The list of great thrillers written each year keeps increasing and there is no possible way to read them all except that you begin somewhere. Who doesn’t like a bit of thrill, mystery, and adventure now and then? We might not get a dose of it in our lives that seem full of a fixed, predictable routine, but we can always lose ourselves in books full of mystery, clues, red-herrings, murders, and adventure.
The bests in this genre comprise of Christie and Doyle, and it’s a perfect place to start. So get a hang of best mystery novels with these all-time favorites –
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Christie is considered the queen of crime (writing, not committing!) for a reason. She has given us some of the most memorable mysteries of all times (so many, in fact, that we might need a separate post on her 10 best novels). The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is one of her best books. Full of red-herrings, Poirot’s grey cells and a twist, in the end, this book will captivate you completely.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
We all gushed over Benedict Cumberbatch as he solved the mystery in the series. But trust me guys, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original tale is no less intriguing. It takes you to the moors as you follow Holmes and Watson to solve this strange case of attempted murders by a supernatural hound. One more reason to get SHERLOCKED.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
A diamond (stolen from an Indian shrine) which disappears at a party. A large number of suspects like some Indian jugglers, a maidservant and at one point, the heiress herself. The entire mystery narrated through letters! Interesting, eh? And before we forget, this awesome plot belongs to the first mystery novel in English. Need more reasons to pick it up?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”.So begins this suspenseful tale of a girl who marries a wealthy widower Maxim. He seems to have fallen in love with her at first sight. But things begin getting complicated when she feels that her husband is still in love with his first wife Rebecca, a woman he might have murdered! A book which will keep you on the edge and be guessing throughout, Rebecca is a classic read.
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
What do you do if you are an injured and hospital-bound police officer who cannot investigate the ongoing cases? You investigate historical crimes! Our inspector prides himself on reading character from faces. When he sees the portrait of Richard the III, the face doesn’t appear like that of a murderer and a hardened criminal. So he starts researching history to find out the truth about him. He ends up finding something that tells us a lot about the nature of history.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
If you have always considered Eco as an academic writer, reconsider. He gives us a historical murder mystery set in 1327 monastery where a murder has happened. Our detective is a Franciscan friar who travels to the monastery and solves the murders. Considering how it is full of references to semiotics, Biblical theory and even literary theory, it is surprising how readable the book is. After all, it has sold 50 million copies worldwide!
Malice by Keigo Higashino
Coming from a writer whose The Devotion of Suspect X took the world by storm; Malice is a slow-burning yet keeps-you-on-the-edge kind of novel. There a murdered writer in a locked room in a locked house. Suspicion is on his wife and “best-friend”, both of who seem to have alibis. And now it is up to police detective Kaga to go beyond the façade and find out who did it. A cat and mouse chase, this is a book you must read.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Well, the entire series actually. This book has been one of the most talked about mystery/thriller books in the recent times. And it has brought us readers more in touch with the Nordic crime writers as well. What can I say about this one except go read it if you haven’t already? Rest assured, it will keep you hooked.
(These are, by no means, THE only great novels in this rather fertile genre. This post has tried to keep itself limited (mostly) to the classic detective/ mystery and not ventured much into the world of thrillers which is replete with police procedures, hard-boiled crime, bloodshed, and action.) What are the best Mystery Novels according to you? Comment below and let us know.
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Author: Sneha Pathak
Sneha Pathak is a lover of books, particularly fiction. Her favorite genre is mystery/thriller/suspense. A book lover, she likes writing about what she reads and besides reading, Surfing the internet for more books and watching movies is what she is certainly good at!