Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Time To Sleuth: 14 New Mystery, Thriller, and True Crime Books for June 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.

Hello, June! If this month starts summer for you and you’re looking for some great mystery and thriller books to take with you on vacation, sit at the beach, sit in a kiddie pool, or melt on your couch, I’ve got you covered. Publishing has flooded us with all the books for armchair sleuthing and I’ve tried my best to wrangle a list together to offer readers different tropes and genres and tones within the immense genres of mystery, thriller, and true crime.

This month you can help solve all kinds of mysteries! There’s a queer YA with a crush and archnemesis, a middle grade mystery about best friends in a baking competition setting, a remote retreat with a dead body, a new book in the PI series that started with the classic Devil in a Blue Dress, a suspense missing person mystery with a wilderness setting, an adult social thriller/horror by a popular YA author, a remote mystery set at a Himalayan spa with an amateur lawyer sleuth, an arson mystery turned best friend investigating her friend’s death, a cat-and-mouse thriller with a retired assassin on the run, a missing influencer mystery, a return home to solve a childhood missing person case, a legal thriller, and the newest Lady Sherlock (a great historical mystery series not to miss!). Plus, for true crime memoir readers there’s one about catfishing. There’s plenty to enjoy from middle grade to adult, from missing person cases to multiple murders in a remote setting!

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The Cookie Crumbles by Tracy Badua, Alechia Dow

For fans of middle grade mysteries, best friends, and baking competitions!

Laila and Lucy have been best friends since kindergarten— thanks to a cupcake! But now that they’ll be entering eighth grade, they learn that their addresses have split them into going to different schools. Laila thinks the solution is the Golden Cookie competition, for which the prize is a full-ride scholarship that will cover both the girls’ passions of cooking and journalism. Problem? Laila’s food is the last thing a celebrity judge eats before collapsing. Thanks to a storm, it’s up to Laila and Lucy to solve this mystery to clear Laila’s name! Have cookies on hand while reading.

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The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

For fans of remote mysteries, twists, secrets, multiple POVs, and folk horror!

Married couple Francesca Meadows and Owen Dacre have put to use Francesca’s childhood summering in Tome and Owen’s famed architect status to build a retreat. Who cares if the locals are angry by its harm to the woodlands and the folklore creatures. The Manor is opening to celebrate summer solstice and nothing will stop the celebration. Well, except maybe the dead body found the next morning. Is it time to believe in the folklore or is one of them a killer?

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Farewell, Amethystine by Walter Mosley

For fans of long-running PI series, historical mysteries, missing persons, and the mob!

You can always count on Mosley for a deep dive into characters with a solid mystery case investigated from beginning to end. This time around L.A. PI Easy Rawlins—in his 50s, during the 1970s— takes on Amethystine Stoller’s case. Her ex-husband is missing, and it should be a simple case, but her ex-husband is found dead after an involvement with a casino and mobsters, and the only in Rawlins has at the LAPD is currently in hiding…

If you want to start at the beginning, pick up the classic Devil in a Blue Dress. If you’re looking for a newer series set in the present, pick up Down the River Unto the Sea.

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Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart

For fans of cat and mouse thrillers and retired assassins!

Mark has seen the error in his ways and left his killing life behind him, going so far as to join a 12-step program for “reformed killers.” But as Mark will discover, you can’t go from being an assassin one day to not the next without any complications. He’s brutally attacked and not knowing who the attempted killer is, he’s forced on the run, traveling the world trying to identify the person after him while also trying to stay alive. He does all of this while following his new life code: not killing anyone.

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One Killer Problem by Justine Pucella Winans

For fans of YA murder mysteries with humor, a romance, featuring a queer lead with IBS!

Gigi Ricci was close with her math teacher and absolutely does not believe that he died from a fall while hanging a punny cat poster—he hated both things, and Gigi knows this! And so Gigi, who has refused to join the Mystery and Thriller Literary Scholars, finds herself needing the two members’ help investigating her math teacher’s death and now agrees to join. There will be plenty of obstacles including a mysterious email, Gigi’s crush, and an archenemy!

For backlist readers, definitely pick up the fun murder mystery Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything.

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A Ruse of Shadows (Lady Sherlock #8 ) by Sherry Thomas

For fans of historical mysteries, gender-swapped Sherlock, and funny dialogue!

The start of this series, A Study in Scarlet Women, introduces us to Charlotte Holmes who refuses to play by society’s rules and blows up her life to ensure she’ll get a life where she’s in control: cue her solving mysteries while pretending to be Sherlock Holmes. Of course she has a Watson, and there’s a Moriarty—but you’ll have to read the series for all the fun. In this latest entry, Charlotte is the one under the microscope being interrogated as a murder suspect, while she and her family and friends, as usual, are solving crimes and playing a game of chess with villains…(A lot happens in this series, with fun intricate plots, so definitely read the books in order.)

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The Nature of Disappearing by Kimi Cunningham Grant

For fans of atmospheric suspense, and missing person cases!

Emlyn Anthony is a fishing and hunting guide in Idaho, which basically means she babysits tourists. She’s pretty much a loner right now, being that she had a falling out with her college best friend Janessa, and she ended on bad terms with her ex-boyfriend Tyler. So she’s conflicted when Tyler shows up saying Janessa is missing: the cops aren’t concerned, but Janessa stopped posting on social media so Tyler knows something is very wrong. Emlyn finally agrees to search for her former friend across the country with Tyler, ultimately forcing her to face her past while having no idea what she may find in the present.

Backlist readers should definitely pick up the suspenseful, atmospheric, and remote crime novel These Silent Woods and the small-town missing person mystery Fallen Mountains.

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One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

For fans of social thriller/horror, utopias, and books that examine the wellness industry!

Popular YA author Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything; The Sun Is Also A Star) jumps into writing adult books in the mystery genre! Liberty is an all-Black community near L.A. that sounds like a utopia, including its wellness culture. It sounds perfect for the Williams family (pregnant Jasmyn, husband King, and son Kamau), so they naturally move in. But can a utopia exist? Jasmyn starts to have questions and starts investigating the place they’ve moved to…

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What You Leave Behind by Wanda M. Morris

For fans of legal thrillers and returning to characters’ hometown!

Deena Wood is hoping for a fresh start—after her mother’s death, a divorce, and losing her job at an Atlanta law firm—when she returns home to Brunswick, Georgia. But things aren’t great there either: she already has a new stepmother she’s not a fan of and is threatened with a shotgun by an elderly man who confuses her for a real estate agent trying to take his property. When she returns later, unable to forget the interaction, she discovers the man missing and a “for sale” sign. Now Deena may have something to investigate and soon realizes her community may be in danger…

Backlist readers should not miss Morris’s murder mystery with a law firm setting, All Her Little Secrets, and her historical crime novel, Anywhere You Run.

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Death in the Air by Ram Murali

For fans of lawyer leads and atmospheric remote murder mysteries!

Lawyer Ro Krishna is taking his settlement after losing his job with plans of spending his time at a Himalayan spa. What could go wrong? Cue the perfect place for a murder, a group of guests who are all suspects—from a movie star to an heiress— and Ro being tasked with solving the now mounting murders because of his legal training.

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Burn It All by Maggie Auffarth

For fans of thrillers, dual POV, arson, and small southern town setting!

In the small Riverside town of Georgia, Marley Henderson has been having a difficult time, which culminates in a series of arsons with one leaving her childhood best friend, Thea, dead. When investigators not only rule Thea as the arsonist but decide she died by suicide, Marley steps in, certain that she knew Thea well enough to know that’s not what happened. Now Marley finds herself looking to her ex-fiancé to find out what really happened…

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Such a Bad Influence by Olivia Muenter

For fans of missing person cases, influencer and child social media stars, and sisters!

Hazel Davis was 10 years old when her younger sister, Evie, was born into a family where their mom blogged about their lives. When a video of Evie dancing with her dad hours before he died went viral, the family (mainly Evie managed by her mom) was launched into social media stardom. That’s how Evie, who is now 18, grew to become an influencer. When one of her social media videos cuts abruptly and she disappears, her sister Hazel is left to wonder what happened to Evie, while dealing with her fraught relationship with their mother. Told mostly from Hazel’s perspective with some chapters by Evie, the novel explores what it’s like to be a child whose entire life is documented for strangers online.

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Middle of the Night by Riley Sager

For fans of thrillers, returning home, and unsolved childhood missing person cases!

When Ethan Marsh was a kid, he slept over at his best friend’s house in a tent in the backyard. When he woke up in the morning his friend had been taken, the tent cut open. Now, as an adult, Ethan returns to New Jersey and when strange things start happening upon his arrival, he decides he’s going to find out what really happened to his friend that night…

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There Is No Ethan: How Three Women Uncovered America’s Biggest Catfish by Anna Akbari

For fans of memoir true crime about deception.

Akbari details how she, along with three other women, in 2011 were in love with Ethan Schuman. As a man who never tried to get money from the women, none of them had reason to suspect that Ethan was anything but who he said he was. That is until inconsistencies had each women questioning their relationship, leading them to finally find each other and uncover an even bigger truth about Ethan Schuman.

Love all things mystery and thrillers? We got you with enough reads to forever keep you armchair sleuthing! 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.