Please subscribe to our notifications

As our email reminders often get missed or filtered, we would like to send you notifications about new sign ups, books you've been selected to read and missing reader forms. After clicking CONTINUE, click ALLOW on the next popup to enable these. You can always change your mind later, or modify which notifications you receive.


For Readers

Mystery Novels to Add to your Holiday Wish List

By: Hidden Gems on December 5, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on December 5, 2023


One of the most amazing things about the mystery genre is that there truly is something for everyone. No matter which side of the spectrum you prefer, we can all agree that page-turning intrigue is a must. If you’re looking for a gripping mystery to read over the holidays, this list is for you.

Naked Came the Detective

Naked Came the Detective by Glendall C. Jackson III

With 50+ ratings and a 4.7 star average, Naked Came the Detective by Glendall C. Jackson III is an award winning novella that isn’t your typical murder mystery.

Celine describes in her five star Amazon review why you should add this to your TBR list, “…This book stands out as a refreshing and thought-provoking addition to the world of fiction. What immediately strikes the reader is the novel’s ability to subvert traditional expectations. It weaves a compelling narrative that isn’t bound by the conventional rules of the genre, making for an intriguing and unique reading experience. The novella manages to blend elements of mystery with unexpected twists, adding layers of complexity to the story that keep readers engaged and guessing throughout. One of the remarkable aspects of this novella is its brevity. Spanning just 100 pages, it manages to pack a punch, delivering a concise yet satisfying story…”

“A pet peeve of mine when it comes to murder mysteries is the fact it’s always (or most of the times) women that are the victim and the male character the investigator. I was so happy how this book came out as Naked Came the Detective breaks free from the typical murder mystery formula, offering a refreshing twist as a skilled escort turns investigator and even uses her job and connections as a sex worker as a skill throughout the book,” Andrea C concurs in her five star Amazon review. “…It kept the essence of a true thriller yet made it fresh and entertaining to read. If you are looking for a twist in a cliche, I highly recommend this book!”

Murder in Black and White

Murder in Black and White by Rob Lawton

With 10 ratings and a 4.8 star average, Murder in Black and White is a hidden gem which follows Jack Winston and Caroline Cromwell in 1940s New York City, as they investigate who tried to set him up for a fall.

“Excellent writing, and I love the author’s writing style,” Annie M raves in her five star Amazon review. “The author places you in every scene with his vivid and spot-on description, and he has a special way with words…”

Heb concurs in their five star Amazon review, “What an engaging WWII-era mystery with great character development and dialog. The depth of research by Rob Lawton delivered a combination of period context, imagery, and details that really made me feel like I was in a Thin Man story. Then to find out how much was inspired by real world people and events helped explain the realism, and made the story even more enjoyable…”

Take Four

Take Four by C.J. Shane

With almost 20 ratings and a 4.5 star average, Take Four is the first book in the Iron Horse mystery series by C.J. Shane, who is also no stranger to Hidden Gems ARC readers.

“Another excellent book from the Letty Valdez Mystery Series. Author C.J. Shane is a resident of Tucson and these books include historical content from the Tucson area and the American Southwest,” Randall and Karen explain in their five star Amazon review. “…Entertaining book for mystery, action, and love. I look forward to more from C.J. Shane’s Iron Horse Series.”

Kathleen K concurs in her five star Amazon review, “…I found this a great start to the series. It was well-written, plotted, and has solid characters…I highly recommend this book if you like strong characters, minimal romance, and pets and children.”

Ghoul Scout

Ghoul Scout by Sarina Dorie

With 35+ ratings and a 4.2 star average, Ghoul Scout is book 17 in The Vega Bloodmire Wicked Witch series by Sarina Dorie. This installment is a novella providing a glimpse into Vega Bloodmire’s early years as a new teacher at Lady of the Lake School for Girls.

Stan H writes in his five star Amazon review, “This book is another of Vega’s adventures as a high school teacher. This time she’s recruiting children who have magic from the Morty realm before they are caught by Fae and drained of magic, enslaved, or eaten. There is lots of humor and also some deep pathos as Vega tries to persuade an overprotective mother, who doesn’t believe in magic, to enroll her three magic-wielding daughters in Lady of the Lakes…”

“As always with Ms. Dorie’s books, I laughed aloud. Especially when extraordinary witch Vega is in the morty realm, things get crazy,” Purplequilter concurs in their five star Amazon review. “This is such a fun little book, with three typical teenagers making trouble for their mom. When you add in magic, poor mom is overwhelmed. Vega once again shows her soft side, against her better judgment. This is a great addition to the series.”

An Unfinished Storm

An Unfinished Storm by Bethany Maines

With 25+ ratings and a 4.3 star average, An Unfinished Storm is the fourth installment in the San Juan Island Murder Mysteries series, which follows a former actress, Tish Yearly, as she dives back into the world of Hollywood – with deadly consequences.

Saralyn R explains in her five star Amazon review, “Clever plotting, fast-paced tension, and snappy dialogue live in this fun mystery by Bethany Maines, but the best part of the book is the high-spirited dynamo that is Tish. Having lost her passion for acting, she takes on the production side of movie-making, but still not sure what she wants to be when she grows up, she finds herself better suited to being a detective. The two-peas-in-a-pod relationship Tish has with her Granddad glows on the page, fraught as it is with humor, admiration, and love. It’s also a blast to watch Tish interact with her boyfriend Nash, Nash’s daughter Claire, and Nash’s ex-wife. The clues and suspects in the murder of movie director, Skip Renfeld, are the toppings on the delicious sundae. Indulge yourself if you’re looking for a delightfully entertaining book!”

“Tish and her ex-CIA grandpa are snarky, smart and irreverent as they work with her boyfriend Nash, a deputy sheriff that’s been sidelined, to solve a murder,” Myraffe writes in their five star Amazon review. “The main characters are wonderfully relatable as they try to find the killer, keep movie production from collapsing and tiptoe through the landmines of a little girl wishing for a parental reconciliation after everyone’s moved on…”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these mind-boggling and cozy mystery stories first, so if you want more secrets to unravel or clues to seek, 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 on Amazon once they’re done.

Share this blog


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *