10 best murder mystery books to read right now

Whodunnit? Crack the case with these murder mystery books.

From brutal murders on the Devon coast to cosy crime featuring a detective cat (yes, you read that right), there's no genre more page-turning than a murder mystery. Here are our top picks to read right now.

Discover our best thriller books and best crime novels for more unputdownable reads.  

Death on the Lusitania

by R. L. Graham

In 1915, Patrick Gallagher boards the luxurious RMS Lusitania bound for war-afflicted Europe, assigned to accompany a British diplomat. When a passenger is found dead in a locked cabin without a gun, the purported suicide seems suspicious. Gallagher is asked to examine the scene, leading him to suspect murder. Believing a killer is among the passengers with a likelihood to strike again, the ship continues its peril-filled journey towards Europe. And all the while, enemy submarines patrol dark waters. Death on the Lusitania is must-read immersive historical murder mystery for 2024.

The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder

by C L Miller

Following a twenty-year absence, Freya Lockwood is pulled back to her hometown by the suspicious death of antiques dealer Arthur Crockleford. Left with a letter and Arthur's hidden journals, Freya dives back into her past. Alongside Aunt Carole, they venture into an 'antique enthusiasts weekend' at an old manor house. Deceptive antiques and guests with well-guarded secrets add to the enigma. They find themselves scrambling to decode the mystery and expose the hidden killer, racing against the clock to prevent another possible murder.

The Maiden

by Kate Foster

Inspired by a real-life case, The Maiden is a remarkable murder mystery story with a feminist revisionist twist. In October 1679, Edinburgh, Lady Christian is arrested for the murder of her lover, James Forrester. Her arrest and trial are sensationalized, painting her as an adulteress and murderess, yet just a year prior, she was a respectable newlywed. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn't the only woman in Forrester's life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead . . .

The Raging Storm

by Ann Cleeves

When local celebrity Jem Rosco inexplicably vanishes from Greystone, Devon, and is later found dead in a dinghy during a hoax lifeboat rescue, DI Matthew Venn takes on a challenging case. Matthew's past entwined with Greystone and its Barum Brethren complicates his judgment as another body is discovered in the cove amidst escalating rumours. As harsh winds isolate the village, Matthew and his team delve into their enquiry, unaware of looming dangers to their own lives. The Raging Storm is the third book in Ann Cleeves' Two Rivers series. 

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Ann Cleeves' Two River series in order

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The Cat Who Solved Three Murders

by L T Shearer

Retired police detective Lulu Lewis’s life changed forever when she met a street cat named Conrad. There’s something very special about Conrad, but it’s a secret she has to keep to herself. When Lulu takes her narrowboat to Oxford, she is planning nothing more stressful than attending a friend’s birthday party. And drinking a few glasses of Chardonnay. But a brutal murder and a daring art theft means her plans are shattered – instead she and Conrad find themselves on the trail of a killer. A killer who may well strike again. The Cat Who Solved Three Murders is the perfect read for those who like their crime cosy.

The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle

by T. L. Huchu

For those who like some magic with their crime, The Mystery at Dunvegan Castle is a brilliant fantasy novel with a murder mystery plot. Ropa Moyo, familiar with magic and mysteries, but stuck in an unpaid internship, jumps at the chance to attend a magical convention at Dunvegan Castle. Then a librarian is murdered and a precious scroll is stolen. Suddenly, every magician is a suspect, and Ropa and her allies investigate. Trapped in a castle, with suspicions mounting, Ropa must contend with corruption, skulduggery and power plays. Time to ask for a raise?

Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

by Catherine Mack

The White Lotus meets Only Murders in the Building in this new murder mystery series. Eleanor Dash is on a book tour on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast when she finds life imitating art as her ex-boyfriend is targeted by a killer. Eleanor’s sleuthing skills are about to be put to the ultimate test as, among the literary rivals, rabid fans, a crazed stalker and former flame Oliver, suspicions on tour are flying faster than paperbacks off a bestseller shelf. But who is really trying to get away with murder? Ten days, eight suspects, six cities, five authors and three bodies – this is a trip to die for. 

Daisy Darker

by Alice Feeney

The Darker family reunites on their private island in Cornwall, soon to be isolated from the world by the tide. When the tide goes back out, nothing will ever be the same again – because one of the family is a killer. Daisy Darker arrives for her grandmother's eightieth birthday at Seaglass, their crumbling ancestral home. Each family member - her grandmother, absent father, cold mother, siblings Rose and Lily, and curious niece Trixie - harbours secrets. Daisy has never had an easy relationship with her family, but some secrets are much darker than others. This will be a gathering that some of them won't remember.

Date With Death

by Julia Chapman

Dismissed policeman Samson O’Brien returns to hometown Bruncliffe in Yorkshire Dales to establish the Dales Detective Agency, but finds the villagers unwelcoming. Delilah Metcalfe, striving to sustain her Dales Dating Agency, encounters Samson when his first case, a presumed suicide, leads to a series of deaths linked to Delilah's agency. As a shared acquaintance falls under suspicion, Samson and Delilah, despite their differences, realize they must collaborate to unravel the mystery surrounding the dating deaths. Date With Death is the first book in Julia Chapman's The Dales Detective Series.

The Thursday Murder Club

by Richard Osman

Book cover for The Thursday Murder Club

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders. But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it's too late? This is the first book in Richard Osman's million-copy bestselling murder mystery series.