Best Books of 2021 So Far: Mystery & Thrillers

Welcome to another round of the Best Books of the Year so Far, where halfway through the year, I name the titles I read that I feel are the best of 2021. This year, I am switching things up a bit. Instead of listing all the best books I read in one post, I will be breaking them up by genre! So every Tuesday until mid-August, catch my favorite reads of 2021 that will make you want to rush over to your list and add to your ever-growing TBR pile!

I decided to start with mysteries because it is my favorite genre. Still, I am on a Mystery Committee at work. Many of the books that I read are part of that genre, so I thought it was easiest to start with that.


Mystery & Thrillers

Girl A by Abigail Dean

This is a mystery that is so innovative and chilling that it has left me speechless. A lot of thrillers’ plot takes place while the crime is taking place. Never encountered a mystery/thriller that deals with the aftermath. Readers of the genre will find this different from what they usually read but that is a good thing. They are in for a ride that takes an insightful look at what happens to the survivors of a horrific crime. The nonlinear storytelling may be odd but it makes this character-driven storyline more horrific and realistic as readers are taken down the dark path of real monsters of the world. 

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Loved every minute of this! It was so quirky and funny with a mixture of dark humor and outrageous situations that made it both enjoyable and entertaining. Finlay Donavan may not be your average detective but she is definitely one that readers will enjoy and completely identify with. Can’t wait for the next book!

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Think a mixture of “Broadchurch” and “Big Little Lies”.This is one atmospheric thriller. Evelyn Bay is the character itself, with its rich description and the tight-knit community that was rocked by a storm so many years ago. However, could the tragedy behind this devastating storm could somehow be connected to the recent death of a young girl? Readers constantly wonder from beginning to end how these events are linked and are constantly on the edge of their seat figuring out what happened. But the characters’ continued existence, experiences and relationships are depicted so beautifully by the author that they jump off the page. Mystery lovers and novices will enjoy reading a mystery that is not boggled down by police jargon.

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

This was one surprising debut by an author that made a gory book actually interesting! Full of fast-paced thrills and chills that will excite any reader of the mystery genre. This is one intense and suspenseful book that will be a real treat. With its heart-pounding storytelling and diverse relatable characters, you cannot wait to read the next one! 

Shiver by Allie Reynolds

It will be a joy for Agatha Christie fans since it goes along the lines of “And Then There Were None”. Not only is it atmospheric, especially with its snowboarding references but you can feel tense and the dark emotions of what is truly going on in what looks like an abandoned snow lodge. The twist and turns are left until the very end but it is not done in a way that you are tired and bored of reading but you are excited to see how it turns out! Such a great debut that leaves with a chilling ending. 

The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean

Will Dean has created an atmospheric thriller that is full of dark themes that will leave readers breathless. It is so gripping and highlights the horrors of human trafficking. It was just so well written. You can really feel for the main character and what she was going through. 

A Peculiar Combination by Ashley Weaver

Love every minute of it! Was just an exciting and intriguing book to read. Electra McDonnell is a literary female detective that is full of spunk and perseverance that will be memorable for readers and make them want to read more stories with her! 

Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Although my only issue with this book is the ending, this thriller gives readers what they are looking for a mystery that provides the atmosphere and the twists that will keep readers guessing. Mirrorland is beautifully written and wonderfully executed that you will have a hard time forgetting this one.



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