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15 Best Mystery Book Series For Adults

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15 Best Mystery Series Books For Adults
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Who dunnit indeed!

I've always been a huge reader. From novels to comic books to non-fiction, heck, I'd even settle for reading a cereal box if there was nothing else available! However, it took a while for me to embrace what is now easily one of my favorite genres: the mystery. 

For me, falling in love with mysteries began when I was gifted with a collection of stories by Agatha Christie. Once I saw that mysteries were just as much about character and the emotional experience as any other form of writing AND they had a big puzzle to solve, I was absolutely hooked.

I started inhaling some of the best mystery books I could find. In particular, I gravitated towards the best mystery series books, because that meant a chance to savor the worlds I got a chance to enter when I cracked the spine of a new book. 


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Unfortunately, when you read books like a speed-demon, you start running out of options. If you're anything like me you've spent more than your fair share of time trying to find a new mystery series to tickle your pickle, as it were.

I've decided to share with you some of my favorite mystery series books in the hopes of helping you not just always having something to read, but that they will mean as much to you as they do to me! 

1. The Mary Russell Mysteries by Laurie R. King 

This is on the top of the list because it's my absolute favorite. These books build and expand upon the pre-existing preeminent figure in mystery literature:  Sherlock Holmes. You see, there's only one person who could lure the retired Sherlock out of his country home and pull him back into the business of solving crimes, and that is the equally brilliant Mary Russell! 

2. The Dublin Murder Squad Mysteries by Tana French

If you or a friend are on the fence about genre fiction, these books will pull you in. You don't have to be a dyed in the wool mystery buff to get hooked on these eerie books which center around the homicide detectives of the Dublin murder squad. 

3. The Jackson Brody Mysteries by Kate Atkinson 

This grizzled Brit solves crimes like no one else around, but he can't quite manage to solve the mysteries of his own personal life. Another genre-straddling series sure to hook the reader in your life. Start them on Case Studies and they'll never look back. 

4. The Inspector Lynley Mysteries by Elizabeth George 

The best thing about these books isn't just getting to watch the brilliant Lynley solve crimes or prove to his working man colleagues that a Lord can crack a case too, it's the fact that there are just so many of these books to enjoy! The British series is diverse and dynamic. 

5. The Under Suspicion Mysteries by Mary Higgins Clark 

It's not a list of solid mystery series if you don't include Mary Higgins Clarke! Gotta love a female-driven series, and this one is about the producer of a reality crime show. Needless to say, she has a funny way of getting more deeply involved in some of her episode than she should, and thank goodness she does — it makes for great reading.

6. The Millennium Mysteries by Stieg Larrson/David Lagercrantz   

Chances are you or someone you know has already read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but did you know the book is part of the series? Return to the frigid climes of Scandinavia for a second dose of dark mystery. 

7. The Decker/Lazarus Mysteries by Faye Kellerman 

This author started off her professional life as a dentist! Thankfully, she left teeth and turned to prose, because these books about a crime fighting duo made up of an LAPD detective and his wife are utterly delicious. 


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8. The Women's Murder Club Mysteries by James Patterson 

Linda, Cindy, Claire, Jill, and Yuki are the members of this "club." These women use their combined skills to solve serious murders, though they aren't investigators themselves. This is maybe my favorite thing that James Patterson has done, namely because the books are just as much about the women as they are about the crimes. 

9. The Agatha Raisin Mysteries by M.C. Beaton  

I've recommended some serious and dark series on this list, but there's no reason that mysteries can't be funny too, and these books are proof. You'll totally fall for the middle-aged former PR maven and her antics. 

10. The Cat Who Mysteries by Lillian Jackson Braun  

Question: do you like mysteries? Great. Do you also love cats? Even better. This series of 29 books is about reporter Jim and his Siamese cats Kao K'o-Kung (Koko for short) and Yum Yum. And even if you aren't a cat person, the stories are super-compelling. 

11. The Harry Hole Mysteries by Jo Nesbo  

Okay, when you're researching this one make sure you don't write "hairy" or your boss could write you up for internet search history. This is another Scandinavian murder series, and who better to tell such stark and gripping novels?

12. The Stephanie Plum Mysteries by Janet Evanovich  

In college, every woman on my hall seemed to be reading the Stephanie Plum books, and I was a snob who refused to dabble in genre fiction. That was totally my loss, because the clumsy, charming and ample-of-flesh Stephanie Plum is a hero any woman can relate to, and the mysteries keep you turning pages at a rapid rate. 

13. Mysteries by Knut Hamsun 

Okay, I'm cheating with this one a little bit, but I honestly think anyone who loves mysteries ought to read this collection. There is a thread of terror and intrigue that connects every story, and it's clearly served as a major source of inspiration to other mystery writers. 

14. The Longmire Mysteries by Craig Johnson 

Mystery! With a Texas twist. If you love mysteries and tale of the ol' west, then this is one for you. 

15. The Charlotte & Thomas Pitt Mysteries by Anne Perry 

 

Hold on to your butts, anglophiles, because this one is for you! The place: Victorian England. The people: Thomas Pitt, police inspector, and his wife, the high-born Charlotte. Together, this duo shocks society and solves crimes. Frankly, it doesn't get much better. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.

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