How to plan a murder mystery header

10 of the Best Murder Mystery Authors to Read Right Now

Make My Murder Mystery Game

Planning a Zoom party needn't be murder

Our personalized murder mystery game generator makes it easy plan a party your guests will never forget.


Personalize your murder mystery game

Get creative and have fun with the script


Play together

Play virtually or in real life


Simple to set up. Easy to play

Fun and safe for all murderers aged 11+

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in real life
Build My Personalized Murder Mystery Game

Anyone who likes a good mystery knows that great murder mystery authors can really bring the genre to life. From the hard-boiled gumshoe to the amateur sleuth, readers can take a wild fictional ride with authors who craft compelling stories of suspense in unexpected ways.

The authors on this list have created some of the most famous and beloved murder mystery stories of our time. As these authors make it their mission to keep us guessing page-by-page as to who-done-it, there is no shortage of memorable characters and action-packed plots. So without further ado, here are 10 of the best murder mystery authors to read right now.

Quick Response to Key Question

Who are the best murder mystery authors?

ANSWER: Some of the most popular murder mystery authors include:

  • Agatha Christie
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • James Patterson.

You can also find great stories from lesser-known mystery authors like Ruth Ware and Sophie Hannah.

Best Murder Mystery Authors

When looking for the best murder mystery authors to read, you will continually see many favourites being praised over and over. Agatha Christie is at the very top of the list for good reason--her ability to give readers a captivating story with memorable characters has stood the test of time. While Christie was an obvious choice, there are more modern authors that have achieved just as much success. Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series is an example of a veritable cultural phenomenon. The unexpected twists and turns described in his work draw readers in until they can’t put it down. Similarly, Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" has also become wildly popular among fans who love her dark and sinister tone.

It's also worth noting that certain authors may be best suited to certain groups of readers. For example, some would say that James Patterson is better enjoyed by those who want quick reads and simple stories, while others point out his knack for suspense, which makes him perfectly suitable for thrill-seekers.

No matter what type of author you prefer to read, one thing remains constant: readers enjoy being taken on a truly gripping ride with an author who knows how to keep them on their toes. As long as there are intriguing characters and unpredictable plots, murder mystery authors will have readers wanting more every time. With this in mind, let's take a look at platforms where these authors have built up a dedicated following from devoted readers looking for even more of their beloved authors' works.

Popular Followings for Readers to Follow

The transition from the previous section, about best murder mystery authors to read right now, to this one on popular following for readers to follow is rather seamless: many of the best and most successful mystery authors have gained great followings. Popular authors such as Agatha Christie and Stephen King are both adored by hundreds of thousands of fans all around the world. Their fan bases span multiple generations, but there are plenty of contemporary authors who also garner large followings.

A great example is Gillian Flynn, author of books like ‘Gone Girl’ and its film adaptation. Flynn’s fanbase is large and passionate: readers often recommend her work to others and actively engage with her material online. Similarly, Paula Hawkins gained a huge following after her book ‘The Girl on the Train’ was released. It quickly became a huge success, was adapted into a movie starring Emily Blunt, and sold millions of copies worldwide—keeping her name in the public eye ever since.

These examples illustrate how authors can become beloved figures with massive followings due to their amazing works of art. And while having an avid fanbase doesn't necessarily guarantee literary success, having a platform to connect with readers—and to unabashedly share one's fiction—regularly pays off in major ways. As we move onto discussing award-winning authors next, it's important to remember that behind every recipient of a prestigious award is usually a crowd filled to the brim with devoted followers who helped them reach such extraordinary heights.

Award-Winning Authors

Moving on from popular followings, award-winning authors are often among the best of the best. The recognition they've received through awards can vouch for their writing and dedication to producing top quality material. Authors such as Robert Gottlieb and Darren O'Shaughnessy are examples of some who have been celebrated in this manner. Both authors have won prestigious awards like the Anthony Awards for Best Novel in 2018 and 2019 respectively, highlighting their horror and crime fiction.

Another example is Claudia Piñeiro, who has won several awards including France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for her novel Thursdays at Eight. Her success highlights not only her astounding talent for creating gripping murder mysteries, but also illustrates the heralded path that female authors have created in the genre.

For readers seeking outstanding murder mystery authors who have been recognised by organisations with esteemed awards, these three offer a great starting point. It's worth mentioning as well that while these might be award-winning authors, every writer offers unique insights and stories if one takes the time to look - you'll find plenty of intriguing reads without needing any form of external acknowledgement. With that being said, transitioning into the world of interesting plots and stories will take us a step closer to discovering new writers with new perspectives.

Interesting Plots and Stories

Murder mystery authors create interesting plots and stories that are captivating and hard to put down. The most successful authors entice their readers with intricate details and suspenseful thrills, often mixing in a bit of comedy to keep the reader engaged. Part of what makes these stories interesting is the setting of the murders. Whether it be set in historical times or modern-day, murder mysteries have the power to make even the pages come alive with vivid descriptions.

Another important aspect is the complexity of the mystery itself. Most top authors build up the story by introducing numerous characters, red herrings, and complicated lies to make a thrilling read that keeps readers guessing until the very end. In addition, many authors make use of multiple mysteries within their stories, which allow them to challenge their readers’ detective skills.

The creative use of plot twists also adds depth and excitement to murder mystery stories. Shockingly unexpected outcomes can keep readers hooked and thinking about each element for hours after just a few pages. It is also intriguing when these authors craftily weave foreshadowing into earlier sections of their books so as to tie up seemingly disparate events in one final scene or chapter.

All this leads us to some incredibly well-written novels by these award-winning authors. The best writers also possess expert writing skills when creating these otherworldly stories, ensuring readability and providing believable characters throughout. More than anything else though, well-crafted pieces by experienced authors stand out from other similar works due to the richness of emotions and depth of humanity contained within them.

  • Agatha Christie is considered the best selling mystery author of all time, having sold more than 2 billion copies of her work worldwide.
  • According to Goodreads, Dennis Lehane and James Patterson are the two most popular modern mystery authors, with each having more than 25 million ratings on their works.
  • As of 2021, Dan Brown was the best-selling mystery author of the year, with 6 of his novels ranking in the top 10 worldwide.

Most Important Points

The key to successful murder mystery novels lies in their intricate details and gripping suspense. Authors must be able to create interesting settings and complex mysteries, as well as deftly incorporate plot twists, foreshadowing and multiple mysteries within their stories. Additionally, these authors need excellent writing skills in order to make believable characters and produce a story rich with emotion and humanity.

Well-Written Novels by these Authors

When it comes to murder mystery authors, well-written novels are just as important as interesting plot and stories. A good story can be ruined if it lacks the substance of exceptional writing. Fortunately, many of the best contemporary murder-mystery authors have beautifully crafted works full of intrigue and suspense. Agatha Christie is beloved for her interweaving plot lines that leave readers in suspense until the very end. Lee Child has captivated readers with his characters Jack Reacher, a former military policeman who seeks justice and redemption in his travels—all while creating quick-paced action and adventure. Kathy Reichs’s forensic crime thrillers have made her a star between the pages, where she brings her expertise in anthropology and medicine to her craft and developed detailed processes in crime solving.

The range of these authors' writing styles and approaches to their works is quite varied so readers have a selection of writing styles from which to choose—each one having its own appeal for appreciating the intricacy of a well written murder mystery novel. From Dan Brown's ingenious writing that enlightens readers on hidden historical facts to Sue Grafton's vivid character development, these authors' mastery over language creates captivating reads full of anxiety, dread and anticipation.

No matter what kind of novel a reader seeks, there is sure to be an author from this list that appeals. And with newer releases on the horizon from these acclaimed authors, fans can anticipate even more enticing stories for months to come.

New Releases from the Best Murder Mystery Authors

When it comes to the best murder mystery authors, staying up-to-date with their new releases is key. Many of these authors write sequels for some of their best novels and series, so reading their latest works can be a great way to stay current on the genre. Not only do readers get to revisit beloved characters from earlier books, but they often get answers to questions that were left unanswered in previous tales. Of course, there are also plenty of new titles being released by these talented authors every year and discovering them can be just as enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some of the top picks in terms of new release murder mystery books.

The first novel we must mention is "The Brightest Stars of Summer" by internationally acclaimed author Maureen Jennings. This thrilling read follows DS MacNeice who finds himself investigating a possible criminal syndicate hidden beneath an infamous motorcycle club's underground dealings. It's an action-packed book that will keep readers hooked until the very end.

If you're interested in trying out something a little different, then picking up "Skin Game," the latest Clive Cussler & Boyd Morrison collaboration might be your best bet. Set against the backdrop of Southeast Asia, this gripping story touches upon political intrigue and themes of revenge as detectives Sam and Remi Fargo try to determine who wants them dead.

For lovers of traditional crime fiction, "The Girl Who Died Twice," from bestselling British writer GK Lewis, is another great choice. In this riveting novel Detective Inspector Bobby Cross and his team investigate a case involving an old unsolved murder, mysterious deaths and unprecedented criminal activity all centred around the same woman who mysteriously died twice.

Finally, readers seeking an entertaining yet thought-provoking novel should check out "Last Things" from Thomas Perry. The book follows Mark Bluestone, a retired FBI agent brought back into service when two powerful families become entangled in a dangerous game of secrets, lies and money laundering. It’s sure to keep fans turning pages until its dramatic conclusion.

Clearly then, readers have no shortage of exciting new choices when it comes to murder mystery books from some of today’s most acclaimed authors. Whether you’re looking for action-packed stories set in exotic locations or thoughtful reflections on competing loyalty and morality within a criminal justice system–these authors have something for everyone!

Common Questions and Answers

What makes their writing style unique?

Each of these 10 best modern murder mystery authors has a unique writing style that sets them apart from others in the genre. For example, James Patterson is known for his gripping plots and vivid descriptions that draw readers into the world of his characters. Tess Gerritsen combines psychological suspense with medical thriller elements to create tales that keep readers guessing. Agatha Christie is the queen of the ‘whodunit’ mystery, crafting intricate tales full of little clues and red herrings that make unravelling the case extra satisfying. Meanwhile, Gillian Flynn and Karin Slaughter write books focused on female characters who find themselves embroiled in dangerous situations, adding a feminist angle to their thrilling stories. Finally, Robert Galbraith’s detective series explores the effects of crime from both victim and criminal perspectives to create a unique and gut-wrenching vision.

How have these authors influenced the genre?

These 10 authors have helped shape the modern murder mystery genre in a variety of ways.

Agatha Christie has been widely recognised as one of the “Queens” of the genre, and her writing style has been credited with solidifying the role of the amateur detective in the narratives (often her own character, Hercule Poirot). She also introduced readers to inventive plot structure and memorable characters they could empathise with and root for.

Other authors like Dashiell Hammett laid the groundwork for what is now known as hard-boiled detective fiction. With his iconic private investigator Sam Spade, Hammett created an entire world and set of codes to follow that still influences many stories to this day.

More recent authors like Louise Penny have continued to push the boundaries of the genre by introducing psychological themes into their works. Through complex characters and intricate plots, Penny has crafted stories that leave readers calling for more mysteries to unravel.

Finally, authors like Jo Nesbo have popularised a new kind of detective: The renegade cop with great instincts but questionable ethics. He blurs the lines between crimefighting versus criminal behaviour and readers love that they can’t quite tell who’s actually on which side.

Overall, these 10 authors are some of the biggest names in murder mystery fiction, and their collective body of work continues to influence how writers construct complex cases with interesting characters who move through unforgettable settings and explore provocative themes.

What specific stories make the authors stand out?

The stories that make these authors stand out include Agatha Christie's classic murder mystery novel And Then There Were None, which is perhaps her most famous work; Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled detective novel The Big Sleep, which introduced the iconic character Phillip Marlowe; PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley, a mystery set in the world of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon, a classic of the detective genre; Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, a chilling tale of fate and moral responsibility; John Grisham’s anti-hero lawyers taking on unaccountable corporations in The Partner; Michael Crichton’s medical thriller Coma; Ruth Rendell’s masterful exploration of the human psyche in A Judgement In Stone; Henning Mankell’s Scandinavian crime novels featuring police inspector Kurt Wallander; and Louise Penny’s Three Pines mysteries featuring Chief Inspector Gamache.

These authors have become famous for their unique styles and interesting storylines and characters. Christie's work is distinctly English with a large cast of eccentric characters, while Chandler brings sharp dialogue and an ever-increasing complexity of plotting. PD James combines murder mystery with historical fiction for a compelling combination, while Hammett's realist noir storytelling firmly places him as one of the founding fathers of detective fiction. Highsmith's literature makes us look closer at the secrets we keep from ourselves and others around us, while Grisham puts the spotlight on the craven pursuits of those in power. Crichton keeps us guessing with plots full of surprises and unpredictable twists, Rendell exposes deep-seated disturbances in seemingly normal people, Mankell goes beyond black-and-white criminal justice issues to explore culture and humanity, and Penny explores small-town life in Quebec with its layers of human connexion. All of these authors write stories that are not only highly entertaining but thought provoking too.

Play online or in real life murder mystery game

Play at a whodunnit dinner party with friends – or on Zoom, Facetime or Hangouts.


Murder Mystery Dinner Party

Host a murder mystery party your friends will love


Family Get-together

Nothing unites a family like murder!


Play over video

Play online or in real life

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in-person
Make My Murder Mystery Game

“It was so much fun and easy for people to get involved. A really brilliant murder mystery story!”

Nick T

“Everyone was engaged from the start and threw themselves into solving the murder. The event was great fun – and brilliant value for money.”

Bryn J

“Hilarious! Played over Zoom, in 6 locations, including 2 countries. Even our 78 year old mother managed it!”

Joseph H

“A great night with friends! Will definitely be going with these guys again!”

Tori K

Play online or in-person

Play on Zoom or get together in real life

Create your own murder mystery

Customize your game script

Quick and simple to build

Only takes 15 mins to create

Add your own characters

Use real names or make them up

Play on your phone

Or print out the PDF script

Fun for everyone

Detectives aged 11+

Whodunnit game night

A murder mystery game to play with friends

Crime solving game

Use your detective skills

Create your personalized murder mystery game

  • Create a customised murder mystery script in less than 15 mins
  • Perfect for dinner parties and virtual team building
  • Play on screens or print out the PDF scripts
Make My Murder Mystery Game

Create a personalized murder mystery game

  • Create your game in less than 15 mins
  • Delivered instantly to your phone
  • Play online or in real life
Build My Personalized Murder Mystery Game