9 Chilling Mysteries To Add To Your Summer Reading List


By Casey Rose Frank

Though I’m the type of reader to enjoy a good mystery or sharp thriller year round, there’s something about summer that gets me extra excited to read books with twisty plots and high tension twists. Maybe it’s because as an adult I yearn for the ghost stories told around the campfire as kid.

June, July, and August deliver some tales that I can either personally vouch for how awesome they are, are new books from well-known names, or have received enough positive advance praise for me to feel confident giving them the thumbs up.

So grab your flashlights, or stoke up the flames of the campfire, and get ready to read.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (June 6)

Magpie Murders

Horowitz has seemingly written every kind of suspenseful content possible, from books and graphic novels, to television series like Midsomer Murders. This was my first book by the author, and boy did it deliver. Classic British mystery, plus a book within a book made for a fast read despite being almost 500 pages.

The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter (June 6)

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I enjoyed the audiobook version of this story, but I assume that whether you listen to the wonderful narrator, or read the sentences yourself, you’ll have a great time. This book also has a bit of a book within the book- fictional gothic horror author Frances Ashley may have borrowed from real life to write her famous first novel and her daughter reads the book for the first time as she tries to investigate the past.

Final Girls by Riley Sager (July 11)

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This is the “It” book of the summer, with everyone from Stephen King to Karin Slaughter praising Sager’s work. I read it back in the spring and am eager to reread now that the summer months are here. I love unreliable characters, and there are more than a few in this story. Much of the book will make you wonder what kind of life one can really have once you’re a “final girl.”

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris (July 18)

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If you haven’t read B.A. Paris’s Behind Closed Doors, do so immediately. That book is full of masterful tension and horrifying reveals. Paris’s newest book is not nearly as tense, but still winds the reader up as you try to figure out what’s going on. Given that it follows similar plot points of a piece of famous mystery content, I guessed one of the twists fairly early on, but there’s still more satisfying twists to be had.

The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond (July 25)

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Secret Cult. Those two words are enough to capture my attention. Secret cult that’s meant to make husbands and wives the best versions of themselves for their partners? I’m along for the ride. There are definitely some moments that strain credulity if you dig too deep, but suspend your disbelief and this book is fun.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (July 25)

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Ware didn’t blow my mind with In A Dark, Dark Wood or The Woman in Cabin 10, but rather pulled me along for an interesting and engaging mystery each time, and not every thriller needs to move at a breakneck pace. I haven’t read Ware’s latest, but am interested in the idea of schoolmates bound as adults because of the lies they shared as children.

On Her Majesty’s Frightfully Secret Service by Rhys Bowen (August 1)

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I adore this series, especially in audiobook format because Katherine Kellgren is such a stunning narrator. As it’s a cozy mystery, the thrills are often of a more subdued nature, but the stories are always packed with vibrant characters, glimpses of real historical figures, and our dear Georgie, the clumsy but sharp-minded heroine at the center of it all.

Yesterday by Felicia Yap (August 1)


I loved the world that Yap created where everyone over a certain age only retain either one day’s worth of memories (Monos) or two days worth (Duos). So instead of people assigning class rank by skin color, religion, or any of the other ways we seek to divide people culturally, it’s duos who reign supreme and everything else is less important. Add a possible murder to the mix, while exploring the fallout of a rare mono-duo marriage and you have a hell of a fun “what-if” world.

The Party by Elizabeth Day (August 15)

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Being a bit of an Anglophile, and one of a rather suburban upbringing, I find exploration of the haves vs the have-nots particularly interesting, especially within the setting of the U.K.. I love visiting the fictional world of the social elite, and when that then involves a mystery as well, I’m all the more interested. I’m eagerly awaiting the chance to add this one to my reading pile.

Casey is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click HERE.

Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash