Crime/Mystery Books

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.

Wish You Were Here: A Novel

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by thirty, done having kids by thirty-five, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos—days before her thirtieth birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself—and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight (A Stephanie Plum Novel, Book 28)

When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.

The Last One Home

Lauren Abrams wants nothing to do with her damaged mother, whose spurious testimony sent Lauren’s father to prison for murder years ago. After a serial killer’s confession to the crime restored justice, Lauren chose to live with her father and grandmother. Now an adult, Lauren has come home to the Sacramento family estate for good, her mother’s lies be damned…

It’s been decades since Donna made her cheating boyfriend pay, but she hasn’t forgotten the past. She knows her estranged daughter has made a terrible mistake by returning to the estate. There’s more to the story of the welcoming old homestead―and her childhood―than Lauren knows.

As Lauren settles in, she is haunted by the questions of what really happened with her father, what her mother might be hiding, and what secrets the family ranch holds. It’s getting so dark, Lauren may not be able to see the truth to save her life.

Mercy

For her entire life, FBI agent Atlee Pine has been searching for her twin sister, Mercy, who was abducted at the age of six and never seen again. Mercy’s disappearance left behind a damaged family that later shattered beyond repair when Atlee’s parents inexplicably abandoned her.

Now, after a perilous investigation that nearly proved fatal, Atlee has finally discovered not only the reason behind her parents’ abandonment and Mercy’s kidnapping, but also the most promising breakthrough yet: proof that Mercy survived her abduction and then escaped her captors many years ago.

Though Atlee is tantalizingly close to her family at last, the final leg of her long road to Mercy will be the most treacherous yet. Mercy left at least one dead body behind before fleeing her captors years before. Atlee has no idea if her sister is still alive, and if so, how she has been surviving all this time. When the truth is finally revealed, Atlee Pine will face the greatest danger yet, and it may well cost her everything.

The Dark Hours

There’s chaos in Hollywood at the end of the New Year’s Eve countdown. Working her graveyard shift, LAPD detective Renée Ballard waits out the traditional rain of lead as hundreds of revelers shoot their guns into the air. Only minutes after midnight, Ballard is called to a scene where a hardworking auto shop owner has been fatally hit by a bullet in the middle of a crowded street party.

Ballard quickly concludes that the deadly bullet could not have fallen from the sky and that it is linked to another unsolved murder—a case at one time worked by Detective Harry Bosch. At the same time, Ballard hunts a fiendish pair of serial rapists, the Midnight Men, who have been terrorizing women and leaving no trace.

Determined to solve both cases, Ballard feels like she is constantly running uphill in a police department indelibly changed by the pandemic and recent social unrest. It is a department so hampered by inertia and low morale that Ballard must go outside to the one detective she can count on: Harry Bosch. But as the two inexorable detectives work together to find out where old and new cases intersect, they must constantly look over their shoulders. The brutal predators they are tracking are ready to kill to keep their secrets hidden.

Unfolding with unstoppable drive and nail-biting intrigue, The Dark Hours shows that “relentless on their own, Ballard’s and Bosch’s combined skills…could be combustible” (Los Angeles Times).

The Judge’s List: A Novel

In The Whistler, Lacy Stoltz investigated a corrupt judge who was taking millions in bribes from a crime syndicate. She put the criminals away, but only after being attacked and nearly killed. Three years later, and approaching forty, she is tired of her work for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct and ready for a change.

Then she meets a mysterious woman who is so frightened she uses a number of aliases. Jeri Crosby’s father was murdered twenty years earlier in a case that remains unsolved and that has grown stone cold. But Jeri has a suspect whom she has become obsessed with and has stalked for two decades. Along the way, she has discovered other victims.

Suspicions are easy enough, but proof seems impossible. The man is brilliant, patient, and always one step ahead of law enforcement. He is the most cunning of all serial killers. He knows forensics, police procedure, and most important: he knows the law.

He is a judge, in Florida—under Lacy’s jurisdiction.

He has a list, with the names of his victims and targets, all unsuspecting people unlucky enough to have crossed his path and wronged him in some way. How can Lacy pursue him, without becoming the next name on his list?

The Judge’s List is by any measure John Grisham’s most surprising, chilling novel yet.

Never

A stolen US army drone.
A shrinking oasis in the Sahara Desert.
A secret stash of deadly chemicals.

Each is a threat to the stability of the world but individually are problems that can be overcome. In the diplomatic arena though, everyone will have a different way of dealing with such a threat. And when those in charge disagree and refuse to back down, it will kick off an international chain reaction with potentially catastrophic consequences: a world edging closer to war . . .

Now three people must work tirelessly and with the utmost skill to stop that from happening:

A spy working undercover with jihadists.
A brilliant Chinese spymaster.
A US president beleaguered by a populist rival for the next election.

The only question is, in a game of brinksmanship can the inevitable ever be stopped?

‘Bold in scale and meticulously researched’ – Sunday Times

‘A compelling story, and only too realistic’ – Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary

Urgent and fiercely compelling’ – The Washington Post

More than 175 million copies sold worldwide. Published in over 80 territories and 37 languages. The international no.1 bestselling phenomenon returns.

The Guilty

Tonight, Osmond Box, the reclusive yet wildly successful writer/director known for his completely surprising Broadway plays, is debuting his seventh and most highly anticipated production of his career: The Guilty. Nothing is known about the story, the setting, the premise, or even the actors involved. The first people to discover the truth will be the lucky ones sitting in those seats opening night. Phones are collected; doors are locked. The rest of the world eagerly awaits the first reviews….

Two hours later, when the doors are finally allowed to open, half of the audience will be applauding wildly. The other half will be fleeing the theater in mortal terror. Has Osmond Box done it again? Or has he done something far, far worse?

Please note: Portions of this show contain mature language and themes. Listener discretion is advised.

State of Terror: A Novel

After a tumultuous period in American politics, a new administration has just been sworn in, and to everyone’s surprise the president chooses a political enemy for the vital position of secretary of state.

There is no love lost between the president of the United States and Ellen Adams, his new secretary of state. But it’s a canny move on the part of the president. With this appointment, he silences one of his harshest critics, since taking the job means Adams must step down as head of her multinational media conglomerate.

As the new president addresses Congress for the first time, with Secretary Adams in attendance, Anahita Dahir, a young foreign service officer (FSO) on the Pakistan desk at the State Department, receives a baffling text from an anonymous source.

Too late, she realizes the message was a hastily coded warning.

What begins as a series of apparent terrorist attacks is revealed to be the beginning of an international chess game involving the volatile and Byzantine politics of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran; the race to develop nuclear weapons in the region; the Russian mob; a burgeoning rogue terrorist organization; and an American government set back on its heels in the international arena.

As the horrifying scale of the threat becomes clear, Secretary Adams and her team realize it has been carefully planned to take advantage of four years of an American government out of touch with international affairs, out of practice with diplomacy, and out of power i

Swamp Sweets

Just Desserts?

It’s November in Sinful and everyone is gearing up for Thanksgiving. But when Fortune, Ida Belle, and Gertie bag a body on their turkey hunting trip, the quiet enjoyment of fall is over. No one really knew Miles Broussard well, and as he’d recently sold the building his business was in to retire in another state, no one could explain how he’d ended up murdered and dumped in the bayou.

Ally Lemarque has been waiting her entire life to open her bakery, and that day finally arrived when she purchased the building from Miles. But when she visits the site late at night and interrupts an intruder, she comes away with a crack on her head and concerns about why someone would break into an empty building.

Fortune doesn’t think for a minute that Miles’s murder and the attack on Ally are unrelated. And Swamp Team 3 won’t rest until they’re sure Ally is safe.

Death in the Sunshine (The Retired Detectives Club Book 1)

After a long career as a police officer, Moira hopes a move to a luxury retirement community will mean she can finally leave the detective work to the youngsters and focus on a quieter life. But it turns out The Homestead is far from paradise. When she discovers the body of a young woman floating in one of the pools, surrounded by thousands of dollar bills, her crime-fighting instinct kicks back in and she joins up with fellow ex-cops—and new neighbours—Philip, Lizzie and Rick to investigate the murder.

With the case officers dropping ball after ball, Moira and the gang take matters into their own hands, turning into undercover homicide investigators. But the killer is desperate to destroy all the evidence and Moira, Philip, Lizzie and Rick soon find themselves getting in the way—of the murderer and the police.

Just when they think they can finally relax, they discover that someone has infiltrated their ‘safe’ community. Can they hunt down the murderer and get back to retiring in peace? And after all the excitement, will they want to?

The Jailhouse Lawyer

In picture-perfect Erva, Alabama, the most serious crimes are misdemeanors. Speeding tickets. Shoplifting. Contempt of court.

Then why is the jail so crowded? And why are so few prisoners released? There’s only one place to learn the truth behind these incriminating secrets.

Sometimes the best education a lawyer can get is a short stretch of hard time.

Stolen Thoughts

There’s been a breakthrough on the campus of Caltech. A discovery. An invention. One so startling and surprisingly sinister that the inventor can’t tell a soul.

Destined to delight everyone in your book club, Stolen Thoughts is a clever thriller you will quickly finish and never forget.

Precariously poised at the center of the action is Victoria Pixler, a bioengineering student with a tragic past, a passionate quest, and a brilliant mind. After a decade of dedication, Vicky finally struck gold only to have her dream shattered and her career terminated—by the least likely suspect.

Propelling the thrills from the middle of the mystery is one of humanity’s great questions: Would the power to read minds be a blessing, or a curse?

Pick up your copy today, then prepare for sleep-deprived nights and skipped chores while repeating the phrase: “Just one more page.”

A Slow Fire Burning: A Novel

With the same propulsion that captivated millions of readers worldwide in The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, Paula Hawkins unfurls a gripping, twisting story of deceit, murder, and revenge.

Look what you started.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women in particular. Laura is the troubled one-night stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is the grief-stricken aunt, already mourning another family member who died only weeks earlier. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor who found the bloodied body but is keeping secrets from the police. Three women, mostly unknown to one another, with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are—for different reasons—simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

The Madness of Crowds: A Novel

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache returns to Three Pines in #1 New York Times bestseller Louise Penny’s latest spellbinding novel

You’re a coward.

Game On: Tempting Twenty-Eight (Stephanie Plum Book 28)

When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.

Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.

The Whistler

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

The Expert Witness: Examinations of crimes, drugs and poisons by a forensic scientist

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

Bloodless

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.

The Noise: A Thriller

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 . . .

Black Ice: A Thriller (The Scot Harvath Series Book 20)

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.

The President’s Daughter: A Thriller

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).