Getting started with mysteries

Looking for a mystery series to get lost in? This list has the first book in some popular series to get you started!
Updated September 19, 2022
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The girl with the dragon tattoo
Larsson, Stieg
ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE'S 100 BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER BOOKS OF ALL TIME * #1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER * The thrilling first book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series featuring Lisbeth Salander: "Combine the chilly Swedish backdrop and moody psychodrama of a Bergman...
Storm front : a novel of the Dresden files
Butcher, Jim
In the first novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series, Harry Dresden's investigation of a grisly double murder pulls him into the darkest depths of magical Chicago... As a professional wizard, Harry Dresden knows firsthand that the "everyday" world...
Book club [kit] : [for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency]
McCall Smith, Alexander
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and its proprietor, Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's premier lady detective. In this charming series, Mma  Ramotswe--with help from her loyal associate, Grace Makutsi--navigates her...
One for the money
Evanovich, Janet.
Meet Stephanie Plum, a bounty hunter with attitude. In Stephanie's opinion, toxic waste, rabid drivers, armed schizophrenics, and August heat, humidity, and hydrocarbons are all part of the great adventure of living in Jersey. She's a product of the "burg," a blue-collar pocket of...
In the woods
French, Tana.
The debut novel of an astonishing voice in psychological suspense As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police...
The cuckoo's calling
Galbraith, Robert.
Published under a pseudonym, J. K. Rowling's brilliant debut mystery introduces Detective Cormoran Strike as he investigates a supermodel's suicide in "one of the best books of the year" (USA Today), the first novel in the brilliant series that inspired the acclaimed HBO Max...
The mysterious affair at Styles : the first Hercule Poirot mystery
Christie, Agatha
Agatha Christie's debut novel was the first to feature Hercule Poirot, her famously eccentric Belgian detective. A refugee of the Great War, Poirot is settling in England near Styles Court, the country estate of his wealthy benefactress, the elderly Emily Inglethorp. When Emily...
Case histories : a novel
Atkinson, Kate.
A triumphant new novel from award-winner Kate Atkinson: a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate. Case One: Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. Thirty years later, two of her...
The sweetness at the bottom of the pie
Bradley, C. Alan
Flavia, an 11-year-old with a chemistry lab, finds a corpse in a cucumber patch and applies the detective skills she learned plotting against her older sisters. This debut mystery by a Canadian author won the 2007 Crime Writer Association's Debut Dagger Award.
A study in scarlet
Doyle, Arthur Conan
This is the first-ever story involving Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr Watson, who, like the reader, is dazzled and captivated by Holmes' astonishing powers of deduction. A mysterious message leads Holmes to uncover a thrilling story of murder, love and revenge begun many years before amongst...
"A" is for alibi : a Kinsey Millhone mystery
Grafton, Sue.
READ THE SENSATIONAL BLOCKBUSTER THAT STARTED IT ALL! Take it from the top in #1 New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton's knockout thriller that introduced detective Kinsey Millhone--and a hot new attitude--to crime fiction... A IS FOR...
Still life
Penny, Louise
Read the series that inspired Three Pines on Prime Video. In Still Life, bestselling author Louise Penny introduces Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec. Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys...
The beekeeper's apprentice, or, On the segregation of the queen
King, Laurie R.
The Twentieth-Anniversary Edition of the First Novel of the Acclaimed Mary Russell Series by Edgar Award-Winning Author Laurie R. King. An Agatha Award Best Novel Nominee * Named One of the Century's Best 100 Mysteries by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association...
The murder at the vicarage
Christie, Agatha
Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovitch
"Midnight Riot is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined the Fuzz. It is a hilarious, keenly imagined caper."--Diana Gabaldon  Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to...
The black echo
Connelly, Michael
START HERE: The first book in the Bosch series! For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had...
Whose body?
Sayers, Dorothy L.
Ian Carmichael is Lord Peter Wimsey, with Patricia Routledge as his mother, in this BBC radio full-cast dramatization. Wimsey's mother has heard through a friend that Mr. Thipps, a respectable Battersea architect, found a dead man in his bath, wearing nothing but a gold pince-nez. Lord Wimsey makes...
Maisie Dobbs : a novel
Winspear, Jacqueline
Hailed by NPR's Fresh Air as part Testament of Youth, part Dorothy Sayers, and part Upstairs, Downstairs, this astonishing debut has already won fans from coast to coast and is poised to add Maisie Dobbs to the ranks of literature's favorite sleuths. Maisie Dobbs isn't just any...
Crocodile on the sandbank
Peters, Elizabeth
Meet Egyptologist Amelia Peabody in the first mystery in the Victorian-era set, New York Times bestselling "sparkling series" (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review). "If Indiana Jones were female, a wife, and a mother who lived in Victorian...
The Bone Collector
Jeffery Deaver
DON'T MISS THE NBC TELEVISION SERIES LINCOLN RHYME: HUNT FOR THE BONE COLLECTOR The first novel in the New York Times bestselling series featuring forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme--from the author of The Never Game. "Lightning-paced...a breakneck...
A Morbid Taste for Bones
Ellis Peters
The "irresistible" and "compelling" first novel in the historical mystery series featuring a Welsh Benedictine monk in the twelfth century (The Washington Post). A Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in western England, Brother Cadfael spends...
The Bat
Nesb©ı, Jo
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER * In the electrifying first installment of the New York Times bestselling series, Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad is dispatched to Sydney to observe a murder case. As he circles closer to the killer, Harry begins to fear that no one is safe, least of all those...
Death at La Fenice a Commissario Brunetti mystery
Leon, Donna.
A conductor succumbs to cyanide at the famed Venice opera house, in the first mystery in the New York Times-bestselling, award-winning series.   During intermission at the famed La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy, a notoriously difficult and widely disliked German...
Cover her face : [an Adam Dalgliesh mystery]
James, P. D.
The first in the series of scintillating mysteries to feature cunning Scotland Yard detective, Adam Dalgliesh from P.D. James, the bestselling author hailed by People magazine as "the greatest living mystery writer." Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used...
Magpie murders
Horowitz, Anthony
Curl up with this cozy mystery perfect for autumn "Magpie Murders is a double puzzle for puzzle fans, who don't often get the classicism they want from contemporary thrillers." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times New York Times bestseller | Winner of the Macavity...
Deal breaker
Coben, Harlan
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Promise Me" comes the first novel featuring Myron Bolitar--a haunting tale of betrayal and family secrets that explodes into a riveting powerhouse of suspense. Reissue.
The Thursday murder club
Osman, Richard
A New York Times bestseller | Soon to be a major motion picture from Steven Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment "Witty, endearing and greatly entertaining." --Wall Street Journal   "Don't trust anyone, including the four septuagenarian...
The cat who could read backwards
Braun, Lilian Jackson.
Prize-winning reporter Jim Qwilleran's latest assignment is to cover the art beat for the Daily Fluxion. Sounds easy enough--unless your art beat includes a stabbing in an art gallery, vandalized paintings, and a fatal fall from a scaffolding! Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
Raven black
Cleeves, Ann.
Long a celebrated crime writer in Britain, Ann Cleeves’ fame went international when she won the coveted Duncan Lawrie Dagger for this amazing suspense novel, Raven Black. Like Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse or Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks, Cleeves’...
The crossing places : a Ruth Galloway mystery
Griffiths, Elly.
When she's not digging up bones or other ancient objects, quirky, tart-tongued archaeologist Ruth Galloway lives happily alone in anbsp;remote area called Saltmarshnbsp;near Norfolk, land that was sacred to itsnbsp;Iron Agenbsp;inhabitants - not quite earth, not quite sea. When a child's bones are...
Chocolate chip cookie murder a Hannah Swensen mystery
Fluke, Joanne
No one cooks up a delectable, suspense-filled mystery quite like Hannah Swensen, Joanne Fluke's dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes--one delicious clue at a time--has made her a bestselling favorite. And it all...
Her royal spyness
Bowen, Rhys.
The Agatha Award winner debuts a 1930s London mystery series, featuring a penniless twenty-something member of the extended royal family. Her ridiculously long name is Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, daughter to the Duke of Atholt and Rannoch. And she is flat broke. As the thirty-fourth...
Agatha Raisin and the quiche of death
Beaton, M. C.
Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful public-relations firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely, and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest--surely a blue...
The Godwulf manuscript
Parker, Robert B.
New York Times bestselling author of the Spenser series of crime thrillers--Book 1 in the series "The toughest, funniest, wisest, private eye in the field these days."--Houston Chronicle Spenser earned his degree in the school of hard...
The word is murder
Horowitz, Anthony
A must-read mystery to curl up with this fall SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER? New York Times bestselling author of Magpie Murders and Moriarty, Anthony Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time...
The distant echo
McDermid, Val.
Four in the morning, mid-December, and snow blankets St. Andrews School. Student Alex Gilbery and his three best friends are staggering home from a party when they stumble upon the body of a young woman. Rosie Duff has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in the ancient Pictish cemetery. The...
A Share in Death
Deborah Crombie
A week's holiday in a luxurious hotel is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But his vacation ends dramatically with the discovery of a dead body in the whirlpool bath. Despite a suspicious lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't...
A duty to the dead
Todd, Charles.
"Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A." --
Murder in the Marais
Cara Black
In Cara Black's "accomplished, absorbing debut" (Kirkus Reviews), PI AimEe Leduc must decrypt a digitized photo from the 1940s. But when AimEe visits the historic Jewish quarter of Paris to deliver the picture, she finds its intended recipient murdered-and with a swastika carved in her aged forehead...
The stranger diaries
Griffiths, Elly
International Bestseller Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel "This lively whodunit keeps you guessing until the end." --People "Utterly bewitching...As unforgettable as it is original." --A.J. Finn ...

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