Most of the time, people relax by going out to shop, hang out with friends, or spend hours in a spa getting pampered until they feel good and satisfied; however, there are some who opt to just curl up and snuggle against pillows on the couch with a good cup of coffee on the side and one of the best mystery books in hand. Reading mystery novels is one great way to spend some quality time with yourself and somehow, these types of books keep you warm, excited, and thrilled as your mind works simultaneously while reading these interesting books.
The best mystery books that are around will definitely pique your interest and satisfy your appetite for clues, murders, suspicious characters, as well as puzzles to figure out the story. To give you an idea of what great novels are available for you to enjoy, here is a list of the best mystery books of all time.
The Hound of the Baskervilles
By: Arthur Conan
This is a classic among classics since the book is a great story, as well as an interesting take on the dynamics of both Watson and Holmes. Here, the former deduces and the latter disappears, showing that Holmes is much better when it comes to deducing. The story is set on Dartmoor, Devon which is known as England’s country in the west; the story tells of an attempted killing that has been inspired by an ancient legend concerning a diabolic and frightening hound that has a supernatural origin so both Sherlock and Watson investigate the case.
The Silence of the Lambs
By: Thomas Harris
For a young FBI agent to capture a bizarre and eccentric serial killer, she chooses to consult with another serial killer who went as far as cooking and eating his own victims. The killer agrees with her and does help her on one condition – that he gets into her head in the process. This whole set up clearly allows the agent to find her killer while simultaneously having another killer confuse her mind in the process.
And Then There Were None
By: Agatha Christie
The setting of this story starts with ten people being accused of killing a number of innocent individuals, all being stranded on an island where they begin to die one at a time in keeping with a specific nursery rhyme. Did the accused really kill anyone? Who is the real killer? Who is this Mister UN Owen?
A Coffin for Dimitrios
By: Eric Ambler
One of the best mystery books is A Coffin for Dimitrios which is a classic mystery novel that features a post-modern twist: the main character of the story is also the mystery novelist. This is a chance rendezvous with a Turkish colonel who has a fondness for crime novels; and due to the situation, Charles Latimer hopes that the notorious Dimitrios’ career will eventually inspire a plot for his next story. Unfortunately, the novelist in the novel ends up getting caught in a dark web of drugs, espionage, assassinations, and even treachery.
The Big Sleep
By: Raymond Chandler
Philip Marlowe is a loner private eye who has been asked by a dying man to stop a specific case of blackmail; and through the course of time when corpses begin to pile up, the private eye has to determine which of the dying man’s two daughters is part of the crime.
Daughter of Time
By: Josephine Tey
In one of the best mystery books called the Daughter of Time, an inspector named Alan Grant has become stuck flat on his back and to pass time, he studies the faces of the many famous portraits that were delivered to him by a friend. His own reaction to Richard III is surprising since the character is often depicted as a humpbacked demon, courtesy of William Shakespeare.
Arthur and George
By: Julian Barnes
Arthur and George is among the best mystery books of all times that is set in the turn of the twentieth-century; it follows the independent yet converging lives of two distinct British men: George Edalji and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. About one-third of the book talks of Edalji’s trial to imprisonment and the other part is about Doyle’s relationships with his very first wife and platonic lover.
Spy Who Came In From the Cold
By: John Le Carre
The book Spy who Came In From the Cold narrates a different story – a story stating that spies are no better than those individuals they are spying on. The various ideals based on freedom and democracy is stepped on by those individuals who are supposed to defend and protect these ideals.
In Cold Blood
By: Truman Capote
In Cold Blood is another one of the best mystery books of all time; its story begins with Herbert Clutter who does his usual task of checking his ranch. That same morning on the 14th of November 1959, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock meet on the other side of Kansas; while the Clutters go on with their daily tasks, both Hickock and Smith take a long drive towards their home, carrying with them a knife and a shotgun.
The Maltese Falcon
By: Dashiell Hammett
This is a story about Sam Spade who is a private detective based in San Francisco who is in partnership with Miles Archer. It is set in the year 1928 and there, a beautiful young woman named Miss Wonderly hires these private detectives to follow a man named Floyd Thursby who ran away with her sister. Archer takes on the first stint but unfortunately, he gets shot that night and is found dead; after a few hours, Thursby also gets killed and leaves Spade as the suspect.
The Name of the Rose
By: Umberto Eco
The name of the Rose is claimed to be one of the best mystery books of all time and it begins when William of Baskerville travels all the way to Italy to observe individuals who argue and debate over the Bible’s meaning and also The Burning Man; however, during the course of his trip, he is met with a mystery. One of the present friars suddenly commits suicide which puts a restraint on things since suicide is considered a major sin. William then begins to search and investigate, and this is where the suspects start dropping like flies.
By: Charles Dickens
This is another one of the best mystery books of all time and it starts with Pip meeting Magwitch, a convict who has successfully escaped from a prison ship together with his accomplice. Magwitch finds it difficult to travel around with literally a ball and chain so he terrorizes Pip into getting him some food and a file to remove his restraints; Pip does as he’s told but eventually forgets the event ‘til years later.
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
By: P.D. James
The story is all about the private detective named Cordelia Gray who one day, walks into their office in London to find her former partner and police detective dead. Bernie Pryde was her partner and he left everything to Cordelia, including his unlicensed handgun. Despite the detective agency was failing and the lack of money was present, Cordelia refused to return to her previous secretarial job and focused instead on keeping the agency in memory of her partner.
The Complete Auguste Dupin Stories
By: Edgar Allan Poe
One of the best mystery books by Edgar Allan Poe has been considered as the very first and true detective stories of all time; moreover, the volumes in this book include the author’s other detective fictional classics that feature the same character.
By: Wilkie Collins
The story of The Moonstone revolves around a certain diamond that was stolen from the statue of Vishnu by an English soldier. Since the diamond is being hunted by a couple of dangerous individuals, the soldier then decides to offer the diamond to his niece as a gift for her birthday. Of course, the night of her birthday is when the diamond was taken so this marks the beginning of the hunt.
By: Daphne du Maurier
This is among the few best mystery books of all time that feature a Gothic-romantic theme; it is a story about a young lady who marries an older man. It was all good at first, however, the young woman ends up getting drowned into the dark swirling mystery that surrounds his first wife’s death.
When We Were Orphans
By: Kazuo Ishiguro
Another one of the best mystery books of all time is When We Were Orphans; the story is about Christopher Banks who once lived in the Shanghai International Settlement. He stayed there until his father – an opium dealer / businessman – and mother disappeared just within a few weeks of each other. From then, he was sent to England to live with his aunt and then became one of the most successful detectives around. His acquired skills will be used to solve the case of his parent’s disappearance.
By: Michael Connelly
The Poet is generally a serial killer who enjoys having his victims – specifically police officers – appear to have killed themselves while leaving behind quotes from Edgar Allan Poe. A reporter named Jack McEvoy decides to look into and research about his own brother’s suicide.
By: Stephen King
The Shining is about a recovering alcoholic and writer named Jack who takes his family to a mysterious and remote hotel for the sole reason of writing during the winter. However, his son, Danny, ends up having various visits from ghosts which scares him greatly, and at some point when these spirits plan to take over the boy, these spirits end up attacking Jack who is known to be highly receptive.
The Mystic River
By: Dennis Lehane
One of the best mystery books of all time is the Mystic River which is about three kids playing on some street in Boston yet one gets abducted by an unknown person. This boy is named Dave and he successfully escapes from those who abducted him, only after being sexually molested by men. Skipping to twenty-five years after, the three still live in the same area but one turned into a cop, an ex-con, and Dave who had become dead inside due to what happened in the past.