Using her experience as a former hacker, she digs even deeper and comes across information that links the death of a prominent scientist with a biotech company's possibly illegal activities. Now, she has to find evidence that proves the company's guilt before they come after her.
Finally, at #10, we have "Three Little Lies" by Laura Marshall. Back in 2005, Ellen became close friends with the new kid in town, Sasha North. One day, at a New Year's Eve party, something terrible occurs, and Ellen is named as a key witness. Over a decade later, the two of them are still friends and are living together in London.
One day, at a New Year's Eve party, something terrible occurs, and Ellen is named as a key witness.
When Sasha suddenly disappears without a word, Ellen figures that both of their lives are in danger. Now, she has to revisit her past and figure out what really happened all those years ago. Along the way, she may learn things about Sasha that will completely change her perspective towards her friend.