Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. I used to do these videos when I was on BookTube, and I really miss them, so I’ve decided to try to do them on the blog every month from now on! October’s topic is our favorite mysteries. I don’t read many books classified as strictly mysteries, so I’ve compiled a list of my favorite books of many different genres that involve a mystery subplot.
madalyn’s favorite mysteries
The Diviners by Libba Bray // I mean, if you read my blog often or follow me anywhere, you knew this was coming. I just ADORE Libba Bray as a writer, and this is by far my favorite ongoing series. It has everything I could ever want in a book: a 1920’s New York City setting, a cast of diverse teenagers with varying supernatural powers, creepy ghosts, wonderful writing… and, of course, tons of compelling mysteries for our beloved cast of characters to solve. Seriously, if you haven’t read this series, do yourself a favor and start it. It only gets better with each book.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn // This is definitely my favorite of Flynn’s three full-length novels. I found Sharp Objects so intensely, quietly disturbing. Flynn paints a terrifying picture of all the ugliest parts of small-town Southern life in this book (fun fact: the town where I grew up is where they filmed the movie…). The mystery element serves to further the plot of Sharp Objects, but the characters and the fact that they’re ALL AWFUL PEOPLE are what really kept me reading.
Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta // A recent release I haven’t shut up about since I read it! It’s a murder mystery set in a Broadway theater. It also features a great f/f romance and absolutely beautiful prose.
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco // At a signing I attended recently, the author described this series of companion novels as “Gothic Nancy Drew mysteries,” and I think that’s the perfect explanation of these books. If you like historical fiction and don’t mind some graphic blood and gore, this series is a must-read in YA! The sequel, Hunting Prince Dracula, is one of my favorite sequels of the year. Again, the mysteries aren’t always difficult to solve, but the characters and setting are both exceptionally well-described and developed. Plus, if you’re interested in men, Thomas Cresswell will FOR SURE become one of your new book boyfriends.
Far from You by Tess Sharpe // This book holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first YA book I ever read with a bisexual protagonist, but it’s also an excellent mystery. The main character, Sophie, is searching for clues about the person who murdered her best friend, while also recovering from drug addiction.
My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris // And, once again, literally no one is surprised to see this book here. This absolute gem of a graphic novel is difficult to describe because it’s so wide-ranging and brilliant, but part of the story follows our main character Karen, as she decides to investigate the death of her upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, which she deems suspicious. The stunning artwork contributes to the dark mystery vibe of the story. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE AND GENIUS AND JUST READ IT ALREADY, OKAY???
I See You by Clare Mackintosh // I read this book a few months ago and found it such an excellent thriller! The premise is intensely creepy: our protagonist, Zoe Walker, finds her own photo in a classified ad (which she did not place) for a mysterious dating site while reading the newspaper on her commute one day. I felt smug because I thought I had this mystery figured out, but then there was a twist at the very end that I DEFINITELY DID NOT SEE COMING.
Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton // This duology was endlessly fun and compulsively readable. It reminded me of exactly why I adore YA. It does feature a mystery subplot, but the overall story focuses on the lives of three teenage girls at a prestigious ballet academy in New York City. It’s so good, guys.
What books feature some of your favorite mysteries? Have you read any of the books on my list?