If you’re a fan of whodunits, you’ve come to the right place. Below, you’ll find all the best murder mystery books based on Goodreads data.
Best Murder Mystery Books
With the rise of TikTok and Instagram book accounts, murder mysteries have been gaining popularity. From teens on trial for murder to a woman who’s kept silent about her husband’s death for years, murder mystery has taken the world by storm once again.
Whether you’re the kind of person who likes to catch the killer before the big reveal or someone looking to be swept away in a mystery, our list of the best murder mystery books is sure to have your next read.
15. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
First on our list of the best murder mystery books is The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith. It has an average of 3.87 on Goodreads with over 535,043 ratings.
After losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike works as a private investigator. But everything changes when John Bristow enters his life with a fantastic story.
John refuses to believe that his sister, supermodel Lula Landry, committed suicide a few months earlier. Strike begins his investigation and dives into a world of multimillionaires, rock stars, and amazing designers.
14. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus has taken the internet by storm, with a 4.0 average and over 576,500 readers on Goodreads.
Monday after school, five students enter detention.
Cooper, the athlete. Nate, the criminal. Addy, the homecoming queen. Bronwyn, the brain. And Simon, the outcast. Only four out of five students make it out of detention.
Before the end of detention, Simon dies, and it wasn’t an accident. Simon was the creator of his school’s most notorious gossip app, and he had planned a major reveal regarding his four detention peers come Tuesday.
This makes the remaining four suspects. Are they murderers, or are they the perfect scapegoat for a killer on the loose?
13. The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Next on our list of the best murder mystery books is The Guest List by Lucy Foley. It has a 3.85 average across 632,700 readers on Goodreads.
Off the coast of Ireland is an island where guests gather for a wedding.
The groom is handsome, the bride ambitious, and the location remote. It’s the event of the season, highly luxurious and thoroughly detailed. The waves are rough, and cell service is iffy, but everyone expects perfection.
But as champaign pops and the party begins, feuds and jealousy mingle with the well wishes. Glasses fill, drinking games begin, and dresses get ruined. Then someone dies.
12. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn has a 3.96 average and over 660,000 ratings on Goodreads.
Anna Fox is a recluse, living alone in New York City. Unable to leave her home, she often spends her time spying on her neighbors.
When the Russells move across the way, they seem to be the perfect family. A mother, a father, and a teenage son. But one night, Anna peeks out her window and sees something she shouldn’t have.
What she sees changes everything, unravels secrets, and makes her question what is real. Nothing is what it seems.
11. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The next book on our list of the best murder mystery books is Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. It has a 3.96 average across 669,500 readers on Goodreads.
Libby was only seven years old when her fifteen-year-old brother was found guilty of massacring their entire family.
Years later, a group of people contact her, convinced her brother is innocent. Libby starts questioning everything she remembers about that night and everything she knows about her brother.
While investigating, Libby finds that everyone had something to hide that fateful night. Especially her brother.
10. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Another Gillian Flynn favorite is Sharp Objects. It has a 4.01 average with over 855,900 ratings on Goodreads.
Reporter Camille Preaker returns to her hometown to uncover the secrets behind the unsolved murder of a young girl and the disappearance of another.
Over the years, she’s barely spoken to her neurotic mother or the half-sister she barely knows. Now, back in her old bedroom, Camille finds herself identifying with the victims rather strongly.
Plagued by her own demons, Camille will desperately try to unravel her past, uncover the story, and survive being home again.
9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Next on our list of the best murder mystery books is an Agatha Christie favorite. And Then There Were None has a 4.27 rating across nearly 1.1 million readers on Goodreads.
Ten strangers visit a private island as weekend guests. The only thing they have in common is a wicked past and a dark secret. Each guest has been marked for murder.
A nursery rhyme is framed in each room of the mansion, detailing the death of ten men. When the murders begin, terror rises. Before the weekend ends, no one will be left alive.
But who planned this scheme? Who is the murderer? And will anyone live to tell the tale?
8. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides has a 4.16 average on Goodreads with over 1.12 million ratings.
Alice Berenson has a perfect life. She’s a famous painter married to a fashion photographer and lives in a beautiful home in a wealthy area of London.
But one night, her husband comes home late, and Alicia shoots him five times and then never speaks again. Her refusal to talk turns this tragedy into the ultimate mystery that captures the public’s eye.
Theo, a criminal psychologist, has waited a long time to work with Alicia, and he is determined to unravel her story and uncover the mystery.
7. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Delia Owens’s popular novel Where the Crawdads Sing has a 4.44 average on Goodreads with over 1.98 million ratings.
Kya is known as a wild and strange girl amongst the people in her village, as she is a naturalist learning from nature and living off the land. But when a popular boy is found dead, the people automatically suspect her.
While Kya enjoys the life she leads, she begins to feel lonely and longs for love. As a connection grows between Kya and two handsome men in her village, she begins to find all she’s missed by leading a life of isolation.
But nature holds many secrets and harbors many mysteries, and when the unthinkable happens, it challenges everything Kya believes.
6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Arguably one of the most popular murder mystery books is The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. It has a 3.89 average with over 2.16 million ratings on Goodreads.
Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist, gets a phone call in the middle of the night. He learns that the curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in symbols.
Joined by French cryptologist Sophie Neveu, Langdon sorts through riddles to find a trail of clues hidden in Leonardo da Vinci’s work. He also finds that the curator was involved in a secret society whose members included Da Vinci.
Langdon and Neveu must decipher the puzzle before the ancient truth disappears forever.
5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Next is The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold which has an 3.84 average across 2.2 million ratings on Goodreads.
Susie Salmon was only fourteen when she was murdered on December 6, 1973. Now, she’s trying to adjust to her new home in heaven.
From up above, she watches life continue on earth. She watches as her killer tries to cover his tracks, as her family grieves, and as the investigation continues.
4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is one of the most popular murder mystery books to date, with a 3.95 average rating and over 2.56 million ratings on Goodreads.
Every morning, Rachel catches the same train, and every day, it stops at the same single, overlooking back gardens. She’s even named the people in one of the houses and imagines they live a perfect life.
But one morning, she sees something shocking before the train continues its journey. This is it. This is Rachel’s opportunity to prove that she can be part of their perfect lives.
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl is Gillian Flynn’s most popular novel, with a 4.11 average rating on Goodreads and over 2.72 million ratings.
On the morning of Nick’s fifth wedding anniversary, his wife Amy disappears. He is the main suspect.
Amy’s friends say she was afraid of him and kept many secrets. And when the police search his computer, they find strange searches.
Nick swears it isn’t true, promises he never made those searches. Mysterious calls keep popping up on his phone, and Nick still has no idea what happened to his wife.
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson is notably one of the best murder mystery books. It has a 4.16 average rating on Goodreads with over 2.93 million ratings.
Over forty years ago, the scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, Harriet Vanger, disappeared. But her uncle continues to seek the truth.
The uncle hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist to investigate, aided by a pierced and tattooed prodigy, Lisbeth Salander.
Together, they uncover secrets, truths, and corruption.
1. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
At the top of our list of the best murder mystery books is another Dan Brown favorite, Angels & Demons. It has a 3.92 average across over 2.97 million ratings on Goodreads.
After the murder of a physicist in a Swiss research lab, Robert Langdon, a Harvard symbologist, is sent to analyze the odd symbol seared into the man’s chest. His analysis uncovers a vendetta against the Catholic Church by the Illuminati.
Langdon teams up with scientist Vittoria Vetra in a race to save the Vatican from a time bomb. Together, they hunt through sealed crypts, catacombs, and cathedrals, where they uncover the Illuminati lair.
15 Best Murder Mystery Books Wrap-Up
For ease, we’ve listed all the best murder mystery books on our list below. Each book contains compelling mystery, untrustworthy characters, and endings you might not see coming.
We hope you’ve found an exciting new book or two to add to your reading list!
- Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
- Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
- The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
- The Guest List by Lucy Foley
- One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
- The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
Looking for more book recommendations?
Check out this list of the best Agatha Christie books.