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Mystery/Thriller

Solve A Mystery: 8 New Mystery Thriller Books For May 2024

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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.

What kind of sorcery has been placed on this year that has months that feel like decades and months that pass in the blink of an eye? Regardless of the answer, we are now in May, according to the calendar, and that means it’s time for a whole slew of new mystery and thriller books that you can put your sleuthing skills to the test with. Since there are so many loved tropes and sub-genres in the crime genre, I’ve aimed to hit as many reader tastes as possible to keep you all supplied with another month of great reads. I’ve got YA and adult, and even the conclusion to a graphic novel.

But what exactly do I have for your May armchair sleuthing? A woman who murders bad men via pies, a highly anticipated graphic novel conclusion about a girl obsessed with monsters trying to solve a murder in her building, a twisty thriller with blackmail at the center, two FBI agents trying to stop terrorists with days ticking down to an election, a YA murder mystery with a group of friends all being suspects, an accidental time traveling detective, a text from a presumed dead partner, and a returned missing girl who suddenly stops helping the investigation…

cover of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Vol. 2 by Emil Ferris; illustration of a young monster child with fangs

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Book Two by Emil Ferris

For fans of the 1960s time period, murder mystery, graphic diary format, and a tween sleuth!

This is the conclusion to My Favorite Thing is Monsters, which, if you’ve read the first book, you’ve been highly anticipating its sequel, and if you haven’t, you should absolutely go pick up the beginning of the story.

Ten-year-old Karen Reyes is clever and artistic — which we learn by reading her graphic diary — and identifies as a monster thanks to her obsession and passion for them. She’s still investigating her upstairs neighbor’s murder and navigating through uptown Chicago in the late 1960s when she starts grieving her mother and finds herself at the Yippie-organized Festival with questions about what her brother is hiding…

cover image for I Will Ruin You

I Will Ruin You by Linwood Barclay

For fans of thrillers, twists, multiple POVs, and blackmail!

Richard Boyle is a high school English teacher who stops a suicide bomber from his full mission and ends up being on the news as a hero. A former student, now drug dealer in debt with a ticking clock, sees Richard on TV and blackmails him: he’ll tell everyone he sexually assaulted him if he doesn’t give him money. Richard is certain the student has the wrong teacher, but with a wife who is a principal and a series of bad judgment calls, Richard ends up in a cat-and-mouse situation with the blackmailer, who himself is trying to figure out who stole his drugs so drug dealers don’t kill him. And did I mention Richard’s sister-in-law is a cop already sniffing around?

For thriller backlist, pick up: A Noise Downstairs; Take Your Breath Away; Find You First; Elevator Pitch.

cover image for Hunted

Hunted by Abir Mukherjee

For fans of thrillers, FBI, and multiple settings (Florida, London, Portland)!

In the home stretch of a U.S. election, FBI agent Shreya Mistry ends up on the case of a mall bombing claimed by terrorists who threaten more attacks. Shreya, having identified a young Muslim woman’s involvement, finds herself in Portland with FBI agent Susan Kramer, where they identify another woman and try to stop a future attack…

For a great backlist historical mystery series, pick up A Rising Man.

cover image for The Last To Pie

The Last to Pie (Pies Before Guys Mystery #3) by Misha Popp

For fans of food mysteries with a serial-killer-for-revenge-only lead!

Daisy Ellery has a gift: she murders abusive men via her pies — in the same way, Like Water For Chocolate infused emotion into food. She makes murder pies that don’t have any added ingredient other than her magic. The pie can’t kill anyone else, no matter who eats it, only the intended recipient, but they don’t have to die if they choose to be a better person. She questions her latest request, unsure if it’s a woman in a violent relationship or a cop trying to catch Daisy — until the woman goes missing…

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies!

perfect little monsters book cover

Perfect Little Monsters by Cindy R.X. He

For fans of YA murder mysteries with plenty of suspects!

Dawn Foster has to do her senior year in a new high school after her parents are injured in an accident, and they move from California to Wisconsin to live with an aunt. Dawn decides to try out for the cheerleading team, and things are looking up until the cheer captain is found dead after a party, and Dawn and fellow cheerleaders are brought in for questioning…

cover image for Disturbing the Dead

Disturbing the Dead (A Rip Through Time #3) by Kelley Armstrong

For fans of historical and present-day timelines, detective procedurals, and time travel!

Mallory Atkinson was a homicide detective in our current time when she visited her grandmother in Edinburgh, was attacked in an alley, and woke up in 1869 in the body of housemaid Catriona Mitchell! Now, she’s solving crime in a different era she doesn’t understand as someone else. Current case? A host goes missing during a mummy unwrapping.

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up A Rip Through Time!

cover image for The Return of Ellie Black

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

For fans of returned missing-girl mysteries and multiple POVs, which include a detective’s!

Ellie Black has been a missing girl for two years, having vanished at 17, when she’s found in the woods alive. Detective Chelsey Calhoun became a detective because, as a child, her own sister was part of a missing-person case that she’s still dealing with guilt from. Chelsey follows procedure with Ellie and her family and is ready to find out what happened to Ellie to get justice for her. But, while Ellie behaving differently than the teen she once was is to be expected following an abduction, the fact that Ellie suddenly refuses to participate in the investigation or help sends Chelsey into a new investigation…

cover image for The Five Year Lie

The Five Year Lie by Sarina Bowen

For fans of past mysteries coming for you, past and present chapters, and hook openings!

Ariel Cafferty gets a text from the love of her life, Drew, which wouldn’t be unsettling, except he died five years ago. So, clearly, something is going on. Was she lied to five years ago, or is she being lied to now? What really happened to Drew, and what was he doing five years ago that could have placed him in danger…

Love all things mystery and thrillers? We’ll keep you armchair sleuthing.