5 Short Mystery Novels Under 300 Pages That You Read In A Single Weekend

For most readers, there is nothing more satisfying than getting caught up in a good, long book, but it isn't always easy to find time to read a 400-page novel. Between work duties, house responsibilities, and social obligations, sometime the best a bibliophile can do is squeeze in a short mystery novel you can read in a weekend. Luckily, there are plenty of titillating titles that fit the bill.

They say never to judge a book by its cover, but what about its length? With some readers, seems to be an unofficial rule that, to be considered a great read, a book must hit a certain page count somewhere above the 350 mark. If you look on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list for short reads, you would be hard-pressed to find any: all 15 titles exceed 300 pages, and over half of them clock in somewhere in the 400s. Despite what the best sellers would have you believe, there are tons of amazing books with shorter page counts that are just as interesting, just as intriguing, and just as satisfying as longer novels.

Whether you're picking out a fast-paced book to bring on a short getaway or just trying to read a book in between the weekend's never-ending to-do list, here are five short mystery novels under 300 pages you can finish before the Monday scaries set in.

'The Other Side of Everything' by Lauren Doyle Owens

Hardcover Page Count: 272

In this titillating tale of intertwined lives, three neighbors — a grumpy old widower, an artist and cancer survivor, and a down-on-her luck teenager — find their worlds turned upside down when a murderer makes his way into their community. As each individual struggles with the aftermath of the murders, they begin to realize that their connections with one another might hold the key to the mystery stalking their streets. Intriguing and expertly paced, The Other Side of Everything is a tantalizing literary thriller you'll want to finish in one sitting.

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'This Is What Happened' by Mick Herron

Hardcover Page Count: 272

Unassuming and unsuspecting, Maggie Barnes is the perfect kind of person M15 needs to infiltrate a suspected Chinese government espionage organization. The only problem: she's never been a hero before, and it isn't nearly as easy as it looks in the movies. The kind of book that would be spoiled by too much description, This Is What Happened is a unique spy thriller you can devour in a single weekend.

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'The Perfect Nanny' by Leila Slimani

Paperback Page Count: 240

Myriam and her husband think they have found the ideal nanny in Louise, a quiet, polite, reliable caretaker that seems to be devoted to the entire family. Like most things, though, their relationship is too good to be true, and it doesn't take long for tiny cracks fueled by mistrust and jealousy threaten to shatter their picture-perfect lives. Thankfully, The Perfect Nanny is a short read, because this instant bestseller is the kind of chilling novel you won't be able to walk away from until you've reaching its startling conclusion.

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'Death of an Honest Man' by M.C. Beaton

Hardcover Page Count: 256

In the 33rd installment of M.C. Beaton's bestselling Hamish Macbeth series, Scotland's beloved sergeant is back to doing what he does best: solving an impossible murder. This time, the victim is an honest man whose penchant for speaking the truth may have cost him his life, and it is up to Hamish to uncover which insulted community member is the true killer. Fun and lighthearted but altogether satisfying, Death of an Honest Man is the perfect quick trip to the land of cozy mysteries.

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'The Chalk Man' by C.J. Tudor

Hardcover Page Count: 288

In this bold psychological suspense debut, author C.J. Tudor presents readers with a terrifying tale about childhood, friendship, and cold-blooded murder. When they were kids, Eddie and his pals used little chalk figures to leave secret messages to each other no one else could understand. No one, that is, except the person who used their code to lead them right to a dead, dismembered body. Twenty years later, when Eddie gets a message in the mail with the same chalk figure and one of his old acquaintances turns up dead, he and his friends are forced to come to terms with the fact that the past doesn't stay dead forever. A sharp and imaginative page-turner, The Chalk Man will keep you glued to your seat.

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