Mystery/Thriller

Summer Sleuthing: 12 New Mystery, Thrillers for July 2024 Reading

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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.

Summer sleuthin’, had me a blast—sorry, if it’s stuck in my head, it needs to be in everybody’s head. Welcome to a new month with new mystery and thriller releases where publishing is happy to give you your next great mystery or thriller read during the summer hump month that is July. Whether you need vacation reads or to keep your year-round mystery solving need satiated, I’ve rounded up an array of crime books.

There’s something here for a wide variety of reading tastes: from cozy to dark and violent; YA and adult; a bunch of tropes; and plenty of mysteries to solve. There’s a translated Japanese crime novel; a YA thriller with a vengeful ghost; a missing-person cozy with PTA drama; a cozy mystery for food lovers set during Chinese New Year, a crime novel inspired by a wrongful conviction case, a multiple POV procedural, and more. Now put on your sleuthing hat and get comfy, it’s time to solve mysteries!

The Night of Baba Yaga cover

The Night of Baba Yaga by Akira Otani, Sam Bett (Translator)

For fans of Japanese crime novels, fight scenes, and dual POV and timelines!

Beginning at the end of the ’70s in Tokyo, Yoriko Shindo is kidnapped by a gang and given a choice: be killed or become the personal driver for the leader’s 18-year-old daughter, Shoko Naiki. In an unexpected turn of events, the women find themselves bonding!

cover of What We'll Burn Last

What We’ll Burn Last by Heather Chavez

For fans of family drama, missing-person cases, and feuds!

Grace Clarke was sixteen when she went out with her boyfriend Adam Duran and neither returned. Grace and Adam’s moms blamed each other. Sixteen years later, Grace’s younger sister Leyna is a waitress in Reno when she swears her missing sister Grace walks into her restaurant. Whoever the woman is, she flees before Leyna can get any answers, while back home, Adam’s brother is dealing with someone asking questions around their old neighborhood, looking for info on Grace and Adam. Now Leyna finds herself returning home to the feud between the families, determined to figure out what happened to her sister and Adam—all as growing wildfires inch towards them.

cover image for I Will Never Leave You

I Will Never Leave You by Kara A. Kennedy

For fans of YA thrillers, vengeful ghosts, and books that explore unhealthy relationships and mental health!

Longtime high school girlfriends Maya and Alana go for a hike that ends in them breaking up and Maya leaving Alana alone and returning home. When Alana becomes a missing-person case, Maya fears being blamed for leaving Alana alone, which quickly becomes the least of her problems: the ghost of Alana demands Maya help her possess a body, or she’s going to make sure Maya is accused of her murder…

cover image for The Haters

The Haters by Robyn Harding

For fans of author leads, anonymous harasser plots, and stories with a book within a book!

Camryn Lane is a high school guidance counselor, a single mom, dating a younger man, and just had her first novel published. She’s doing well, only having a work struggle with a bullying incident at the school and her boyfriend pushing for more in their relationship. That is until a book reviewer accuses her of using her job to mine children’s abuse stories for her own fictional book. She denies this, but things only spiral from there. The more she pushes back on the harasser, the bigger the campaign against her book grows and the more this person harasses her. Against everyone’s recommendation, including her publishing team, she decides to find a way to out the harasser.

cover image for It's Elementary

It’s Elementary by Elise Bryant

For fans of cozy mysteries, missing-persons cases, and PTA drama!

Mavis Miller did not volunteer at all to run the DEI committee at her seven-year-old’s school but Trisha Holbrook, the gung-ho PTA president, talked her into it. The problem is that after the first meeting—which didn’t go so great—Mavis saw Trisha doing the kinds of things people do when disposing a body and the next day the school principal is missing. Mavis teams up with the school psychologist to do some much-needed sleuthing!

cover image for The Bang-Bang Sisters

The Bang-Bang Sisters by Rio Youers

For fans of girl groups and vigilantes!

Brea, Jessie, and Flo make up the rock band Bang-Bang Sisters. They’re also vigilantes who use their tour van to travel around the country and punish those who have escaped justice. Their current “case” is a serial killer in Alabama, but they find themselves walking straight into a trap…

cover image for Trouble in Queenstown

Trouble in Queenstown by Delia Pitts

For fans of PI and returning home!

Evander “Vandy” Myrick is an ex-cop turned PI who has just returned to her small New Jersey hometown. She focuses her PI work on divorce cases and takes on a case from Leo Hannah, the mayor’s nephew. He wants his wife followed because he’s worried she’s being stalked. It should be an easy case except there’s a murder that connects to the Hannah’s and now Vandy has a much bigger and dangerous case on her hands with conflicting clients hiring her…

cover image of How to Die Famous

How to Die Famous by Benjamin Dean

For fans of amateur sleuths, YA murder mysteries, multiple POVs, and child stardom plots!

One might say the show Sunset High is cursed being that in past iterations, a star disappeared, and a production associate fell to his death while filming. The latter was Abel Miller’s brother, and he’s joined the show in hopes of finding out what exactly happened to his brother. But he’s not alone, and his fellow castmates are all hiding secrets that could destroy their careers.

cover image for A Dream in the Dark

A Dream in the Dark by Robert Justice

For fans of lawyer leads and wrongful conviction cases!

Liza Brown is a lawyer for a nonprofit working to free wrongly convicted prisoners. Her newest case goes back to the ’90s when Claudette Cooper was assaulted. She wasn’t able to see her attacker but she recounts a dream during testimony that sends Moses King to prison on a wrongful conviction. Liza has her work cut out for her to prove King’s innocence, all with the backdrop of protests and riots in Denver.

cover image for Peking Duck and Cover

Peking Duck and Cover (Noodle Shop Mystery #10) by Vivien Chien

For fans of food cozy mysteries!

Lana Lee is helping the Asian Village manager, Ian Sung, with a Chinese New Year celebration. But good fortune and new beginnings are not to be had for all: one of the lion dance performers is murdered, and the deadly omen of a red envelope with four one-dollar bills is found on him. How was he murdered with so many people around, and why?

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

The God of the Woods cover

The God of the Woods by Liz Moore

For fans of summer camp, nonlinear narratives, multiple POVs, family drama, and missing-person cases!

The wealthy Van Laar family’s son Bear disappeared from their summer home when he was eight. After the disappearance, Bear’s father wanted another child, but Barbara has never been able to live up to her older brother’s legacy and her parents don’t know what to do with her. In the 1970s a thirteen-year-old Barbara is a camper at the camp her parent’s own when she also disappears…

its only a game book cover

It’s Only a Game by Kelsea Yu

For fans of YA thrillers, dangerous games, and hiding your past!

Marina Chan left her past life behind, including her real identity, and is always cautious and afraid it’ll be found out. When her gaming team has the opportunity to visit the company of their favorite game, they go and Marina’s fears (and then some,)come to life: after a murder, her gaming team is forced to play a dangerous game that can not only destroy Marina’s new life, but end her life altogether.

Love all things mystery and thrillers? We got you covered with posts for every reading flavor! You can also find a full list of new releases in the magical New Release Index, carefully curated by your favorite Book Riot editors.