Fall is the Season of Mystery: Book Recs

The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are starting to change, the nights are getting longer. For me, this time of year always ushers in an intense desire to make a cup of tea, put on my flannel PJs and curl up with a good mystery.

Whether it’s the approach of Halloween and the general spookiness that attends it or the thought of the year getting old and preparing to lie down for its eternal sleep, fall has always been the season of the murder mystery for me. I’m not really picky either. While the old-fashioned whodunits tend to be my favorites, I also love a good cozy, a police procedural, a psychological thriller, a legal thriller and a flat out horror story. I’ve created quite a list of favorites and I am now sharing them with you, in case the mood strikes you one dark and stormy night.

Most of these recommendations are part of a series, so I linked to the first book in the series so you would know where to begin. Some of the authors have so many books or so many series that I've simple linked to the author so you can peruse for yourself.


Good, old-fashioned whodunits

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers

A Man Lay Dead by Ngaio Marsh

The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd

Still Life by Louise Penny

Cover Her Face by PD James

Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler


Cozy Mysteries

Death of a Gossip by MC beaton

Evans Above; Murphy's Law; Her Royal Spyness (3 series) by Rhys Bowen

Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn

Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs

Murder on Astor Place by Victoria Thompson

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear


Police Procedurals

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin

Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs

1st to Die; Step On a Crack (2 series) by James Patterson

On, Off by Colleen McCullough

Naked in Death by JD Robb

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

The Surgeon by Tess Gerristen

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman


Psychological Thrillers

Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy

In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The 7th Victim by Alan Jacobson

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver


Legal Thrillers

Obviously anything by John Grisham

Scott Turow

The Las Days of Night by Graham Moore

Scott Pratt

Marcia Clark

Thomas Benigno

James Grippando

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson



Again, this one’s obvious, but anything by Stephen King, Shirley JacksonJoe Hill, Peter Straub or Clive Barker is going to be a good bet.

American Psycho by Bret Ellis

Coraline by Neil Gaimen

Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream (short stories) by Harlan Ellison