Riveting Mystery Books That Will Still Allow You to Sleep at Night

Recently I’ve picked up a few popular psychological thrillers to read. I kept seeing them advertised everywhere, so I started making a list of the one’s I thought looked interesting. I’ve made it through two in the past couple weeks, but I stopped reading my most recent find only a few chapters in. I got the feeling it was going to be a bit too gory, so, long story short (too late), I read some reviews and found out real fast that finishing that book was not going to happen.

Classic mystery stories are a big part of what got me hooked on literature in the first place. I’ve always loved a good mystery. So what happened to those good ole fashioned ghost stories and mystery tales? I don’t know, honestly. But I wish someone would bring them back.

In the meantime, here’s a list of a few mysterious but not-too-scary books. Happy haunting!


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (1939)

A group of ten people arrive on Indian Island, though their host remains unknown. After dinner the first night of the guests’ arrival, a gramophone message announces the guests to be accused of murder – and they will pay. One by one, guests begin to disappear. This is a mystery story of intrigue and secrets.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (first appearance made in 1887-1927)

Sherlock Holmes is a detective whose stories are narrated by his friend and counterpart, Dr. Watson. The duo have become quite a popular pair over the years. The complete works total four novels and fifty-six short stories. Holmes cares not for cleanliness; it is his cleverness that has allured readers for over a century.

“The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe (1843)

This short story is narrated by one of Poe’s famous unreliable narrators. The unnamed teller of the tale recounts having murdered an older man who apparently never wronged him. Thus the motive for the murder remains masked. However, the details which lead to the actual murder are described quite vividly. All the while, the narrator insists that he is sane. You be the judge.

Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)

We have this book to thank for all the vampire novels we are still reading (and shows we’re watching) today. I love that these stories are still with us! In the 1897 version of Dracula, the vampire attempts to move to England from his home in Transylvania because he basically wants to spread vampirism. He gets into quite a tiff with Van Helsing along the way, and wah-lah: you have an epic vampire tale.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)

Captain Robert Walton writes to his sister the story of Victor Frankenstein. While in college, Frankenstein became rather obsessed with life and immortality and excelled in his studies of chemistry. The combination of his desire to generate life and his knowledge of science make for a deadly combination, so to speak, when he creates his Creature. This Creature turns evil (to no one’s surprise) and seeks revenge on Frankenstein.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Edward Hyde are quite opposites, but interesting enough, it’s discovered early in the novel that Dr. Jekyll has made Edward Hyde his beneficiary. Hyde has some secrets to hide, while Jekyll is well-liked and respected in society. The link between the two becomes blurred, but as it turns out, Jekyll drinks a serum in order to become Hyde. The struggle between the two personas becomes one of riveting plight.

The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (1606)

You’re probably not going to pick this one up for a quick read, but it is actually Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy. Macbeth believes himself to be destined to become king, and he decided, at the urging of his wife, to do whatever it takes to become king. Shakespeare shows us what can happen to those who seek power for selfish ambition. Macbeth is a story of witches, murder, and unveiled mystery.

Fear Street by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps and Fear Street are two of the series that got me hooked on reading. (Charlaine Harris’s Aurora Teagarden series is one of my now favorites.) I can’t help but give them a shout out since having been introduced to these books led me to my love of literature.
Let me know any mysteries you like, too!