11 of the Best Mystery, Thriller, and True Crime Books Out in July

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Jamie Canaves

Contributing Editor

Jamie Canavés is the Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator and Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter writer–in case you’re wondering what you do with a Liberal Arts degree. She’s never met a beach she didn’t like, always says yes to dessert, loves ‘80s nostalgia, all forms of entertainment, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. You can definitely talk books with her on Litsy and Goodreads. Depending on social media’s stability maybe also Twitter and Bluesky.

Publishing wants to ensure that no matter how your summer is going, it’s at least stocked with new mystery, thriller, and crime releases. I know detectives look really nice in winter coats while sleuthing, but mysteries need solving in the heat too. And whether you’re avoiding the heat, love the heat, or tolerating it, I’ve got plenty of crime books to select from for your summer reading.

Seriously, there are a ton of new releases, including blockbuster authors, fan favorites, sequels, and new series! As always, I tried my best to select something for all the reading tastes under the gigantic crime umbrella: you’ll find thrillers, Billy Jensen’s new true crime book, a mystery for foodies, a missing magician by the author of Oona Out of Order, and a new Kathy Reichs book for Bones fans (​​the 21st Temperance Brennan book, if you’re looking for a long series to dive into). I’ve got YA mysteries, a new Ruth Ware, the Murder in Old Bombay sequel, a Denise Mina sequel, and more. I wasn’t lying about this being a great summer list of mystery books to choose from — or grab them all, it’s not like your TBR list is full or anything. *Avoids looking at my TBR which is monster size and will certainly eat me any day now.*

Note: there’s no true crime in this month’s roundup due to a shift in publishing dates.

cover image for Things We Do In The Dark

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

Hillier (Jar of Hearts, Little Secrets) is back with a new thriller! Imagine being arrested because you were covered in blood and holding a weapon in the same room as your murdered husband and that NOT being the worst thing. This is one of those thrillers where someone has a past and there’s a threat to expose it… I love secrets coming to get ya!

Book cover for Acts of Violet

Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore

The author of Oona Out of Order has written a mystery! This is for fans of missing persons, true crime podcasts, and contemporary novels about women’s relationships. Violet Volk was a world famous magician who just disappeared one day. There’s been tons of speculation since, and now, for the ten year anniversary, there’s a true crime podcast digging into her life through interviews. It’s something her sister Sasha wants nothing to do with, especially since many have always thought she knows more than she’s saying or that she has never behaved the way they think a grieving sister should… This is one of my favorite reads this year — and I very much recommend the full cast narrated audiobook, which will make you think you’re listening to a podcast.

cover image Miss Aldridge Regrets

Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare

This one is for fans of historical mysteries! Lena Aldridge is a nightclub singer in 1930s London, lamenting over the career she’d wanted when just such an opportunity presents itself: a starring role on Broadway. To get to New York, she’s given a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary, which is perfect timing, seeing as there’s just been a murder in the club and she’d like to get away. But then a murder occurs on the ship, and, well, what are the odds, and how is Aldridge going to get away now?

cover image for The IT Girl

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

*Rings bell for Ruth Ware fans* Ten years after a group of friends at Oxford had one of their own murdered, the man convicted has died. But rather than putting everyone at ease, a journalist presents evidence that the man convicted of the murder is innocent, leaving the friend group with a spotlight…

cover image for The Binding Room

The Binding Room (Inspector Anjelica Henley #2) by Nadine Matheson

British procedural fans, take note! And also if you like picking up fictional crime books by criminal attorneys. This is the sequel to The Jigsaw Man, which had Detective Angelica Henley trying to figure out how there were new bodies when the serial killer was already in prison. Now she’s got another string of murders on her hand, starting with a popular preacher murdered in his church…

cover image Peril at the Exposition

Peril at the Exposition (Captain Jim Agnihotri #2) by Nev March

Fans of Murder in Old Bombay will be delighted that the sequel has finally arrived. Captain Jim Agnihotri, who became a sleuth after being in the war hospital reading Sherlock Holmes and coming across a case in the newspaper, is back. This time, he’s a newlywed and just moved to Boston from British Bombay. As a detective at an agency, he’s teaching his wife what he’s learned from Sherlock, which will surely come in handy when he goes missing…

death by bubble tea cover

Death by Bubble Tea (LA Night Market #1) by Jennifer J. Chow

This is for fans of armchair detecting, family, and food. Two cousins, with opposite personalities (I love an odd couple!), are running a food stall in Eastwood Village Night Market. They haven’t seen each other in 20 years, so this is already a difficult situation, and then a customer dies after having their bubble tea, leading them to become prime suspects!

we made it all up cover

We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison

YA. Mystery. Friendship. Past. Secrets. Dead boy. This book has it all. Celeste is the new girl in town who makes friend’s with the social pariah Vivvy. They spend their time writing a fan fiction love story that one night they aim to make reality. Except their story doesn’t end in the boy being murdered, and in real life it does. Doesn’t help that Celeste has no memory of what happened…

cover image for Death Doesn't Forget

Death Doesn’t Forget (Taipei Night Market #4) by Ed Lin

For fans of amateur sleuths who want to armchair travel while armchair sleuthing, here’s the newest entry into Lin’s series, which began with Ghost Month. Jing-nan runs a night market food stall in Taipei. After intervening between a romantic partner (his girlfriend’s mother’s boyfriend) who reneged on splitting lottery winnings, the man is murdered, and Jing-nan becomes suspect numero uno!

cover image for Cold Cold Bones

Cold, Cold Bones (Temperance Brennan #21) by Kathy Reichs

The television series adaptation may have ended, but the character and books continue! Escape the summer heat with this winter set mystery in North Carolina. Tempe Brennan meets up with her daughter, back from the army, to find a package on her porch. It has a human eyeball in it and GPS coordinates — of course! This sets Brennan off on a discovery of bodies and the hunt for a killer…

cover image for Confidence by Denise Mina

Confidence (Anna and Fin #2) by Denise Mina

Denise Mina wrote a sequel to Conviction! Lisa Lee has an unsuccessful YouTube channel when she disappears after her last video showed her trespassing into a French Chateau and finding a priceless Roman silver casket. Now Anna and Fin join in the internet frenzy to find her, traveling across Europe to deal with con artists, religious zealots, and smugglers.

If you still need more mystery books to read — or add to your always hungry TBR — check out all our crime posts.