British Mysteries: 15 Novels To Have You Sleuthing Like A Detective

British mysteries are an excellent way to keep your mind young.

British Mysteries 15 Novels To Have You Sleuthing Like A Detective

From the very beginning, you are left trying to decipher every word, every action, and every scene to see if it leaves a clue for the ominous ending. 

Below are 15 thrilling British mysteries that will have you reeling to discover what is going to happen next. 

What Are British Mystery Books?

What Are British Mystery Books 

British mystery books require a few elements to be great: 

  • A recipe for a mystery. 
  • Beginning: The characters are introduced and the audience begins to understand the issue at hand. 
  • Middle: Detectives, characters, and the audience begin to solve the mystery. 
  • Ending: Mystery is solved. 

Mystery fiction is a literary genre that originated in the United Kingdom and mainly focuses on identifying the killer or other criminals. Each suspect within a closed circle of suspects is typically given a plausible excuse for committing the crime as well as a realistic chance to do so. 

Party Girls Die In Pearls By Plum Sykes

Party Girls Die in Pearls: An Oxford Girl Mystery

Set in the 1980s at Oxford University, a well-known socialite is murdered.

An aspiring journalist, Ursula Flowerbutton, takes on the taste of investigating the murder for the college paper.

And the best way to do so is to befriend the popular crowd she hates more than anything. 

This is a tale of comedic deception, morality, and glamor that anyone can enjoy. 


  • Elements of comedy. 
  • Twists and turns keep readers engaged. 


  • The plot is overwhelming. 

Themes: Murder, mystery, glamor, deception, classism. 

I Let You Go By Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she relocates to a run-down cottage on the uninhabited Welsh shore in an effort to forget the car accident that keeps playing in her head and in a desperate attempt to find solace for the death of her kid and the rest of her traumatic past.

Meanwhile, the Bristol police are determined to make someone pay for the hit-and-run. Can Jenna escape her past?


  • Introduced to the antagonist. 
  • Gives a new perspective to mysteries. 


  • The plot is predictable. 

Themes: Child loss, recovery, abuse, escapism, grief. 

The Appeal By Janice Hallett

The Appeal: A Novel

A local theater group is hit with tragedy when the director’s granddaughter is diagnosed with cancer.

Everyone comes together to raise the funds for treatment while some are wary of its effectiveness. 

As tension comes to a head, a body is found. Arrests are made but two lawyers are determined to find the true killer.

Who may be hiding right under their noses? They just need to get the evidence. 


  • A modern take on a classic. 
  • Humor is clever and adds to the story. 


  • Readers may be tired of the murder at a play plot. 

Themes: Murder, humor, relatable, interpretation, charity, love, anger. 

The Cuckoo’s Calling By Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling[CUCKOOS CALLING][Paperback]

When a client enters the office with an unbelievable tale, private eye Cormoran Strike is on the point of failure.

He is the sibling of the well-known supermodel Lulu Landry, who recently passed away.

He wants Cormoran to show that his sister was murdered because he refuses to accept that her death was a suicide.


  • The ending is a shocking climax that will have readers reeling. 
  • Courtroom-style conversations keep things exciting and hidden. 


  • The plot is not intense. 

Themes: Murder, friendship, crime, thriller, mystery, detective. 

Mr. Churchill’s Secretary By Susan Elia MacNeal

Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery

In 1940, Churchill was the new Prime Minister of the Kingdom, war was raging, and women were heavily oppressed. But that won’t stop Maggie Hope. 

Hired as Mr. Churchill’s secretary, Maggie has access to information she could only dream of, making her an excellent target.

Caught in a web of lies, spies, and murder, Maggie can only hope her detective skills will be her survival. 


  • Given insight into the leaders of the free nation. 
  • The story is suspenseful and dramatic. 


  • Characters reference the times that drag the appeal. 

Themes: historical, world leaders, politics, deceit, murder, detective. 

And Then There Were None By Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

No British mystery list would be complete without an Agatha Christie novel. 

Ten people are invited to a remote estate on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, does not show up.

Each of them has something to hide and something to dread. They are cut off from everything but each other and the shadows of their own past lives on the island.

The visitors reveal their most sinister secrets one at a time. They pass away one by one.


  • The plot is darker than other British mysteries. 
  • The story is simple yet consuming. 


  • The story often lacks clues about the potential killer. 

Themes: Isolation, repentance, murder, mystery, regret. 

The Bullet That Missed By Richard Osman

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery

The third book in the Thursday Murder Club series introduces Elizabeth and her companions to a local news legend and a murder without a body.

Elizabeth, however, receives a frightening visit after someone sees their interest.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim embark on a journey featuring a posh spa, a penthouse, and a jail cell with an espresso maker as the cold case turns quite hot.


  • The action begins from the very beginning. 
  • The mystery becomes stronger through the series. 


  • The plot can be repetitive. 

Themes: Elderly, crime, thriller, humor. 

The Twist Of A Knife By Anthony Horowitz

The Twist of a Knife: A Novel

Horowitz ends his rather twisted relationship with ex-detective Hawthorne.

But when a murder takes place on the opening night of his play and he is arrested for the crime, he quickly realizes that there is only one person who can help him. 

But has too much damage been done? 


  • A new spin on a classic British mystery plot. 
  • The plot line is smart and direct. 


  • The author uses himself as the main character. 

Themes: Crime, murder, friendship, egotistic, theater. 

The Family Remains By Lisa Jewell

The Family Remains

Lisa Jewell rose to fame with her first book in the series, The Family Upstairs.

Back with this standalone sequel, prepare for shock, despair, and obsession as you indulge in a delicate story. 

With multiple families all connected through a series of old murders, this tale is centered on the risks we will take to protect the ones we love. 


  • Different perspectives keep the story exciting and suspenseful. 
  • Characters are well-rounded. 


  • The ending is quite far-fetched. 

Themes: Family, cold case, murder, risks, protection. 

The Prisoner By BA Paris

The Prisoner: A Novel

After moving to London, Amelie is determined to make a life for herself. Meeting her love, Ned Hawthorne, everything quickly becomes dark. 

Waking up, trapped in a dark room, Amelie is confused as to why she has been kidnapped.

But it quickly becomes safer than being alone with her husband Ned. 


  • Kidnapping is a refreshing plot line. 
  • The mystery is built slowly and expertly. 


  • Characters lacked depth and personality for the intense plot. 

Themes: Kidnapping, abuse, deception, husband, and wife. 

The Rising Tide By Ann Cleeves

The Rising Tide: A Vera Stanhope Novel

The striking tenth novel, The Rising Tide, by New York Times bestselling and award-winning novelist Ann Cleeves—creator of the Vera and Shetland series.

Both of which are popular TV shows—is a potent novel about guilt, treachery, and the long-held secrets people keep.

This is the 10th novel in the Vera Stanhope series and it is juicy. 


  • Foreshadowing is used to bring suspense. 
  • The main character is engaging. 


  • Important questions go unanswered. 

Themes: Friendship, murder, suicide, heroin, mystery. 

A Sliver Of Darkness By CJ Tudor

A Sliver of Darkness: Stories

A Sliver Of Darkness is a collection of creative and mystifying short stories.

Filled with twisting tales of doomsday scenarios, killer butterflies, and so much more, we are given a true insight into the goosebump-inducing mind of CJ Tudor. 

Eleven short stories are filled with bone-chilling plots, more mind-altering than the last. 


  • Each story is different. 
  • The author is completely original and innovative. 


  • Short stories miss a lot of needed details. 

Themes: horror, thriller, murder, supernatural, paranormal. 

The BeeKeepers Apprentice By Laurie R. King

The Beekeeper's Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen (A Mary Russell Mystery, 1)

Sherlock Holmes is retired and his world is peaceful. Until a young woman is determined to be his apprentice.

They are soon invited to Wales to assist Scotland Yard in the search for an American senator’s kidnapped daughter.

This case is significant on a global scale and has hints that go well back in Holmes’s background.


  • Gives new life to an old character. 
  • The mystery is engaging and surprising. 


  • Doyle has not kept Holmes’ original qualities. 

Themes: Murder, mystery, suspense, comedy, relationships. 

Final Thoughts 

Finding a British mystery novel to really get lost in, is simple. With so many authors falling in the footsteps of Christie and Doyle, mystery is lurking on every page. 

However, knowing which novel is going to have you on the edge of your seat and turning the page in anticipation can be difficult.

You only want to read the best, and that can take you down some rather deceptive roads. 

Above are 13 incredible British mystery novels that will have you on your toes from the very beginning.

As characters begin to evolve, lies are uncovered, and bodies drop like flies, you can follow as detectives and sleuths alike work to get to the bottom of these rather plaguing mysteries.

You will never miss a beat with the stories above.

And while you never want to be caught in a mystery in real life, you will certainly want to be in a fictional book. 

So, find a quiet corner, grab a drink, select your favorite book from above, and get your detective skills ready!  

Frequently Asked Questions 

Who Is The Best British Crime Author?

Agatha Christie, the unquestioned reigning queen of British mystery novelists, was born in 1890 and published 66 crime novels over the course of her long and distinguished career.

She was named the Queen Of Crime. 

Who Is The Most Known Fictional Detective From England?

Sherlock Holmes. Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes has since been adapted into a television series and various movies. 

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Noah Burton