Murders across genres? What’s that? The main thing you’re going to instantly find in this list are books that have a murder in them. But…I didn’t want to only talk about mystery or thrillers, which are the usual genres where you will find a homicide. Across the multiple genres in the publishing world, you’ll find that murders happen quite a lot. Sometimes, they happen at the beginning of a book, creating a spark that starts the storyline. Be it a Young Adult novel or a holiday mystery book, it’s time to talk about murders across genres. Here is a list of 12 books that will have you on the edge of your seat!
A Murder Mystery…in A Fantasy World?
Agatha Christie made me love murder mysteries and since reading her work, I’ve always found them intriguing. They’re like an escape room surrounding a murder, you know? How will they be able to solve everything and find the killer? But murder mysteries tend to be, obviously, in the mystery genre with a slash of crime fiction. Sometimes they have a little bit of comedy. But I wanted to expand this world so much more. What if you wanted to read a murder mystery in a fantasy world? Or how about a dystopian world where survival is the only thing important? Not going to lie, that sounds incredible.
Now, with the release of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022), murder mysteries are present more than ever before. Rian Johnson has made me crave 23 movies in this franchise — Daniel Craig solving mysteries is what dreams are made of. So, it’s not a surprise people are asking for more murder mysteries!
Just like in romance novels, you know what to expect at the end of a murder mystery. I mean, someone is killed at the start of the book, and then, the main character finds out who did it by the end. And that formula always works! Time and time again, they have shown that people gravitate toward those kinds of stories. But evolving these murder mysteries into other genres, outside of thriller, is what we’re going to talk about today.
Holiday Murder Books
The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict
Of course, I had to include holiday murder books. Who do you think I am? I’m all about the holiday season, so how about a little murder to spark up our lives?
The Armitages’ annual Christmas Game is the season’s most-awaited event, but Lily Armitage is definitely not returning to that house. Until her aunt sends her a letter, promising that she’ll not only get the deed of the house if she wins the game, but she’ll also find out the identity of her mother’s murderer. An opportunity like that is hard to say no to. So, Lily finds herself at Endgame House, competing against her estranged cousins for the 12 days of Christmas.
The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine
The Christmas Killer follows DI James Walker, who suddenly receives a mysterious gift that promises 12 murders in 12 days.
The Christmas Killer definitely hints at a darker story than others on this list. It’s a crime novel through and through, so be prepared for suspense, intrigue, and blood.
A Murder at Balmoral by Chris McGeorge
The royal family has a killer on the loose! A Murder at Balmoral is a fascinating locked-room mystery where one chef has to figure out who killed the king during the Christmas season. Every single member of the family has a reason to do it, but who is the one behind the murder?
Murder mysteries can happen in various scenarios, but my favorite ones are the ones that happen inside a closed property, e.g. a manor, a cruise, etc. No one can go in and no one can get out…so, the killer is obviously among them.
Fantasy Murder Books
Seven Faceless Saints by M.K. Lobb (February 7)
Seven Faceless Saints is a dark fantasy novel with a murder mystery twist where one city harbors a murderer who starts killing disciples of the saints who rule with tremendous power.
After her father’s death, Rossana is ready to do whatever it takes to dismantle the corrupt system, even if that means facing the boy who broke her heart. When a murderer starts killing in the city, she’ll have to team up with Damian to find them, but it also digs up unresolved emotions between the two. As they keep investigating the murders, they will eventually discover secrets long forgotten.
Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang
This book follows Tillie, a sheltered heiress, who finds her sister dead with two puncture wounds in her neck, making Tillie believe there might be vampires roaming around New York. But is this the case? Well, Tillie is going to find out with the help of a newsboy named Ian.
This book is set in New York at the end of the 19th century around the time Bram Stoker had just released Dracula, so vampire fever is very much present in the story. When more murders follow after her sister’s death, Tillie realizes she might be going after a vampire.
Thriller Books With Murder
I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers
Courtney Summers returns with a groundbreaking queer thriller that you won’t be able to stop thinking about even after turning the last page. In I’m the Girl, Georgia Avis discovers the dead body of 13-year-old Ashley James, kickstarting a game of cat and mouse with one vicious killer. She teams up with Ashley’s older sister, Nora, in order to find the killer before he murders again!
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
Another locked-room mystery, The Woman in the Library is set inside Boston Public Library where one murderer is hiding among others. This thrilling read starts with one woman’s terrifying scream. Security guards make everyone stay where they are until the threat is secured. While they wait, four strangers, who are sitting at the same table, keep their reasons for being in that room a secret. And one of them happens to be a murderer.
Cozy Mysteries With Murder
Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Look, I know that cozy mysteries are still inside the mystery genre. But they also have a little bit of comedy and maybe some romance! They’re cozy, easy to read, and so much fun to enjoy. If you like the genre, but prefer not to read intense, dark suspense novels, cozy mysteries are definitely the way to go.
Dial A for Aunties follows Meddy who ends up accidentally killing her blind date! To get rid of the body, she calls her mom and her meddlesome aunties. But when the body is suddenly shipped to the over-the-top billionaire wedding her mom and aunties are working on, things complicate further.
Soul of a Killer by Abby Collette
Accidentally finding a body is not something I would ever want to happen to me. But it does happen to Mama Zola, Koby’s foster mom, when she brings a peach cobbler over to the local bible study group.
And that’s not the only thing that happens to Mama Zola! Because the body she finds belongs to someone she recently argued with. So, as you can probably imagine, she’s a prime suspect in the murder. But worry not, Koby and Keaton will use their detective skills to find the real murderer!
Historical Murder Books
Pride and Premeditation by Book Rioter Tirzah Price
If you didn’t know, I’m a huge romance fan. So, it’s a no-brainer that I would gravitate toward a Pride and Prejudice remake with a murder mystery twist.
Sixteen-year-old Lizzie Bennet wants to prove to everyone that she can be a good solicitor by solving a murder case. Unfortunately, the man accused of the crime already has a lawyer: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. Lizzie is determined to solve the case before he does!
The Red Palace by June Hur
The Red Palace is an evocative historical mystery novel where one woman has to find a murderer in order to save her mentor. Hyeon, a palace nurse, suddenly finds herself getting involved in a murder investigation after her mentor is wrongly accused as the killer. Teaming up with a police inspector, who also wants to find the killer, is the best opportunity to discover all the dark secrets that live inside the palace walls.
Murder-y Romance Books
Murder Most Actual by Alexis Hall
This Kobo Original is what you’ve been looking for. If you’re familiar with Hall’s novels, you’ll notice Murder Most Actual is quite different. It’s a cozy mystery featuring a true-crime podcaster and her corporate financier wife. They’re going through a rough patch in their marriage, so they decide to rekindle their love in a luxurious hotel in the Scottish Highlands. But they never thought they would be participating in an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery!
What I wanted to do is to showcase that you can have a murder mystery in different genres. Maybe you don’t like the vibe that thrilling suspense books have, but you adore murder mysteries. And what if you also love fantasy books and wish to read about a cozy murder mystery set in an epic high fantasy world? Well, I’m here to tell you that it definitely exists out there. This small list shows that mysteries can be written in every genre or sub-genre. And there’s always something special for everyone!