19 Great Mystery Books From The 2020s For New Adults
The 2020s have introduced an abundance of exceptional mystery novels, yet many of these hidden gems remain undiscovered by avid mystery readers. The past years yielding a diverse range of captivating titles, there is something for every taste.
Whether you prefer scalpel-wielding forensics or revel in the macabre and gruesome, the mystery genre has provided a wealth of new material to explore.
In this article, we have made inferences on what we think are great mystery books for those drawn to this genre. Some are based on awards and prizes won while we think others are just brilliant and interesting. The list is in reverse-chronological order.
What Are The Top Mystery Novels From The 2020s?
Magpie Lane, by Lucy Atkins (2022)
This is a top mystery book whose setting involves an eight-year-old daughter who disappears in the middle of the night. The kid belongs to an Oxford College Master and her vanishing leads the police to seek answers from the nanny, Dee, who is of Scottish origin. Dee analyzes her stay at the Master's Lodging, which is very ancient and eerie. The house paints a perfect picture of family dysfunctionality.
For anyone who loves properly executed suspense, this book will totally give you that. It is powered by superior oddness, creepiness, and unsettling things and this is what gives this infectious read the unavoidable thrill. You wonder if Dee is telling the actual and whole story, why Felicity, the lost girl, is silent, and if there is any cause for concern.
Steal, by James Patterson (2022)
Instagram is a good thing, but what if you realize that somebody plans to end his life in 24 hours. The novel has also psychological attributes to make this mystery more complicated.
A brilliant crime solving professor's next challenge. Steal is a novel that brings you inside Carter von Oehson’s mind as he attempts to kill himself. Follow along, get to know Carter and his friends, his family, and his many secrets as they unfold before your eyes.
Mathias von Oehson, the father is the only one who is convinced that his son is still alive. Dylan is now wrapped up in multi-million-dollar secrets and danger, and it’s going to take every bit of his wit, and the brilliant and headstrong NYPD Detective, Elizabeth Needham, to stay ahead of both his enemies.
The Maid, by Nita Prose (2022)
The Maid is an episodic narrative game, following Molly Gray. She's not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her Gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
In the absence of her late grandmother, Molly (25) has become an individual in her own right and is unafraid to pursue her ambitions even if they don’t conform to convention. At home she lives simply but loves ornamentation. She gets up every morning at 5 am to make sure she starts her maid work in time.
The Maid is a satirical comedy about class, race and the nitty-gritty of living paycheck to paycheck. In turn hilarious and sobering, it's an absurd portrait of one young woman’s struggle to get by—even as she strives to be a good employee in the midst of personal crisis.
Survivor’s Guilt, by Robyn Gigl (2022)
A billionaire commits suicide and his trans adoptive daughter takes the blame. But Erin McCabe, a transgender attorney, sees that Ann is innocent. She and her partner, Swisher, can’t prove Ann isn't to blame for the crime so they must dig deeper, but that means cutting through the lies of a powerful family and their complicit employees to find the truth about who’s actually on trial for murder.
But it becomes clear that someone else might be involved in the deadly crime as Erin pours over reams of evidence hoping to find a clue before it’s too late.
Erin McCabe seems like a very complex and intriguing character in crime fiction today. Just like the first book, this story was also able to weave believable, and sympathetic characters with an incredible story that was hard to put down. Definitely a strong candidate among the top mystery books For adults in 2022.
The Last House on the Street, by Diane Chamberlain (2022)
This is a book that must be on your list this year.
Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in Round Hill, North Carolina. Now, an older woman is warning Kayla not to move into the neighborhood. And could the house at the end of the street hold the key to what happened to her husband and the neighbors’ cryptic secrets?
The story start in 1965 and continues in 2010. Two women. Each seeking the truth. Not knowing what they will find when they find it. They are on a collision course with reality, no matter what that reality may bring to light, or who it puts in their path. This is definitely one the best mystery books for adults in 2022.
The Paris Apartment, by Lucy Foley (2022)
A socialite, a nice guy, an girl on the verge, a concierge, an alcoholic, the neighbors and they are all could be the murderers. A mystery with a large cast of potential suspects. Check out Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment.
When Jess arrives in Paris to stay with her half-brother Ben, she is surprised to discover he was living in a better place than she’d imagined he could afford. And even more surprising was the fact that he wasn't home!
Much like any other person who suddenly finds themselves abandoned in a foreign land, Jess begins investigating the situation surrounding her half-brother's disappearance and realizes there is much more to his story than meets the eye.
The Paradox Hotel, by Rob Hart (2022)
In this sci-fi mystery novel, readers are introduced to the Paradox Hotel where rich guests stay while they wait for their ‘flights' to the past.
The hotel is close to a time port and January Cole is the head of security for this hotel. But now a blizzard has hit, meaning no one is making it to their trips to the past any time soon, and everyone is stuck in the hotel. And January treats this as an opportunity – not only does he treat it as his job to make sure that no one steals from anyone else, but also an opportunity to try putting himself together after taking his own trip into the past.
As January Cole tries piecing together who might be behind the murder of his former boss and mentor, he realizes there are many people with motive including another deceased staff member who had been warned off finding some kind of treasure at all costs… January’s journey through this time travel mystery takes unexpected turns as he not only looks for clues but finds love along the way!
Ninety-Five, by Lisa Towles (2021)
Lisa Towles does not disappoint when it comes to giving readers page-turning thrillers and this one is no different. Zak Skinner, is a troubled student from the University of Chicago. By accident, he uncovers a crime scam that involves drugging the students, pushing them to do crimes while on camera and also blackmailing them to keep going under an expulsion threat. Zak digs deeper and while in the process, he finds out that the scam is linked to other crimes that are connected to a dark web underworld.
He follows clues that lead him to a certain compound that is within Steelworker Park. He later finds out that he is being hunted. As he tries to find his way out, he ascertains that there is a more personal thing that he is avoiding and running away from. It is his past. He now has nowhere to hide.
With imaginative storytelling, this is indeed an intense, engaging, and riveting thriller. You will not put this fast-paced mystery masterpiece down! The book will be available worldwide in November.
The Thursday Murder Club, by Richard Osman (2021)
Richard Osman’s book The Thursday Murder Club is undeniably brilliant, depicting a relentless parody of a cosy and classic murder mystery. It features four septuagenarians that have a few tricks up their sleeves, a female cop’s first enormous case, and a highly brutal murder.
The setup is in a peaceful upscale retirement village. These four individuals meet in the Jigsaw Room weekly to discuss the unresolved crimes. They go by the name “The Thursday Murder Club.” After a local developer dies and a mysterious photograph is found next to the body, the almost eighty-year olds, unlikely friends are faced with their first case. Will they catch the killer even as the bodies begin piling?
The plot’s humor is fascinating. The protagonists make this masterpiece empowering. It’s totally worth your time.
Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5), by Robert Galbraith (2021)
A woman approaches Cormoran Strike, a Private Detective, while he is in Cornwall visiting his family and seeks help to find her mother, who vanished in very mysterious circumstances in the year 1974.
Cormoran has never handled a cold case before and this one even involves a very old occurrence. The chances of success are very slim but he is highly intrigued and takes the case. This adds to the case lineup he and his partner, Robin Ellacott, are tackling. Robin is also trying to juggle unwanted male attention after her messy divorce. She even has ongoing feelings about Strike.
The two are then faced with a highly complex case that has leads involving a psychopathic serial killer, tarot cards, and witnesses that are not all completely trustworthy. They make out that even the very old cases can be deadly.
Good Girl, Bad Girl, by Michael Robotham (2020)
In this book, a girl is found hiding in a secret room in crime aftermath. She is filthy, half-starved but will not reveal anything about herself. She does not appear in any missing people files and also her DNA cannot be matched to any specific identity. Six years down the line, she remains unidentified but lives in a secure children's home and now, Evie Comac is her name. She initiates a court case and demands the right for her adult release. Cyrus Haven who is a forensic psychologist, is to determine if she can go free. Haven has never met anyone of her kind. She is equally fascinating as she is dangerous. Evie can tell when someone around her is lying or not revealing the truth.
In the meantime, Haven is tasked with investigating the utterly shocking murder of Jodie Sheeha, a skating champion who dies on a lonesome footpath that is in close proximity to her home. She is popular and everyone portrays her as the utmost girl-next-door. However, as Haven uncovers the layers, a secret emerges and Evie knows something about it even though she has no past. Haven is faced with the dilemma of whether to save Evie or seek justice for Jodie.
The book is a continuation of Robert’s Cormoran Strike Series.
Walk the Wire, by David Baldacci (2020)
This intense read by David Baldacci will appeal to many readers and especially those drawn to mysteries focusing on the FBI and national security threats. Walk the Wire depicts what it is like in a North Dakota town in a fascinating manner. Amos Decker and Alex Jamison who are FBI employees are called to North Dakota and they immediately sense that this town is troublesome. A second gold rush has been promised and it has attracted very many newcomers. The community is now immensely and rapidly growing. This boom has created its own problems too; crimes, prostitution, drugs, and now murder.
The two are to investigate the death of Irene Cramer whose body was skillfully autopsied but then openly dumped. This is the start of the case’s oddities. What shocks them is the discovery that the woman was a prostitute by night but a religious sect teacher by day. The sect operates on land that once belonged to a mysterious government facility and one that now looms over the community.
The town is packed with shady government officials, religious outsiders, and merciless business owners, all determined not to reveal their secrets. Other murders take place and Decker will be required to utilize his detective skills, exceptional memory and the help of a surprising ally to turn over a killer and the contributions towards Cramer's death before the town's boom can explode.
Forced Confessions, by John Fairfax (2020)
Talk about a legal thriller, Forced Confessions is perfect! The drama in the courtroom plays an essential role in the storyline’s action with brilliant scenes.
Sixteen years ago, William Benson, a Criminal barrister is convicted of murder and has now been ostracized by his family and establishment. He has defied them all and now, he has his own chambers. His close-knit and solicitor, Tess de Vere are his supporters. He is faced with his life's case and Helen Camberley’s terminal illness. Helen assisted him in leaving his prison behind.
A Spanish doctor, Jorge Menderez is found dead in an East London isolated warehouse. Being a troubled man, he had turned to Karen Lynwood who is a counsellor for help. Meanwhile, Karen's husband is being accused of the murder. The question is, who is this Jorge Menderez and why did he come to London?
Benson has to defend the couple against the apparently impossible odds as his past secrets threaten becoming even more overwhelming and is even under more pressure, fitful, stubborn, and contradictory.
The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (2019)
For any ghost story lovers reading this, consider picking up Elly Griffiths’ The Stranger Diaries. The book structures a modern mystery and has a fictional author RM Holland as an important element of the plot. This relatively easy read has also won several accolades. It will completely pull you along.
Clare Cassidy’s closest friend and colleague is found dead and “The Stranger”, a line from Holland’s highly known story is found alongside her corpse. Clare is greatly horrified when she sees a storyline of one of her specially liked literature collide with her life.
The police think that the killer could be known to Clare. Clare does not know who she can now trust and turns to her diary as her confidant. It is her outlet for her biggest fears and the very darkest of the case suspicions. On a later date, she notices a very odd thing. There is a writing that does not belong to her on her diary’s old page reading “Hallo Clare, you don’t know me.”
She now becomes even more certain that “The Stranger” is now terrifying. Can the ending be altered in time?
Your Truth or Mine? by Trisha Sakhlecha (2019)
Trisha Sakhlecha's title is likely to keep you in suspense from the moment you finish the first few pages. It all starts with Mia and Roy – a loving couple whose marriage takes an unexpected turn.
When Roy is questioned by the police over a young woman who went missing, Mia starts becoming suspicious. They both end up questioning each other. And just when you think you got it, a new twist kicks in.
The Neighbour by Fiona Cummins (2019)
The Neighbour is one of the best mystery novels 2019 in terms of suspense and unexpected twists. It follows the story of the Lockwood family.
They buy a new home, but they have no idea who their neighbors are. Most of them hold some terrible secrets. One of them seems to be behind a series of murders.
The best part about this novel? You have no idea where it is going, but things start making sense after a while.
A Nearly Normal Family by M. T. Edvardsson (2019)
A Nearly Formal Family tells the same story from three different directions. It follows the story of a family, but the story jumps from one point of view to another. The mother, the father and the daughter see things differently. It all starts when the daughter is accused of murder.
Every character has their own ideas regarding the outcome of the story, but the mystery behind it will make you feel confused and undecided.
One Good Deed by David Baldacci (2019)
One Good Deed is by far one of the best mystery novels 2019. It looks like a mix of crime, mystery and drama, but you will fail to get the outcome until you finish it. Sure, you can try guessing, but you will be surprised.
Anyway, David Baldacci's novel follows Aloysius Archer, who moves to Poca City in the attempt to start a new life after being released from prison. However, he takes a job as a debt collector and things get out of hand.
Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater (2009)
For anyone who enjoys mysteries set up in snow, you will totally enjoy this captivating read. For many years now, Grace has kept watching the wolves that are usually behind her house. Her yellow-eyed wolf is what she cannot live without.
Sam, on the other hand, has lived double lives. One in the frozen woods, the packs protection, and a silent one in the company of a particular silent girl. When Grace comes across the yellow-eyed boy, her breath is taken away by his familiarity. This is her wolf, at least it has to be. As winter approaches, Sam must keep up being human or else he will risk losing himself or forever lose Grace.
Great Mystery books have unique plots that will make you keep reading in your quest to find out what happens at the end. They will keep you engaged and give you strong insights. They are a must-read!
If you are looking for new adventure mystery books check out the following list article.
My profession is online marketing and development (10+ years experience), check my latest mobile app called Upcoming or my Chrome extensions for ChatGPT. But my real passion is reading books both fiction and non-fiction. I have several favorite authors like James Redfield or Daniel Keyes. If I read a book I always want to find the best part of it, every book has its unique value.