Mystery Book Reviews

The best mystery book reviews. Mysteries are typically crime stories in which readers follows a detective or amateur sleuth attempting to solve a criminal puzzle. Compared with “crime thrillers,” mysteries often feature less graphic violence and shocking subject matter.

Just a Still Life, a Delightful Mystery by J. Ivanel Johnson

The Bottom Line: Warm up the apple crisp and cozy up to a detective mystery that has been 75 years in the making. It’s the fall of 1971 in New Brunswick, Canada, and inspector Philip Steele is trying to shake off the stench of burnout and cases that haunt him to this day. He has given his resignation and desperately wants to swear off police work for good. …

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The Fragment Murder, a Sexy Conspiracy Thriller by Andrew Bonar

The Bottom Line: A sexy conspiracy thriller with jaw-dropping twists that will have readers anxiously awaiting the next series installment.  The sequel to Andrew Bonar’s Back Bay Murders continues the story of amorous crimefighting duo Drew Law and Ashley Tinder, as well as “the Organization.” As the book opens, Drew has just been the focus of a 60 Minutes segment, making him the country’s most …

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Azabu Getaway, an Electrifying Crime Thriller by Michael Pronko

The Bottom Line: Detective Hiroshi has never been more entertaining in this electrifying crime thriller featuring some truly ingenious financial crimes.  When American wealth manager Patrick Walsh returns to his Tokyo apartment and keys in his passcode, he’s surprised to find that it still works. For those unfamiliar with Tokyo, Azabu is known as one of Tokyo’s most expensive residential districts. When Walsh’s ex-wife Miyuki …

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The Best Female Detective Books, Ranked (Updated!)

We love great detectives, no matter who they are and where they hail from. But at times, we crave the point of view and approach to casework that only a female detective can bring. The canon of great female literary sleuths include those from a wide variety of countries, eras and ethnicities. However, thrillers featuring female sleuths are still a little harder to find, which …

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Bloody Pages, a Fast-Paced Crime Thriller by Bruce Lewis

The Bottom Line: A fast-paced and relentlessly ominous crime thriller that readers can devour on a long flight.  Bruce Lewis, author of the terrific thriller Bloody Paws, returns with his second Kim Jansen novel. Like its predecessor, Bloody Pages is largely set in Oregon and is centered around one of society’s most troubling social ills. Here Lewis explores the theme of intergenerational violence, and he …

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Justice for Loretta, a Twisty, Cinematic Murder Mystery by LeeAnne James 

The Bottom Line: A methodical murder mystery with a shocking twist.  Loretta Sampson Mills was no stranger to death. She saw her first death at age 13 when Timmy Rafferty was fatally injured on the playground. And when Loretta’s grandma came to live with them after falling ill to cancer, she moves into Loretta’s room. Then, Loretta is asked to do the unthinkable: end her suffering with a fatal dose of …

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Kill Romeo, a First-Rate Murder Mystery by Andrew Diamond

The Bottom Line: A fast-paced, first-rate murder mystery that crackles with sexual tension. Private detective Freddy Ferguson is back in Andrew Diamond’s long-awaited follow-up to Gate 76 (one of our Best Thrillers of 2018). The book’s spectacular opening chapter is one that will burn in readers’ memories long after finishing the book. While in rural Virginia doing a background check on a rising politician, Freddy …

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The RX for Murder, a Poignant Mystery by Sue Hinkin

The Bottom Line: Lovable amateur sleuths take on Big Pharma in a highly personal and poignant mystery about corporate greed and friendship. After the murder of a veteran reporter David Pine, amateteur sleuths Bea Middleton and Lucy Vega are drawn into the likely reason for his death: an in-progress story about big pharma selling generic medicine with little or no active ingredients to the poorest …

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When You Leave Me, an Irresistible Small Town Murder Mystery by Susan Wingate

The Bottom Line: An intense, irresistible small town murder mystery that crackles with twists.  When You Leave Me dangles its delicious first clue in the opening sentence: a shoe containing a human foot, one of several that have washed ashore on the San Juan Islands over the past year. Does it belong to Larry Michaels, whose footless body was found months earlier?  Susan Wingate’s fifth Friday Harbor novel – which …

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Gottiguard, a Painfully Funny, Can’t-Miss Mystery by Rich Leder

The Bottom Line: Witty Sleuth Kate McCall returns to solve her father’s murder in this supremely satisfying and painfully funny mystery.  When readers first fell in love with Kate McCall, Rich Leder’s Workman’s Complication introduced us to the clever way-off-Broadway actress who walked dogs for a living. After her father’s brutal murder, she inherited his PI firm and reluctantly took over his cases. Gottiguard takes …

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