Top Ten / Mystery Novels

Top 10 / Mystery Novels

8 Favourite Mystery Novels

I participate in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week we can pick any topic. I chose to highlight some of my favourite mystery novels.

I haven’t read many mystery novels; I’m a rookie! But I love them so: the suspense and not knowing what is going to happen next, sitting on the edge of my seat, clever foreshadowing and smart plots, staying up until late because I can’t possibly put the book down. It’s why stories are so wonderful. Here’s ten mysteries – taking a loose definition – that I loved, in no particular order.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
I mentioned And Then There Were None in Top Ten / Books to Read in a Day, but how could I not list it here? It’s the classic of its genre!

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Nineteen Minutes was listed in Top Ten / Books Before Blogging so this time I picked House Rules. Jacob Hunt is an 18-year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. When Jacob’s tutor is found dead, he is charged with murder. Jacob is fascinated with forensic analysis and this combined with his unusual behaviours means that he looks apathetic and guilty to the police.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
I read this book most recently, but it deserves a place here. On New Year’s Eve, a wealthy visitor to New Orleans, who had entered the bookshop in which seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine works only the day before, is found dead. Josie’s ambition to go to college takes a knock when she’s determined to find out the truth: how did a well-educated, healthy man suddenly die?

Sister by Rosamund Lupton
A psychological thriller from the viewpoint of Beatrice, whose sister, Tess, is missing. Beatrice communicates with Tess through letter / diary-like entries. Sister is ‘crime for people who do not usually read crime’. (Not pictured – Mum borrowed it!).

The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock
I nearly did not read this! It had mostly two and three star reviews at the time, but the plot intrigued me. The Book of Lies provides fascinating insight into what it’s like living in both present day Guernsey and past, throughout the German Occupation (during World War II and also after the allies had won) and how the Channel Islands were perceived by other nations. (Not pictured – read eBook).

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
A beautifully written Gothic novel. Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a handwritten request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
An extremely readable and ‘current’ Gothic classic. I’d often forget that I was reading a book that was written in the 1930s. I’d also suggest reading New Girl, which is a contemporary YA retelling of Rebecca.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned this on Pretty Books, but The Lovely Bones was one of my favourite novels for a while. I say ‘was’ because it has been about nine years since I’ve read it. It gets quite a lot of slack for being so popular, but it was completely new to me at the time.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
I read this book while at school, but haven’t read it since. It is definitely on the ‘to read again’ list! Fifteen-year-old Christopher has a photographic memory. He understands maths. He understands science. What he can’t understand are other human beings. When he finds his neighbour’s dog lying dead on the lawn, he decides to track down the killer and write a murder mystery about it. But what other mysteries will he end up uncovering?

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A novel that took over the blogosphere for a while. It’s a wonderfully unique and inventive book with colourful characters, a mysterious story, and a splash of historical relevance, incorporating vintage photographs that bring the story to life.

And others on my list to read are Gone Girl, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, more Agatha Christie, The Secret Keeper and The Shadow of the Wind.

Top 10 / Mystery Novels

8 Favourite Mystery Novels

What are some of your favourite mystery novels? Feel free to comment or suggest a book on Goodreads!

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27 thoughts on “Top Ten / Mystery Novels

  1. Rebecca has been sitting on my unread shelf for a couple of months now and as much as I want to delve in to its contents, I want to have a more fitting time to read it – such as autumn or winter. It doesn’t exactly strike me as a lighter months read.

    Gone Girl is a great read, I recently read and reviewed it on my blog, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone! Agatha Christie novels were on my spring TBR list, unfortunately I didn’t get round to completing that particular task, although I will do some time in 2013!

    My Book Bubble

    • I read Rebecca in February last year, so it was rather dark and cold! I think I read it when I was off work ill, curled up with a blanket. I hope you get to pick up Agatha Christie!

  2. Great list! I haven’t read many mysteries, though I want to read more. I want to reread And Then There Were None, especially since I have read Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Rebecca is a definite that I want to read soon and I added New Girl :-) My TTT.

    Vyki @ On The Shelf

    • I personally suggest reading Rebecca first then New Girl, but other people have done it the other way around, although I bet that’s such a different reading experience! I hope you enjoy both :) AND And Then There Were None. You won’t be able to put it down (I read it in 3 hours).

  3. I adore Haddon and Christie, awesome authors. I have yet to try other books you listed but the majority of these is on my TBR pile already.

    My TTT

  4. I loved Mr. Penumbra, Shadow of the Wind and The Thirteenth Tale! Currently my favorite mysteries are Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series and the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley.

  5. I’ve read almost all of these and I agree, they’re all great mysteries. I love stories where things aren’t quite what they seem! They’re the best kind :)

  6. I haven’t read a lot of mysteries lately, so I appreciate the recs. Out of the Easy was so good, wasn’t it? I want to give Rebecca a try sometime. Gone Girl is one of the last mysteries I’ve read, and I think Reconstructing Amelia will be next.

  7. I need to read more mystery books! I really like them but always ends up reading something paranormal. Out of the Easy and Ms. Perregrin are at the top of my TBR though so hopefully I can get to them soon!

    Emily @ Falling For YA

  8. I also really enjoyed The Thirteenth Tale!

  9. I still need to read The Lovely Bones. It’s been sitting on my shelf since last year so maybe I need to make it one of my priority reads. :)

    • It’ll be interesting to see what you think of it because it was quite unknown when I read it whereas now everybody knows the story and may have seen the movie!

  10. Miss Peregrine was a great read! Sadly, I have yet to read the rest. Boo me :(

  11. Excited to see Out of Easy on your list, can’t wait to read it

  12. Nice list of mystery books, with all those books that made me curious. Although I am just 11, I have a favorite I want to share. The novels are actually a series and it’s called the “Secret Series” and each book is about 1 of our 5 senses. Have fun reading!
    -Sydney-

  13. When it comes to mysteries, who can beat Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler?

  14. I read all Agatha Christie very young, followed by Dorothy L Sayers. It gave me a lifelong interest in mysteries and helps with my plotting today! I’ve put ‘The Book of Lies’ on my to-read list, so thanks for that. SD

  15. Out of these selections, which one was the most difficult to put down?

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