Now that it’s October, it’s time to fall back into our favorite autumn routines. One of the best autumn traditions is cozying up with a good book, particularly a mystery. If you’re struggling to find good, easy-to-read mystery books to add to your TBR this season, don’t worry— we’ve got you covered.
Without further ado, here are the best YA mystery novels to read this fall.
Why Read Young Adult?
Young Adult books are targeted for audiences ages 12-18. However, this target audience is very flexible, and no matter how old you are, YA books are enjoyable.
Reading YA is a great way to get out of a reading slump, get more habitual with your reading routines, or simply just to give your brain a break from overly-complex or scholarly writing. Because YA is targeted towards a younger audience, most books in this group are easy to digest in terms of writing style and content.
So, if you’re looking for the perfect mystery novel to relax with— without putting too much strain on your brain— these YA selections are perfect for you.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
The first book on our list is A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, a highly-rated YA mystery thriller that follows a girl as she uncovers secrets about an old murder in her hometown.
Everyone knows that Sal Singh killed schoolgirl Andie Bell five years ago. The case is closed, and no one questions it.
However, when Pippa Fitz-Amobi chooses to focus on her small town’s famous murder case for a school project, it leads her to some unwanted discoveries. She begins to doubt that the case is really as closed as everyone thinks, but the secrets she uncovers are secret for a reason, and not everyone is thrilled with her investigation.
With almost a perfect five star rating on Goodreads, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder explores a wide variety of thought-provoking themes and hooks readers in right away. If you’re looking for an intriguing mystery thriller to keep you on the edge of your seat this season, look no further than A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The second selection on our list is The Inheritance Games, a popular YA mystery novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes that took the book community by storm.
The first book in the trilogy explores the story of Avery Grambs, a girl whose life is turned upside down when a mysterious billionaire passes away and leaves her his entire fortune. She doesn’t know who this man is or why he left her all of his money, but she soon discovers that in order to receive it, she must move into the Hawthorne House— a home filled with hidden passageways and secrets around every corner.
But Avery is not in the Hawthorne House alone. The house is still occupied by the billionaire’s four grandsons, who are skeptical of Avery’s motive.
“Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.” —Goodreads
If you’re looking for a book filled with dark atmosphere, puzzling riddles, and thrilling romance, then The Inheritance Games will feel right at home on your mystery TBR.
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Now a drama series on Peacock, One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus is a YA mystery thriller revolving around the murder of a boy named Simon, who ran a gossip app for his high school before dying in detention.
One of Us Is Lying follows the investigation of Simon’s death. Before he was killed, he planned on exposing four of his fellow students— who were all in the same room right before his death. Now, all of them are suspects to his murder, but could the real killer possibly be on the loose?
“Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” —Goodreads
If you’re looking for a thrilling combination of high school drama and murder mstery, One of Us Is Lying is the perfect book for you.
The Ivies by Alexa Donne
The fourth book on our list is Alexa Donne’s The Ivies, a book that explores the lives of five girls who will go to extreme lengths to get into their dream schools.
The Ivies are a group of five friends in a prestigious prep school, each one of them on track to continue their education at an Ivy League school— and willing to do anything to improve their own odds, even if it means sacrificing the fortune of others.
“A thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.” —Goodreads
The Ivies is the perfect book to read if you’re looking for a mix of dark academia, dramatic high school intrigue, and of course, murder mystery.
To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Sarborough
The last book on our list is To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Sarborough, the first book in the Erin Blake series.
To Catch a Killer follows the story of Erin Blake, a girl with a traumatic past involving the murder of her mother when she was a toddler.
When Erin finds the dead body of her biology teacher fourteen years later, she suspects her mother’s killer to have something to do with it. Inspired by her uncle’s FBI work, she begins investigating the case on her own, a secret she keeps hidden.
But when evidence of this teacher’s murder begins to point towards Erin, she must trust in her fellow classmate to help her crack both cases before time runs out.
This is perfect if you’re looking for a more juvenile, lower-stakes mystery. It’s not as hyped or complex as some of the other items on this list, but it’s still interesting, and a good novel to read in the fall.
These five YA mystery novels are excellent books to read this autumn. The mystery genre is such an excellent one to dive into this time of year, and hopefully, this list has given you some ideas for your fall TBR, so you can make the most of the moods this season has to offer.