The 10 Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2022

Hello readers!

I’ve decided to mix things up a bit this year, and instead of writing a giant post with my favorites per category, I’m writing a bunch of posts with some of my favorite and least favorite reads. I usually read pretty broadly, from historical fiction to thrillers and literary fiction, dabbling a bit in romance, lots of translated books, and I end up loving SO many books that I find it super hard to come up with a favorites of the year list.

For the past couple of years I chose 3 books of each category and then created a bunch of categories so that I could go through the books I loved and covered ALL bases, but it’s a very, very long post to write, so I’d usually start it in January and update throughout the year. So I’m going to try and write a few different posts and cover my favorites while also giving them the time and attention they deserve! It’s almost more interesting, I think, to read “10 best new mystery and thrillers” short post than looking for the “mystery and thrillers” category on a long post.

Because I love covering new releases, this post will focus on the 2022 mystery and thriller releases I really enjoyed!

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

I am NOT a fan of retellings in thrillers. I basically didn’t like any of the other And Then There Were None retellings I’ve read this year (or the previous years) – Nine Lives for example certainly didn’t work for me. But this one – five stars all around. It is a paranormal retelling that has just enough heart, suspense and shocking twists (Alice Feeney is the queen of shocking twists in my opinion) to make it an addictive read. If you were disappointed by The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James this year and still crave a ghost mystery, pick this up!

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

A very predictable entry to this list, honestly! I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by Lucy Foley so far – I think this is not her strongest book, but I still had a great time reading it. It’s the story of a girl who finds herself jobless and homeless, so she goes to Paris to live with her brother. She arrives at this very fancy (and surely out of her brother’s budget??) apartment, only to find her brother gone and the creepy neighbors won’t tell her anything.

Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

This book! I can’t yell about it enough. Like a lot of other readers, I didn’t like Girl in Snow a lot, but this blew me out of the park. Notes of an Execution tells the story of a serial killer awaiting his execution and planning his escape, and we get a lot of flashbacks on how he became this way, what his life was like as a child and so on. Except all of this is told through the eyes of women in his life: the police woman trying to catch him, his wife’s sister, his mother. This was not only a very good mystery but an incredible discussion on the death penalty and on forgiveness and punishment. Fantastic, nuanced, page-turning, this book was just so good!

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

If you love dark academia, this might just be a perfect pick for you. In the It Girl (which I keep calling the IT girl lol I’m sorry) tells the story of a woman whose best friend was murdered several years ago in their dorm at Oxford. The murderer was caught thanks to her witnessing him leaving the crime scene – but he insisted upon his innocence up until his death, and now a journalist is investigating the case and wondering if they caught the wrong person after all. I don’t know how to explain, this just hit all the notes I love in a mystery and I devoured it. Such a good book, I can’t recommend it enough!

Reputation by Sarah Vaughan

This deserves so much more hype than I’ve seen it get so far! This is about a politician who is pro-abortion and because of that she has to take extreme measures to protect herself from death threats and works hard to maintain her reputation pristine. One day, a dead man is found in her house and her life is quickly torn apart. This was such a great read, it had a bit of a slow-burn start but it really picks up once the case goes to court. Highly recommend if you life court drama!

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda

I hadn’t read anything my Megan Miranda up to now and this was such a great introduction to her work. This is a story about a small town where people have been disappearing mysteriously for a long time and the locals clearly know something, but nobody is talking. I really liked this and I didn’t see all of the plot twists coming – so now I’m looking forward to getting to her backlisted titles.

The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

This is getting a bit mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it! It’s about a writer writing a book about four people who one day form a very fast friendship after hearing a scream in a library… except that was not just a scream but a murder, and one of them must have done it. The writer is also sending her first draft to friend, who becomes ever more unhinged… it was a fun time, a simple and predictable but charming mystery, plus the other storyline going on in the correspondence between the writer and her friend, it was just a very solid story to read in a couple sittings!

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

I always enjoy the thrillers by the Greer Hendriks and Sarah Pekkanen, and this was another fun one! If you’re still into the whole “golden couple who isn’t perfect, actually” but want something a bit more out of that trope, I can recommend this one! The therapist who starts working with this couple has a very, very unorthodox method and the trio is heading towards an explosive collision. The audiobook for this was very, very good!

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister

If you’re a bit tired of the usual format of thrillers and mysteries and want something a little bit different, a little bit out there – Wrong Place Wrong Time was a really fun one! It’s about a woman who one day witnesses her son commit a murder, and it’s so utterly shocking to her – she doesn’t know the victim, doesn’t know why her son attacks him, why her husband is acting so strange about it. Then, the next day, she wakes up… in the past. Every day she wakes up a little bit further in the past, trying to gather clues as to why the murder happened and also how to stop it. It reminded me a little bit of the concept for The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but this one focuses a lot on the main characters feelings about her parenting, which I think can be a turn off for some readers. I’d say if you really don’t like reading motherhood plotlines, skip this one. I had mixed feelings in the beginning, but was completely hooked by the mystery by the end.

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

Okay, so this was very good! I usually figure out some of the twists on a thriller pretty early on, but this kept me guessing for a good while. I listened to the interview with the author in the end, and she wasn’t sure for a while who would be guilty, if anyone at all (you have to read to understand), and I think it really worked, I never felt very sure of my theories. This was a very dark one Also, very satisfying ending, highly recommend.

So those were my favorites!

Would you also like to see a list of backlisted favorites? Have you read any of these, and did you agree/disagree with my choices? Let me know in the comments!

Because I read SO many thrillers & mysteries that I actually enjoyed but didn’t love, I’ll add a few bonus recommendations in case you’re like me and always looking for recommendations.

Bonus recommendations that didn’t make the top 10:

The Bachelorette Party by Carissa Ann Lynch

Another very simple, comfortably predictable thriller that delivers. I had a great time reading about these six women going to a fancy bachelorette party and one of them getting murdered. I thought its plot would be gone from my memory the moment I finished this book but it’s been a couple of months now and I still remember fondly the experience of reading this!

Mary: An Awakening of Terror by Nat Cassidy

Okay so this was one of my favorite books of the entire year, easily. It’s about a woman named Mary, who goes back to her hometown to take care of her (frankly, awful) aunt, but as she returns, mysterious deaths and disappearances start occurring and it might just be that a serial killer who died 50 years ago in her small, religious town is inhabiting her body and seeking to complete his work. I didn’t add it to the top 10 in this list because this is basically pure horror, so no strictly a thriller, but also kind of? Mystery & Thriller is such a broad genre and as said I would classify Mary as mostly horror, but I’m adding it here in case some of you would also like to pick up horror-thrillers.

Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free by Sarah Weinman

If you’re looking for some true crime to add to your TBR, I really enjoy Sarah Weinman’s books. This was quite good, if not exactly what I hoped it would be – it’s the story of Edgar Smith and how he got away with murder for several years by being, spoiler alert, so white and handsome he couldn’t possibly have committed the crime (lol). I’m oversimplifying it, but this was an interesting book about a case I had no idea about and a bleak reminder that the justice system is made of people – flawed, prejudiced people.

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

This is a very good one for fans of historical mysteries! It’s the story of a woman who was married to two men, and one kills the other and is now in jail for the past two decades. A true crime writer picks up the story explores how she met her second husband and fell in love with him, married him and is trying to solve the mystery everyone has been wondering: did she kill her second husband and frame the first? This is more a historical mystery read than a thriller and it felt quite slow-paced to me, but very enjoyable to read.

Hide by Kiersten White

For some reason this is getting mixed reviews – personally, I loved it. I love this kind of horror that deals with social topics and turn them into literary horror tropes. In Hide, a group of people signed up for a reality TV show, but they have no idea what they actually signed up for. All they know is that they have to hide all day and are allowed to go back to the house at night, and the last person to be found wins a huge prize. But when strange things start happening while they hide, they start to suspect things are not what they seem, and something really dark is going on. I loved this! 5 stars all around. I almost put it on this list’s top 10 but again it’s more of a horror than a thriller.

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

This is a very classic kind of thriller, if you’re looking for those familiar beats and a solid mystery. It’s the story of a woman whose father was convicted of killing teenage girls many years before. She thinks she has finally moved on, and she’s getting ready to get married to the love of her life, when a girl disappear, and she thinks her father has something to do with it. Now she must confront her past and find out who is behind these disappearances. This is very good but to be honest I found it a bit forgettable!

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn

Oh this was FUN. Silly? Yes, and also the kind of book that you already know how it’s going to end but I loved the relationship between the women and had a great time reading this.

The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran

A dark mystery about a woman who wants to acquire a book about sex magic that promises to fulfill any wish. This was a fun book and I enjoyed the extravagant travelling, the steamy scenes, the interesting characters, so full of life. Just a warning: there is a partner who suffers from a degenerative disease, which got me quite down for a while, so I highly recommend caution.


5 thoughts on “The 10 Best Mysteries & Thrillers of 2022

  1. Pingback: The 10 Most Disappointing Mysteries & Thrillers of 2022 | Naty's Bookshelf


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