Crime and mystery novels are intriguing, but when you throw a little magic in the mix, you open a wide realm of possibilities for strange cases and shocking surprises. If you want a story with truly chilling twists and turns, you’ll want to pick up a crime thriller or mystery suspense novel that isn’t afraid to delve into the world of fantasy. Looking for page-turning mystery books and suspense novels that feature fantasy and magical beings? Check out these books.
Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Locus award-nominated author Gabino Iglesias’ The Devil Takes You Home is a genre-bending thriller that mixes mystery, thriller, fantasy, and horror. After his daughter is diagnosed with leukemia, he’s drowning in debt. Not knowing where else to turn and in desperate need of money, he takes on a job as a hitman. But once he gets into the work, Mario discovers he has a talent for murder. Now Mario is ready to quit the business for good, but he has agreed to one last mission will require him to hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. At the end of this harrowing journey, Mario will either walk away with $200,000 or he’ll end up dead.
Lauren Beukes excels at dark fantasy mixed with crime thriller, and Broken Monsters might be her darkest. When Detroit detective Gabriella Versado comes across a dead body that it half-boy, half-deer, somehow fused together, it’s only the beginning of the strange and disturbing bodies found around the city. Is there a logical explanation for the odd things happening in Detroit? Or is something otherworldly at play?
Solving murder mysteries is difficult work. But what if you had a chance to go back and try to solve it over and over again until you finally got it right? Such is the case for Aiden Bishop in The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Every day, Evelyn Hardcastle will die until Aiden can discover the murderer. Every day, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor and is able to see the crime through new
Stephen King’s spine-chilling mystery The Outsider starts with the unsettling discovery of an eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse, left in a town park. All evidence and eyewitnesses point to one man: Terry Maitland, one of Flint City’s most beloved citizens. He’s a Little League coach, an English teacher, and a loving husband and father. He also has an alibi for the night of the murder. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, is unsure what to make of this case. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but there may be something more sinister hiding underneath the surface.
Magical school meets detective novel in Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars. Private investigator Ivy Gamble never wanted to be magical. Magic was best left to her twin estranged Tabitha, a professor at a school for the magically gifted. But then Ivy is hired to investigate a murder at Tabitha’s private academy, and the PI is forced to confront the life she could have had.
If you’re looking for magic in your mysteries, how about Acts of Violet, a mystery novel featuring an actual magician? Almost a decade ago, magician Violet Volk vanished mid-act and was never seen again. But although it’s been nearly ten years since anyone saw her, people can’t stop thinking about her. Especially not Cameron Frank, who is determined to get his big break by hosting a podcast exploring the mysteries surrounding Violet’s disappearance. The show all hinges on one thing: getting an interview with Sasha, Violet’s sister
For a unique and distinctly magical take on Edgar Allen Poe’s classic story “The Fall of the House of Usher,” check out T. Kingfisher’s latest novella What Moves the Dead. Retired soldier Alex Easton has just found out that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying. But when they journey to Madeline’s ancestral home in the countryside of Ruritania, Madeline’s appearance and the state of the house is utterly shocking. The house is overgrown with fungi and possessed wildlife, and the dark lake that surrounds it glows with life. Even more disturbing, Madeline seems almost possessed. What is happening to the Ushers and their home? And will Alex be able to find out before whatever has taken Madeline comes for them as well?
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Emily Martin has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s a contributing editor at Book Riot and blogs/podcasts at Book Squad Goals.