Top Ten Books Every Mystery Lover Should Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was a little open-ended; we got to pick the theme.  Mysteries are my favorite, so of course, I’d make my list based off that!


A Time to Kill by John Grisham. A good legal thriller. Not quite a mystery, but it definitely has the same feel.

2.  Star Island by Carl Hiaasen. My first Hiaasen. Very thrilling, very funny. I turned into such a huge fan after this one.

3.  Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. A classic that doesn’t feel like a classic. I loved it from the start.


4.  The Rage by Gene Kerrigan.  A nice Dublin noir.  Very dark.


5.  The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. One of the first mysteries ever written.

6.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. This is the start of one of my favorite series ever. I’m not too huge on series, and this is one of the few that I read so enthusiastically. I’ve got the next book on preorder.

7.  In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware.  This was basically an impulse buy for me.  I’m so glad I picked it up.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  I read this book pretty much in one sitting.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling).  Anything by Rowling is perfection.

Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson. My first adult mystery series. They’re great, and there are recipes included in the book!

Bonus 11. Murder of a Small Town Honey by Denise Swanson. A nice, simple, and easy cozy mystery. There should always be one of these series on a reader’s list to cover all the times when a heavier read just isn’t cutting it.

Does anyone have any must-read mysteries to add to the list?

36 thoughts on “Top Ten Books Every Mystery Lover Should Read”

  1. I don’t usually read mysteries, but some of these sound really good! I have Girl on a Train on my TBR. I’ve heard really good things so I’m looking forward to reading it 🙂


  2. Great List. I have read The Girl on the Train and A Time to Kill. Loved both books, definitely gripping. I have The Cuckoo’s calling but yet to read it. Your post has motivated me to read it now. Thanks.


  3. No love for Sherlock Holmes? I liked the Hound of the Baskervilles best.
    Been a while since I last read a mystery book, I think it’s time to dive back in. The Cuckoo’s Calling seems to be a nice starting point. Love Rowling.


  4. I loved In A Dark Dark Wood, I’ve only read a few of these so I’ll have to give the other ones a try. I’ll have to give Star Island a try, I love when books can have mystery and humor in one.


  5. A great list indeed. I like to think I’m mystery lover as well, so I’ll definitely check them out. Thanks for also passing by my post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay more mysteries! I can’t seem to get enough of them lately. My impulse read was C.J. Sansom’s historical/mystery fiction set in Tudor times. Found it on a library display table a few weeks ago. 🙂 Thanks for the good recommendations, I haven’t read a classical mystery yet!

    Searching in the Stacks


  7. I really liked The Cuckoo’s Calling & The Girl on the Train. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is on my list–I have it but it’s still on my TBR shelf! Awesome list!


  8. I don’t normally read mysteries (I feel I should really change that though) but these are all great picks. I actually added The Girl on the Train onto my to-read list a while go because of all the hype surrounding it.
    Great topic for this week’s TTT as well 😀


  9. I love the film of A Time to Kill, but I’ve never actually read any Grisham. Wilkie Collins has been on my TBR for *cough* a couple of decades *cough*, so one day…

    I don’t read a lot of mysteries. I enjoy Michael Marshall (for mysteries with a twist that feels – and sometimes but not always is – supernatural) and I’m a big fan of Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler books, but for proper mystery I really loved Andrea Gillies The White Lie. Haunting.


  10. Not the biggest Mystery fan here, but I’m always open to different genres! My dad actually has The Cuckoo’s Calling so I might just have to kindly ask *cough* steal *cough* so that I can read it! I feel do want to read more mystery but fantasy and contemporary just drown me whole!


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