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Mystery/Thriller

Criminally Hot: 15 New Mystery, Thrillers, & True Crime For August 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.

We’ve already been breaking all kinds of weather records in a bad way in 2023, and as of this writing, it isn’t even late August yet — traditionally the hottest part of summer — so let’s all find well-air-conditioned places and curl up with a book and a gallon of water. At least that’s my goal!

If mysteries, thrillers, and true crime are genres you read — which is, of course, why you’re here — I’ve got a great selection of August 2023 new releases with something for a wide range of reading tastes. From light to dark, standalones and series, whatever you’re in the mood for is hopefully below.

There are two historical mysteries set in different time periods in the U.S., a thriller for those who like following an obsession, and a thriller where a woman becomes her own true crime podcast’s subject!

For nonfiction readers, we have two true crimes — one a memoir and one a biography. There are two quozy mysteries, and on the opposite side of the mystery genre is a fictional serial killer thriller. We have a missing-person family drama, police procedurals, an island setting, a slow-burn that connects crimes decades apart, and a translated mystery with elderly protagonists. Get comfy and get sleuthing!

cover image for I'm Not Done With You Yet

I’m Not Done with You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Many people know Sutanto for her cozy-ish mystery novels (Dial A For Aunties) but she’s also written great dark crime books (The Obsession), and this one falls into the latter.

Jane and Thalia were best friends a decade ago while studying creative writing at Oxford. But then a “blood-soaked night” happened and instead of it bonding them, Thalia disappears. Now Jane, miserable in her life, sees that Thalia has published a book and decides to go after her long ago best friend at an upcoming book convention…

cover image for Evergreen

Evergreen (Japantown Mystery #2) by Naomi Hirahara

For fans of historical mysteries, especially set in time periods rarely focused on!

In the first book we saw Aki Ito and her parents released from a Manzanar detention center. They were resettled in Chicago, and Aki ended up looking into her sister’s mysterious death. Now the family is being allowed to return to their home in California, but it’s not a happy homecoming as the Japanese American community has to start over, from scratch. Now a nurse’s aide, Aki, finds herself looking into a possible elder abuse case when the police come asking questions following a murder.

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Clark and Division.

cover image for None of This is True

None of This Is True by Lisa Jewell

For fans of mystery and thriller authors with a big backlist!

If you don’t like knowing the plot ahead of time, I’ll just quote you the tag from the book, which is really catnip for a certain trope: “a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.”

Alix Summers is a podcast host who one night finds her “birthday twin,” Josie, in a bar while both strangers are celebrating their 45th birthday. Josie thinks she’d make a great subject for Alix’s podcast, and Alix agrees. Except maybe Alix should have listened to that unsettled feeling she had because by the time Josie disappears, Alix is the subject of her own podcast, and she and her family are in danger…

cover of Board to Death: A Board Game Mystery by CJ Connor, showing a graphic of a board game with a bloody knife on it's surface

Board to Death by CJ Connor

For fans of quozy mysteries!

Ben Rosencrantz has returned to his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, following a divorce in Seattle, and to look after his ill father. Things are already not going great when they take a worse turn, starting with a seller offering him the game that inspired Monopoly at a discount, which makes Ben suspicious. And he is right to be wary: the seller is found dead behind his store, and Ben ends up with a backpack of cash, leading him to be suspect numero uno! He’ll just have to team up with his crush, flower shop owner Ezra McCaslin, to clear his name before he goes to prison.

Bonus: this one is by Book Riot contributor CJ Connor!

cover image for Anansi's Gold

Anansi’s Gold: The Man Who Looted the West, Outfoxed Washington, and Swindled the World by Yepoka Yeebo

For readers of con artist nonfiction!

You get history (Ghana’s independence from Britain in 1957), the CIA funding the ousting of a president, and a conman who lied about a massive trust fund who just needed investors to help him release the money from that trust. But he didn’t work alone, and one of his accomplices was “Nixon’s former attorney general.”

cover of Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

The author of Miracle Creek is back with a new mystery!

This is a missing persons mystery and family drama that starts with Eugene returning bloody from a walk with his father in a nearby park, and his father no longer with him. But Eugene can’t speak because of a condition, so the only witness to what is happening is unable to answer: Where is their father? And what happened?

cover image for The Trap

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard

For fans of unsolved missing person cases, the ’90s, set in Ireland, and fictional serial killers!

This has a sleep-with-the-lights-on intro! Irish women are going missing, including Lucy’s sister, who was supposed to have fun with friends at a pub but never came home. Wanting to solve the case is Angela, a civilian and clerk in the missing persons’ division, waiting to retake a test to be on the Irish police force. And then there is the man responsible for the missing women, currently telling his story to his latest victim, including his opinions on the true crime TV genre which he watches with his wife.

cover image for What Never Happened

What Never Happened by Rachel Howzell Hall

For fans of thrillers, fictional serial killers, and island settings!

Coco Weber was the sole survivor of a home invasion 20 years ago, a home on Catalina Island she is now returning to. With her new job writing obituaries, she finds herself questioning whether recent deaths are coincidental or natural, which leads to her life being threatened. Does this all tie into the long-ago death of her family?

cover image for The Body in the Back Garden

The Body in the Back Garden by Mark Waddell

For fans of quozy mysteries!

Luke Tremblay is an out-of-work journalist who has found himself living where he once summered, Vancouver Island, after inheriting his aunt’s home. The goal is to sell everything she left, including her Crescent Cove antiques shop. But this is a cozy, so of course, a dead body ends up in his back garden, a dead body who Luke fought with while alive. Now he has to use what he knows as a journalist to clear his name since the cops are looking at him…

cover image Dead and Gone

Dead and Gone (Detective Annalisa Vega #3) by Joanna Schaffhausen

For fans of police procedural series!

An ex-cop who was working as a PI is found murdered with a message leaving Annalisa Vega, a Chicago police detective, to think one of the cop’s cases must be the connection. And then, hitting too close to home, Vega learns that her brother had just hired the dead PI and her niece may be in danger.

If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up Gone for Good.

cover image for Harlem After Midnight

Harlem After Midnight (Canary Club Mystery #2) by Louise Hare

For fans of historical mystery series with an amateur sleuth!

In the mid-1930s in Harlem, Lena Aldridge has finally arrived from London. Her dreams of making it as a star may not be immediately coming true, but a new potential beau has offered her a place to stay, and she’s trying to find family and learn more about her dad. Except a woman resembling Lena is dead, and her new love interest seems to be keeping secrets…

If you want to start at the beginning of the series, pick up Miss Aldridge Regrets.

cover image for Pulling the Chariot of the Sun

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping by Shane McCrae

For readers of true crime memoirs!

Shane McCrae’s white maternal grandparents kidnapped him as a toddler. Their goal was to raise him in Texas without his Black father and deny Shane his Blackness. Since he was kidnapped, they also raised him “to participate in his own disappearance.” This is Shane McCrae’s story of his childhood and trying to find his identity.

cover image for The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp

The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp by Leonie Swann, Amy Bojang (Translator)

For fans of elderly protagonists solving a mystery and translated mysteries!

Sunset Hall is a shared house in the English countryside where a group of elderly people live. It’s not your average group of people, though: they are currently hiding a dead body and hoping to figure out who murdered someone else so they can pretend that murderer also was responsible for their body. Lots on their plate, it seems!

cover image for After that Night

After That Night (Will Trent #11) by Karin Slaughter

For fans of police procedurals looking for a long-running series with a currently airing TV adaptation!

GBI Special Agent Will Trent is investigating a woman’s attack while the victim is in the ER. Coincidentally the doctor in the ER has just started to feel her life is hers again after she was attacked 15 years ago. Could this be more than a coincidence?

cover image for Good Bad Girl

Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney

For fans of twisty, slow-burn domestic thrillers!

Two crimes, 20 years apart: a baby is stolen, and a woman in a nursing home is murdered — and she’s not the only one.

Now: Four women tell us their stories. How do they connect? And what ever happened to the baby…

Hope you found your next great read! If you can’t get enough of the genre, be sure to fall down the rabbit hole of all our mystery and thriller posts. You can also 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.