2020 is certainly the year to need some cozy mysteries. But maybe you want the mystery without the gruesome and graphic details but don’t want to skimp on the drama. Or crime. In that case, this list of mystery suspense is for you because you get sleuthing, drama, and murders.
Here’s the start of a series that also adds a layer of history for historical mystery fans. SuLin, a Singaporean teen in 1936, finds herself wanting not a husband but to work and be independent. Thanks to a dead nanny (those are popular on this list), the Acting Governor’s house is in need of help and SuLin steps in. Soon she finds that helping her charge isn’t her only responsibility, as she’ll have to navigate the upstairs-downstairs racial politics AND find out who murdered the nanny. That’s all before there’s another death…
Carol Higgins Clark
If you’re looking to start a series and need some armchair traveling and detecting: all aboard Decked, the book! Regan Reilly, the daughter of a PI and mystery writer (that has to be an interesting childhood!), boards a transatlantic cruise. It’s not all tanning and fun, though, seeing as before she boarded the ship, her roommate’s long-dead body turned up, and her trip is now filled with drama, secrets, a thief, and an assassin. That’s a packed cruise! Bonus: If you enjoy this level of fun drama, you can look forward to Twanged, which takes Regan Reilly to the Hamptons and tosses in a country star and a legend that predicts death if you remove a fiddle from Ireland! (Of course they took the fiddle.)
What do you get when you mix a Catholic priest, bishop, protestants, poet, artist, model, FreeMasons, Theosophists, spiritualists, and rich Australians in 1932? Drama, interesting conversations, and murder, of course! Murders that follow Rowland Sinclair, a wealthy Australian artist, from a luxury cruise liner (he’s a suspect!), to New York and Australia. When murder follows you where you go, it’s time to figure out what is happening STAT!
Bailey Weggins has enough drama in her life, with a divorce in her past and a current commitment-phobe lover. So you know there’s drama and murder, because what else overshadows personal drama? In Weggins’s case, it’s her boss at a women’s magazine calling for her to come over because there’s a body. It’s dead. And it’s the nanny’s. And let’s crank up the drama a bit more because it looks like her boss was the intended hit…
Here's one for fans of bookish books–you know what I mean! Jacqueline Kirby is a best-selling author and a former librarian. But the best-selling author gig isn’t that great right now, and she’d rather give up the attention and disappear. That is until a proposal too good to be true comes via her agent: the heirs of an author who wrote a blockbuster book years back want a sequel written by Kirby. Amazing opportunity–until too many accidents start to happen and maybe this assignment will be the death of Kirby...
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Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations