Mystery and romance are two book genres that, when done right, can pair up as nicely as steak and red wine. After all, both are akin to a rollercoaster ride, taking you through ups and downs toward a satisfying conclusion.
As such, mystery romance books combine the best of both.
The following 11 books are as varied as they are intriguing and promise you shocked gasps, heartfelt smiles, and heart-pumping thrills. The wide range of stories, plotlines, twists, and narrative styles are bound to captivate you—and who knows? Perhaps you will find your new favorite book.
From cozy mysteries to exciting psychological thrillers, take a look at 11 mystery romance books that will keep you guessing.
Billie Pierce is a settled and responsible divorced mom of two who decides to start taking polo lessons. Her instructor is Nick Kaharchek, a rich and charming playful who refuses to settle down but finds himself inexplicably attracted to her.
But someone isn’t happy about it.
Full House by Janet Evanovich is a novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The writing is witty and charming, never missing the chance to highlight humor on every page. Likewise, it has a colorful cast of characters that is almost caricaturesque, making this mystery romance book a laugh-out-loud experience.
Life in Cocoa Beach changed forever after the disappearance of 12-year-old Sophie Willians. When her body is found three months later, a new era of terror begins as another child goes missing.
When ex-FBI profiler Eva Rae Thomas returns to her Cocoa Beach hometown after her divorce, she ends up leading the investigation—alongside her old flame Matt Miller, who is now in charge of the local police. But things soon get personal and dangerous for them.
Don’t Lie to Me by Willow Rose is the first installment of the Eva Rae Thomas Mystery Series, and it doesn’t shy away from the dark tone of a true thriller, including a plot twist at the end.
Abigail Lowery is a newcomer that does not open up to anyone. She is mysterious, reserved, and very protective of her safety—which intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. He suspects she is hiding something, and she might be.
After all, her life is intrinsically connected to that of Elizabeth Fitch, a young woman whose life changed forever after being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Witness is a novel by renowned author and mystery romance book royalty Nora Roberts, as well as one of her most famous works thanks to its exceptional writing and carefully laid-out mystery.
Struggling writer Lowen Ashleigh finds a life-saving job when Jeremy Crawford hires her to complete the work of his bestselling wife, Verity Crawford, who cannot write due to an injury. But as Lowen browses to Verity’s drafts and notes, she uncovers her autobiography—and the chilling horror hiding within.
Few authors are as controversial nowadays as Colleen Hoover. Love it or hate it, she boasts immense popularity among her target audience.
But Verity is not like her other books. It is one of the best Coleen Hoover books, it almost feels like a contemporary Gothic novel, with bone-chilling thrills, a dark and perhaps morally questionable romance, and characters that hardly are what they seem.
Mallory Rooney became an FBI Special Agent to discover the secret behind the abduction of her twin sister 18 years ago. Alex Parker is a former CIA assassin who secretly murders the worst of criminals before they join the judicial system.
But now the criminal responsible behind Mallory’s sister’s disappearance is after her, and Alex is set to protect her.
A Cold Dark Place by Toni Anderson is an award-winning mystery romance book that gives equal attention to the spine-tingling plotline and the chemistry between the leads, making it an excellent novel choice for true crime enthusiasts.
I Can See You by Karen Rose offered a brand-new perspective on the mystery romance genre upon its release in 2009 by exploring it through the lens of the digital world.
After an assault, Evie Wilson received a wound that left half her face paralyzed. Traumatized by her experience, she rejected the real world and buried herself in the digital one. Years later, Evie comes out of her shell changed. As a graduate student, she researches online communities and how addicting they can be.
But when one of her test subjects commits suicide, she’s skeptical. Detective Noah Webster agrees with her, and both work together to uncover the truth—and how connected it might be to Evie’s past.
Wren and Holt are a young couple in love whose lives derail when tragedy strikes in their small town. Permanently changed by it, Holt leaves Wren behind to fight his demons away. But ten years later, he returns—but not everyone is happy with his return, and danger lurks around the corner again.
Whispers of You by Catherine Cowles is a mystery romance book about second chances. It approaches trauma, PTSD, and how two people can change forever after one tragic event. It discusses dark topics and the aftermath of tragedy, which may make it a dark yet hopeful read.
Written by Nora Roberts under her pen name J.D. Robb, Ceremony in Death is the fifth installment of her In Death series, a futuristic mystery collection centered around Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the New York City Police and Security Department. Each book follows Eve as she solves cases, unveils her mysterious past, and interacts with others, particularly Roarke, the love of her life.
Set in the mid-21st century, Ceremony in Death has Eve attending the funeral of a fellow police officer. Everyone seems to believe he died of natural causes until his granddaughter warns Eve that it was murder—and she might be next.
The Hawthorne Legacy is the direct sequel to The Inheritance Game and builds on the plotlines set in the first book.
Avery Grambs is a regular girl in irregular circumstances: despite no connection between them, she becomes the sole heir of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne upon his passing. But why her? What’s her connection with them? Avery finds herself caught in the intrigue within the Hawthorne family—and between the magnetic Hawthorne grandsons.
It may seem strange to include the second installment rather than the first, but consider it a push to read the entire trilogy and find yourself caught by the Hawthorne mystery romance books.
Another installment of Karen Rose’s Romantic Suspense series, Closer Than You Think is set in the same universe as I Can See You but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
It follows Psychologist Faith Corcoran, who is herself followed by a dangerous stalker. Running away from her present fear, she is forced to face past ones when she moves to her late grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati and the memories that haunt her—memories that connect with crimes happening in the area, investigated by FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak.
A quintessential FBI crime thriller, Closer Than You Think is a mystery romance book perfect for procedural fans and true crime enthusiasts.
The third book in the Kathleen Turner series amps up the mystery, thriller, and romance to unforeseen levels, which is why it is considered one of the best in the series.
Naturally, the book builds up on what has been established in the past two novels—Kathleen’s advancing career, the dangers she faces, and the conflicting affections she feels for her serious and driven executive boyfriend Blane and his brother, assassin-for-hire Kade.
While you may need the first books to understand the setting and the characters, this series might be for you if you enjoy spicy romances with a dash of procedural mystery.
Mystery Romance Books: Found a New Mystery Romance Book?
Do you prefer your mystery romance novels with extra romance or extra mystery? Are silly and lighthearted books right up your alley, or would you rather read a heart-pumping thriller?
No matter your preferences, there is something in this list for every taste—and BookScouter has them all.