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16 New Mystery and Thrillers To Get Sleuthing With in May 2023

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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.

It is not a quiet month for mystery and thrillers, so fans of crime books can get excited as I’ve rounded up 16 new releases offering up a little something for different moods, genres, sub-genres, and tropes. Plus some big, fan favorite authors are back with new releases!

For cozy mystery fans, there’s a quozy with a murder at a play and a food cozy in Brooklyn with a bakery. For thriller fans, Stacey Abrams is back with a political thriller sequel, there’s a fun one for fans of witness protection and author main characters, and a feminist Western, cat-and-mouse thriller!

For historical mystery fans, there’s a 1700s mystery with romance and one with twins going a bit outlaw. For YA fans, Angeline Boulley has a new one that includes a heist! We have a sequel to The Agathas, and viral trespassers who end up in a murder house and not everyone makes it out…

Megan Abbott has a new one! Plus, a remote Japanese mystery, a suspense novel set in Lagos, Nigeria, a legal thriller series starring a transgender defense attorney, and not one, but two PI series! See, something for everyone. Enjoy finding your next mystery to solve!

New Mystery and Thriller Books May 2023

cover image for Rogue Justice

Rogue Justice (Avery Keene #2) by Stacey Abrams

For fans of political thrillers!

Law clerk Avery Keene is back, this time with a case presented to her by a fellow law clerk, Preston Davies. The federal judge Davies worked for just died by suicide, and Davies believes she was being blackmailed. Right before Davies is murdered, he handed over a burner phone and a file to Keene, and now she better watch her own back…

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up While Justice Sleeps.

warrior girl unearthed book cover

Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley

The author of Firekeeper’s Daughter has a new YA mystery!

Perry Firekeeper-Birch was not planning on working during her summer break, but thanks to a car accident, she has to pay her Auntie Daunis back. And after a meeting at a local university, Perry’s summer is even less relaxing when the discovery of a museum holding an ancestor’s bone leads her and her assembled crew to plan a heist to return the bones themselves. But nothing can be simple, and Perry will be challenged with a lot, including a woman’s disappearance.

cover image for Remain Silent

Remain Silent (Erin McCabe #3) by Robyn Gigl

For fans of legal thrillers!

Erin McCabe is a defense attorney in a serious dilemma: her new clients time of death is the time she was meeting with him for a consultation. That makes McCabe a suspect! And while she’s dealing with that problem she takes on another case of a mother accused of kidnapping her own child, with a prosecutor willing to put McCabe behind bars for not revealing her client’s location. She’s going to have to work fast and think even faster for these cases and her own safety!

If you want to start at the beginning pick up By Way of Sorrow.

cover image for Beware the Woman

Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott

This one is for fans of remote mysteries, eerie situations, and the trope am-I-imagining-the-danger-or-is-the-danger-for-real?!

Pregnant newlyweds Jacy and Jed are off to visit Jed’s father in a cottage in the woods in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. But when Jacy has a health scare, it goes from a vacation to her feeling trapped in the cottage, her every move monitored. And then there’s the stories of Jed’s deceased mother and eerie family history…Good thing she’s not stuck out in the woods — oh, wait!

cover image for Rehearsed to Death

Rehearsed to Death (Domestic Partners in Crime #2) by Frank Anthony Polito

For fans of quozy (queer cozy) mysteries!

Peter and JP renovate houses in Detroit and recently found themselves wearing murder mystery solving hats — as one does when starring in a cozy. Now, Peter’s community theater play, starring his love JP, is about to premiere — except the director is found strangled by his own scarf. And he’s the kind of director that only made enemies, so the suspect list is long!

If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up Renovated to Death.

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Fixit (IQ #6) by Joe Ide

For fans of modern Sherlock Holmes, gritty crime novels, and PIs!

Isaiah Quintabe, AKA IQ, is back with a new case: Skip Hanson, a professional hitman, wants payback for being sent to prison and kidnaps Grace, IQ’s first love. IQ’s sometimes-Watson, Juanell Dodson, joins him in helping to find Grace, but homicide detective Winnie Hando only sees IQ and Dodson as getting in the way of her investigation.

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up IQ.

cover image for The Nigerwife

The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters

For fans of suspense!

Nicole Oruwari left her life in London for Lagos, Nigeria, where she’s married and part of the Nigerwives — an organization of foreign women married to Nigerian men helping them assimilate. But Nicole disappears after a boat trip, and the case goes cold, so her Auntie Claudine flies in determined to find out what happened. Quickly realizing that Nicole’s life wasn’t what it seemed, now Claudine’s own past may be forced out into the open…

cover image for The Mill House Murders

The Mill House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji, translated by Ho-Ling Wong

For fans of Japanese mystery novels in remote settings!

Fujinuma Kiichi lives as a recluse in a castle-like home after a car accident. Every year, his acquaintances visit him in his remote home. But this year is different from past visits: someone disappears, a painting is stolen, and then the murders begin…Can you solve the mystery before the investigator Kiyoshi Shimada does?

cover image for Hard dough Homicide

Hard dough Homicide (Spice Isle Bakery Mysteries #2) by Olivia Matthews

For fans of cozy food mysteries and dinner parties gone wrong!

Lyndsay Murray runs Spice Isle Bakery in Brooklyn’s Little Caribbean neighborhood. Always happy for business, she takes on a retirement dinner for a school principal that used to be her mom’s boss — and a mean one! But the bigger problem is not everyone survives the dinner, and the murder investigation isn’t good for business…

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Against the Currant.

the night in question book cover

The Night in Question (The Agathas #2) by Kathleen Glasgow, Liz Lawson

For fans of snarky YA mysteries, here’s the sequel to The Agathas!

Fresh off solving a recent murder in Castle Cove, odd couple Alice Ogilvie and Iris Adams set their sites on a friend’s attempted murder. But the past is never far behind as the girls wonder if the death of Mona Moody — a film starlet whose demise has been a mystery since the ’40s — is connected.

cover image for A Novel Disguise

A Novel Disguise by Samantha Larsen

For fans of historical mystery and romance!

In 1784, London, Miss Tiffany Woodall buried her half-brother in the garden in order to not lose her cottage — but she did not murder him, thank you very much. Now, she needs to pretend to be him to keep the guise going, which is complicated enough without falling in love — oh, and finding a dead body with stolen goods. She’s gotten herself in quite a pickle and will have to solve the mysteries that keep popping up without her disguise being revealed!

cover image for The Overnights

The Overnights (Ashe Cayne #3) by Ian K. Smith

For fans of PI series!

PI Ashe Cayne turns down popular news anchor Morgan Shaw’s request for protection: he’s a PI, not a bodyguard. But after Shaw’s tires are slashed and she’s threatened, Cayne changes his mind. There’s a fight for Chicago’s number one news anchor, and Shaw’s made enemies with recent reporting of a police shooting case. Now Cayne will have to learn how competitive news organizations are and why someone is after Shaw…

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up The Unspoken.

cover image for We'll Never Tell

We’ll Never Tell by Wendy Heard

For fans of YA whodunnits!

“We’ll Never Tell” is a YouTube channel that’s gone viral with its creators trespassing around LA. What no one knows at Hollywood High is that the creators are “CASEY, quiet researcher and trivia champ; JACOB, voice narrator and video editor, who is secretly dating EDDIE, aspiring filmmaker; and ZOE, coder and breaking-and-entering extraordinaire.” For their big senior year send off, they decide to go to an infamous “murder house” — except only three escape, with Jacob left bleeding out inside…

cover image for The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies

The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman

For fans of historical fiction, romance, and ladies tired of being restricted by society!

Lady Augusta “Gus” Colebrook and her twin sister Julia are in their 40s and in need of a distraction: Julia because she’s grieving her fiance, and Gus because she’s bored and sick of being dismissed because of her age and unmarried status. So the sisters decide to go help a friend’s goddaughter in a violent marriage. But things do not go as planned when Gus shoots Lord Evan Belford, an exiled man from her past, when their carriage is accosted. The incident leads Gus to decide that Evan was falsely accused of murder, so her and Julia team up once again, this time to help Evan and others in need.

cover image for Sing Her Down

Sing Her Down by Ivy Pochoda

For fans of feminist Westerns and cat-and-mouse thrillers!

Diosmary Sandoval and Florence “Florida” Baum were cellmates. Dios became fixated on Florida and wanting her to realize that she was neither innocent nor a bystander lead astray by a bad man. Because Dios knows women carry darkness too, and she wants Florida to accept hers. Now unexpectedly freed, Dios begins a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with Florida, her obsession running from Arizona to LA…

cover image for The Lie Maker

The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay

For fans of twisty thrillers and author leads!

As a child, Jack Givins’s father was taken into witness protection with his last words to his son being “Your dad’s not a good person. Your dad killed people, son.” Now Jack’s a writer, struggling financially, when U.S. Marshals offer him a job: write false histories for people in witness protection. Jack jumps at the money, but also thinks he’ll be able to find his dad — except, it seems his dad hasn’t checked in with his handlers and no one knows where he is. Jack is willing to find him, but his dad has enemies…

If you have a love for mystery-solving, reinforce your TBR shelf and check out all the crime book posts.

As always, you can find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors, organized by genre and release date.