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28 Best Thrillers and Mystery Books You Can’t Miss!

Welcome to Romanceopoly, the yearly reading challenge . You’ve landed on Killer Crescent, where your challenge is to read a thriller or mystery book of your choice!



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The thriller and mystery genre is massive…in terms of sales it is second only to romance, and when those two genres mix BOOM, you’ve got the excitement of a pulse pounding thriller and the satisfaction and emotional satisfaction of a romance book. It’s a heady combination. Killer Crescent is a pretty broad challenge…you can basically read any thriller or mystery book. So, we are helping you and here are some thriller and mystery books -most have a romantic element – we either recommend, or we have on our own TBR pile.

You can also check out our Thriller page on Under the Covers book blog you will find a genre definition and even more recommendations!


He Will Be My Ruin
by K.A. Tucker

Brief synopsis

Maggie Sparkes has come to New York to see to her best friend Celine’s affair after her suicide. But the more she looks into Celine’s life, the more the suicide doesn’t make sense. As dark secrets are revealed Maggie is convinced that someone close to her staged her murder to look like a suicide…and it looks like the killer now has Maggie in their sight.


by Colleen Hoover

Brief synopsis

There’s a deep, dark secret that Verity Crawford has been hiding.  She’s been in a serious accident and her publisher hired author Lowen Ashleigh to finish writing the 3 books left in Verity’s hugely popular series.  But when Lowen moves into the Crawford home to go through series notes she discovers some sinister secrets about Verity and her family life.  And she can’t help but feel an undeniable attraction to Verity’s husband, Jeremy.


Stillhouse Lake
by Rachel Caine

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

After discovering in a dramatic and public way that her seemingly perfect husband was a serial killer, then Gina Royal now, Gwen Proctor and her two children are constantly moving and trying to escape the hate mail and threats from all the people who falsely believe that Gwen assisted him. After so many years, Gwen finally believes that she has left her old self behind and is safe and has finally found a home by Stillhouse Lake. Until the bodies of young women, her ex-husbands preferred victims, start appearing. But, it can’t be her ex-husband, he’s in prison, could he have orchestrated this from behind bars? And how does he know where she is? Or is it all just coincidence?


The Whisper Man
by Alex North

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Widower Tom and his young son Jake are looking for a new start. So they move to the small town of Featherbank. However, the sleepy town has a dark past; a serial killer who victimised children. A killer who liked to whisper to his victims in the night. However, the killer was caught and Featherbanks went back to being a sleep town. Until now. Another boy has gone missing and Jake says he hears a man whispering to him through his bedroom window.
“If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”


The Turn of the Key
by Ruth Ware

Brief synopsis

Our main character is a young woman who starts off this story writing to an attorney from jail hoping that he will take on her case and defend her.  She’s being accused of the death of a child, one she was a nanny for.  These letters to the lawyer explain everything that happened. So, what happened, was she responsible for the child’s death…or was there something else going on in that house. Maybe even something from beyond this world.


Death Below Stairs
by Jennifer Ashley

Brief synopsis

Kat Holloway is a cook, which is a well-respected below stairs position and she feels responsible for those under her care. So, when she finds her assistant dead, murdered, she is determined to find out who killed her. To do that she calls for the assistance Daniel MacAdam. Daniel is a delivery man and man of all work…or at least that’s what people are supposed to think. Kat doesn’t quite know who or what he is, but she knows he’ll help. But the mystery of her assistant’s death is more complicated and more dangerous than she imagined.

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by Caroline Kepnes

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

You is told from the POV of a stalker. Joe Goldberg is not right in the head and you can tell that from the very beginning as his obsession with Guinevere Beck starts as soon as he spots her browsing the books at his bookstore in NYC. A simple thing as her paying for her books with her credit card and an open social media life allows him to dig his way into her life. And, as he worms his way into her life the story gets darker and darker. Has he done this before? What happened to the last girl?


Jane Doe
by Victoria Helen Stone

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Jane knows there’s one person responsible for her best friend Meg’s death. The ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately for him, he tangled with the wrong woman, because now nothing will stop Jane from destroying him and everything he loves. Insinuating herself in to his life as his next victim she will find out all his dark, dirty secrets and destroy him from the inside out. Or maybe she’ll just kill him, she hasn’t decided yet.


Invisible Girl
by Lisa Jewell

Brief synopsis

Young Saffyre Maddox spent three years under the care of renowned child psychologist Roan Fours. When Dr. Fours decides their sessions should end, Saffyre feels abandoned. She begins looking for ways to connect with him, from waiting outside his office to walking through his neighbourhood late at night. She soon learns more than she ever wanted to about Roan and his deceptively perfect family life. On a chilly Valentine’s night, Saffyre will disappear, taking any secrets she has learned with her.


Keep Her Safe
by K.A. Tucker

Brief synopsis

Noah has known his mother has been hiding things, her guilt has powered her descent into alcoholism and her drunken ramblings hints heavily at corruption and secrets, of innocent families destroyed. Then she kills herself. But she isn’t only Noah’s mother, but Austin’s chief of police. The secrets that she has been hiding start to be unravel as Noah investigates and he finds himself at the door of his childhood friend Grace whose father was killed and supposedly revealed as a corrupt cop. But as Noah and Grace discover more information they find that the corruption may go further and far closer to home than they could imagine and Noah has to face some hard truths about the mother he loved.


The Visitors
by Catherine Burns

Brief synopsis

Marion Zetland is a late middle aged woman who has been isolated from the world first by her parents and then by her older brother John with whom she lives. This has left Marion, with her collection of teddies, strangely childlike and very meek. The only escape she has being her innocent, yet slightly twisted, day dreams. All this is done in an effort to forget about the Visitors. The people that her brother John spends his time with in the basement. However, when John becomes ill it is up to Marion to face exactly what is in the basement and confront the visitors.


Quiet in Her Bones
by Nalini Singh

Brief synopsis

Unhappy socialite Nina Rai disappeared ten years ago, taking with her a chunk of money and leaving behind her young son Aarav. Everyone believed she’d disappeared to enjoy her spoils away from her unhappy marriage. Until they find her bones in the forest still in the same clothes she wore on the day she disappeared ten years ago. Now that his mother has been found, Aarav is determined to find out exactly who killed her, but the more he discovers…the more he realises that the killer could be far closer to home then he thought.


The Last One Home
by Victoria Helen Stone

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Lauren Abrams wants nothing to do with her damaged mother, whose spurious testimony sent Lauren’s father to prison for murder years ago. After a serial killer’s confession to the crime restored justice, Lauren chose to live with her father and grandmother. Now an adult, Lauren has come home to the Sacramento family estate for good, her mother’s lies be damned.
It’s been decades since Donna made her cheating boyfriend pay, but she hasn’t forgotten the past. She knows her estranged daughter has made a terrible mistake by returning to the estate. There’s more to the story of the welcoming old homestead—and her childhood—than Lauren knows.
As Lauren settles in, she is haunted by the questions of what really happened with her father, what her mother might be hiding, and what secrets the family ranch holds. It’s getting so dark, Lauren may not be able to see the truth to save her life.


Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. 
Delving into Grace’s past, Sidney peels away layer after layer of deception. But as she edges closer to the real heart of the story, Sidney must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career … even her life.


The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor

Brief synopsis

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.
That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.


Elizabeth is Missing
by Emma Healey

Brief synopsis

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, who she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger. But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend. This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II. As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more than fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?


Mother Dear
by Nova Lee Maier

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

There’s only one thing worse than doing the unthinkable: what you’re willing to do to hide it. Helen lives a decent, uncomplicated life. Satisfied in her career, she’s raising three happy teenagers, and her family has the most envied house on the street. Admittedly, she’s growing just a little disenchanted with her marriage to her workaholic husband, Werner. But that’s nothing she can’t fix. Then one day Helen comes home to something completely unexpected that threatens to shatter her carefully cultivated world.


Every Last Secret
by A.R. Torre

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Welcome to the neighbourhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.
Cat has what every woman in the neighbourhood, wants, beauty, social influence and a handsome husband. Neena, Cat’s new neighbour, deserves everything that Cat has, especially her husband and she is determined and will do anything to get what she wants.


A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder
by Julie Anne Lindsey

Brief synopsis

Mia Connors is thrown in to the deep end when she discovers one of her best friends body, dead at her work desk. The number one suspect for his murder? Her. Determined to find out who is behind the murder and the mysterious goings on at her workplace Mia starts to investigate. All with the questionable aid of Jake, the new head of security who can’t seem to decide whether she is a murderess or not.


The Girl in the Picture
by Kerry Barrett

Brief synopsis

Ella Daniels has given up her safe life as an accountant to pursue her career as a thriller writer full time. So, her and her family have moved from London to the coast on a house overlooking the sea. However, Ella soon hears the rumours of a mysterious murder and a missing girl and she can’t concentrate on her new novel until she gets to the  bottom of the tragic case.


The Widow
by K.L. Slater

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

The day my husband, Michael, stepped in front of a lorry after being questioned by the police, my world fell apart. He was devoted to me and our daughter. But they’d connected him to the disappearance of a young mother from our tiny village. Now I stand at Michael’s funeral, clutching my little girl’s hand, with tears in my eyes as I insist to all our friends that he died an innocent man. Yet the questions have started, and nothing I say will stop them digging for the truth. But none of them can read the secrets in my heart, or know about the phone I found hidden in his toolbox. I’m determined that my daughter will not remember her father as a monster. I will erase any hint of wrongdoing in this house whatever the cost. Because to keep my daughter safe, the last thing I need is for people to start looking at me…


Say You’re Sorry
by Melinda Leigh

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Morgan Dane is our main character, she’s been widowed for two years and has three adorable small children, who she parents with the help of her father. Now, she has decided it’s time for her to go back to work as a prosecutor. But, just as she’s about to start her baby sitter is horrifically murdered and her neighbour is accused of the slaying. Morgan doesn’t buy it. So with the help of her private investigator and former high school boyfriend, she decides to take up his defence.


A Brazen Curiosity
by Lynn Messina

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Brief synopsis

Plain and shy spinster Miss Beatrice Hyde-Clare is used to being overlooked. Orphaned at age five, she has lived under the sufferance of her aunt and uncle for the past 21 years. Unfortunately, she is never quite as clever and witty in company as she is in her head. Instead Bea succumbs to meek silence…or horrifyingly enough a stutter. Whilst at a house party in the Lake District she fully expects to be her usual plain boring self. Which, is why she shocks her aunt and cousins, but mostly herself, when she starts questioning certain pedantic and far-too-handsome duke’s, interrogating servants and sneaking around dark hallways at night. However, what is one to do when they find a dead body in the library? Especially when no one else seems to be interested in investigating his very suspicious demise.


Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle
by Luke Jennings

Brief synopsis

Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world’s most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world’s richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail. Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: to find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission.


Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes
by Denise Grover Swank

Brief synopsis

Psychic visions, mysterious and sexy neighbours, murders and a list. Welcome to a week in the life of Rose Gardner. Before this week, the previous 24 years of Rose’s life has been boring and full of verbal abuse from her demanding momma. However, one frightening psychic vision showing Rose her own death changes everything…


The Sun Down Motel
by Simone St. James

Brief synopsis

Carly has come to Fell, New York, and the Sun Down motel in particular for answers. Her aunt disappeared whilst working as the night clerk at the Sun Down motel 35 years before. Now Carly is retracing her footsteps, including taking a job as a night clerk. But, she may be following too closely in her aunt’s footsteps. As things start getting more dangerous, will Carly be another victim to the sinister monsters that seem to haunt the Sun Down?


One For The Money
by Janet Evanovich

Brief synopsis

You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man who took Stephanie’s virginity at age 16 and then wrote details on a bathroom wall. With pride and rent money on the line, Plum plunges headlong into her first case, one that pits her against ruthless adversaries – people who’d rather kill than lose.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

Brief synopsis

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

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