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Secret Societies Add Layers of Intrigue to These Enthralling Mystery Books

We can’t keep these secret society novels confidential. 

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  • Photo Credit: Featured photo: Stefan Steinbauer / Unsplash

There’s nothing more fitting for a good mystery than a secret society. After all, they’re filled with shadowy secrets, elusive members, and cryptic rituals. And if someone gets murdered, they want nothing more than to hide the truth and bury the evidence. It’s the perfect recipe for intrigue, and the more questions we have, the faster we turn the pages.

Here are nine mystery books with secret societies.


The Mardi Gras Murder

By Gwen Bristow & Bruce Manning

For years, the secret society of Dis has worshipped the Greek God of Inferno right underneath the city’s nose. Masking their ritual ceremonies with the spectacle of Mardi Gras, the society has never been exposed. Until one of the members is murdered. Captain Murphy has his hands full with over fifty suspects, especially when their motives become headline news thanks to Wade, a local journalist. But the news runs the city in the 1930s. And given the unusual circumstances behind the murder, Captain Murphy will need all the help he can get.

The Year of the Gadfly

The Year of the Gadfly

By Jennifer Miller

Mariana Academy has a serious honor code. It’s kept its reputation intact since they were founded. But that doesn’t mean their walls weren’t tarnished. A dormant secret society, Prisom’s Party, is resurrected to exact justice against students and teachers for breaking the rules. But Iris Dupont has a plan. The budding journalist is positive she can join the Party’s underground newspaper and find out who is responsible for the blackmail and rumors. And it works. Except the closer she gets, the more danger she faces, putting her own secrets at risk.

In the Fog

In the Fog

By Richard Harding Davis

The Grill Club has been influencing London society since the times of Shakespeare. They don’t care about politics, wealth, or ideology. All they demand are secrecy and an open mind. And their resources are going to be put to the test. On a foggy night in 1897, an American diplomat followed a distant scream to find a dead man on a princess’s divan. The Scotland Yard is stumped. But the men of the Grill Club refuse to let a murderer run free. Together, they set out to solve the crime—no matter what.

The Gospel of Sheba

The Gospel of Sheba

By Lyndsay Faye

The first time A. Davenport Lomax meets Theodore Grange, he’s a desperate man in the library obsessed with demonology. Grange is a member of a secret society, the Brotherhood of Solomon. They’re dedicated to discovering the secrets of black magic. And Grange believes he found a book of demonic mysteries written by none other than the Queen of Sheba. On death’s doorstep, Grange convinces Lomax to help him. But to reveal the truth puts Lomax in danger. And soon, his life, his family, and his soul are all at risk for destruction—or worse.

The Little Brothers

The Little Brothers

By Dorothy Salisbury Davis

The Little Brothers are a secret society in New York’s Little Italy. Though they swear by a strict code and do good deeds, they also believe in casting an Evil Eye on those who do wrong. Angelo isn’t sure he wants to join. But the job they want him to do doesn’t sound too bad. He just has to put the Eye on a shopkeeper dealing heroin and then wait for him to die.  But when the shopkeeper dies, Angelo quickly becomes the only lead the police have. His only hope is Lieutenant Marks, a cop who believes in doing right and taking risks. And he’ll need both if he hopes to save Angelo’s life.

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu

By Sax Rohmer

There is no shortage of secrets and shadows in London in 1913. And now it faces one of the most diabolical villains: Dr. Fu-Manchu. When Denis Nayland Smith comes back to England, the last thing he expects is to find a threat lurking. But as victim after victim disappears, Smith realizes something insidious is happening. And he has to figure out who is behind the murders, before it’s too late


The Seven Dials Mystery

By Agatha Christie

Gerry Wade can sleep through anything. And he’s notorious for sleeping late. So when he’s invited to a house party, the other guests decide to play a harmless prank. They set eight alarm clocks to go off an hour apart, starting bright and early at 6:30 am. But when one clock goes missing, the prank backfires—with tragic consequences. Who took the missing clock? And what does a seedy nightclub have to do with the murder? 


The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter

By Theodora Goss

After her parents die, Mary Jekyll is alone and penniless. Curious about her father’s past, she follows a clue hoping to find the mysterious Edward Hyde, a former friend and murderer. The reward alone would solve all her financial troubles. Instead, she finds Diana Hyde, Edward’s daughter, a wild girl left to be raised by nuns. Undeterred, she continues her search, only to befriend more women marked by careless experimentation. But when they discover a secret society of scientists obsessed with power, the horrors of their collective pasts come rushing back to haunt them. Only now, they have each other. They may be the monsters but the men who made them are truly monstrous. And it’s time they got a taste of their own medicine.


The Ancient Nine

By Ian Smith

The Delphic Club is one of the most exclusive all-male clubs at Harvard. It has a history of power and prestige, ushering in the titans of industry since the nineteenth century. Spenser Collins is an unlikely prospect, but somehow, he’s chosen for initiation. Good thing he has Dalton Winthrop to guide him. Dalton’s great-uncle is one of their oldest living members. But not even Dalton knows the secrets of the Ancient Nine, the shadowy alums who protect the Delphic’s darkest secrets. Together, Spenser and Dalton navigate the club while trying to discover their secrets. But the more they search, the more they find. And by the time they realize how dangerous these secrets actually are, it might be too late.

Featured photo: Stefan Steinbauer / Unsplash