If you can’t get enough of mysteries with strong detectives and well-planned plots, check out our list of books like Agatha Christie‘s classics. Featuring new releases from Louise Penny, Anne Perry, and more, these books are sure to keep you turning the pages late into the night. Publishers’ descriptions included below.
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.
From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.
But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.
Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.
In Glass Houses, her latest utterly gripping book, number-one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
A Conspiracy in Belgravia by Sherry Thomas
The game is afoot as Charlotte Holmes returns in USA Today bestselling author Sherry Thomas’s Victorian-set Lady Sherlock series.
Being shunned by Society gives Charlotte Holmes the time and freedom to put her extraordinary powers of deduction to good use. As “Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective,” aided by the capable Mrs. Watson, she’s had great success helping with all manner of inquiries, but she’s not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Upper Baker Street office.
Lady Ingram, wife of Charlotte’s dear friend and benefactor, wants Sherlock Holmes to find her first love, who failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal for Charlotte as the missing man is none other than Myron Finch, her illegitimate half brother.
In the meanwhile, Charlotte wrestles with a surprising proposal of marriage, a mysterious stranger woos her sister Livia, and an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Charlotte’s investigative prowess is challenged as never before: Can she find her brother in time — or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?
Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie
The sixth book in the James Runcie’s much-loved Granchester Mystery series, which has been adapted for Masterpiece’s Grantchester starring James Norton, sees full-time priest, part-time detective Sidney Chambers plunged back into sleuthing when he discovers a body in a bluebell wood.
It is May 1971 and the Cambridgeshire countryside is bursting into summer. Attending to his paternal duties, Archdeacon Sidney Chambers is walking in the woods with his daughter Anna and their aging Labrador, Byron, when they stumble upon a body. Beside the dead man lies a basket of wild flowers, all poisonous. And so it is that Sidney is thrust into another murder investigation, entering a world of hippies, folk singers, and psychedelic plants, where love triangles and permissive behavior seem to hide something darker.
Despite the tranquil appearance of the Diocese of Ely, there is much to keep Sidney and his old friend, Detective Inspector Geordie Keating, as busy as ever. An historic religious text vanishes from a Cambridge college; Sidney’s former flame, Amanda Richmond, gets a whiff of art-world corruption; and his nephew disappears in the long, hot summer of 1976.
Meanwhile, Sidney comes face to face with the divine mysteries of life and love while wrestling with earthly problems — from parish scandals and an alarmingly progressive new secretary to his own domestic misdemeanors, the challenges of parenthood and a great loss.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.
Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs — the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.
But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?
As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
Egypt, 1912 — Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’ bestselling, beloved mystery series.
Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word — “Murder” — before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas.” Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.
It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin — someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for Emerson — Where were you?” — pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.
But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Amarna, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.
For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge… and perhaps be unmasked at last.
Sleeping in the Ground by Peter Robinson
At the doors of a charming country church, an unspeakable act destroys a wedding party. A huge manhunt ensues. The culprit is captured. The story is over.
Except it isn’t. For Alan Banks, still struggling with a tragic loss of his own, there’s something wrong about this case — something unresolved. Reteaming with profiler Jenny Fuller, the relentless detective deeper into the crime… deep enough to unearth long-buried secrets that reshape everything Banks thought he knew about the events outside that chapel.
And when at last the shocking truth becomes clear, it’s almost too late.
Death by His Grace by Kwei Quartey
Atmospherically set in Accra, Ghana, Chief Inspector Darko Dawson investigates the brutal murder of a high-society bride. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana — and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up in the fifth entry to the African series.
Katherine Yeboah’s marriage to Solomon Vanderpuye is all the talk of Accra high society. But when it becomes apparent that Katherine is infertile, Solomon’s extended family accuses her of being a witch, hounding her until the relationship is so soured Solomon feels compelled to order Katherine out of the house they shared. Alone on her last night there, Katherine is brutally murdered by an intruder.
Chief Inspector Darko Dawson of the Ghanaian federal police has personal as well as professional reasons to find the killer fast: Katherine was the first cousin of his wife, Christine, who is devastated by the tragedy. As Darko investigates, he discovers that many people close to Katherine had powerful motives to kill her, including: Solomon, her husband; James Bentsi-Enchill, her lawyer and ex-lover; and her filthy rich pastor, Bishop Clem Howard-Mills. In order to expose the truth, Darko must confront the pivotal role religion plays in Ghana — and wrestle with his old demons the investigation stirs up.
The Western Star by Craig Johnson
The 13th novel in Craig Johnson’s beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix series Longmire.
Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of 24 veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them.
The photograph — along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement — hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.
The Mingrelian Conspiracy by Michael Pearce
In the Cairo of 1908, the city lives — and dies — by its café culture. But for all restaurant businesses, then and now, the protection rackets pose a problem. And the city’s cafés are experiencing a sudden upsurge in threats from various gangs. But who are they? More importantly, who’s behind them? Is the money being channeled to some big crook, or is its use political, for, say, the purchase of guns? With some sixty nationalities, one hundred and twelve ethnic groups, and over 200 religious sects, not to mention the burgeoning Nationalists, stewing, policing the capital is no easy matter.
When Mustapha, one café proprietor, is attacked by men with clubs, his legs broken for non-compliance, everyone is worried. Could the attacks be escalating towards the international community? The Russian Charge makes a complaint — the Mingrelians, a very small Christian group from the Caucasus, may be targeting a Russian Grand Duke. This royal figure is coming to replicate the visit his uncle paid to Egypt at the opening of the Suez Canal. Heading off any such incident is the task of Gareth Owen, Head of the Secret Police. But will the Mamur Zapt find answers to so many arcane questions in time…?
An Echo of Murder by Anne Perry
In this riveting new William Monk novel, Anne Perry delves into the diverse population of Victorian London, whose disparate communities force Monk to rethink his investigative techniques — lest he be caught in the crosshairs of violent bigotry.
In the course of his tenure with the Thames River Police, Commander Monk has yet to see a more gruesome crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. Suspecting the murder may be rooted in ethnic prejudice, Monk turns to London’s Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn’t speak. Only with the help of a local pharmacist acting as translator can Monk hope to penetrate this tightly knit enclave, even as more of its members fall victim to identical brutal murders. But whoever the killer, or killers, may be — a secret society practicing ritual sacrifice, a madman on a spree, a British native targeting foreigners — they are well hidden among the city’s ever-growing populace.
With the able assistance of his wife — former battlefield nurse Hester, who herself is dealing with a traumatized war veteran who may be tangled up in the murders — Monk must combat distrust, hostility, and threats from the very people he seeks to protect. But as the body count grows, stirring ever greater fear and anger among the Hungarian émigrés, resistance to the police also increases. Racing time and the rising tide of terror all around him, Monk must be even more relentless than the mysterious killer, or the echoes of malice and murder will resound through London’s streets like a clarion of doom.
Release date: September 19
The Witches’ Tree by M. C. Beaton
The Witches’ Tree continues the tradition in M. C. Beaton’s beloved Agatha Raisin mystery series — now a hit show on Acorn TV and public television.
Cotswolds inhabitants are used to inclement weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Devere, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They strain to see the road ahead — and then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town. Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster, has been murdered — and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime.
Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion (a little glad for the excitement, to tell the truth, after a long run of lost cats and divorces on the books). But Sumpton Harcourt is a small and private village, she finds — a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation — and even her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn’t make her feel any better…
Release date: October 3
Old Scores by Will Thomas
In 1890, the first Japanese diplomatic delegation arrives in London to open an embassy. Cyrus Barker, private enquiry agent and occasional agent for the Foreign Service Office, is enlisted to display his personal Japanese garden to the visiting dignitaries.
Later that night, Ambassador Toda is shot and killed in his office and Cyrus Barker is discovered across the street, watching the very same office, in possession of a revolver with one spent cartridge.
Arrested by the Special Branch for the crime, Barker is vigorously interrogated and finally released due to the intervention of his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, and his solicitor. With the London constabulary still convinced of his guilt, Barker is hired by the new Japanese ambassador to find the real murderer.
In a case that takes leads Barker and Llewelyn deep into parts of London’s underworld, on paths that lead deep into Barker’s own mysterious personal history, Old Scores is the finest yet in Will Thomas’s critically acclaimed series.
Release date: October 3
Every Breath You Take by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
“Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke are back with their fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series; Every Breath You Take follows television producer’s Laurie Moran investigation of the unsolved Met Gala murder — in which a wealthy widow was pushed to her death from the famous museum’s rooftop.
Laurie Moran’s professional life is a success — her television show Under Suspicion is a hit, both in the ratings and its record of solving cold cases. But her romantic break from former host Alex Buckley has left her with on-air talent she can’t stand — Ryan Nichols — and a sense of loneliness, despite her loving family.
Now Ryan has suggested a new case. Three years ago, Virginia Wakeling, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the museum’s most generous donors, was found in the snow, after being thrown from the museum’s roof on the night of its most celebrated fundraiser, the Met Gala. The leading suspect then and now is her much younger boyfriend and personal trainer, Ivan Gray.
Ivan runs a trendy, successful boutique gym called Punch — a business funded in no small part by the late Virginia — which happens to be the gym Ryan frequents. Laurie’s skepticism about the case is upended by a tip from her father’s NYPD connection, and soon Laurie realizes there are a bevy of suspects — including Virginia’s trusted inner circle.
As the Under Suspicion crew pries into the lives of a super wealthy real estate family with secrets to hide, danger mounts for several witnesses — and for Laurie.
Release date: November 7
The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe learns valuable lessons about first impressions and forgiveness in this latest installment of the beloved and bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: a woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate, but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case.
Other surprises await our intrepid proprietress in the course of her inquiries. Mma Ramotswe is puzzled when she happens to hear of a local nurse named Mingie Ramotswe. She thought she knew everybody by the name of Ramotswe, and that they were all related. Who is this mystery lady? Then, she is alerted by Mma Potokwani that an unpleasant figure from her past has recently been spotted in town. Mma Ramotswe does her best to avoid the man, but it seems that he may have returned to Botswana specifically to seek her out. What could he want from her?
With the generosity and good humor that guide all her endeavors, Mma Ramotswe will untangle these questions for herself and for her loved ones, ultimately bringing to light important truths about friendship and family — both the one you’re born with and the one you choose.
Release date: November 7
Sleep No More by P. D. James
No one gets inside the head of the murderer — or makes it a more thrilling read — than the late, great P. D. James. Fast on the heels of her latest bestseller: a new, fiendishly entertaining gathering of previously uncollected stories, from the author of Death Comes to Pemberley and The Private Patient.
It’s not always a question of “whodunit?” Sometimes there’s more mystery in the why or how. And although we usually know the unhealthy fates of both victim and perpetrator, what of those clever few who plan and carry out the perfect crime? The ones who aren’t brought down even though they’re found out? And what about those who do the finding out who witness a murder or who identify the murderer but keep the information to themselves? These are some of the mysteries that we follow through those six stories as we are drawn into the thinking, the memories, the emotional machinations, the rationalizations, the dreams and desires behind murderous cause and effect.
Release date: November 14
The Man in the Crooked Hat by Harry Dolan
One cryptic clue leads a desperate man into a labyrinthine puzzle of murder in the electrifying new novel from national bestselling author Harry Dolan.
There’s a killer, and he wears a crooked hat.
Private investigator Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man who he believes murdered his wife — a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Months of posting fliers and combing through crime records yield no leads. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders…
Michael Underhill is a philosophical man preoccupied by what-ifs and could-have-beens, but his life is finally coming together. He has a sweet and beautiful girlfriend, and together they’re building their future home. Nothing will go wrong, not if Underhill has anything to say about it. The problem is, Underhill has a dark and secret past, and it’s coming back to haunt him.
These two men are inexorably drawn together in a mystery where there is far more than meets the eye, and nothing can be taken for granted. Filled with devious reversals and razor-sharp tension, The Man in the Crooked Hat is a masterwork from “one of America’s best new crime writers” (Lansing State Journal).
Release date: November 28
Which of these novels will go on your must-read list? Let us know in the comments!