Fall 2018’s Most Exciting New Mysteries & Thrillers

Fall 2018’s Most Exciting New Mysteries & Thrillers

Fall is inherently spooky: It’s the season of Halloween, after all. If you’re craving some thrills and chills a little early this year, you’re in luck: We’ve rounded up 12 must-read mysteries and thrillers that will keep you spooked until the holidays roll around. Whether you’re interested in a Dracula prequel or want to dive into the latest standalone from Tana French, there’s a book here to keep your heart rate elevated.

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Readers, travel to Minnesota’s pristine Boundary Waters in this gut-wrenching new thriller from Mindy Mejia. In Leave No Trace, a father and his nine-year-old son disappear in the Boundary Waters, and authorities assume that they were attacked and killed by a bear. But ten years after their disappearance, the son, Lucas Blackthorn, reappears. Lucas is discovered robbing a store, and is immediately placed under the psychiatric care of Maya Stark. Lucas claims his father is still alive, and soon Maya is caught up in the race to find him. We wholeheartedly recommend this one, although maybe not if you’re about to go camping. (Psst: Want a sneak peek? Head over to BookishFirst for a first look!)

On shelves: September 4

Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner

In Peter Blauner’s latest, a serial killer is on the loose and it’s up to NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles to put a stop to the killings. Decades ago, a Long Island girl was brutally killed, and the prime suspect, a teenager named JT, initially faced a lot of scrutiny. But the case took a turn, and eventually another teenage boy was convicted and put in jail for the murder. Back in the present, JT is now the chief of police in Long Island. When Lourdes starts to notice certain similarities between murder cases stretching back for decades, she must ask uncomfortable questions of her fellow NYPD officers and investigate the connections with potentially deadly results.

On shelves: September 4

Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit by Amy Stewart

Amy Stewart is back with the fourth installment in her popular Kopp Sisters series, and we just know that series fans are going to love it. The year is 1916, the place is Bergen County, New Jersey, and Deputy Constance Kopp finds herself embroiled in a local election that is getting nasty. Constance’s mentor Sheriff Robert Heath is leaving to run for Congress, and it is looking increasingly likely that his replacement will be John Courter (who is no fan of the “troublesome lady policeman”). In a starred review, Kirkus raved that Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit is: “A welcome addition to this sui generis series, always fresh thanks to its vividly imagined characters firmly grounded in historical fact.”

On shelves: September 11

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Have you been clamoring for the finale to Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books series? We knew it. Luckily, the fourth and final installment comes out this fall, and at 816 pages, it proves a hefty and satisfying end to the beloved tetralogy. In 1938, Alicia Gris lost her parents to a bombing in Barcelona. At the time, she was just nine. Decades later, immersed in her work for the Spanish secret police, she is still haunted by the loss. Alicia is ready to turn over a new leaf and informs her boss she will be leaving. But first, there’s one more case for her to solve. Readers: Get ready for a wild ride.

On shelves: September 18

The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran

Private investigator Claire DeWitt returns in this mystery from Sara Gran. Three incidents from different points in Claire’s life come together in this twisty tale. The first occurred when Claire was growing up, and one of her best friends vanished. She was never found. The second happened when Claire was a twenty-something in L.A.: She worked on a mysterious cold case about a painter who had died around the same time as his girlfriend. The third happens years later as Claire is driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas, and another driver on the road tries to kill her. Readers will be enthralled as Gran spins these three separate yarns and then weaves them together.

On shelves: September 18

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker

Dracula gets a prequel this fall, courtesy of Dacre Stoker (Bram Stoker’s great-grandnephew) and J.D. Barker (a Bram Stoker Award winner). This prequel tells not just the tale of Count Dracula, but also the story of Bram Stoker himself, who initially claimed that Dracula was nonfiction. Readers will meet a young Bram, whose caretaker goes missing when he is a child around the same time as several unexplained deaths in town. The caretaker, Ellen, reappears many years later in Paris, and eerily doesn’t look even a day older. Horror fans: Look no further for your ideal autumn read.

On shelves: October 2

The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas

The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas continues in The Hollow of Fear. Detective Charlotte Holmes is back and investigating the murder of Lady Ingram. Lord Ingram seems like a prime suspect, but Charlotte isn’t so sure. This series combines Victorian era historical fiction, mystery, and even a little bit of romance, making this an exceptionally good pick for a wide variety of readers this fall. That said, we do recommend starting at the beginning of the series for maximum enjoyment.

On shelves: October 2

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

Jack Lang was fatally beaten one morning while jogging near the Hudson River in New York City. When his wife, Poppy, hears the news, she is shattered. She loses days at a time, and has no memory of what she did or where she went. What she does have, however, is nightmares. They’re extremely detailed, and a year after Jack’s murder, she’s still having them. Then, chunks of Poppy’s memory start to go missing again, and Poppy struggles to distinguish between her nightmares and her reality. What happened to Jack, and what is happening to Poppy? You’ll have to read to find out.

On shelves: October 2

The Witch Elm by Tana French

Tana French fans: You’re in luck. The beloved author is back with a new standalone novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. Toby’s life is going just fine when he accidentally happens upon two burglars. They attack him, leaving Toby with scars that will last for the rest of his life. Toby goes to his family’s house to recuperate and to look after his uncle. Around this time, a relative makes a sinister discovery: a skull near an elm tree on the property. The skull raises many questions: Whose is it? How did that person die? Could Toby’s family have been involved in some way? You won’t want to put this one down until you know all of the answers.

On shelves: October 9

The Frangipani Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu

Ovidia Yu transports readers to Singapore in the 1930s in The Frangipani Tree Mystery, which kicks off the Crown Colony series. SuLin recently finished school and plans on becoming a journalist one day, but with an unwanted arranged marriage looming on the horizon, she defers her dreams and takes a job as a nanny when the opportunity presents itself. A position opens up following the sudden and mysterious death of Charity Byrne, who was the governess for the daughter of the Acting Governor Sir Henry Palin. SuLin begins the new job, but it isn’t long before someone else dies. SuLin suspects there is a killer at work, and she will work to stop them before they strike again.

On shelves: October 23

The Feral Detective by Jonathan Lethem

In this new novel from Jonathan Lethem, detective Charles Heist (the titular feral detective) and New Yorker Phoebe Siegler team up in their search for a missing teenager named Arabella. Charles has a knack for finding people who have vanished, and Phoebe, who is friends with Arabella’s mother, is hopeful that he’ll be able able to help. Charles and Phoebe soon find themselves in the desert of California, where cult-like communities of nomads and drifters called the Bears and the Rabbits live and engage in frequent skirmishes. Arabella seems to be wrapped up in all of this, and the pair must work to get her out all the while keeping themselves safe.

On shelves: November 6

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Korede, a nurse, has a secret. Her sister Ayoola, as the title of this novel suggests, is a serial killer. Ayoola keeps murdering her boyfriends, and Korede keeps helping her clean up afterwards. Korede is not thrilled about this arrangement, to say the least. The issue comes to a head, however, when the attractive doctor Korede has had her eye on at work takes an interest in Ayoola and Korede realizes she must do something about her sister’s murderous behavior. Set in Lagos, Nigeria, this highly entertaining debut will keep you up long into the night waiting to find out what happens.

On shelves: November 20


  1. […] Korede and Ayoola are sisters living in Lago, Nigeria. Korede is a nurse at a local hospital, but she’s picked up another role she’s not thrilled about: Helping Ayoola get away with killing her ex-boyfriends. The situation grows more complicated when Ayoola takes an interest in a coworker that Korede has a crush on. Korede will have to get involved and put a stop to Ayoola’s murderous behavior. We bet your book club will love dissecting the relationship between these two sisters. We’re so excited about this novel that we included it on our list of fall’s must-read books. […]

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