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10 Literary Mysteries & Thrillers That Will Give You The Best of Both Worlds

These books combine the best elements of an unputdownable mystery with stunning literary prose.

10 LITERARY MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Mysteries and thrillers have a wide variety of subgenres to choose from.  But there is one subgenre that will give you the best of both worlds — literary mysteries and thrillers.  These books combine the best elements of an unputdownable mystery and thriller, plus they’re beautifully written with stunning prose like an excellent literary novel.  So check out this booklist filled with mysteries and thrillers that strike the perfect balance between plot and prose!

The Searcher by Tana French

The Searcher by Tana French

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Inspired by true events–Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”–American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Rebecca is a 1938 Gothic novel by English author Dame Daphne du Maurier. It concerns an unnamed young woman who impetuously marries a wealthy widower, only to discover that he and his household are haunted by the memory of his late first wife, the title character.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is a breathlessly addictive novel that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer–but an astonishing time-turning twist means that nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Brilliantly clever, relentlessly suspenseful, full of twists that will keep readers guessing with each revelation and clue, Moonflower Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel

Gavin Sasaki was a promising young journalist in New York City until the day he was fired for plagiarism. The last thing he wants is to sell foreclosed real estate for his sister Eilo’s company in their Florida hometown, but he’s in no position to refuse her job offer. Plus, there’s another reason to go home: Eilo recently met a ten-year-old girl who looks very much like Gavin and has the same last name as his high-school girlfriend, Anna, who left town abruptly after graduation.

All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the S ret du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light.

What do you think about the books on this list?

Have you read any of the books on this list?  What are some of your favorite literary mysteries and thrillers?  What books would you add to the list?

Literary Mysteries & Thrillers That Will Give You The Best of Both Worlds

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  1. Aimee Dars Ellis says:

    This might be my favorite genre! I’ve read most of these. I’d add all books by Ivy Pochoda, Please See Us, and We are All the Same in the Dark!

    • Victoria Wood says:

      I’m so happy to hear you love this subgenre of mysteries and thrillers! I’m the same way, I love a good plot and prose mashup and these books all blew my mind. Thank you so much for sharing your recommendations and I will move Ivy Pochoda up on my TBR. Happy reading!

    • Aimee Dars Ellis says:

      I forgot to mention Jane Harper!

  2. Moresby Press says:

    Another literary thriller novel you’ll love is “Shadows the Sizes of Cities,” by journalist and author Gregory W. Beaubien. Set in Morocco in 1994, it’s an exciting, sensual story of four young travelers drawn by love, money and revenge toward their fates in the deserts of North Africa. Influenced by writers like Paul Bowles, Donna Tartt, Patricia Highsmith and Ernest Hemingway.

  3. Tanya Kegler says:

    I’m currently listening to All the Devils are Here (and loving it) and have added two of the books to my TBR list.

    1) When no one is watching
    2) Moonflower Murders

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