NYPL's Best Crime, Mystery, & Thriller Books of the Year
Craig Melvin and Jenna Bush Hager of TODAY recently stopped by The New York Public Library where Craig got a library card. Craig has loved reading in the past but, like many of us with busy lives, has become a bit of a lapsed reader. But that's about to change! Jenna, an avid reader herself, gave him some great advice—read what you like to watch. Since Craig is a fan of watching mysteries and thrillers on television and film, she offered a few recommendations in this genre for Craig to read which you can find below.
If suspenseful dramas are also up your (dark) alley, get ready to be entertained and enthralled by the titles that made The New York Public Library's Best Books list for crime, mystery, and thriller books. Every year the librarians and staff on our Best Books committees read thousands of titles to select noteworthy new books for readers of all ages—so you know they'll be good. Grab one of these books..but leave the lights on!
Interested in other genres? Explore all of our Best Books and find your next great read.
Jenna's Recommendations for Craig:
The Last Policeman series
by Ben H. Winters
When the Earth is doomed by an imminent asteroid collision, homicide detective Hank Palace considers the worth of his job in a world destined to end in six months and investigates a suspicious suicide that nobody else cares about.
Book 2: Countdown City
Book 3: World of Trouble
The Cold, Cold Ground (Book 1 of the Detective Sean Duffy series)
by Adrian McKinty
Northern Ireland, spring 1981. Hunger strikes, riots, power cuts, a homophobic serial killer with a penchant for opera, and a young woman’s suicide that may yet turn out to be murder: on the surface, the events are unconnected, but then things—and people—aren’t always what they seem. Detective Sergeant Duffy is the man tasked with trying to get to the bottom of it all.
Book 2: I Hear the Sirens in the Street
Book 3: In the Morning I'll Be Gone
Book 4: Gun Street Girl
Book 5: Rain Dogs
Book 6: Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly
NYPL'S BEST BOOKS: CRIME, MYSTERY, AND THRILLER
by Janice Hallett
When the cast of a local theater group raises money for an experimental treatment for the director’s granddaughter, who has a rare form of cancer, one member raises her concerns, creating tensions within the community, which leads to murder.
by Kirsten Miller
When midlife changes give three different women special powers, they come together to solve the murder of a teenage girl whom the police have written off as a drug-addicted sex worker—an investigation leading to a world of stupendous wealth where rules don’t apply.
I'll Be You
by Janelle Brown
An identical twin and former child TV star reassesses the complicated bond with her estranged sister after their panicked father says she stopped answering her phone and has checked into a mysterious spa in Ojai that might be a cult.
Killers of a Certain Age
by Deanna Raybourn
Sent on an all-expense paid vacation to mark their retirement, four assassins discover they’ve been marked for death, forcing them to turn against their own organization and teach them what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age.
Like a Sister
by Kellye Garrett
When the death of her half-sister Desiree, a disgraced reality TV star, is ruled an overdose, Lena Scott knows that can’t be the case and becomes determined to find justice for Desiree, even if means unraveling her family’s darkest secrets—or ending up dead herself.
Magic, Lies & Deadly Pies
by Misha Popp
Preparing for the statewide pie contest, which could help wronged women everywhere, Daisy Ellery, whose pies have the magical ability to avenge women done wrong by men, finds herself in a sticky situation when a blackmailer threatens to reveal her true calling to the world.
Never Name the Dead
by D.M. Rowell
No one called her Mud in Silicon Valley. There, she was Mae, a high-powered professional who had left her Kiowa roots behind a decade ago. But a cryptic voice message from her grandfather, James Sawpole, telling her to come home sounds so wrong that she catches the next plane to Oklahoma. She never expected to be plunged into a web of theft, betrayal, and murder.
by Ramona Emerson
A forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force, Rita Todacheene, who sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues the other investigators overlook, is caught in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque’s most dangerous cartels when a furious ghost sets her on a path of vengeance.
by Megan Goldin
Liv Reese, waking up holding a bloodstained knife and her hands covered in scribbled messages, remembers nothing from the past two years and goes on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing, followed by someone who will do anything to stop her from remembering—permanently.
by Amanda Jayatissa
When Amaya is invited to her former best friend Kaavi's wedding and learns that the groom is her own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding. But Amaya might not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, the evidence points towards Amaya. Caught between excessive Sri Lankan wedding celebrations, old wounds, and dark secrets, will Amaya be able to prove she's being framed for a murder she's almost positive she didn't commit?
Anyone living, working, or attending school in New York State is eligible for an NYPL library card. Get one at your nearest NYPL location or apply online for a digital card.
Book summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.