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Mysteries and Thrillers We Can't Wait to Read this Spring

Spring cleaning with these reads will find secrets swept under the rug and skeletons in the closet...

mystery thriller books spring 2021
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  • Photo Credit: Cover of "The Disappearing Act" by Catherine Steadman

As April showers welcome May flowers, publishing companies are ramping up to release some of the most enthralling mysteries and thrillers for the spring season. Fans of these genres can anticipate books about horrifying supernatural tales, as well as enthralling detective stories that leave them guessing from beginning to end. Being that there are so many exciting new releases set to hit shelves this season, we’ve narrowed down our selection to the most anticipated mysteries and thrillers that we can’t wait to read. Trust us when we say you won’t want to miss out on a word of these riveting tales that are guaranteed to excite and intrigue you.

Related: Underrated Thriller Books to Breeze Through This Spring

sleep well my lady

Sleep Well, My Lady

By Kwei Quartey

Kwei Quartey’s Sleep Well, My Lady set the tone for spring releases when it became available on March 2nd of this year. It is the second book in the Emma Djan Investigation series, follow-up on the success of The Missing American. In this mystery, private investigator Emma Djan follows the unexpected murder of a Ghanaian fashion icon. While it may be a sequel, it is perfect as a standalone and introduction to one of the most exciting literary voices in the genre.

Related: 11 Mystery and Thriller Novels by African Writers You Should Add to Your Reading List

you love me

You Love Me

By Caroline Kepnes

We’ve all been waiting for it. Caroline Kepnes's third book in the You series, You Love Me, officially hit bookstands everywhere on April 6, 2021. The first two novels follow Joe Goldberg as he becomes romantically involved with various women, but are his intentions always true? Kepnes’s story is largely recognized for becoming a Netflix original series, and its third season is also set to release this year. If you can’t wait to find out what happens next for the charismatic and manipulative Joe, we highly recommend picking up You Love Me as soon as possible. Be warned, things get rather steamy and particularly unsettling at times.

when the stars go dark

When the Stars Go Dark

By Paula McLain

April 13th was one of the best days in mystery and thriller releases in the spring, as Paula McLain’s When the Stars Go Dark was one of several that became available. It follows Anna Hart, a detective in San Francisco who is well-trained in the art of analyzing human behavior. When a string of murders attaches themselves to her personal life, everything gets turned upside down and may cause her to realize that everything she’s ever done has led to this exact moment. This book in particular is one of our most anticipated, as McLain weaves in real-life cases to create a thriller unlike any other.

Related: The 30 Best Female Detectives and Amateur Sleuths in Mystery Fiction

ocean prey

Ocean Prey

By John Sandford

John Sandford has done it again in the 13th addition to his Virgil Flowers series. Now that Lucas Davenport and Flowers have joined forces, they are set on an adventures investigation that proves they’re two of the most seasoned detectives in the field. If you’re a fan of adventure thrillers, Ocean Prey is a must read for the spring time. It is best to enjoy this book on a beach with warm sand and ocean water caressing the shores and guarding hidden secrets.

the good sister

The Good Sister

By Sally Hepworth

Twin sisters Fern and Rose are polar opposites, but that doesn’t stop others from painting an ideal image of the two. Sally Hepworth carefully crafts a story about perception and how everything isn’t always as it appears to be. In fact, Fern and Rose have a dark secret they’ve been guarding all of their lives. Family dysfunction and thrilling horrors merge together in this highly anticipated novel.

Related: 10 Domestic Thrillers That Make You Read Between the Lies

21st birthday

21st Birthday

By James Patterson

James Patterson is one of the most well-known and respected names in the mystery and thriller genre. Luckily, longtime fans and new ones alike can look forward to his upcoming release on May 3rd, the 21st installment in the Women’s Murder Club titled 21st Birthday. The beauty of Patterson’s work is that you don’t have to read every book to jump right in ,and 21st Birthday is a must to add to a list of “to be read” for the spring. In his upcoming release, he tells the story of Lindsay Boxer, a detective who invests in protecting a woman long enough for her to see the age of 21, but will a nefarious serial killer get to her before then?

Related: 8 More Books for James Patterson Obsessives

hour of the witch

Hour of the Witch

By Chris Bohjalian

Chris Bohjalian’s Hour of the Witch is the perfect period piece that merges the concept of New England horrors with devilish mystery. Set in Boston during 1662, Mary Deerfield comes face to face with puritanical rule and the historical sexism of the witch trials that threatened innocent women. Bohjalian’s novel is an intriguing horror thriller that merges the history of women’s place in America with a relevant and contemporary discourse. If you enjoy witches, women’s history, horror, thrillers, and mysteries, we promise you that Hour of the Witch will deliver all of this and then some when it's released on May 4th.

Related: 8 Historical Mysteries Starring Venerable Sleuths

local woman missing

Local Woman Missing

By Mary Kubica

What happens when a woman and her child goes missing, only for said child to unexpectedly reappear 11 years later? Mary Kubica dives head first into a tale of intrigue that deconstructs what it means to “disappear without a trace.” When Delilah returns to town, an unexpected and mysterious secret follows her. The truth is always revealed, and you’ll want to be the first to uncover it when Local Woman Missing releases on May 18th.

the other black girl

The Other Black Girl

By Zakiya Dalila Harris

This spring is full of highly anticipated releases, especially ones like The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris on June 1st. It has been compared to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and rightfully so. As Nella Rogers grows tired of being the sole Black employee at a bookstore, the arrival of Hazel excites her to no end. The two quickly form a bond, but strange notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk that warn her that something bad will happen. The Other Black Girl includes important social commentary on Black life in America, while merging together horror, mystery, and thrills that will keep your attention from start to finish.

Related: 15 Must-Read Mysteries and Thrillers by Diverse Authors

the disappearing act

The Disappearing Act

By Catherine Steadman

Catherine Steadman’s The Disappearing Act features classic elements of mysteries and thrillers. Set in Hollywood, it follows a British actress as she uncovers the dark underbelly of the industry. When the disappearance of an acquaintance takes place, it leads Mia Eliot down a path of psychological thrills that could threaten her own life as well as those around her. But, it is up to her to find the missing woman she only briefly met at an audition. Steadman’s The Disappearing Act releases on June 8th.

survive the night

Survive the Night

By Riley Sager

Riley Sager is known for his captivating mysteries that always include an exciting twist at the end. In his upcoming release Survive the Night, he takes his characters back to the 1990s to up the suspense. As a game of cat-and-mouse ensues, the only hope for survival is winning the game, finding an elusive killer, and making a call for help. However, without cellphones and only payphones available, will Charlie survive the night? You’ll want to rush to the closest bookstore on June 29th to find out.