Some of our most beloved, stalwart series return and a handful of promising sleuths make their debuts in the mysteries and thrillers we’re most excited to read this autumn.
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
Berkley | September 6
The author of the Veronica Speedwell series, which are easily some of the best historical mysteries around, is taking a quick break from Victorian England to grace us with this contemporary story of four assassins on the verge of retirement. In Killers of a Certain Age, instantly lovable Mary Alice, Natalie, Billie and Helen go on an all-expenses-paid farewell vacation after 40 years spent working for a network of killers known as the Museum. It quickly becomes clear that the trip is a trap, and the company is attempting to tie up loose ends.
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman
Pamela Dorman | September 20
If you like your cozy mysteries with more than a dash of snippy, quirky British humor, chances are you’re already obsessed with the Thursday Murder Club series. In author Richard Osman’s third outing, his charming group of retirees obsessed with cold cases and whodunits must solve a mystery while also facing ghosts from a member’s secretive pasts.
We Spread by Iain Reid
Scout | September 27
Is there anyone better than Iain Reid at writing thrillers that aren’t just scary, but also viscerally, existentially unsettling? The writer behind haunting novels such as I’m Thinking of Ending Things returns this fall with We Spread. A suspenseful tale that explores the horrors of aging, memory and time, We Spread follows Penny, an artist who’s recently moved into a long-term care residence that might be too good to be true.
Calypso, Corpses, and Cooking by Raquel V. Reyes
Crooked Lane | October 11
Reyes’ Mango, Mambo, and Murder was an all-time great cozy mystery debut. It was impossible not to fall in love with cooking show star Miriam Quiñones-Smith as readers rooted for her to not just solve her first case but also embrace her new life in a Miami suburb. Reyes ups the ante in her sophomore novel, as a slew of murders take place right before the most cozy-appropriate holiday of all: Halloween.
Lavender House by Lev AC Rosen
Forge | October 18
Set in 1952 San Francisco, Lev AC Rosen’s historical mystery has all the pulpy turns of phrase and foggy atmosphere of a midcentury noir, with a twist: The Lamontaines, the fabulously wealthy, very mysterious family at the heart of the case, are all queer and live a safe but secluded life thanks to their fortune. PI Evander Mills, who was recently fired from the local police force after getting caught at a gay bar during a raid, has been hired to uncover who killed the Lamontaine matriarch. He’ll have to resist the lure of the family’s glamour and relative freedom to figure out which of them is the murderer.
Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
William Morrow | October 25
Wanda M. Morris burst onto the scene last year with her cunning and addicting debut thriller, All Her Little Secrets. For her sophomore novel, Morris will take on a dual-narrative structure that follows two Black sisters in 1964 as they flee their Southern hometown after one of them kills a white man.
No Strangers Here by Carlene O’Connor
Kensington | October 25
The author of two absolutely delightful cozy series set in Ireland, Carlene O’Connor will transition to something much darker and more serious with No Strangers Here. Billed as a mashup of Louise Penny and Tana French, this moody small-town mystery starts with the death of Jimmy O’Reilly, whose body is discovered leaning against a boulder, facing toward the sea.
Sign Here by Claudia Lux
Berkely | October 25
Peyote Trip (yes, that is actually his name) is on the cusp of a huge promotion—he just needs to get one more member of the wealthy Harrison family to sign their soul away. Peyote, you see, is a bureaucrat on the fifth floor of Hell, which is basically the world’s absolute worst corporate office. His fiendish plot goes awry in Claudia Lux’s entertaining, sneakily poignant debut thriller.
The Devil’s Blaze by Robert Harris
Pegasus | November 1
There are a lot of Sherlock Holmes series out there, but Robert J. Harris’ has the best twist on the format. His Sherlock is inspired by the beloved films starring Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective, most of which were set in World War II-era Britain. To foil a mysterious string of assassinations thought to be the work of the Nazis, Holmes must team up with his ultimate enemy, Professor James Moriarty. Seeing Harris’ midcentury take on one of literature’s most iconic villains is just one of the many reasons to be excited about The Devil’s Blaze.
Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger
Park Row | November 8
Lisa Unger’s intelligent, character-driven thrillers feel zeitgeisty without ever tipping into exploitative territory.In her latest novel, she turns to an experience many have had during this era of socially distant travel: the isolated cabin vacation. Of course, spotty Wi-Fi and awkward conversations are the least of what Unger’s protagonist, Hannah, has to worry about. For one thing, her tech mogul brother has sprung for a luxury cabin, complete with a private chef. For another, all the tensions and secrets between Hannah, her family and her friends seem to be on the verge of boiling over. And then there’s the matter of the vacation home’s bloody history . . .
Bleeding Heart Yard by Elly Griffiths
Mariner | November 15
Griffiths pingpongs back and forth between her Ruth Galloway, Brighton and Harbinder Kaur series at the incredible rate of several books a year and shows no signs of slowing down. Her latest Harbinder Kaur mystery follows Cassie Fitzgerald, who killed someone with her group of friends when they were all still in school and now works as a police officer. When one of those friends is killed at their school reunion, Cassie tries to steer the investigation away from her past from the inside, while inwardly suspecting that one of her old chums is responsible for the murder.
The Twist of a Knife by Anthony Horowitz
Harper | November 15
The Hawthorne and Horowitz mysteries are the meta take on the genre that all other meta mysteries aspire to be. In typical fashion, Anthony Horowitz isn’t content to rest on his laurels and has decided to up the ante in his latest whodunit starring brilliant former detective Daniel Hawthorne and a fictionalized version of the author. This time, Horowitz isn’t just the narrator—he’s also the main suspect.
A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny
Minotaur | November 29
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache isn’t just a great sleuth, he’s a character that readers have grown to love over the past 17 installments in Louise Penny’s bestselling series. Fans will be thrilled and anxious then, to learn of Gamache’s latest case, which concerns a young man and woman who return to the idyllic town of Three Pines, Quebec. Their mother was murdered there years ago, and that killing was the very first case that Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir, his protégé-turned-son-in-law, worked together. The mystery of why the victim’s children would return to Three Pines all these years later brings back haunting memories for both Gamache and Beauvoir. Add in the discovery of a creepy room that’s been sealed off for 150 years, and it seems like all of Three Pines’ darkest stories are about to crawl into the light.
The Widowmaker by Hannah Morrissey
Minotaur | December 6
Hello, Transcriber, Hannah Morrissey’s bleak and impressive debut mystery, marked her as a writer to watch. In The Widowmaker, she returns to Transcriber’s setting of Black Harbor, Wisconsin, but switches the point of view from police transcriber Hazel Greenlee to photographer Megan Mori and investigator Ryan Hudson.