BookTok readers are the trendsetters in every genre, including mystery novels. Walk into any bookstore right now, and you’ll notice the mystery bestsellers shelves aren’t all about the latest new releases. No, those mystery shelves are totally dictated by the bookish community on TikTok, and are often the same list as the most popular mystery books on TikTok.
What mystery stories made BookTok love reading again? What mystery novels could TikTok readers not put down? What plot twists shocked the BookTok community? What books had readers going “what the heck is going on!?” in their wrap up videos? The following mystery books topped BookTok’s favorites list for a number of reasons, whether it was a shocking plot twist, compelling mysteries, dynamic characters, or even just really cool aesthetics. BookTok gravitates to different kinds of mystery books for all types of reasons.
These 10 BookTok mystery novels cover a wide range of genres. There are plenty of YA mystery faves among the TikTok bookish community. But there was also a cozy mystery that was above and beyond more popular than the rest. There are debut novels on this list and books from well-loved authors with a large catalogue of books. Some of these books are standalones. Some are the first in a series.
But one thing all of these mysteries have in common? BookTok just can’t stop reading them.
The Most Popular Mystery Books on TikTok
A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
As far as cozy mysteries go, Abby Collette’s A Deadly Inside Scoop is probably the most popular one on BookTube at the moment. This book is the first in a cozy mystery series following MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse who has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In this first novel, Win is renovating Crewse Creamery and is getting ready to open the store back to the public…when it starts snowing. Not great for the opening day of an ice cream shop. To make matters worse, Win finds a dead body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
When it comes to BookTok popularity, YA mysteries are really where it’s at. You’re going to see a lot of YA mysteries on this list. But at the top of this list? A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. This is another one that’s the first book in a series. Pippa Fitz-Amobi grew up in a small town that was consumed by the case of schoolgirl Andie Bell, who was allegedly murdered by Sal Singh. The case is closed. Everyone knows Sal did it. But Pippa isn’t so sure, and she’ll stop at nothing to get to the truth.
Sadie by Courtney Summers
Sadie has been a huge fave of readers everywhere since its release in 2018, and BookTok is still loving on this one. When Sadie’s sister Mattie is found dead, Sadie leaves her small town behind and goes on a journey to hunt down whoever did this to her sister and bring that person to justice. Meanwhile, radio personality West McCray catches word of Sadie’s story while at a gas station. Now, he’s started his own podcast where he’s tracking Sadie’s journey, hoping to find the young girl before it’s too late.
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Yeah, there’s now a TV show of One of Us is Lying, which probably got more people to pick up the book, but BookTok has also been singing its praises. On one Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walked into detention. One of them will not make it out alive. No one knows what happened in that room and how the one student died except for the four students in that room: Bronwyn, the brain; Addy, the beauty; Cooper, the athlete; and Nate, the criminal. One of them is lying. Is one of them a murderer?
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexican Gothic is a fun mix of mystery, horror, suspense, and historical fiction. And BookTok is just eating it up. Most BookTok users agree that the best way to read Mexican Gothic is to go into it knowing as little as possible. But here’s the basic idea. After receiving a distressing letter from her newlywed cousin, Noemí Taboada leaves her life as a socialite in Mexico City to find out what has happened. But when she arrives at her cousin’s new home — High Place, a dark and remote mansion in the country — she finds unsettling mysteries around every corner.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Here’s another fun YA mystery series that BookTok just loves. Avery Grambs is a high school student whose life changes forever when she mysteriously receives an inheritance from Tobias Hawthorne, a puzzle-loving billionaire she’s never met. But in order to win her inheritance, she’ll have to move into the secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where danger waits around every turn. The third book in this trilogy, The Final Gambit, just came out earlier this year, so BookTok is probably going to be talking about this one for a while.
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams has made a huge name for herself in politics, romance novels, legal thriller/mysteries, and yes, even on BookTok. In While Justice Sleeps, Avery is a brilliant young law clerk who has just become the legal guardian and power of attorney of Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn who has slipped into a coma. Suddenly, Avery finds herself thrown into a world of political conspiracies and attempts on Wynn’s life.
The Verifiers by Jane Pek
When a mystery gets picked up by Book of the Month, it’s almost guaranteed to get a lot of mentions on Bookstagram, Booktube, and yes, BookTok. But this debut mystery in particular has picked up a lot of traction on social media. This book follows Claudia Lin, who has just been recruited by Veracity, a referral-only online dating detective agency. But when one of the agency’s clients goes missing, Claudia finds herself breaking the rules to dive deep into the secret world of people’s online lives and corporate deceit.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Looking for jaw-dropping twists and turns? BookTok is a big fan of this one. Laurel is a mother of three children when Ellie, her youngest child, disappears. Years after Ellie’s disappearance, Laurel and her family are still struggling with the loss of a beloved family member, and their relationships with one another suffer. Laurel tries to move on. She starts dating a man, and things are going well. Until she meets his 9 year old daughter Poppy. Poppy who looks exactly like Ellie did when she was that age.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
Let’s go ahead and crown Colleen Hoover the queen of BookTok. Verity lies somewhere between mystery and suspense, but this list would be absolutely incomplete without acknowledging just what a huge hold this book has on the BookTok community. Writer Lowen Ashley is on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts what seems at first like a dream job. Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete Verity’s remaining books that she is unable to finish herself. But when Lowen digs into Verity’s manuscripts, she uncovers a shocking autobiography that no one was meant to read. And horrifying secrets are revealed.
If you want to read the popular books everyone else is reading and keep up with trends, then head to BookTok. The bookish community on TikTok is really dictating the bestsellers lists these days. But if you’re wanting to find those lesser-known mystery books that are more specific to your tastes? Try TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations.
TBR pairs you with a professional book nerd who will read all about your specific interests and tastes and will find you all the best books you didn’t even know you were looking for. If you’re looking to read that next great mystery novel before TikTok finds out about it, head to TBR.