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