Top 5 Best Mystery Books Series That Will Keep You Up At Night

Been making reading plans for this summer? You’ve come to the right place. In the jungle of good thrillers on the market right now, it can be challenging to find the exact best mystery books series to commit and get attached to.

We see you, we hear you, and we’re here for you. The list below contains the detailed and researched reviews of some of the best murder mystery books right now for an awesome and memorable summer of 2020. Keep reading to make up your mind!

Quick Comparison On 5 Best Mystery Books Series

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

My Rating

Author

Tana French

Author

Stieg Larsson

Author

Jo Nesbo

Author

Michael Connelly

Author

Janet Evanovich

Cryptic

Dark, mind-numbing

Gray, eerie

Straightforward, neutral

Light, witty

Deeper Considerations on Best Mystery Book Series


Cop thrillers are of course everywhere, but nothing can compare to this wonderful blueprint by the talented Tana French. When the first book “In the woods” came out, never before had readers found such whimsical prose in such a creepy and atmospheric novel about the human psyche and what it preludes.

Breaking free from all classic sense in mystery novels, the series features a loosely chained cast that fundamentally forms the “Dublin Murder Squad”. Instead of dealing with too much character digging and milking, each novel follows the path of a different detective with a distinct narrator, and all of them are bound to be destroyed by the findings of their own designed cases.

French has such an unique style of providing a portrait of the complex society wrapped inside mystery murders. The blend of psychological studies and constant human friction provided by the characters will undoubtedly leave you wanting for more, and there is always more to offer.

​Things we liked:

  • Creepy and cultic atmosphere
  • Deep exploration of psychological aspects
  • Intriguing narration


There is no way you have never heard of David Fincher’s critically acclaimed,  Oscar-nominated adaptation of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”. And if you have, did you know it was a part of a series? Every Lisbeth Salander’s fan is going to want to pick up this series right away.

Readers are introduced to the curious, strong-willed and stern journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the mysterious, rude and enigmatic Lisbeth Salander who both embark on a mission to prove the legitimacy of a bewildering and somewhat far-fetched story. The books later divulge deeper into human’s physical and psychological limits as the two’s lives are inextricably intertwined.

Captivating, yes. Disturbing, a hard yes! These books can feature some of the most harrowing human’s fouls committed, while entertain you with sharp-witted commentary on human rights, societal functions and corruption in the news and press. And of course, it offers one of the best morally gray protagonists out there.

Things we liked:

  • Entwinement of social occurrences
  • Fast-paced and clever story telling
  • Solid characters


You won’t find a single “best mystery book series” list without this classic detective thriller from Jo Nesbo. Nothing screams more horror and fascination in thrillers than the eerie, wild and dark North European setting of the Scandinavian crime fiction. Throw in a self-conflicted and troubled cop, and you’ve got yourself the whole package.

The “extraordinarily gifted yet internally struggling and damaged” trope has never been as well exploited as with Harry Hole. Exhausted by years of alcoholism and depression, the homicide detective, as the finest in the Oslo Crime Squad, is consistently conjured to face psychopathic patterns from which he comprehend, every time a little deeper, the twistedness of the world he lives in.

Another brilliant and flawed character that you can’t keep your eyes off. While you’re maybe in for some of the best character development, you will also get a look into best unconventional methods in dealing with criminals you’ve ever read!

  • Out-of-the-box writing
  • Likable characters
  • Intricately developed plot points


There’s a reason why this has survived curses of multiple-book series and still releasing more material after nearly 30 years. Clearly everyone loves a smart detective’s guide to solving mysteries and murders, and Connelly is still killing it in the field and keeping the plots captivating after 20 books.

Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch’s life is one of many events. Born into nothing by a prostitute in Hollywood, he ventures through life in different orphanages, joins the army headed to Vietnam War, and then devotes his life to get justice for those who have been wronged in the LAPD and as a private detective.

Not only do the books, year after year, explores the beauty of dysfunctional familial relationships and how ones cope with the consequences of them, but they also address the moral “gray area” that often surfaces between law enforcers themselves. But, most importantly, you will get irrefutably gripping and page-turning crimes and mysteries that will shock you to the core!

  • Attachable characters
  • Full-fletched character and plot development
  • Human aspects


If you simply want to take a break from all the hardcore and heavily dark storylines, and still crave adventure and adrenaline kicks from good mysteries, this witty and snappily constructed series is the one to go. Breaking the mould of twisted protagonists, the wonderful Stephanie Plum is just the opposite of disturbing.

A sparkly and lively female bounty hunter with a serious attitude for others, sets off on a ridiculously feisty and lively journey to live her desires and fulfil her job. She first got her apprehension career boost by blackmailing her friend, so who knows what she will do next.

Don’t mistake this with some fluffy YA mystery comedy. It’s totally one of the best mystery book series for adults. You’ve got an inspiring and willing female lead, a cunning endeavor that escalates into something much more catastrophic, and you’ve definitely got the laughs the more you keep reading.

  • Lighter atmosphere
  • Relatable and lovable main character
  • Splashes of comedy

best murder mystery books - Detail Comparison table

Name

Image

My Rating

Author

Tana French

Stieg Larsson

Jo Nesbo

Michael Connelly

Janet Evanovich

Writing Style

Cryptic

Dark, mind-numbing

Gray, eerie

Straightforward, neutral

Light, witty

Fast-paced

4.2

4.5

4.4

4.4

4.4

Suspense

4.7

4.5

4.4

4.4

4.3

Disturbing

4.6

4.5

4.3

4.2

4.1

Available

Common Best Murder Mystery Book Tropes

Not everyone has a clue about where to start with mystery thriller novels, probably owing to the sheer size and range of the subgenres they include. Instead of determining the author and fame levels of a series, you should begin with the very basics. Read through several regular themes and topics often depicted in books, and maybe you’ll figure it out.

The Cerebral Psychopath

Any book that can pull off a Hannibal Lecter deserves a closer look. These evils can give the police or the detectives, and sometimes the victims, quite a headache with all their unsolvable and scattered mind games and impossible tricks.

Of course, their psychopathic nature will only result in some of the most harrowing and disturbing crimes committed in literature, and often done without remorse. And since they are overly cocky and intelligent, they would try to surface by disguising as a consultant or just nobodies on crime scenes, but that’s enough to give you all the chills.

best murder mystery books

The Deserted Island

Okay it doesn’t always have to be an abandoned island, on normal occasions an entrapped building or small area would suffice. When a group of opposites (or even better, family members) are cornered and hunted down by a mysterious killer, secrets will not be the only thing that is spilled.

Country house, cabin in the woods, isolated hotel, locked castle… All sound incredibly tempting.

mystery book series for adults

Memory Loss

The victim has amnesia. The detective has amnesia. The protagonist has amnesia. Even a random participant has amnesia. All these characters have absolutely no recollection of the events on the day of the mystery. This either means that the killer has an upper hand, or no one is to be trusted.

Unreliable narration is the making of a fascinatingly suspenseful novel.

best mystery book series

Creepy Lurking Children

Arriving at the crime scenes just to see some mysterious children walking by or hiding behind the tree to stare at you is no fun, honestly. Surely in the middle of the book they will appear out of nowhere and yield some horrifying yet crucial details concerning the mystery.
Watch out, you may want to rethink your career as a nanny, nurse or a teacher after checking out these.

best mystery books series

I’m sure there are so many more the genre has to offer, namely The Troubled Cop, The Black Sheep, The Suspicious Family Member, The Inheritance…

If you want to look more into the subgenres, check this out:

The Ultimate Decision On The Best Mystery Book Series

Honestly I’d pick all of these up to binge read through summer and until fall if I could, and you should definitely, too. Of course, we all have other plans beside reading, so if you’re asking me to choose an absolute favorite, I would go with The Dublin Murder Squad Mysteries by Tana French. It’s impossible to ignore all the buzz around this series at this point.

Check out other ones too, they are really worth the read.

  • So, have you chosen the Best Mystery Book Series for you yet? Do you suggest any others? Share with us!
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