Top 10 Mystery Books

Reading mystery books is always an exciting adventure as they offer readers the opportunity to immerse into an intricate setting with the character-driven plot and hear distinctive narrative voices. The 10 books listed below are extraordinarily different in time, place and style but their plot is captivating and their action is organic. Of course, there are many other good mystery books worth reading, but these ones, we think, are some of the best mysteries every written.

1. "The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins

This wonderfully mysterious and engaging novel written in the 19th century is distinguished by intricate plotting and mastery skill in concealing and revealing secrets. The story is rather long and complicated, with skillfully drawn characters and absolutely haunting scenes. The author managed to create one of the greatest mystery thrillers in the English literature, having invented much of what became standard in crime.

2. "A Crime in the Neighborhood" by Suzanne Berne

It this novel the author has created the atmosphere of deep moral peril in which the culminating tragedy seems inevitable. It is also one of those books in which the title has much deeper sense, and rather moving. Having completed the book the reader will understand the real meaning of the "crime in the neighborhood", much more profound and long lasting than just a single act of violence.

3. "A Dark-Adapted Eye" by Ruth Rendell

The book with one of the most beautiful titles in mystery fiction is full of intricate plot and surprising revelations. This is an engaging reading for those adults who love psychological suspense, with real people facing dark problems.

4. "A Coffin for Dimitrios" by Eric Ambler

The famous line "It is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullet" originates from this fascinating book. But it is not its only merit. The main character is Dimitrios, and his life and death become a story of incredible fascination. His life is full of desperate struggle and fierce intrigue that can't but impress the readers. After Charles Latimer learns about the mysterious Dimitrios, the reader confronts with the lost Balkan world that thrived between the two world wars, characterized by expediency and deceit that the author reveals in detail.

5. "True Confessions" by John Gregory Dunne

Having started with a crime connected with the Black Dahlia murder, the plot of the novel gradually develops into a narrative of great emotional power. The book draws a vivid picture of Los Angeles in the '40s that serves as a backdrop for a story of two brothers. One brother is a policeman, the other is a priest, and the reader can follow their relationship along the trail of a terrible crime.

6. "The Eye of the Beholder" by Marc Behm

Having read this novel once you won't be able to get it out of your mind, indeed. The private detective called The Eye is looking for a female serial killer for more than ten years. The Eye is deeply lonely, and the woman he is searching for is a heartless hater of men. The author has created one of the most intriguing mystery novels having described the macabre dance of death that fills the lives of the main character.

7. "A Simple Plan" by Scott Smith

The beginning of the story is quite realistic. Two brothers and a friend find by accident a crashed plane with lots of money hidden in its ruins. They come up with a simple plan how to keep and conceal a fortune that is obviously not theirs. Following their plan they become not only criminals but also victims of crime. The story reveals how the wages of sin and crime become more and more costly. The novel is a classic cautionary tale about how ordinary and mostly innocent people are tempted by money and what penalty for dishonesty they may exact.

8. "Sneaky People" by Thomas Berger

This crime novel is sure to give you a laugh sometimes. The events are set in the 1930s, and its main character, Buddy Sandifer, a used car dealer, wants to kill his wife because of the other woman Laverne. He plots his wife's murder and the tale of misadventure becomes truly hilarious.

9. "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene

This novel, published in 1955, offers a realistic portrait of Vietnam before French defeat. The views of Fowler, a British journalist working in Vietnam, differ from the idealistic beliefs of Alden Pyle, the "quiet American", whose mysterious death becomes the narrative heart of the story. The novel is characterized by a unique blend of several genres, being part intrigue, part mystery, part love story.

10. "Cutter and Bone" by Newton Thornburg

Topping the New York Times list as the best novel of its kind, "Cutter and Bone" is about a man obsessed with a murder committed by another man. But the "murderer", a rich man by the name of J.J. Wolfe, probably has not killed anyone. That is why Cutter's mad pursuit of Wolfe makes the book so interesting.
Also we recommend reading some of the best novels that will keep you in suspense, including the series of short stories about the legendary Sherlock Holmes.
Not only adults but also kids are thrilled by mystery stories. If there is a young reader in your family he or she might be interested in reading the best mystery books for kids.