Whodunit? - Mystery & Suspense for adults

Although mysteries were not a new literary form, Edgar Allan Poe was the first to introduce a character that solved the mystery by analyzing the facts of the case. Poe called his detective stories "tales of ratiocination," meaning tales of logical reasoning.

So then, what do you need to have a great mystery novel?

  • A strong hook
  • Active reader involvement in piecing together information
  • Red herrings
  • Suspenseful dialogue
  • Effective, descriptive mood and language
  • Well-structured chapters
  • A satisfying conclusion

Of course there are many sub-genres of mystery such as psychological thriller (probably the most popular), cozies (no gore), historical, and spy thrillers, to name a few.  You might even like to try one of the lesser-known genres like heists or supernatural thrillers. From classics to modern takes on the genre, this list includes examples of all the sub-genres . Many have been recommended by our Book Talks members (Book Talks is open to everyone so just check out our online event calendar at www/tenaflylibrary.org to find the next Book Talks meeting date) and others are considered all-time greats of their sub-genre. 

Many of the selections are available in ebook and other formats that you can find by clicking on "view in library catalog". 

Place a request for a title you like and we'll contact you when it's ready for pick up.  Contact the Reference Desk at 201-568-8680 if you need help placing a request.

Murder with Peacocks

by Donna Andrews

Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie

by Alan Bradley

My Sister The Serial Killer

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards

by Lilian Jackson Braun

Thick As Thieves

by Sandra Brown

The Long Goodbye

by Raymond Chandler

And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

The Murder At The Vicarage

by Agatha Christie

The Woman Who Spoke to Spirits

by Alys Clare

The Last Flight

by Julie Clark

The Black Echo

by Michael Connelly

The Lincoln Lawyer

by Michael Connelly

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

by Elle Cosimano

The Ides of April

by Lindsey Davis

The Poacher's Son

by Paul Doiron

The Hound Of The Baskervilles

by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Black Dahlia

by James Ellroy

The Woman in the Window

by A. J. Finn

Mistress Of The Art Of Death

by Ariana Franklin

The Cuckoo's Calling

by Robert Galbraith

The Strange Case Of The Alchemist's Daughter

by Theodora Goss

A Time To Kill

by John Grisham

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett

The Monogram Murders

by Sophie Hannah

The Widower's Wife

by Cate Holahan

Magpie Murders

by Anthony Horowitz

Never Have I Ever

by Joshilyn Jackson

Defending Jacob

by William Landay

An Unwanted Guest

by Shari Lapena

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

by John Le Carre

Death At La Fenice

by Donna Leon

And When She Was Good

by Laura Lippman

Bluebird Bluebird

by Attica Locke

The Bourne Identity

by Robert Ludlum

The Lies Of Locke Lamora

by Scott Lynch

Murder in Time

by Julie Mcelwain

What's Done in Darkness

by Laura Mchugh

The Silent Patient

by Alex Michaelides

Big Little Lies

by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

by Liane Moriarty

The Sympathizer

by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Thursday Murder Club

by Richard Osman

Behind Closed Doors

by B. A. Paris

The Sanatorium

by Sarah Pearse

The Number One Ladies Detective Agency

by Alexander Mccall Smith

The Cartographers

by Peng Shepherd

The Sun Down Motel

by Simone St. James

Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart

Presumed Innocent

by Scott Turow

In a Dark Dark Wood

by Ruth Ware

Harlem Shuffle

by Colson Whitehead

American Spy

by Lauren Wilkinson

Maisie Dobbs

by Jacqueline Winspear