Best Mystery Books of 2021

I read and enjoyed all of these books last year and highly recommend if you're looking for some mystery thrillers to read.

Northern Spy - Flynn Berry

A Reese Witherspoon bookclub pick, the book takes place in 2018 and the focus is on two sisters and how the conflict in Northern Ireland impacts their lives. The situation in Northern Ireland, past and present, is intriguing and something I was curious to learn more about. Not quite a spy thriller but rather a story of Tessa, her search for her sister Marian, and her son Flynn.

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

A Reese Witherspoon bookclub pick and was so suspenseful I read it one day! This book also won Goodreads Choice Awards in the thriller category. Hannah, Owen and Bailey live happily on a houseboat in Sausalito, Northern California. Hannah is a successful woodturner and creates handcrafted furniture. She's been married to Owen for a little over a year. Hannah Hall receives a note from her husband Owen, saying only 'protect her' before he disappears, leaving Hannah to take care of his 16 year old daughter Bailey.  When Hannah receives visits from the FBI and a U.S Marshal she starts doing some digging herself and begins to understand that her husband Owen was not who she thought he was.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

This book also won Goodreads Choice Awards in horror category and is being adapted to be Hulu series produced by Kelly Ripa. The "horror" parts are only a few sentences at the very end of the book, very easy to gloss over. I loved that the book has a spotify playlist to go with it! I've always wanted background music to listen to when I read a book and the songs selected really got you in the spooky mood. It's an interesting dark haunted house story set in 1950s Mexico although Mexican culture isn't really mentioned in the book. The book is very atmospheric with the vivid descriptions of the house and cemetery. The twists were unexpected, this is one super creepy novel! I learned about eugenics and glow in the dark mushrooms.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley 

A Reese Witherspoon bookclub pick set on a small island off the coast of Ireland at the scene of a wedding. The groom is a handsome rising television star and the bride is a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine with boutique whiskey. The cell phone service is spotty, the waves are rough, and then someone turns up dead. This was such a good thriller! With so many characters thankfully the chapters were kept short.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

A Reese Witherspoon book club pick, set high up in the snowy Swiss Alps, a former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel hidden isolated in the forest. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm to this sinister place, is a detective there to celebrate her estranged brother's engagement. Then two people go missing as the storm closing off all access to the hotel.

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

A Reese Witherspoon book club pick. Emily is having the time of her life in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip. But on the last night of their trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she'd been flirting with attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year's trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can't believe it's happened again-can lightning really strike twice?

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I really enjoyed this book and read it in two days! I think the subject was very relatable, a group of 30-something women in NYC looking for friends. On a subway platform, Shay witnesses the disturbing suicide of a young woman who jumps in front of a fast moving train. She begins to obsess over the victim, haunted by the tragedy, as she begins to delve into her life, wondering what on earth made her want to take her own life. This leads Shay into attending the memorial service where she meets friends of the deceased. The book is a mix of manipulation, twists, betrayal, revenge and suspense!

One by One by Ruth Ware 

This is the fourth book I’ve read from this author but not my favorite from her. It is a locked room mystery with eight characters. An off-site company retreat gets snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet and someone is killed but they don't know who the murderer is.

The Wife Upstairs - Rachel Hawkins

Quick read thriller with some twists. Jane is a dogwalker in the suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama where she swipes trinkets and jewelry from the homes where she walks their dog. Then she meets a widow named Eddie and they fall in love but also both of their pasts are revealed. The book is full of unlikeable characters and mysterious deaths.

Rock, Paper, Scissors - Alice Feeney

Adam and Amelia are a married couple whose marriage is on the rocks as they travel to a converted chapel at Blackwater Loch in the Scottish Highlands. Amelia won a free stay there from a contest at work, they are heading into a snow storm, and they know nothing about the chapel or the area. Adam has a condition called face blindness where he can’t recognize friends or family, or even his own wife. I googled this condition (prosopagnosia) and there are a handful of famous people with it including Senator Hickenlooper who has said that the condition make him always have to be on and friendly whenever he meets someone in case he already knows them so he doesn't offend anyone. The book is about ten years of marriage and ten years of secrets and an anniversary they will never forget.

In a previous reading list , I talked about the book The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and at the end of this month Netflix is releasing The Woman in the House Across the Street  which is a dark comedy miniseries loosely based on the book.

Related posts:

8 Must Read Books of 2018

Best Mystery Books of 2016

Mystery Books You Can't Put Down

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