Genre Deep Dive: Mystery/Thriller – time to embrace your inner sherlock holmes, we’ve got mysteries to solve


last month, I introduced a new series if you will to my blog called “Genre Deep Dive” in which we explored a beginner’s guide to the High Fantasy genre. If you want to see the first segment of this series, you can read it HERE


a quick recap on what this series is all about and why it exists:

๐Ÿ“Œย after reading almost exclusively young adult fiction for the past 4 years, i wanted to branch out and become a cultured potato try genres out of my comfort zone

๐Ÿ“Œย with the intention of cataloguing my feelings, experiences, and thoughts on these books in a beneficial way, i decided to make this into a series where i explore 10 books from a genre

๐Ÿ“Œย i won’t be reviewing these books from a personal standpoint, i want to make this series a guide of sorts and approachable for everyone, especially people who are new to the genre and want to know where to startย 

๐Ÿ“Œย so i will list pros and cons for each book yes, even the ones i love dearly, i had to CRUSH my biased feelings and be objective about it. such a sad choice.

๐Ÿ“Œย basically, i’m doing all the hard work for you so the least you could do is read my favourites from the list and come cry with me about them??? it could work like group therapy ๐Ÿ˜Š

๐Ÿ“Œย alsoooo, all the graphics featured in this post were drawn by moi and i’m very proud of how they LOOK and it’s made me so excited to keep practicing and sharing my art in these kind of posts

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and here we go, with our deep dive into *Mystery/Thriller*

the first 10 books I have read in this genre are:


*just want to mention, mystery/thrillers generally explore a lot dark themes or have scenes that are graphic so PLEASE be aware and check for trigger warnings if you need to โค๏ธ*

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where to start


IF YOU: are a newbie to the mystery genre, i would suggest starting with “dangerous girls” & “verity” because they are two of the very few mystery books that i didn’t feel like i was trudging through knee-high snow from the second i started the book

and personally, i think the most intimidating thing about this genre is THE LENGTHS YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH JUST TO GET TO THE ACTUAL PLOT

but fear not, i have found you a couple of books that don’t make you work too hard

dg folderdg pros

magnifying glassv folder

v pros

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IF YOU: have read your share of light mysteries and feel ready to tackle the BIG BOOKS, i would highly suggest “gone girl” no one is surprised here & “the woman in the window”

these books definitely have their moments of tire bc they are BIG and they are DENSE and they don’t mind making you work, but the reveals MAKE IT SO WORTH IT

gg folder

gg pros

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witw folderwitw pros

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what to avoid


IF YOU: are new to the mystery genre, i would recommend you stay away from “girl on the train” and “the 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle” (just for now). i feel like these books are sure to put you off the genre (i’m speaking from experience here) bc they are LONG, slow paced, and require a lot of concentration

once you’ve become more accustomed to the mystery/thriller genre a little bit more and still like the sound of the synopses, then you should definitely give them a try bc they are well loved and praised in the community

gont foldergontt pros

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shdoeh foldersdoeh pros

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and there you go. my first in a many part series on mystery/thrillers (lately i’ve been gobbling mysteries up, they’re extremely entertaining to listen to as audiobooks and i just love trying to solve the mysteries before the reveals – i rarely ever do though) so there will be many more parts to this one

but, i’d love to hear your thoughts. are you a fan of mysteries and thrillers? what books are you favourite? did you find this post useful? do you like reading out of your comfort zone?

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30 thoughts on “Genre Deep Dive: Mystery/Thriller – time to embrace your inner sherlock holmes, we’ve got mysteries to solve”

  1. Ahh, May, this is awesome! ๐Ÿ’—Your graphics are so on point, oh my gosh.

    I’ve never really gotten into mystery (besides, you know, the A-Z Mysteries and Cam Jansen back in elementary school) but this post made me want to. I know my mom has read some of the books on your list, like Gone Girl and Girl on the Train?? So I might have those in my house…but if I do branch out into mystery, I’ll definitely start with one of the lighter ones you recommended.

    Thank you for this post!!


  2. This is such a helpful and smart idea! what did you think about The Couple Next Door? I remember it was the first thriller I read and I loved it because it hooked me from the very beginning, I didn’t see the reveal coming and it was on the shorter side. However, I do wander if I would have liked it so much reading it now


  3. Hi, I love this post, and I love you? Thank you so much for doing all the work for me!! This series has been spotlighting a lot of genres I’ve still been so scared to read, and I’m so happy that I now know where to start :)) The drawings are also SUCH nice touch—you did such a good job on them!! Also I’m so excited to read Verity!


  4. This is so cute and amazing!!! The magnifying glass, the files, it’s awesome ๐Ÿ˜

    And I love your suggestions. I’ve tried The Girl on the Train before and dropped it after the first chapter (this was when I was first moving into adult mysteries/thrillers). I’m not even sure if I made it to the end of the chapter without skimming…And Gone Girl too was really dense, especially the first half, and I understand what you mean by it having kind of fantastical elements. I also really hated that ending. But I’m so glad that you liked it!

    Have you read any David Baldacci books? He writes pretty good thrillers and I’d recommend you try his Will Robie series (Will’s an assassin though, just to let you know) if it’s your kind of book ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. I love this post. I have read a few of these books and The Girl On The Train is probably my favourite. I know that it takes a while to become fully immersed but it picks up speed and is a great thriller. I listened to TGOTT on audiobook and I believe that it enhanced the story.


  6. Ooh this is a really interesting series of posts, I will be sure to check out your other ones! I haven’t read any of these though I have heard of quite a few; personally I am a very big fan of the genre which is partly why I clicked on the post haha but yeah I don’t think it’s for everyone? You make some good points about the genre in general which I never really realised!


  7. THIS IS SUCH A FUN POST, I LOVE IT SO MUCH! And those graphics are on point! *major heart eyes* I’ve just barely been dipping into mysteries and thrillers lately, so this guide is perfect timing! I’ll definitely have to look into Dangerous Girls and Verity! โค


  8. GIRL. THOSE GRAPHICS ARE. AMAZING!!!!!! asdakhfjsgl you are so talented
    this post is such a great idea; i’ve been wanting to read more genres out of my comfort zone so i will definitely check some of these out!! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›


  9. I still love this feature so much – I think I actually first discovered your blog when I read the previous addition to it!? IDK, but either way, this post was awesome. I definitely agree with Dangerous Girls, esp for those who are coming from mostly reading YA books. I love Gone Girl, so I’m super-glad it worked so well for you! It’s one of my all time favorite books, and I need to reread it one of these days, because I’ve never reread it before. I didn’t much like The Woman in the Window – but then again, I definitely wasn’t a beginner in the genre when I read it, haha, so I found it very predictable and boring. Same about The Girl on the Train, tbh. I haven’t read Evelyn Hardcastle, because I heard mixed things, and reading your thoughts I’m glad I didn’t. Amazing post! ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. I love the idea of branching out of your genre as I’ve been a bit more adventurous with books this year (and by that I mean I’ve tried a total of 6 books that I wouldn’t usually but hey it still counts ๐Ÿ˜‚) and I have been really enjoying it!!

    I love how you said cultured potato, it made me laugh!! (it definitely made me this of toy story for some reason ๐Ÿ˜‚)!!

    Also I absolutely love how you have set this post out ๐Ÿ˜ the detective theme has made my day!!
    I rarely try out mysteries but I would love to check so more out so this post is SO helpful!!
    Verity is available at my library and I have been eyeing like “should I?” And you have definitely answered my question that I should!! Especially as I am a beginner to this genre!!
    I’ve only seen the movie for Gone Girl but it was such a unique experience and I would be interested in how the book executed the plot!! I’m glad you loved it!!
    I’ve actually read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and while I did enjoy the audio book and the original idea, I do completely agree about it being slow and the ending being underwhelming!!

    This was a wonderful post from the idea to the design and honestly so helpful!! Thank you for writing this, it has definitely encouraged me to try out some books!! ๐Ÿ˜Š


  11. As ya know, I’m a thriller/mystery newbie, so I IMMEDIATELY put Verity & Dangerous Girls on my TBR! Verity especially has me excited—a thriller about writers? and with a romance? YES PLEASE (not to mention the cover is so intriguing!)

    Also I’m totally loving the pros & cons lists being portrayed as case files!

    Ahhh, I can’t wait to see what your next Genre Deep Dive will be–I love these posts so much! ๐Ÿ˜€


  12. I agree with everyone above that this is a wonderful, unique idea for a post! โค๏ธ I used to read a lot of thrillers but havenโ€™t recently, so Iโ€™ll definitely be taking a look at some of your recommendations. Thank you for sharing them!
    ๐Ÿ“•MP๐Ÿ“š X


  13. What an interesting concept – I love it! I have 7 1/2 Deaths on my soon to read list, so I’m glad to get some upfront details about it so I’m no prepared! ๐Ÿ™‚


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