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8 Gripping Mystery Books Set on the Titanic

The ill-fated ship is the perfect setting for a suspenseful mystery.


Few events capture the public’s imagination as much as the RMS Titanic. Part of it is simply the scope of the tragedy. Over 1,500 people died because legal requirements for lifeboats were too low and warning signs were ignored. Bad decision after bad decision built until too late—they all ended with a breached hull and overwhelmed bulkheads taking on too much water. The sinking could have been avoided so many times, in so many ways. And that’s part of why we can’t let the Titanic go. There are too many questions we struggle to understand.

On top of all that, the passenger list was a veritable who’s who of society. Numerous scandals boarded that ship, and there’s nothing more tantalizing that imagining what else may have taken place on those decks. With a ticking clock until disaster strikes, the “unsinkable” ship is the perfect setting for mysteries of all shapes and sizes. Heists, ghosts, even murder. We found eight mystery books set on the Titanic that will take you back in time and keep you up all night.

the deep

The Deep

By Alma Katsu

The Titanic’s maiden voyage is supposed to be historic. But something sinister is going on. Mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths, and then—tragedy strikes. Years later, Annie Hebbley is a nurse on the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, and the world is at war. When she comes across a wounded soldier, she recognizes him as a man she knew on the Titanic. But he didn’t survive. And whatever haunted the Titanic is now aboard the Britannic.

In The Deep, Katsu weaves a chilling story by combining historical fact with supernatural elements, linking the tragic fate of two ships in this breathtaking novel.

raise the titanic

Raise the Titanic

By Clive Cussler

Years ago, one man boarded the Titanic with a rare substance that could change the world. And it never makes it to New York. Now, the President’s secret task force has discovered this rare radioactive element and can use it to create an almost indestructible defense weapon. The only problem? It’s at the bottom of the ocean. They turn to deep sea salvage expert Dirk Pitt. Facing raging storms and Soviet spies, Pitt has to find the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean floor and navigate its watery grave—before their enemies get there first.

The Titanic Murders

The Titanic Murders

By Max Allan Collins

Jacques Futrelle was once a celebrated mystery writer. His detective, the “Thinking Machine”, inspired the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. But Futrelle met with a tragic end when he boarded the Titanic and found a watery grave. Before the Titanic sank, there were two murders. And Futrelle may have been putting his crime-solving talents to use.

Steeped in historical fact, Collins takes readers back to the opulent decks with a fictionalized version of real-life Futrelle’s last voyage.

murder on the titanic

Murder on the Titanic

By Jim Walker

The Titanic offers young, wealthy Morgan Fairfield everything he’s ever wanted. Once he delivers a locked suitcase for a dying stranger, he’ll have the chance to pursue journalism in America. The mystery of what’s inside keeps Morgan sufficiently busy until multiple people are murdered. Morgan offers his investigative skills to Officer Boxhall to help find the culprit. Are the murders linked to the secret documents locked inside the case?

Murder on the Titanic blends fact and fiction in a quiet mystery that brings to life multiple conspiracy theories surrounding the actual sinking.

taking the titanic

Taking the Titanic

By James Patterson and Scott Slaven

For two cut-throat thieves, the luxury liner is nothing but opportunity. Posing as newlyweds, they methodically rob the wealthy patrons onboard the ship. But their two-bit cons and hustles are nothing compared to the heist actually being planned. One that could change the fate of the ship. Until the “unsinkable” vessel hits an iceberg and starts taking on water. Now, the two have to confront the lies they’ve told, both to strangers and each other or die in the icy waters with more than 1,500 others.

A short novella with a compelling mystery, Taking the Titanic captures the atmosphere of the ship between two people who may have more in common than they realize.

the candle man

The Candle Man

By Alex Scarrow

As the Titanic sinks, a dying man and a young girl are locked in a room. He tells her a story that begins in Whitechapel London in 1888 when a young Mary Kelly finds an injured man. She robs him, leaving him to his fate. When he wakes up in a hospital two days later, he can’t remember who he is or what happened to him. Their encounter set off a series of murders and bind them together with a dark secret. Now, as the cold Atlantic fills the metal ship, the truth of who Jack the Ripper truly was may finally be revealed.

A haunting novel that connects two tragic events, the atmospheric suspense of this novel will keep you reading late into the night.

hidden depths

Hidden Depths

By Areminta Hall

Lily Ellsworth has known for a while that her husband is not the gentleman he pretends to be. Pregnant, trapped, she boards the Titanic, hoping she can reunite with her family in America before it’s too late. Onboard, she meets Lawrence Beesley. He’s mourning the death of his wife and has secrets of his own. He knows he doesn’t have enough time to save Lily, but the danger they’re both in is so much worse than either can imagine. As the “unsinkable” ship starts taking on water, Lily and Lawrence have to figure out how to help save the other before time runs out.

Hidden Depths is a tragic, psychological mystery where the fate of the characters is in jeopardy long before the fated iceberg hits.



By Dan James

Former Special Branch police officer Arthur Beck boards the Titanic, hoping the voyage is a chance to escape the demons of his past. Martha Heaton is a journalist assigned to cover the historic maiden voyage. And there’s a murderer on board. When Beck discovers that a man responsible for murdering his fellow police officers in London is attempting to escape across the Atlantic, he teams up with the clever Heaton to hunt him down. But as it becomes obvious that the “unsinkable” ship is in fact, sinking, they have to find him before he has another chance to slip away.

James ties two different historical events together in this fast-paced and thrilling mystery.