mystery novels
Editors’ Note: After Prarthana shared her passion for mystery novels with us, we asked her to send us a list of some of her favourite novels. This list contains some well-known titles and a few which we didn’t expect. Pick one up only if you are willing to lose a few hours of sleep as you furiously read to the end.


And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie

One of Agatha Christie’s finest works, the book follows the story of ten strangers invited to a mansion on Indian Island. The tension is palpable as they begin to die one by one. It almost seems like divine justice but is clear that this is nothing short of plain, meticulously planned murder. The police discover that all the guests are dead and that no one has left the island. The mystery remains: who killed them?

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Gone Girl

Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is centred around the mysterious disappearance of Amy Dunne. The suspicion falls on her husband, Nick, and the true nature of their not-so-perfect marriage is unravelled and their true identities are revealed. The book is a psychological thriller that revolves around urban psychosis. This is an ideal read for those looking for something that delves into mysteries of the human psyche and its complex working.

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When We Are Orphans

Kazuo Ishiguro

For Christopher Banks, “You are what your parents make you, or rather what their absence makes you”. Both his parents disappeared under strange circumstances when he was still a child. He was then sent to live in England, where he grows up to become a celebrated detective. Two decades later, he returns to a war-stricken Shanghai to solve the mystery of his parents’ disappearance. This book explores how the past influences our present and our thinking patterns.

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The Black Dahlia

James Ellroy

A Hollywood diva’s ruthless murder makes for a glamorous crime, and that is exactly what we get. The Black Dahlia is a fictional take on the real-life murder of Elizabeth Short, whose body was found severely mutilated in Los Angeles on the night of January 15, 1947. In the book, two cops who have taken a strong liking to the young actress, obsessively pursue this case and tread deeper into the murky waters of Hollywood.

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Mr. Mercedes

Stephen King

This spine-chilling mystery is the classic tale of good versus evil with a touch of madness. A serial killer’s lust for murder awakens just a few months after his first kill. Unable to contain his urge to kill, he sends a letter to a retired policeman, threatening to strike again unless he’s stopped.

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61 Hours

Lee Child

Part of the popular Jack Reacher series, in this book, Reacher is on a mission to save a woman who is crucial to the capture of a highly wanted and dangerous criminal. With 61 hours in hand, Reacher sets out on a deadly journey of survival with utter disregard to his own life.

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Playing With Fire

Tess Gerritsen

Set in the quixotic backdrop of Rome and Venice, the novel follows the story of a mother trying to save her young daughter who is wrongly implicated in outrageous crimes. In her pursuit of the truth, she discovers that there are some who would like to keep the truth buried and would not hesitate to kill her to protect themselves.

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The Snowman

Jo Nesbo

On a cold winter night, a young boy awakes in Oslo to a missing mother and a snowman in his yard with his mother’s scarf around its neck. The protagonist, a police investigator, begins to see a pattern emerge as he digs further into the case and discovers that other women have gone missing on the first day of snowfall. He is also suspicious of an eerie connection between the case at hand and a letter he receives, dragging him deeper into the games of an eccentric perpetrator.

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