Best Books of 2020 – Mystery

Trails Regional Library staff have shared their favorites from 2020, whether they were newly published or just newly discovered in this wild year. We’ve included our reviews as well as handy links to each title in our catalog so you can check them out, too!

The Sun Down Motel

Author: Simone St. James

Genre: Thriller/Mystery 

Staff Review – Jacqueline, Lexington Branch: Super creepy! I loved the way it see-sawed between the two time period, plus, I used to live in upstate NY so I could picture it so well!

Link to reserve:

Big Sky

Author: Kate Atkinson

Genre: Detective Mystery

Staff Review – Carol, Warrensburg Branch:Kate Atkinson is at the top of her game in this continuation of the irresistible Jackson Brodie private eye series. Her writing is amazing, but you’ll be compelled into reading the disparate storylines just to find out how Atkinson brings them all together in this intriguing mystery.

Link to reserve:

Eight Perfect Murders

Author: Peter Swanson

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Staff Review – Carol, Warrensburg Branch: This book about a bookseller who writes a blog about books, will have you rereading all your favorite classic mystery thrillers. The psychological suspense slowly builds to a surprising conclusion when the bookseller’s blog post about “Eight Perfect Murders” catches the eye of the FBI.

Link to reserve:


Author: Linda Castillo

Genre: Police/Detective Mystery

Staff Review – Laura, Knob Noster Branch: I love the look into a different way of life…the Amish. I love the mysteries, cast and the relationship of the characters. Every story in this series has been very good or great which seems rare in a lengthy series. There has not been one that I did not enjoy. Although this is centered around the Amish, it is not a cozy or Christian mystery. It is gritty and violent at times.

Link to reserve:

The Red Lotus

Author: Chris Bojalian

Genre: Police/Detective Mystery

Staff Review – Carol, Warrensburg Branch: This timely story about a mysterious and deadly pathogen begins in modern day Vietnam. You’ll learn more about both subjects while being drawn into the lives of the well-developed main characters in this suspenseful thriller.

Link to reserve:

Th1rt3en (Thirteen)

Author: Steve Cavanagh

Genre: Legal Thriller

Staff Review – Carol, Warrensburg Branch: This old Perry Mason fan couldn’t put down this novel, told alternatively from the point of view of the serial killer and the criminal defense attorney determined to bring him to justice. The courtroom drama is palpable, and armchair attorneys will not be disappointed in the exciting climax.

Link to reserve

Read more of our Best of 2020:


Historical Fiction

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