11 Twisty Locked-Room Mystery Books for Fans of Knives Out

Locked-room mysteries are one of my absolute favorite types of mystery novels. In fact, it might be my all-time favorite sub-genre! There’s something so intriguing about trying to figure out “whodunit” in a particular setting where the characters are all trapped together. If you love this type of story, too, read on for the best locked-room mystery books (perfect for fans of the movie Knives Out)!

locked room mystery book covers

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What is a locked-room mystery?

A locked-room mystery involves a murder (or other type of crime) that seems to have been committed in a locked (or otherwise impenetrable) room or building.

The protagonist (often a detective) has to figure out who committed the crime, and how they managed to do it.

It’s believed that Edgar Allan Poe and Gaston Leroux originally created the sub-genre with their own locked-room mystery novels. Agatha Christie is also well-known for her beloved locked-room mystery stories.

Best Contemporary Locked-Room Mysteries like Knives Out

One of the reasons I loved Knives Out so much is that it pays homage to classic locked-room mysteries (a la Agatha Christie) while also bringing something fresh and new to the genre.

The mystery novels in this list feature contemporary settings and characters, but you can tell that many of them are inspired by the classics that came before. But don’t worry: each one puts their own spin on it!

(If you’re more interested in classic mystery novels, scroll down to the bottom of this post for some ideas).

For something a little more light-hearted, check out these wonderful cozy mystery books! You might also enjoy these mystery books for fans of Only Murders in the Building.

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid book cover

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The Maid is like a cross between Clue, Eleanor Oliphant, and a modern Agatha Christie novel.

It’s about a woman named Molly who works as a maid in a fancy hotel. She has trouble understanding social cues, and lives her life by the teachings of her beloved Gran.

But things take a turn when she finds a man dead in his room, and she becomes involved in a murder investigation.

This is a fun and cozy locked-room mystery with a unique, lovable protagonist! Molly the maid is a wonderful character that’s easy to root for.

I love hotel settings in books, too, and the fact that this was set at the opulent Regency Grand Hotel definitely doesn’t hurt. I really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a lighthearted mystery!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton book cover

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This is one of the most unique and engrossing books I’ve read. It’s twisty, genre-bending (historical mystery, magical realism, and more), and best-enjoyed with an open mind.

It’s hard to nail down a synopsis for a book this unique, but I’ll break down the essence.

A man (Aidan) is summoned to a Gothic mansion for a lavish party. But what he finds is much more sinister: he must find out which of the guests killed Evelyn Hardcastle, or he’ll continue to wake up every day in a new host’s body, re-living the same day over and over.

It gives off serious Agatha Christie vibes, which I am ALL about. The cast of characters, the eerie setting, the twists and turns…it’s all so well done. Highly recommended!

(Here are more unique genre-bending books like this one!)

Shiver by Allie Reynolds

Shiver book cover

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When ex-snowboarder Milla is invited to the French Alps for a reunion with some friends from her competition days, she’s intrigued enough to show up.

It’s been years since they’ve all seen each other, and the remote mountain resort they’re staying at brings back lots of memories: both good and bad. It also dredges up a whole load of secrets, especially surrounding the mysterious death of one of their friends 10 years ago.

But things aren’t always as they seem, and it turns out someone will do anything to get the truth.

I loved this book – it’s a perfect locked-room mystery to curl up with on a chilly night!

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson

Benjamin Stevenson thriller book cover

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A family of killers gets together for a reunion at a ski resort. But soon, they get snowed in, and a dead body is found.

Obviously, everyone is on the suspect list – which makes finding the killer that much harder.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Daisy Darker book cover

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This modern take on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None follows a family who arrives at their crumbling estate on a reclusive island on Halloween night.

With a storm brewing and the tide rolling in, one of them is found dead. Soon, another body is found. The entire family is trapped, forced to reckon with their pasts – and desperate to find the killer before it’s too late.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

The Hunting Party book cover

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A group of college friends reunites at an isolated hunting lodge in the Scottish Highlands over Christmas break.

At first, they enjoy exploring and reminiscing about the past. But soon, a terrible blizzard hits, and they get snowed in. On New Year’s Day, one of them is found dead – and one of them must be the killer.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People book cover

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This dark comedy is centered around a group of people (and a would-be bank robber) trapped in an apartment building during a hostage situation, and the policemen who are determined to figure out what’s going on.

Except, the situation isn’t quite what you think it is.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One Of Us Is Lying book cover

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An eclectic group of five Bayview high school students walks into detention one Monday evening, but only four of them walk out.

One of them, Simon, is found dead – and not by accident. It turns out, he was planning to expose some juicy gossip about the other students online, which makes each of the four other students a top suspect.

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit book cover

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When Darby Thorne gets caught in a terrible blizzard while driving, she’s forced to pull off at a highway rest stop. Four other strangers are there as well, waiting out the storm.

But then, Darby discovers a child locked in the back of a van in the parking lot.

One of the strangers is lying, and without cell reception, it’s up to Darby to figure out a way to save the child – and herself.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Lock Every Door book cover by Riley Sager

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Jules Larsen takes a job as an apartment sitter in a fancy Manhattan building called The Bartholomew. The job seems too good to be true, despite all the strange rules, but Jules is desperate.

When another apartment sitter in the building goes missing, Jules discovers the building has a dark past – and she may be in danger.

The Club by Ellery Lloyd

The Club book cover

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This murder mystery features a remote island setting at an exclusive resort club for top-tier, uber-rich celebrities. It has a locked-room feel, because everyone is trapped on the island – and any one of them could be the killer.

It’s not just celebrities on the island, either. The point-of-view characters include the head of housekeeping, personal assistant, head of membership, and brother of the club’s owner.

This story goes deeper than you might expect, with themes beyond just scandal and celebrity status. Overall, it’s is an addicting, tense, and thought-provoking read.

Classic Locked-Room Mystery Novels

Looking for some classic novels that likely inspired (or contributed to) the contemporary locked-room mystery genre? Here are some popular options to check out:

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  • The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux

Do you have a favorite locked-room murder mystery book? Let me know in the comments!

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