For Readers

Best Mystery Novels to Spring You Into Next Season

By: Hidden Gems on March 12, 2024

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on March 12, 2024


Are you looking to read some of the best mystery novels that have come out lately?  We have page-turning mysteries that will spring you right into next season, and we’ve rounded up some of the best that have recently been sent to our ARC readers. 

The Pike

The Pike: A Lancashire Detective Mystery by JJ Richards

DCI Walker and newly promoted DC Briggs investigate the death of a young girl at Pike Tower on Winter Hill. Initially perceived as a party gone wrong, the case unravels into something much darker, threatening the local community and Walker’s team. A cat-and-mouse chase takes them to Manchester, with more women attacked. As Walker escalates the manhunt, the grim urgency grows, and the team discovers a darkness closer than expected.

“Couldn’t put it down!!!!” writes Anonymous in their five star review. “Rich plot (and a few twists I didn’t see coming lol), well developed team of characters, solid world building, great police procedure. Definitely going to read more from this author.”

“A police procedural set in Great Britain, it’s similar to watching an episode of Criminal Minds. I say that because it leans towards the darker side,” writes Jeremy M. in their five star review. “The characters are relatable, the pacing is good, the storytelling is excellent, and the ending…well, I didn’t figure it all out ahead of time. If you enjoy crime thrillers, you’ll find this novel (and it’s predecessor) to your liking.”

Tea, Cake & MURDER!

Tea, Cake & MURDER! by K.J. Heritage

A fugitive witch seeks refuge in a mystery novel, embodying Emily Crookshanks, an amateur sleuth. Waking up in a 1920s English village, Emily joins forces with a charming ex-RAF pilot named ‘Ceddars’ to solve shocking murders. Amidst inept inspectors, pompous villagers, and perplexing clues, Emily grapples with terrifying visions and the mystery of wands and spell-weavery. Determined to survive, she presses on, knowing the answers lie at “The End.”

“The book has good character development, a complicated, but very interesting set of events that will lead you to a few different conclusions, one of them correct, and you might be surprised to learn who did what,” writes Jim in their five star review. “People are most definitely not who they seem in this book.”

“I am a fan of Heritage’s writing, and this book did not disappoint. There are 2 stories going on, but the 1920s murder mystery is the majority of the story,” writes Anonymous in their five star review. “It is well written with a brisk pace, and despite all of the suspects, there is a bit of a surprise at the end. I would love to read more of the mystery and the paranormal that goes with it. This book is filled with intriguing characters.”

You've Been Summoned

You’ve Been Summoned by Lindsey Lamar

Over a March weekend, a group of Virginians gather for an overnight costume party at the historic Sophomore Manor. Once a hotspot for socialites in the ’40s and ’50s, the venue’s celebrity owners vanished mysteriously. The event kicks off innocently with cocktails, elaborate costumes, and pleasantries. However, when Jane Parks discovers her twin missing and later finds her lifeless body, the real mystery begins.

Now, it’s your turn, detective. In this interactive novel, you step into the role of the detective tasked with uncovering a connection between the victim, the guest list, and Sophomore Manor’s unsolved history. Through examining clues and analyzing interviews, you must build a case in this whodunit turned criminal investigation.

“This was such a cool book. I loved the premise,” writes Caitlin C. in their five star review. “Throughout the book, we, the readers are the detectives and are provided with case files and clues to review. At the end of the book we are expected to have solved the mystery. There are a unique set of characters throughout both story lines. Much of what we learn is in diary format, which I happen to love. We also learn a lot through interviews with the main detective and news articles.I really loved how this story was set up. I flew through it, wanting more of the girls’ stories. I hope there are more like this. It was a unique set up, but it worked really well!”

“Oh my gosh, it is so sharp, interesting and delightful. A big costume party, a gothic mansion, a group of 20 something friends with few worries and lots of money, what could go wrong? Quite a bit, actually,” writes Dina A. in their five star review. “If you ever fancied yourself a detective, now is your chance!”

The War Photographers

The War Photographers by SL Beaumont

A story that connects World War II with the Cold War. Immersed in the world of codebreaking at Bletchley Park, Mae Webster is enlisted to uncover a spy poised to reveal Britain’s most guarded secret: the Enigma code. Amidst the chaos of war, Mae’s life takes an unexpected turn as she falls for the enigmatic New Zealand war photographer, Jack Knight. Their relationship blossoms, but tragedy looms when one of Jack’s photos risks exposing a double agent.

Years later, globetrotting photojournalist Rachel Talbot embarks on a mission in a fractured Berlin to find the Stasi officer blamed by her grandmother, Mae, for betraying their family. Rachel becomes entangled in the East German uprising and is drawn to a charismatic activist. As the Cold War simmers, Rachel races to expose a traitor before it erupts.

“This is a dual time period book, which I always enjoy. In some dual time period stories, there’s usually one that I enjoy more, but in this one each character’s story was as compelling as the other. And the best part is at the end of each woman’s chapter there was a cliffhanger which made me want to read faster to get back to that story,” writes Kymm L. in their five star review. “I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great historical fiction read or really, anyone who likes a thrilling, page turner that will shock and endear you.”

“This incredibly written WWII fiction novel is one of the best historical fiction books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading,” writes Ariana B. in their five star review. “I have never read a dual timeline book where both storylines were equally riveting. The author creatively built each story with such an exquisite crescendo that the two plots never lulled. I was captivated from the very first page until the very end.”

Murder at Dawn

Murder at Dawn by Patrick Kelly

Retired detective Bill O’Shea’s promising summer takes a dark turn when a murder occurs, and the understaffed police seek his help. At the crime scene, Bill discovers the murder weapon, a blue-handled knife, belongs to his friend Kim, the local cafe manager. As evidence mounts against Kim, Bill rushes to uncover other suspects while juggling distractions like a hungry black bear, a mischievous Labrador retriever, and a missed vacation with his girlfriend. Meanwhile, the commonwealth’s attorney aims for a life sentence against Kim. But can Bill solve the case and save a friendship?

“I love this series. The author draws on his knowledge of the area and the people to make the scenes picturesque and the characters relatable,” writes Calliegh in their five star review. “Add in a mischievous dog and an absent ground hog and you will be pulled to keep turning the pages. Looking forward to Bill O’Shea’s next adventure.”

“As always, I truly enjoy reading the Bill O’Shea novels. They are fast paced, a great story line, and as always, I had the wrong person selected as the killer!” writes Debbie C. in their five star review. “Outstanding read!”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these books for free, so if you want more mysteries, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review once they’re done.

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