This is a list of The Best Mystery Books of 2021. I’ll continue to update this list as new releases are published through the rest of the year, but here’s the best of what’s new and anticipated for 2021.
Note that this list is limited to mystery books already published or to be published in 2021.
Will you be reading any of these books when they come out?
For more books coming soon, see the list of Upcoming New Release Books.
What It's About: Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother...See the Full Summary and Review of The Last Thing He Told Me Publication Date: May 4, 2021
What It's About: Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge...See the Full Summary and Review of The Maidens Publication Date: June 3, 2021
What It's About: A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives...See the Full Summary and Review of The Wife Upstairs Publication Date: January 5, 2021
What It's About: Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.
There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
Fern Castle works in her local library...See the Full Summary and Review of The Good Sister Publication Date: October 27, 2020
What It's About: People don’t just disappear without a trace....
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold...See the Full Summary and Review of Local Woman Missing Publication Date: May 18, 2021
What It's About: Anna Hart is a missing persons detective in San Francisco. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her...See the Full Summary and Review of When the Stars Go Dark Publication Date: April 13, 2021
What It's About: Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.
He says his wife couldn't be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.
Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life...Publication Date: July 20, 2021
What It's About: 2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.
Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.
The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah's friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place...Publication Date: July 22, 2021
What It's About: It's the following Thursday.
Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.
As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer...Publication Date: September 28, 2021
What It's About: When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police...Publication Date: August 24, 2021
What It's About: Meet Chloe Sevre. She’s a freshman honor student, a leggings-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. Her hobbies include yogalates, frat parties, and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.
Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study for psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt...Publication Date: September 7, 2021
What It's About: An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present--and intent on keeping its dark secrets--in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.
Welcome to Chapel Croft...Publication Date: February 9, 2021
What It's About: ONE LOVE STORY. TWO MARRIAGES. THREE VERSIONS OF THE TRUTH.
Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips―she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family―she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result...Publication Date: March 2, 2021
What It's About: “They found the bodies on a Tuesday.”
So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.
After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family—his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister—have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico...Publication Date: March 2, 2021
What It's About: Charlie Jordan is being driven across the country by a serial killer. Maybe.
Behind the wheel is Josh Baxter, a stranger Charlie met by the college ride share board, who also has a good reason for leaving university in the middle of term. On the road they share their stories, carefully avoiding the subject dominating the news - the Campus Killer, who's tied up and stabbed three students in the span of a year, has just struck again...See the Full Summary and Review of Survive the Night Publication Date: June 29, 2021
What It's About: "Getting the job done" for one single mom takes on a whole new meaning in Finlay Donovan is Killing It.
Finlay Donovan is killing it...except, she’s really not. A stressed-out single mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: The new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written; her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her; and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors...Publication Date: February 2, 2021
What It's About: A YA murder mystery meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off, about three estranged friends who skip school and get caught up in a crime they can't solve without exposing their secrets. Publication Date: November 30, 2021
What a great list! It’s really hard to keep up with so many good books to read :)
haha I KNOW!! I can never seem to get ahead of my TBR, but ahh well. there are worse problems to have!
I do love a good mystery. I’m going to try to get my hands on a copy of Findlay Donovan is Killing it. It sounds like fun. Thanks for the heads up on these.
Included on this 2021 list should be Debbie Babitt’s debut novel Saving Grace. This book of psychological suspense has received 5 star praise from several NYT best selling authors and was named by shereads as one of the most anticipated thrillers of 2021. Pub date March 16, 2021 by Scarlet books.
Thumbs up to this list, has me looking forward to 2021! I think I am most excited for The Lost Village by Camilla Sten or The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor. I like a lot of Tudor’s works but was quite disappointed by her most recent release, The Other People and am eager to see if this new release has the same spice and intrigue as The Taking of Annie Thorne. Yikes, love me some mysteries!
This is an amazing list! I am glad I found this post, really looking forward to reading Paula Hawkin’s ‘A Slow Fire Burning’.
thanks! I’m looking forward to reading that book, too! :)