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
Stieg Larsson
A sensation across Europe--millions of copies sold A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and...
Storm Front
Jim Butcher
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...
The No. 1 Ladiesʼ Detective Agency
Alexander McCall Smith
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
Janet Evanovich
The dynamite blockbuster from Janet Evanovich that started it all--now a major motion picture starring Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum! ONE FINE MESS Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even...
The Big Sleep
Raymond Chandler
The renowned novel from the crime fiction master, with the "quintessential urban private eye" (Los Angeles Times), Philip Marlowe. * Featuring the iconic character that inspired the film Marlowe, starring Liam Neeson. A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip...
In the Woods
Tana French
The bestselling debut, with over a million copies sold, that launched Tana French, author of the forthcoming novel The Hunter and "the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years" (The Washington Post).  "Required reading for anyone who...
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
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
Agatha Christie
Home from the First World War, Lieutenant Hastings finds himself in a convalescent home very much to his disliking. Thankfully his old friend John Cavendish invites him to spend the rest of his sick leave at his family home.
Case Histories
Kate Atkinson
The first book in Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie Mysteries series, called "The best mystery of the decade" by Stephen King, finds private investigator Jackson Brodie following three seemingly unconnected family mysteries in Edinburg. Case one: A little girl goes missing in...
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Alan Bradley
WINNER OF THE AGATHA * ARTHUR ELLIS * DILYS * DEBUT DAGGER AWARDS  "Wonderfully entertaining . . . sure to be one of the most loved mysteries of the year . . . [Flavia is] a delightful, intrepid, acid-tongued new heroine."--Chicago Sun-Times...
A Study in Scarlet
Arthur Conan Doyle
Convalescing in London after a disastrous experience of war in Afghanistan, Dr John Watson finds himself sharing rooms with his enigmatic new acquaintance, Sherlock Holmes. But their quiet bachelor life at 221B Baker Street is soon interrupted by the grisly discovery of a dead man in a grimy 'ill...
A is for Alibi
Sue Grafton
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
Louise Penny
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
Laurie R. King
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
Agatha Christie
The tranquility of St Mary Mead has been shattered when the local magistrate, Colonel Lucious Protheroe, is found with a bullet through the head. He was a thoroughly despicable character and it seems that nearly everyone in town had a reason to want the Colonel dead. Nobody heard the shot, and there...
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
Michael Connelly
An LAPD homicide detective must choose between justice and vengeance as he teams up with the FBI in this "thrilling" novel filled with mystery and adventure (New York Times Book Review). ​ For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the...
Whose Body?
Dorothy L. Sayers
From Dorothy L. Sayers, "one of the greatest mystery story writers of the [twentieth] century" (Los Angeles Times), the first mystery featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. A corpse has been found in the bath of an architect's flat, wearing nothing but a pair of pince-nez. A financier has seemingly...
Maisie Dobbs
Jacqueline Winspear
"A female investigator every bit as brainy and battle-hardened as Lisbeth Salander." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air, on Maisie Dobbs Maisie Dobbs got her start as a maid in an aristocratic London household when she was thirteen. Her employer, suffragette Lady Rowan...
Crocodile on the Sandbank
Elizabeth Peters
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...
The Bat
Jo Nesbø
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...
Knots and Crosses
Ian Rankin
Inspector John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank...
Death at La Fenice
Donna Leon
"A gripping first mystery, as beguiling and secretly sinister as Venice herself. Sparkling and irresistible." -- Rita Mae Brown The first book in the internationally bestselling Guido Brunetti detective series in which a high society murder leads Guido to investigate the darker side...
Magpie Murders
Anthony Horowitz
"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 Award for Best Novel | NPR best book of the Year | Washington...
Deal Breaker
Harlan Coben
The debut of Myron Bolitar, a hotheaded, tenderhearted sports agent and one of the most fascinating and complex heroes in suspense fiction, Deal Breaker is a page-turning classic from Edgar Award-winner and master storyteller Harlan Coben. nbsp; "One of the most engaging heroes...
The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman
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
Lilian Jackson Braun
THE FIRST COZY MYSTERY IN THE BELOVED NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING CAT WHO SERIES! The world of modern art is a mystery to many. But for Jim Qwilleran, it turns into a mystery of another sort when his assignment for The Daily Fluxion leads down the path to murder.<...
Raven Black
Ann Cleeves
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
Elly Griffiths
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
Joanne Fluke
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
Rhys Bowen
THE FIRST ROYAL SPYNESS MYSTERY! The New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Constable Evan Evans mysteries turns her attentions to "a feisty new heroine to delight a legion of Anglophile readers."* London, 1932. Lady Victoria...
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death
M. C. Beaton
The first book in M. C. Beaton's New York Times bestselling Agatha Raisin series--now a hit show on Acorn TV and public television. Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and settles in for an early...
The Godwulf Manuscript
Robert B. Parker
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
Anthony Horowitz
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 writing a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day...
The Distant Echo
Val McDermid
This "cunningly plotted" (New York Times) thriller is coming to Britbox this October! Bestselling, award-winning author Val McDermid delivers her most stunning story yet in The Distant Echo--an intricate, thought-provoking tale of murder and revenge. ...
A Share in Death
Deborah Crombie
A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just whatScotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer...
A Duty to the Dead
Charles Todd
"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
Aimée Leduc, a Parisian private investigator, has always sworn she would stick to tech investigation—no criminal cases for her. Especially since her father, the late police detective, was killed in the line of duty. But when an old Jewish man approaches Aimée with a top-secret decoding job on...
The Stranger Diaries
Elly Griffiths
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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