Mystery novels are puzzles that need a solution. We enjoy the thrill of the chase, the narrow escapes, and follow the clues to guess how the story is going to end. The mystery genre has been around for more than two centuries now and there are reasons why it happens to be the most popular of all genres out there. Here are top picks from our passionate community of readers.
Drugs and poisons from a variety of sources have been used illegally for centuries and most conjure up an unfortunate, enduring fascination. People appear to be both attracted by them and at the same time repelled by them.
Sitting Bull, (c. 1831-1890) a famous Native American Indian Sioux chief once said “Do not let the poisons of the world pull you from your path.” Curiously, the opposite was true for me. My path has led me to many poisons (and drug) cases and the need to help various authorities to prosecute the villains who chose to use them in their nefarious and evil deeds.
As a forensic toxicologist, I’ve been called to give expert witness evidence in a number of very high profile cases involving drug overdoses and poisons (including pesticides), in which those substances have been used in suicides and murder. I’ve also given evidence in coronial matters that have become so emotional that the court has had to be adjourned for members of the family to compose themselves. As for many other cases, a number stand out due to the unusual circumstances, one involving a drug-affected young man who was killed on Sydney Harbour Bridge, (‘A Case of MDMA Madness’) another where a body was disposed of into a wheelie bin (‘The Body in the Wheelie Bin Murder’), an evil pair who spiked the drinks of their dates to carry out their crimes (‘Drink Spiking: A Two Man Crime Wave’) and the sad case of Dianne Brimble who went on a well- deserved cruise, only to wind up dead from a drug over-d
Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL—and a past president—has always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack.
A madman abducts Keating’s teenage daughter, Melanie—turning every parent’s deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches in real time, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father.
The authors’ first collaboration, The President Is Missing, a #1 New York Times bestseller and the #1 bestselling novel of 2018, was praised as “ambitious and wildly readable” (New York Times Book Review) and “a fabulously entertaining thriller” (Pulitzer Prize–winning author Ron Chernow).
Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?
How about everything.
This spectacular can’t-put-it-down novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It’s about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.
You won’t put this story down, and you won’t forget Billy.
Scot Harvath is having his best summer ever. With a cottage on the fjord, a boat, and his beautiful girlfriend Sølvi, he’s got everything he could possibly want. But out of vacation days and long overdue back home, America’s top spy has a decision to make—return, or submit his resignation.
When his deadly past comes calling, though, he’ll be left with no choice at all.
Leaving his favorite Oslo café, Harvath watches as a ghost climbs out of a taxi—a man he killed years ago, halfway around the world. How is he still alive? And what is he doing in Norway?
In a race against time that will take him high above the Arctic Circle, Harvath is tested in ways he has never imagined and pushed to a limit few human beings could ever endure.
If he succeeds, he’ll walk away with everything. If he fails, the United States and its allies will be at the mercy of one of the world’s most dangerous actors.
A legendary heist:
On the evening of November 24, 1971, D. B. Cooper hijacked Flight 305 — Portland to Seattle — with a fake bomb, collected a ransom of $200,000, and parachuted into the night, never to be seen again… Perhaps.
A brutal crime steeped in malevolence:
Fifty years later, Agent Pendergast takes on a bizarre and gruesome case: in the ghost-haunted city of Savannah, Georgia, bodies are found completely drained of blood–sowing panic and reviving the infamous legend of the Savannah Vampire.
A case like no other in Pendergast’s career:
Through twists and turns, Pendergast and his partner, Agent Coldmoon, race to understand how these murders are connected to the most mystifying hijacking in American history. Together, they discover not just the killer-but an unearthly evil beyond all reckoning.
A gripping and emotional novel that will leave you wondering about the neighbors next door…
On a cold January night, Sharon Lemke heads outside to see a lunar eclipse when she notices something odd at the house behind her backyard. Through her neighbor’s kitchen window, she sees what appears to be a little girl washing dishes late at night. But the Fleming family doesn’t have a child that age, and even if they did, why would she be doing housework at this late hour?
It would be easy for Sharon to just let this go, but when eighteen-year-old Niki, a former foster child, comes to live with Sharon, she notices suspicious activity at the Flemings’ house as well. When calling social services doesn’t result in swift action, the two decide to investigate on their own.
We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.
But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.
Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.
But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants
In the shadow of Mount Hood, sixteen-year-old Tennant is checking rabbit traps with her eight-year-old sister Sophie when the girls are suddenly overcome by a strange vibration rising out of the forest, building in intensity until it sounds like a deafening crescendo of screams. From out of nowhere, their father sweeps them up and drops them through a trapdoor into a storm cellar. But the sound only gets worse . . .
A thrilling, instant bestseller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
She decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
Due to extremely mature content, this book is recommended for readers 18+. Sensitive topics that may be triggering to some readers include graphic death/murder, graphic sex
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny’s latest spellbinding novel
You’re a coward.
A stalker. A popstar’s family murdered. A terrified photographer.
It’s thirty years since Becky White joined the police. Now, six months after leaving the force, she is suffering from PTSD, when an old friend turns up with a tempting offer.
Following the creation of The White Knight Detective Agency, their first client is a press photographer – a member of the Paparazzi – a young woman with a mysterious and troublesome stalker.
But as the case develops, Becky and Joanna find themselves embroiled in murder. When they are unable to prevent further deaths, their investigation takes them down an unexpected path.
But can they trust their instinct? And will they identify the killer in time to save a child’s life?
Paparazzi, the second instalment in the bestselling Becky White Thriller series. takes you on a journey into the deceptive world of superstars – and those who follow them!
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
One of the most famous and beloved mysteries from The Queen of Suspense—Agatha Christie—now a Lifetime TV movie.
“Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U. N. Owen.”
“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . as one by one . . . they begin to die.
“Seven . . .”
Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.
The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carré’s career worldwide
In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.
Setting a standard that has never been surpassed, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a devastating tale of duplicity and espionage.
He watches. He waits. He takes. Who will be next . . .
THE SILENT WIFE
Investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted with disturbing information. One of the inmates claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there—a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder.
Only days ago, another young woman was viciously murdered in a state park in northern Georgia. Is it a fluke, or could there be a serial killer on the loose?
As Will Trent digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the cold case in order to find the answer. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear, and lies to become truth. But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.
When the past and present begin to collide, Will realizes that everything he values is at stake . . .
In this gripping mystery, an FBI Agent’s search for her sister clashes with a military investigator’s high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy—from which neither of them will escape unscathed.
For many long years, Atlee Pine was tormented by uncertainty after her twin sister, Mercy, was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Now, just as Atlee is pressured to end her investigation into Mercy’s disappearance, she finally gets her most promising breakthrough yet: the identity of her sister’s kidnapper, Ito Vincenzo.
With time running out, Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum race to Vincenzo’s last known location in Trenton, New Jersey—and unknowingly stumble straight into John Puller’s case, blowing his arrest during a drug ring investigation involving a military installation.
Stunningly, Pine and Puller’s joint investigation uncovers a connection between Vincenzo’s family and a breathtaking scheme that strikes at the very heart of global democracy. Peeling back the layers of deceit, lies and cover-ups, Atlee finally discovers the truth about what happened to Mercy. And that truth will shock Pine to her very core.
Scattered Remains is the third in The Nathan Hawk Mysteries, written by Douglas Watkinson one of the major contributors to the tv series Midsomer Murders.
A brilliant young inventor, Patrick Scott, is abducted from his canal boat home in London. His kidnappers say they intend to auction him off to the highest bidder. But what has he invented that is potentially so valuable? And eventually will lead to his death?
A surgical plate is found in a local field and the farmer asks Hawk to find the body it must once have been attached to. Assisted by his rising film star son, Hawk discovers that the plate was custom made for a certain Patrick Scott who broke a metatarsal skiing. A day later, however, all trace of Patrick is wiped from every government database. It’s as if he never existed.
But as Hawk’s son says: “All we have to do now is find his body and his murderer!”
A coolly glittering gem of detective fiction that has haunted three generations of readers, from one of the greatest mystery writers of all time.
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s iconic, influential, and beloved The Maltese Falcon.
A bestselling modern classic—both poignant and funny—about a boy with autism who sets out to solve the murder of a neighbor’s dog and discovers unexpected truths about himself and the world.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
Murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue combine into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel, the first in Stieg Larsson’s thrilling Millenium series featuring Lisbeth Salander.
Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.
Over twenty years ago, the heiress Patricia Lockwood was abducted during a robbery of her family’s estate, then locked inside an isolated cabin for months. Patricia escaped, but so did her captors — and the items stolen from her family were never recovered.
Until now. On the Upper West Side, a recluse is found murdered in his penthouse apartment, alongside two objects of note: a stolen Vermeer painting and a leather suitcase bearing the initials WHL3. For the first time in years, the authorities have a lead — not only on Patricia’s kidnapping, but also on another FBI cold case — with the suitcase and painting both pointing them toward one man.
Windsor Horne Lockwood III — or Win, as his few friends call him — doesn’t know how his suitcase and his family’s stolen painting ended up with a dead man. But his interest is piqued, especially when the FBI tells him that the man who kidnapped his cousin was also behind an act of domestic terrorism — and that the conspirators may still be at large. The two cases have baffled the FBI for decades, but Win has three things the FBI doesn’t: a personal connection to the case; an ungodly fortune; and his own unique brand of justice.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.
Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer—in case he or she decides to strike again.
Coda is a hybrid coyote/wolf living on the outskirts of downtown Pittsburgh, encountering enemies and allies while struggling to survive.
When someone close to him is taken, he leads a band of misfits to Northern Canada.
Sam and Amy, two college students, drop everything to follow him on this unexpected exodus during the worst blizzard in decades.