Books

These Thrillers Are Basically The Grown-Up Versions Of 'Nancy Drew'

Robert Falconer/The CW

Amateur detective Nancy Drew just got a major makeover in The CW's spooky, supernatural adaptation of the beloved books. Written by a series of ghostwriters under the name Carolyn Keene, the Nancy Drew series has been in publication since the 1930s, and you probably even read a book or two as a kid. If you did, you might be surprised by the dark direction of the new series — and you just might love it. If you're already hooked on the new show, I've picked out 15 books that will give you serious Nancy Drew vibes.

The season of spookiness is at hand, folks, and some people — myself included — have already started on our creepy, fall reading lists. I've already put together a list of new horror books that will help you get into the Halloween spirit a month early, but if you're in search of something a little more tailored to your pre-Nancy Drew reading pleasures, the 15 books on the list below are exactly what you're looking for.

These brand-new mysteries and thrillers feature women and girls as investigators — both detectives and journalists. I've thrown in a few ghost-related suspense novels as well, because The CW's Nancy Drew is more of a supernatural murder mystery that the books it's loosely based on.

'The Haunted' by Danielle Vega

In this YA novel from Survive the Night author Danielle Vega, a teenager named Hendricks tries to fly under the radar in her new, small-town community, until she becomes part of her school's popular clique. When her friends tell her that her new house is haunted, strange things start to happen, and Hendricks finds herself responsible for saving herself and her family from their spectral roommates.

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'The Wolf Wants In' by Laura McHugh

Returning to her hometown, where the opioid crisis has claimed many lives, Sadie arrives with one mission — to find out what caused her brother's death. The local police force has other cases on its hands, but when one of them suddenly seems to be connected to Sadie's investigation, the town's secrets — and the secrets Sadie's family has been keeping — begin to bubble to the surface.

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'Speaking of Summer' by Kalisha Buckhanon

Summer vanished without a trace from the roof of the Harlem brownstone she shared with her twin sister, Autumn. As she investigates the locked-door mystery of her sister's disappearance, Autumn develops an obsession with women who are killed by their partners.

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'Last Girl Lied To' by L.E. Flynn

After Trixie left a party and walked into the ocean, the investigators ruled her death a suicide. Fiona remembers certain things about that night, and she's convinced that Trixie is still alive somewhere. Investigating her friend's disappearance, Fiona begins to realize that she may not have known the real Trixie at all.

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'Lady in the Lake' by Laura Lippman

In 1966 Baltimore, Maddie Schwartz, an unfulfilled housewife, walks out on nearly two decades of marriage to pursue her own ambitions. After helping police solve a missing-persons case, Maddie takes a job working for a local newspaper, where she soon finds the mystery that will put her on the map.

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'The Last Widow' by Karin Slaughter

After a CDC scientist goes missing, and the medical research facility in Atlanta is bombed, a medical examiner and an agent from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assist in the case. But when M.E. Sara Linton is kidnapped, the investigation takes a dramatic and dangerous turn.

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'The Broken Girls' by Simone St. James

Set at a Vermont boarding school in two different time periods, Simone St. James' The Broken Girls follows journalist Fiona Sheridan as she digs into the history of Idlewild Hall — the location of her sister's death, 20 years before.

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'A Dangerous Engagement' by Ashley Weaver

Shortly after arriving in New York City for her friend's wedding, bridesmaid Amory Ames finds herself thrust into a murder mystery, when one of the groomsmen is discovered dead at the bride-to-be's front door. The police believe that the man's death has something to do with the city's organized crime, but Amory is convinced that someone in the wedding party may be involved.

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'Never Tell' by Lisa Gardner

Detective D.D. Warren knows the woman holding the gun. Evie Carter's father died by an accidental shooting in Evie's presence. Now, the woman's husband is dead, too, and his computer has been blasted to smithereens. Meanwhile, as news programs begin to show his face, another woman, Flora Dane, realizes that he knew her kidnapper.

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'Missing, Presumed Dead' by Emma Berquist

From Devils unto Dust author Emma Berquist comes this spooky detective novel about a clairvoyant determined to help a ghost get revenge. Lexi knew Jane was going to die, but she couldn't stop what happened to her. Now, Jane's ghost wants revenge, and Lexi wants to help, but she also just wants to keep Jane close for as long as she can.

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'Treacherous Strand' by Andrea Carter

When a woman's body washes ashore on the Inishowen Peninsula in Ireland, a unique tattoo quickly identifies the corpse as that of a French national. When the local police rule the woman's death a suicide, her attorney steps forward and begins her own investigation, determined to get to the bottom of who killed Marguerite Etienne.

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'Tunnel of Bones' by Victoria Schwab

When young ghosthunter Cass accidentally awakens a malevolent spirit in the Paris Catacombs, she'll need help from her best friend — a ghost named Jacob — and a host of new allies in order to stop Paris from being taken over by ghosts.

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'The Infinite Blacktop' by Sara Gran

When a P.I. wakes up in an ambulance following an attempt on her life, she is forced to reckon with the details of her past in order to identify her would-be killer. Sara Gran's The Infinite Blacktop takes readers through three key periods in heroine Claire DeWitt's life as she traces evidence that may lead to the capture of whomever wants her dead.

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'The Butterfly Girl' by Rene Denfeld

Naomi makes a living of finding missing children, but there's one child she cannot locate — her sister, whose face she can't remember, and whose name she doesn't know. Following what little trail there is, Naomi journeys to Portland, Oregon, where she discovers a string of missing-persons cases affecting a community of homeless girls.

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'Ninth House' by Leigh Bardugo

A high-school dropout and the survivor of a grisly multiple murder, Alex never expects to go to Yale. But when a mysterious benefactor offers her the chance to do exactly that, in exchange for gathering information on the university's secret societies, she considers herself lucky. Once admitted, however, Alex discovers that dark powers may be afoot inside Yale's hallowed halls.

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