There are two things readers can’t seem to get enough of—a romantic couple to root for and a clever mystery to solve. Lucky for us, there is a perfect sub-genre that harmoniously blends both: romance mystery books!
As mystery lovers, we crave intense and thrilling stories filled with unexpected twists and turns. When you weave a romance into the “whodunit” structure, those breathtaking sensations are heightened even further. After all, what’s more exhilarating than falling in love? Well, maybe falling in love while trying to unmask a serial murderer who’s trying to kill your beloved.
The slow-burn seductive pining of two people who know it’s probably not an ideal time to give in to desire is as addictive as exposing red herrings meant to deter readers from finding culprits prematurely. Both narrative elements are completely satisfying.
In this list of romance mystery books, you'll find loyal spouses desperately attempting to prove their partner’s innocence of a crime, enemies-to-lovers tales whose forced proximity leads to steamy encounters, and stories of inescapable forbidden love amid dangerous circumstances.
Enjoy these 10 mystery romance books that will have you simultaneously blushing and boasting about your clever detective skills!
Whispers of You
The first stand-alone book in The Lost & Found series, this suspenseful second-chance mystery romance centers around Wren and Holt—two childhood friends who eventually fall in love during their high school years, but whose romance is cut short after a traumatic event leaves Wren’s life changed forever and causes Holt to flee town.
Now 10 years have passed, and Holt regrets abandoning his first love in her time of need and hopes he can make amends. Although Wren is distrustful of Holt’s sincerity, when someone in Cedar Ridge decides they’d like to finish the job they weren’t able to complete years ago, Wren will need Holt’s help to unmask the violent killer who's out to get her.
This historical mystery romance book, the eighth in the Francesca Cahill series, set in early 20th century New York, follows wealthy socialite turned amateur sleuth Francesca Cahill as she investigates a mystery that's uncomfortably close to home. One night, Francesca receives a note inviting her to visit her fiancé’s former partner's home.
Curious as to why she is being summoned, she arrives and finds a horrific sight: Daisy Jones has been murdered! What makes matters worse is that her fiancé, Calder Hart, is the main suspect. Francesca—as loyal to her love as ever—will do everything she can to prove his innocence, but Calder may be keeping a few secrets from his beloved that might tarnish their love for good.
Heart of Courage
Lindsey Graham, a writer for the ladies’ gazette Heart to Heart, isn’t afraid to voice her opinions and rally for social change. She also isn’t afraid to investigate murders and fight for the people she loves. After her younger brother is accused of murdering multiple prostitutes, she focuses on trying to find the true killer.
When an anonymous tip leads her to believe that Viscount Merrick is actually to blame, she is given a bodyguard to ensure her safety: Thor Dragur. This rough-around-the-edges Norseman is the last person she wants interfering with her detective work, but after someone tries to stifle her voice once and for all, she realizes that she may need Thor in more ways than one.
Keely Cochrane lives on an isolated Cornish island called Keinadraig, where everyone who resides there must abide by certain strict rules, one of which is that no one is ever allowed to leave. But Keely’s best friend, Genevieve Sloan, knows she is meant for bigger and better things, so she heads to London. It isn’t long after that Genevieve is found dead in her hotel room.
Private Investigator Jack Knight and Keely team up to uncover the truth, and while searching for clues, they form an undeniable connection that provides Keely with passion she would have never found stuck on her lonely island.
After news of her father’s suspected suicide, Holly Campbell travels to Silver Creek, Texas, since she knows that her father would have never taken his own life. She feels deep in her bones that a murder has occurred. She plans to investigate while steering clear of the shady Sheriff Quintan Jarvis, but it’s no mystery to Holly that this handsome lawman might become a huge distraction for her. Can she bring her father justice, or will she lose herself in love?
Lady of Mallow
In this Gothic mystery romance, a man presumed dead pops up out of the blue to claim his title as the Lord of Mallow, and in doing so, takes ownership of the glorious English estate that was going to be given to Ambrose, Sarah Mildmay’s fiancé, and Blane’s cousin.
Feeling cheated out of what would have been their beautiful new residence, Sarah decides to secure a position as governess for Blane’s son, Titus, to collect evidence to prove Blane a liar. This is a story of greed and deception, but also a romance, as Sarah finds herself falling for the secretive heir.
Murder at the Seven Dials
An opera singer has been murdered in a sketchy part of London known as The Seven Dials, and Audrey’s husband has been accused of the killing. Officer Hugh Marsden is all too happy to put Audrey’s husband away for the crime since he’s not a fan of “high society” after being ostracized by them.
But after Audrey uses her special ability to prove her husband is not a killer, the skeptical officer relents and joins forces with the determined woman to take down the actual murderer. In the process, they find that each other’s presence isn’t as bothersome as they previously believed.
When you were younger if you ever happened to share a name with someone in your class, then you knew how frustrating and annoying identity mishaps were—whether it was getting the wrong corrected assignment back or thinking the teacher called on you for an answer. For the protagonist in this funny mystery romance, it’s a lot worse.
Nancy Stern works as a teacher at a Manhattan preschool; needless to say, she has a far-from-glamorous life. She’s beginning to feel dissatisfied, and this discontent grows even stronger after another woman also named Nancy Stern moves into her apartment building.
This new Nancy Stern works as a celebrity journalist and is rich, stylish, and popular, especially with men. Nancy Stern wants to trade lives with this seemingly better-in-every-possible-way Nancy Stern. So, she does.
One day she impersonates Nany by going on a blind date with a man who was interested in meeting the famous Stern, and they end up hitting it off! Perfect! Except now she has to break it to the man that she’s been lying about her identity after the “better” Nancy Stern is murdered. Who was the true intended victim, and will she be the next Nancy to be murdered?
A Breath Away
When Violet Baker was a young girl, her childhood best friend, Darlene, was kidnapped and murdered, leaving Violet with horrific visions and insurmountable guilt. On the 20th anniversary of her friend’s murder, she is notified that her father has been found dead, with a note implicating him as the murderer.
Violet doesn’t believe this to be true, so she returns to Crow’s Landing, Tennessee, to find answers. Darlene’s half-brother, Grady Monroe, has become sheriff, so the two work as a pair to avenge their loved ones' deaths which unintentionally brings them closer together.
A Cold Dark Place
Eighteen years ago, FBI Agent Mallory Rooney’s identical twin sister was abducted; now she feels that she is finally close to finding who is responsible since a serial killer has begun carving her sister’s initials into their victims’ bodies.
Meanwhile, former soldier Alex Parker, who works as a secret government assassin and rids the Earth of psychotic killers, is on the case as well. When the man who kidnapped Mallory’s sister turns his attention towards Mallory, Alex puts everything on the line to protect her. This seductive, emotional thrill ride will grows in intensity as you devour page after page.
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