There’s nothing like a good, solid murder mystery to curl up with in the evening. After — you know — you’ve double checked all your doors are locked and armed yourself with with a deathly looking lampshade and a fearsome whisk for protection. (Sometimes books feel real, okay?!) And if you like the Young Adult variety, oh oh, have I got a list for you.
YA Murder Mysteries You Need To Consume
EVERY BREATH by Ellie Marney
Not only is this by a homegrown Aussie author, it’s also a Sherlock Holmes retelling. (Can it seriously get anymore awesome than that?!) It’s set in Melbourne and follows Rachel Watts and her best friend James Mycroft as they solve a murder the police don’t seem to care about. It’s absolutely stuffed with Australian slang (!!) and humour and gallons of tea.
Best of all…it’s a trilogy! Don’t forget to check out Every Word and Every Move (the last one I haven’t read yet, but I am impatiently awaiting its arrival in the mail because I’m 90000% sure this series can do no wrong).
DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas
This is the kind of book that will leave you spinning. It was my first taste of a REAL murder mystery, where the protagonist is the “accused” and we watch her go through courts and trials to see if she’s guilty or not. The backstory unravels as you read. A couple of teens…off on a beach holiday…what could go wrong?! (Um, everything.)
I’m still in shock over the ending. It absolutely took my breath away and it’s masterfully written!
AS RED AS BLOOD by Salla Simukka
It’s about Lumikki who lives in Finland (!!) and becomes tangled up in a cacophony of blood soaked money. She’s like the Finnish Nancy Drew, basically. And she’s awesome. She loves liquorice and black coffee and comics, so basically she won my heart right then and there — and then she went on to be awesome at solving mysteries too.
Also this book is TINY. It’s like 240-pages and you won’t be able to put it down.
THE NATURALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I was so so chilled while reading this. It’s about kids with supernatural abilities who track down murderers. And the narrator, Cassie, has the ability to “read” people (nearly in a Sherlock Holmes way, too…except hers is supernatural). It’s pretty gruesome and gritty and wow.
It also has a sequel: Killer Instinct.
I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER by Dan Wells
So the title sounds pretty incriminating, right? Um, yes. BUT ANYWAY! It is about John Wayne Cleaver, who is not a serial killer but is definitely a sociopath. His family business is a morgue (how fitting) and he gets caught up trying to solve a supernatural murder mystery. So think demons and monsters for this one, folks. And possibly you will find yourself hiding under the covers and suppressing a need to scream. I understand, I do.
THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon
Okay, it’s only a dog that’s murdered…but it’s still a big deal for the narrator, okay?! Christopher is Autistic and super smart and determined to find the killer of his neighbour’s dog. This one is more about tugging at the heart strings, but it still involves mystery and family secrets and timeless coming-of-age story line.