Did you grow up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes? Then you're going to want to check out these incredibly addictive mystery series that will pull you in from book one and never let you go. From stories of inspiring female sleuths to hard-boiled detective novels, these are the kind of books that inspire binge-reading.
There are few series as addicting as mysteries. Starring intriguing and often unconventional crime solvers, they draw you in with an initial mystery, but keep you coming back for the rich character development and compelling storytelling. Sure, each installment is another opportunity to solve a juicy murder or uncover a dark and devious secret, but what makes mystery series so appealing is their ability to create a world readers want to keep coming back to, not only for the action and thrills, but for the emotional attachment to the characters you've been unravelling mysteries with since the very beginning.
Face it: there are few things as fun as finding a new mystery series you can get lost in, crime after crime, installment after installment. Luckily, there are plenty of great ones out there for you to enjoy.
Get out your notebook and magnifying glass and get ready to track down murderers, catch thieves, and prevent crime with these 13 addicting mystery series. Don't worry, there's still plenty of summer left to try them all.
1. Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French
Set in and around Dublin, Tana French's exceptional Murder Squad series is unique from many other traditional mystery series in that each book is centered around a different protagonist. Each story is expertly plotted, emotionally rich, and compulsively readable. The characters French creates — the broody and damaged Rob Ryan, the whip smart Cassie Maddox, the risk-taking Frank Mackey — are intriguing and complex in their own right, each one motivated by something in their past that somehow always comes back to haunt them on the job. If you're looking for a series that offers more than just a crime story, but a human story too, look no further than the Dublin Murder Squad.
Latest installment: The Trespasser
2. Oxford Girl Mysteries by Plum Sykes
If you like your murder served with a side of side-splitting laughter, you're going to want to add the Oxford Girl Mysteries to your TBR list. Launched this year, it's a hilarious and charming series that follows two university students — Ursula Flowerbottom, a spirited freshman and aspiring reporter, and American exchange student Nancy Feingold — as they navigate the blue-blooded world of Oxford to uncover the truth about a murder case on campus. Sharp, witty, and oh-so-fun, the series launch, Party Girls Dies in Pearls, is being described as "Clueless meets Agatha Christie." Need I say more?
Latest installment: Party Girls Die in Pearls
3. Decker/Lazarus by Faye Kellerman
Spanning more than 20 novels, bestselling author Faye Kellerman's Decker/Lazarus series follows LAPD lieutenant Peter Decker as he solves crimes with the help of his Orthodox Jewish wife, Rina Lazarus. Rooted in Jewish themes, each mystery comes with a new set of puzzles, thrills, twists, and turns, but it's the characters' stories — their loves, their losses, their relationships — that will keep you coming back for more.
Latest installment: Bone Box
4. Charlotte and Thomas Pitt by Anne Perry
An engrossing Victorian mystery series, Anne Perry's Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels take readers back in time to hunt down murders, uncover mysteries, and solve crime alongside married duo Commander Thomas Pitt and his wife, Charlotte. A rich and evocative series that brings to life the royal court and the world of nineteenth century England, these procedurals are exciting and intriguing, the kind of stories you get completely lost in. Once you start reading, you won't be able to help devouring one after another.
Latest installment: Murder on the Serpentine
5. Harry Hole by Joe Nesbø
Tag along with the notoriously loose cannon and the rest of the Oslo police force in Jo Nesbø's internationally bestselling Harry Hole novels. Fast-paced and thrilling, each new installment is darker and edgier than the last. In his latest adventure, the Inspector is called back to duty to track down a dangerous serial murdered who uses Tinder to find and lure his victims. If you're into complicated detectives who rely on unconventional methods to get the bad guys, you'll love Harry Hole.
Latest installment: The Thirst
6. Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries by Donna Leon
Set in against the breathtaking backdrop of Venice, Donna Leon's bestselling mystery novels starring Commissario Guido Brunetti, a devoted man of the law who will stop at nothing to get truth and justice. More than just murder mysteries, Leon's novels are richly detailed, drawing off of everyday life in this breathtaking floating city to create an picturesque setting where corruption and violence lies just beneath the surface. Pick up just one of these 26 novels, and in no time, you'll find yourself binge-reading the entire series.
Latest installment: Earthly Remains
7. Mercy Kilpatrick by Kendra Elliot
In Kendra Elliott's twisty romantic suspense series, one small town is home to more secrets and scandals than you could ever imagine. But it's murder that brings FBI special agent Mercy Kilpatrick back to her hometown of Eagle's Nest, Oregon, where she's faced with not only the daunting task of solving gruesome crimes, but facing a past she'd rather forget. A fun and fascinating series with plenty of survivalist flair, this newer series should definitely be on your radar.
Latest installment: A Merciful Truth
8. Knight and Moon by Janet Evanovich
The queen of the funny mystery series, Janet Evanovich has done it again with one of her newer crime fighting duos, Emerson Kight and Riley Moon. Total opposites thrown together after the determined Moon lands a job at a mega-bank and ends up a glorified babysitter of the eccentric and filthyr rich Knight, the pair embark on one adventure after another to solve the mysteries that keep popping up around them. Charming, witty, and loaded with plenty of action, the Knight and Moon series is about as funny as mystery gets.
Latest installment: Dangerous Minds
9. Women's Murder Club by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Four talented, driven, and passionate women join forces to solve crime in James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's addictive Women's Murder Club series. Homicide detective Lindsay Boxer, reporter Cindy Thomas, Chief Medical Examiner Claire Washburn, and district attorney Yuki Castellano use their brains, their bravery, and most of all, the support of one another to put away murderers and solve the crimes no one else can get to the bottom of. Exciting and emotional, each book is expertly plotted and deliciously intriguing, but it's the women's relationships that really make the Women's Murder Club series stand out.
Latest installment: 16th Seduction
11. Easy Rawlins Mysteries by Walter Mosley
Over the course of 13 novels, Walter Mosley's hard-boiled detective stories have kept readers coming back to 1940s-1960s Los Angeles to solve crimes alongside the enigmatic private investigator. Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins. From missing mistresses to serial serial killers to family feuds and beyond, there is no crime Rawlins can't get to the bottom of. A richly drawn series that layers murder and mystery with themes of racial and social injustice, Mosley's novels will draw you into this lush world, and at the end of each installment, leave you wanting more.
Latest installment: Charcoal Joe
11. Sean Stranahan Mysteries
Meet Montana's favorite detective in the Sean Stranahan Mysteries series by Keith McCafferty. A hilarious collection of six novels with themes of man versus, these are not your average mystery novels. Rather, they're heartfelt tales of love, life, and the great, wild outdoors. Pick this series up for the intriguing mysteries, and keep coming back for the beloved detective and impeccable storytelling.
Latest installment: Buffalo Jump Blues
Coming soon: Cold Hearted River (July 4)
12. Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters
A series of 20 stand alone stories, the Amelia Peabody novels are fascinating historical mysteries that are centered around the adventures of the incredibly badass Amelia Peabody Emerson. An unconventional woman for her time — the end of the nineteenth century — Amelia is suffragist and scholar who leaves her life in England behind to pursue her dreams of seeing the world. Along the way, she meets an incredible cast of characters who help her get to the bottom of an even more fascinating set of mysteries that span space and time. Though the author and Egyptologist Barbara Mertz (pen name Elizabeth Peters) died in 2013, the final installment in the series is being released posthumously this summer. Trust me when I say you won't want to miss it.
Latest installment: A River in the Sky
Coming soon: The Painted Queen (July 25)
13. A Longmire Mystery
The basis for the hit Netflix show Longmire, this series from bestselling author Craig Johnson churns out one addicting hit after another. Each Longmire Mystery follows the series' titular sheriff as he investigates criminal activity in his county of Absaroka, Wyoming. His cases vary from murdered teens to foul play over a newly discovered T-rex skeleton, and he even takes the occasional trip out of town to solve a case close to his heart. Featuring a kick-ass female character, Deputy Sheriff Vic Moretti, the Longmire Mysteries have everything that make a series great: beloved characters you want to route for, exciting narratives you can't help but get lost in, plenty of action, and a whole lot of heart.
Latest installment: An Obvious Fact
Coming soon: The Western Star (Sept. 5)