9 Clever Mysteries And Thrillers With Writers At The Center Of The Action

Police officers and private eyes may be the professionals, but when you need someone to analyze clues, notice small details, and figure out the motives and deeper intentions of people, a writer will certainly do in a pinch. The nine mysteries and thrillers listed here put authors at the center of the action as mysterious and intriguing plots unfold, involving everything from thievery to murder. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Thrilling Novels About Writers: Our 9 Picks

Title Author
1. The Boy in the Woods Carter Wilson
2. The Bestseller She Wrote Ravi Subramanian
3. Ghostwriter Travis Thrasher
4. The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam Chris Ewan
5. True Fiction Lee Goldberg
6. The Kept Girl Kim Cooper
7. The Perfect Ghost Linda Barnes
8. The Weight of Lies Emily Carpenter
9. Control Freak Christa Faust

Things Every Writer Should Have

  • A journal where you can keep track of your thoughts & ideas
  • Some coffee or tea to get you through late-night bursts of inspiration
  • A comfortable keyboard so you don't end up with carpal-tunnel syndrome
  • A laptop that's easy to bring along to your local coffee shop
  • A height-adjustable desk to help you avoid hurting your lower back
  • A foam roller for when you inevitably hurt your lower back anyway

8 Great Movies About Writers

  1. The Third Man (1949)
  2. Becoming Jane (2007)
  3. Trumbo (2015)
  4. Adaptation (2002)
  5. Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  6. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
  7. Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
  8. The End of the Tour (2015)

Alfred Hitchcock on Mystery vs Suspense

In Depth

It's not necessary to carry a weapon or even a magnifying glass to be the protagonist of a mystery book. In the clever novels included on this list, writers take center stage amidst the obligatory disappearances, deceptions, and murders. For those seeking something a little different from this timeworn genre, here are, in no particular order, nine thrilling titles that put authors in the middle of the intrigue.

For #1 we have "The Boy in the Woods" by Carter Wilson. Thirty years ago in the woods of Oregon, three teenage boys witnessed a girl their age killing a much younger boy. Petrified, they buried the body and made an oath to never speak of the incident. Tommy, one of those teenagers, is now a bestselling writer who's authored a lightly fictionalized book about the murder as a means of cleansing himself of its memory. But when he is confronted by a familiar woman who objects to her name being used in the book, he realizes that the past has finally caught up with him, and the consequences could be deadly.

Showing up at #2 is "The Bestseller She Wrote" by Ravi Subramanian. With a doting family, a well-paying job, and a reputation as a literary sensation, banker and novelist Aditya is living the high life. What he hasn't bargained for, however, is an ambitious young woman half his age turning everything upside down. When student and aspiring author Shreya arrives at his bank as a new trainee, Aditya is immediately smitten. But Shreya isn't interested in his love: all she wants is for him to turn her into a bestselling author, and she's prepared to use her cunning to make it happen.

With a doting family, a well-paying job, and a reputation as a literary sensation, banker and novelist Aditya is living the high life.

For #3 we find "Ghostwriter" by Travis Thrasher. Bestselling horror novelist Dennis Shore is faced with both a particularly severe case of writer's block and an imminent deadline. Out of desperation, he steals someone else's writing and passes it off as his own. For a while, he's convinced he's gotten away with the deception as the work is showered with acclaim. But when Cillian Reed, the actual author of the book, approaches him with increasingly damning threats, Dennis's life and career are put in jeopardy.

At #4 is "The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam" by Chris Ewan. Charlie Howard is the globe-trotting writer of a mystery series featuring a burglar detective. Like his literary creation, Charlie also happens to be a thief, taking clandestine commissions from clients. While in Amsterdam, he gets an enticing offer from a shadowy American who wants him to steal two plaster monkey figurines. After reluctantly accepting and completing the job, he discovers his client violently beaten. Made the suspect in the case, the author finds his fiction and his real life blurring as he is drawn into a wild whodunit caper.

For #5 we get "True Fiction" by Lee Goldberg. Famed author Ian Ludlow is so good at writing thrillers, the C.I.A. recruited him to devise possible terrorist scenarios to help the government prepare for the worst. He just didn't expect any of those scenarios to actually happen. When a passenger jet crashes into a Hawaiian hotel, exactly as he had outlined for the C.I.A., Ian realizes the incident was no mere accident, and he knows who carried it out. Under threat due to this knowledge, he teams up with his book tour assistant Margo as they evade a global intelligence network that wants them dead.

Famed author Ian Ludlow is so good at writing thrillers, the C.I.A. recruited him to devise possible terrorist scenarios to help the government prepare for the worst.

Arriving at #6 is "The Kept Girl" by Kim Cooper. Inspired by real events in the sordid history of 1920s Los Angeles, this compelling noir follows oil company executive and future famous author Raymond Chandler as he works through a conspiracy. When his boss's nephew is robbed of his fortune by two mysterious women, Chandler is brought in to investigate. Aided by his secretary and mistress Muriel, as well as his patrolman friend Tom, the alcoholic detective is whisked across Southern California as he uncovers the plot of a murderous religious cult.

For #7 we come to "The Perfect Ghost" by Linda Barnes. The gregarious Teddy and the timid Em are the perfect team of celebrity biographers: while he does the interviews and goes to the parties, she gets to stay out of the spotlight by doing all the writing. Em's life depends so much on her partner, that when Teddy is killed in a car crash, she is left utterly bereft. Deciding to finish the interview for the book they were working on, she sets up shop in a cottage near the home of her subject, hermetic filmmaker Garrett Malcolm. As she gets to know the enigmatic man, she learns secrets about his past that could shatter her increasingly precarious hold on reality.

At #8 is "The Weight of Lies" by Emily Carpenter. Meg might have a certain amount of privilege due to the renown of her horror novelist mom, but behind closed doors she feels only animosity for being neglected as a child. Determined to finally rid herself of her mother after years of estrangement, she comes back home and accepts an offer to pen a provocative, confessional memoir about their fraught relationship. But as she dredges up the past, including the events surrounding the murder that inspired her mom's bestselling book decades ago, Meg uncovers terrifying secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew.

Meg might have a certain amount of privilege due to the renown of her horror novelist mom, but behind closed doors she feels only animosity for being neglected as a child.

Finally, coming in at #9 is "Control Freak" by Christa Faust. In this erotic, uncompromising horror novel, mystery writer Caitlin McCullough is plunged into the underground world of sadomasochism when she decides to write a book about the brutal murder of a young woman named Eva. Directed by her research to the club that Eva patronized, Caitlin goes from novelist to detective to participant, becoming a dominatrix invigorated by her newfound sexual power. But will embracing her dark side help her solve the murder, or will she lose herself in the process?