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13 OF THE BEST MYSTERY NOVELS TO SPEND ALL DAY GETTING LOST IN




Some books sit on your bedside table or on a stack on your floor for weeks as you read a little bit each night. The mystery novels on this list are not those books. These are crime novels that will make you cancel plans and ignore your resolution to go to bed at a decent hour. 

Equally adept at picking locks and picking off a target at 50 yards, Kick Lannigan is nobody’s victim. Kidnapped at age six and rescued five years later, she’s just the kind of kick-ass hero (pun wholly intended) that we all need, especially the kids she helps in One Kick. Read more

In addition to instilling a deep-seated fear of housekeepers in generations of readers, du Maurier’s Gothic classic reminds us all that a narrator doesn’t need a name to carry a story. Soon you, too, will be muttering, “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Read more

If you think Gone Girl is as dark and twisted as it gets, think again. In Flynn’s debut, a reporter fresh out of a stint in a psych hospital returns to her hometown to cover the murder of two girls. Suffice it to say, this is not a book about puppies and rainbows. Read more

LAPD Detective Elouise Norton is the kind of heroine we need more of in crime fiction: strong, black, and smart. Saddled with a new partner, Lou grapples with a new case and its unsettling connections to the disappearance of her sister 30 years earlier. This is the start of a fantastic new series. Read more

Maybe you’ve seen the movie. Now it’s time to read the book. This is the only novel featuring Hammett’s iconic private eye, Sam Spade — he appears in a handful of other short stories — and it’s not overstating things to say that without Falcon, we might not have Raymond Chandler (or Philip Marlowe) or much hardboiled PI crime fiction at all. Could this even be the noir origin of “put a bird on it”? Read more

These Danes are grim. In a fantastic, compulsively readable way. This is the first installment in their series featuring Copenhagen Red Cross nurse Nina Borg, who’s not exactly Florence Nightingale. But it’s more fun to read about complex women who find little boys stuffed in suitcases — don’t worry, he’s not dead — than it is to read about saints, right? Read more

Before Lehane wrote Mystic River, the film adaptation of which had Sean Penn screaming about his daughter all the way to Oscar glory, he introduced readers to tough Dorchester, Massachusetts, private eyes Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. And — insert thick Boston accent here — they won our goddamn hearts. Read more

Lippman writes about the things that we aren’t supposed to talk about and she does it so very well. There are few writers who can write a compelling, emotionally gripping story about children who murder another child. Lippman does and tackles perhaps the hardest question of all: What happens next? Read more

Mackay serves readers a Scottish Tartan Noir fry-up special (is that a thing? It is now!): three fantastic linked crime novels. His Glasgow trilogy — The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter, How a Gunman Says Goodbye, and The Sudden Arrival of Violence — explores the ultra-violent life of Glasgow’s underworld, as a young hitman considers whether to stay in the murdering business or get out while he can. Read more

Told in alternating perspectives, McCreight’s second novel is a swift series of gut-punches from page one, as an affluent college town tries to come to terms with the discovery of a dead infant in the woods. The three women whose lives are forever altered by the event each bring something different to the story but their underlying pain unites them, even if they don’t know it yet. Read more

The first English-language installment in Norwegian Nesbø’s dark, brooding series featuring the equally dark and brooding Oslo cop Harry Hole, Redbreast reminds us that Indiana Jones was right when he said, “Nazis, I hate these guys.” Turns out neo-Nazis are just as bad, as Harry discovers firsthand. Read more

Impress your friends by reading what’s considered to be the first detective novel. It’s a deceptively simple story — the massive titular jewel goes missing during a party — that lays impressive groundwork for the genre as a whole, from the locked room mystery to red herrings. Read more


On the surface, Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford, the narrator of Killer, is just another Texas cop. But looks can be deceiving and Thompson, one of pulp’s greatest and grittiest treasures, knows this better than most. If you’re itching for a clue, look no further than the title. Read more
13 OF THE BEST MYSTERY NOVELS TO SPEND ALL DAY GETTING LOST IN 13 OF THE BEST MYSTERY NOVELS TO SPEND ALL DAY GETTING LOST IN Reviewed by Admin on 4:02:00 AM Rating: 5