19 Unputdownable Thrillers & Mystery Books for Book Clubs

Mystery and thriller novels can be just as discussion-worthy as other genres! Whether you’re looking for something deeply emotional or light and funny, many mysteries explore interesting themes that are perfect for book clubs. Here are the best book club worthy mystery books and thrillers to read!

thriller and mystery books for book clubs

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Best Mysteries & Thriller Books for Book Clubs

The mystery and thriller genre is one of my favorites to read – not only for the excitement of suspense and the twisty puzzles to solve, but also for the range of emotions and thematic elements these stories can invoke.

I’m sharing some highly-rated, discussion-worthy mystery books in this list, including a wide variety of page-turning thrillers, emotional literary mysteries, funny mysteries with loveable characters, and more.

There are lots of great options to choose from for your next book club pick!

Need more book club ideas? Here are more wonderful, discussion-worthy book club books of 2024 and funny and feel-good novels perfect for book clubs.

None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Popular podcaster Alix Summers meets a woman named Josie in a bar. Alix is drawn to Josie’s unsettling life story, and decides to make her a subject in her podcast series.

But shortly after Josie has entangled herself into Alix’s life, Josie disappears – and that’s when Alix really starts to discover Josie’s secrets.

The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

The Frozen River book cover

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

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Written by the bestselling author of Code Name Hélène, this historical mystery novel is set in Maine during the late 1700s.

It follows the midwife of a close-knit community, who’s drawn into the investigation of a shocking murder – despite the risks it poses to her and everyone she cares about.

This popular book has gotten tons of rave reviews on Goodreads, and was also a Good Morning America book club pick.

Here are more engrossing historical fiction novels perfect for book clubs!

The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push book cover

Genre: Domestic Suspense/Thriller

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This dark psychological drama is about motherhood and nature versus nurture. It’s beautifully written, intense, and utterly engrossing. It might not be for everyone, but I could not put it down!

(I’m not including a synopsis here, because I think it’s best to go into this book without knowing too much.)

All The Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby

All The Sinners Bleed book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

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Titus Crowne – a Black sherrif in a southern town – is involved in a fatal school shooting incident. But when he digs further into what happened, he finds out the victim and the perpetrator knew each other – and that there’s much more going on than anyone knows.

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid book cover

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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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 really enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a lighthearted mystery! (Here’s a guide to The Maid series, including the sequel!)

Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister

Just Another Missing Person book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Crime

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If your book club is looking for a twisty mystery that will also spark discussion about themes of family, motherhood, and morality, this suspense novel about a missing young woman and a detective with a devastating secret is a great choice!

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Seven Shakespearean theater students at an elite arts college live together in a dramatic off-campus home, isolated from the outside world.

In their fourth year of school, the typical roles they play are shifted, causing rivalries to ensue. And soon, someone turns up dead.

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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A woman returns to her elite Southern college for a 10-year reunion, reconnecting with her tight-knit group of friends from all those years ago. But they each have dark secrets to hide, and being at the college brings back memories of their friend’s unsolved murder.

Was one of them involved? Someone certainly thinks so, and they’ll do anything to find out the truth.

This thriller is compulsively readable, and one of the best I’ve read in years! If you love mysteries set on college campuses, this is a must-read.

Here are all of Ashley Winstead’s books in order!

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Ace of Spaces book cover

Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller

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A shocking thriller that sheds light on institutionalized racism, Ace of Spades follows two talented students at a private school who have secrets to hide – and someone is determined to reveal them.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale book cover

Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction/Gothic

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Famous, aging author Vida Winter summons a biographer – chosen for reasons known only to Winter – to finally tell her incredible life story.

The story Winter tells is strange and eerie, about a family, a haunting, and a terrible fire. But is it true?

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

Happiness Falls book cover

Genre: Contemporary Mystery/Domestic Suspense

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From the author of Miracle Creek comes a novel about a Korean-American family in a desperate search for their missing patriarch – and the truths they will uncover along the way.

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding

The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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When a homeless woman named Lee rescues a rich woman from drowning, they strike up a fast friendship. But when her new friend makes a strange request, Lee questions everything she knows about the woman.

Listen For the Lie by Amy Tintera

Listen for the Lie book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Years ago, Lucy was found wandering the streets, covered in blood. Despite her “golden girl” status in her small Texas town, everyone believed she killed her best friend.

But Lucy doesn’t remember a thing. Luckily for her, she isn’t convicted.

Now, a podcast decides to cover the story, forcing Lucy to relive her past in order to figure out what really happened that night.

Here’s a list of Listen for the Lie book club questions, a character list, and more!

Nightwatching by Tracy Sierra

Nightwatching book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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In the middle of a blizzard, an intruder breaks into a woman’s house. She and her children quickly hide in a secret room hidden behind a wall, but it seems the intruder will try anything to lure them out.

Eventually, the woman realizes the man is familiar to her. She knows exactly why he’s there, and it’s even worse than she imagined.

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant

These Silent Woods book cover

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

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These Silent Woods follows a father and his young daughter who live in a cabin in the Appalachian woods, living off the land – and hiding a secret.

But when their yearly supply delivery doesn’t show up and they stumble on a stranger in the woods, the father is forced to make a decision.

This book had so many things I love: a remote wilderness setting, great characters, and an undercurrent of mystery.

While I would describe it as more of a slow burn mystery, I never felt bored and I could not stop reading. Overall, it’s an absorbing and well-written story!

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth

Darling Girls book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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As young girls, Jessica, Norah, and Alicia experienced family tragedies and were taken in by a foster mother, Miss Fairchild. The girls became sisters, living what seemed like a happy life on a beautiful farm.

But there was more to Miss Fairchild than anyone else knew – like her strict rules and her unpredictable moods. One day, the girls decide to run away and never come back.

Years later, a body is found beneath the house they grew up in. Were the girls somehow involved, or are they innocent witnesses who can shed light on the crime?

All the Colors of the Dark by Chris Whitaker

All The Colors of the Dark book cover

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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I loved Chris Whitaker’s novel We Begin At The End, and I’ve heard exciting early praise about his newest upcoming book! It’s a blend of crime thriller and love story, with a twist.

It’s set during 1975 in a small town in Missouri where girls have been going missing. A young, one-eyed boy named Patch saves a girl from a wealthy family from being abducted. But his act of heroism is intertwined with heartache.

Publication date: June 25th, 2024

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

The God of the Woods book cover

Genre: Mystery/Historical Fiction

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The bestselling author of Long Bright River is back with a new multi-layered family drama/mystery novel.

When a girl goes missing at summer camp in 1975, tensions flare between the rich family that owns the camp and the blue collar community that serves them.

Even stranger, this isn’t the first time one of the family’s children has gone missing – the girl’s older brother disappeared sixteen years ago.

Is it a pattern, or mere coincidence? And who’s to blame?

Release date: July 2nd, 2024

Lenny Marks Gets Away With Murder by Kerryn Mayne

Lenny Marks book cover

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery

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If you love books with quirky characters, read this! It’s about a reclusive woman named Lenny Marks who sticks to a very particular schedule, and rarely leaves the house aside from work.

But when something from her past resurfaces, she’s forced to join the community around her and meet new people. Will she finally reclaim her life, or will her past catch up with her first?

Publication date: July 9th, 2024 (in the U.S.)

Have you read any of these thrillers or mystery books for your book club yet? What did you think?

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