As the days turn colder and the nights draw in, now is the perfect time to get swept up in a murder mystery. With the rain battering against your bedroom window, you can create the perfect atmosphere for uncovering the adventures and secrets that lie within these excellent offerings. So, get out your magnifying glass and prepare for the upcoming release of Death on the Nile by training your mystery-solving brain!
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
If you know Richard Osman, then you know his extreme intelligence and unique wit. These are joyfully reflected in his first novel, The Thursday Murder Club, whose plot confirms it takes a special kind of cleverness to write a murder mystery. A peaceful retirement village may not seem like the classic setting for this genre, but this book is so much more than a crime novel. With warm and charming characters who you can’t help but cheer on even in their more questionable moments, The Thursday Murder Club sends the vital message that the elderly should never be underestimated. It’s as hilarious as it is gripping, so, if you’re looking for a more cheerful offering this spooky season, you’ve found the book for you.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Need some clues for what mystery novel to read next? Look no further than Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. The plot follows ten individuals who are lured onto a remote island under false pretences, only to realise they are being murdered one by one for their past crimes. A very clever novel filled with suspense, mystery, foreboding and distortion, Christie imbues her characters with psychological depth, making the novel quite frightening at times. Uncomfortable from beginning to end, this mystery will lodge itself in the darkest corners of your mind, satisfying that craving for a page-turning horror as the nights draw in.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing cannot be missed off this list. This novel simply has it all, from stunning scenery and tender young love, to a ‘whodunnit’ murder mystery where our protagonist becomes the prime suspect. The story follows Kya, also known as ‘The Marsh Girl,’ in North Carolina between 1952 and 1969. Jumping back and forth in time, we see Kya’s difficult life in the marsh, her blossoming relationship with a local boy and her connection to Chase Andrews’ death. This novel offers total escapism which will sweep you away, and Owens will keep you guessing until the very last second.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
If clever plot twists and suspense are what make the perfect murder mystery novel for you, then look no further than The Guest List by Lucy Foley. Set on a remote Irish island, The Guest List is the story of Jules and Wills’ big day: their wedding. However, with untold mysteries of the past coming back to haunt them, it’s a day not all of the guests will survive. A tale of unspoken jealousy and revenge, Foley expertly draws you in to a world of psychological excitement where anybody seems capable of murder, and harmless fun to some is torture for others. As secrets are unravelled and exposed, it isn’t just the champagne that flows. A must-read this Halloween.
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
As Halloween looms over the month like a great autumnal signpost, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is the perfect chilling tale to sink your teeth into. An impactful murder mystery almost in a class of its own, In Cold Blood is the non-fiction novel that cemented Capote as a literary great – in part because he exercised a fair bit of artistic freedom in his writing. After reading about the murder of the Herbert Clutter family in The New York Times, he began his research before the killers had even been caught. Creating suspense by drip-feeding the reader gory details, the narrative is fraught with the need to keep reading on.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
A gothic horror novel filled with intrigue, murder and all kinds of darkness, Mexican Gothic presents a unique spin on the classic haunted house story. The story, set in Mexico in the 1950s, follows Noemí Taboada as she visits her cousin Catalina at High Place, an isolated mansion where Catalina lives with her new husband’s family. At first, the eccentric family and their home seem intriguing, but, the further Noemí digs into their history, the more she starts to feel like she is going mad. A psychological thriller from start to finish, this novel will leave readers blown away with the author’s lavish descriptions, the protagonist’s impressive willpower, and the terrifying nature of the situation Noemí finds herself in.