Mystery romance books

Mystery romance books DEFAULT

Do you love your thrillers with a dash of romantic tension? Then you've come to the right place! The best romantic suspense novels have danger, high stakes, and the sexual tension to match it. Whether you're looking for a new series, something historical, or a classic Gothic retelling, we've got 15 of the best romantic thriller books just for you!

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

This is a social thriller with a bit of darker twist, about Sydney Green who joins forces with her neighbor Theo to offer historic walking tours of their rapidly gentrifying neighbors, only to begin investigating what's really happening to her Black neighbors who are moving out of the neighborhood for the suburbs.

A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Anahera has just returned to her remote New Zealand town after heartbreak, and finds that little has changed, except that the town now has a single police officer: Will. When a woman goes missing, the two team up to investigate a darker angle of the case that draws them together--and closer to a serial killer.

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane is a pleasant abut unremarkable employee at the insurance company she works at, and she catches the attention of her manager, Stephen, because she seems easygoing. Malleable. But Jane is anything but that, and as she draws closer to Stephen's life, her true intentions become clear.

A Spy in the Struggle by Aya de León

Yolanda is a Black woman who beat the odds to become a lawyer and landed a prestigious job at a high-powered NYC law firm--but it all came crashing down when the FBI raided the firm. Yolanda turns in her bosses and cooperates with the FBI, and they decide to send her to infiltrate an African-American "extremist" activist group called Red, Green, and Black. But when a new romance and a complicated conspiracy put her in a tough spot, Yolanda will have to act very carefully.

Hidden by Laura Griffin

Bailey is an investigative reporter who shows up when a woman is found dead in Austin, TX, and she begins asking questions. Lead detective Jacob knows he shouldn't reveal anything--but his attraction to Bailey is harder to resist. As Bailey continues to pursue the case, their relationship heats up...and soon they find themselves working together to solve a high-stakes case.

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre

Marlena Durst may seem to have it all from the outside, but reality is that she lives in a tightly controlled environment where her every move is tracked by her husband, and punishment for disobedience is harsh. There seems no escaping his control--his first two wives ended up dead after all--unless Marlena can find a way to outsmart him.

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Veronica is an independent woman who is looking forward to a bit of travel without having to report to her spinster aunt, but when she's nearly kidnapped and she meets Stoker, a natural historian, the two find themselves on the run together, trying to stay one step ahead of a murderer and solve this mystery.

Every Last Breath by Juno Rushdan

Maddox is a strong, capable woman who is given an impossible task to neutralize a dangerous bioweapon, and it pains her to admit that she needs help--but not from just anyone. From Cole, her former lover who she thought was dead, and is pissed that she moved on. Cole would rather fight Maddox each step of the way, but the stakes are too high and they must work together to save thousands of lives.

Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye

Jane Steele has a deadly secret--well, several. Multiple times throughout her life, when ill-intentioned men have tried to take advantage of her, she's responded in violence. With a few murders under her belt, she now wants to return to her ancestral home, but she'll have to stay ahead of the law and face its new owner, the brooding Mr. Thornfield, who has secrets of his own.

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Marie is a young, Black FBI officer whose career is going nowhere fast when she's recruited by the CIA to spy on the president of Burkina Faso. She agrees to the mission, but is surprised when she finds that it's not hard to gain his trust--she genuinely like him, and he is intrigued by her. But with American meddling only increasing, Marie must decide where her loyalties lie.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

In this callback to classic Gothic suspense, Hawkins tells the story of Jane, a poor young dog walker in a wealthy neighborhood who has a past she wants to keep secret. When she meets Eddie Rochester, and he falls for her, it seems like her luck is turning around...but Eddie's first wife Bea drowned not too long ago, and Jane is haunted by her memory.

The Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas

Charlotte Holmes is a disgraced society lady who goes by the pseudonym Sherlock Holmes in order to solve some truly complicated and high-stakes cases--and she's not above having a romantic dalliance when it suits her. This is a fun and complex mystery series with some great romance on the side.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

Lowen is a struggling writer when she receive a gig that could bail her out: Ghostwrite novels for famous author Verity Crawford, who is permanently injured and unable to finish them herself. Lowen agrees and while visiting Verity's home and speaking with her husband Jeremy, she uncovers a secret manuscript full of Verity's confessions. She's uncertain whether to share the manuscript with Jeremy, especially as she finds herself falling for him.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

When Maddie leaves her husband and becomes determined to strike out on her own as a newspaper journalist, she underestimates how hard it is to start over as a housewife in the 1960's. But when she stumbles upon a murder, she's able to leverage what she saw into a job. Now she just needs a story to launch her career--but she latches onto one story that might put her in danger. This is a great historical thriller, with a secret love interest.

Extreme Honor by Piper J. Drake

Starring a war veteran and combat dog trainer named David, this book is about the one dog he can't get through to--and the dog whisperer named Lyn who manages to work with the dog. David is drawn to Lyn, but when her work with the dog puts her in danger, the two humans will have to work to protect the dog who brought them together.

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11 Great Mystery & Romantic Suspense Novels

Editors Note: Looking for something new to read? Sometimes it can be hard to choose, so we asked award winning Author Helen Starbuck to share some of her favorite books she read in 2020.

I read, a lot, and have done so since I was a youngster, so choosing favorite books can be hard. This is like asking a mom to choose her favorite child, but I’ll give it a try. This represents some of the best books I read in 2020.

1. Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag

This is a great mystery/suspense novel and the beginning of her Sam Kovac/Nikki Liska series. Set in Minneapolis it’s an intense story about a serial killer who leaves his victims’ bodies afire thus earning him the name The Cremator.

Hoag creates memorable characters (Sam Kovac breaks my heart and Nikki Liska is awesome) and tells a tightly woven story with an ending that took me by surprise.

2. The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

This is the first book in the three-book mystery series featuring Detective Jude Fontaine, who’s been kidnapped and held captive for three years until she manages to escape.

Her emergence from captivity with skills she learned to survive and her reintegration into her old homicide squad, where she helps discover who’s killing young women, is fascinating.

This first book will hook you into a great series.

3. The Searcher by Tana French

I love French, she’s is a master of mystery/police procedural books. She can make any situation lyrical and her stories are heartbreaking.

The Searcher is set in a small Irish town where a retired, divorced American homicide detective has retreated to escape his troubles at home, Cal Hooper is drug into helping a young woman find out what happened to her brother, which stirs up all sorts of trouble.

4. Sting by Sandra Brown

Brown for me is the epitome of great romantic suspense. The main character in Sting is the sister of a guy who has ties to a criminal scammer.

The brother has escaped FBI protective custody and they think she knows where he is. Kidnapped by a man who appears to murder people for hire, she spends the next several days trying to figure out who he is, whether he’ll kill her, and how to escape.

Tight plot, great characters, and believable romance.

5. Idyll Fears by Stephanie Gayle

This series is a new take on the outsider archetype— Thomas Lynch, a gay police chief in a small-town, macho, 1990s police department.

This is the first in the series. It’s an intriguing mystery, complicated by the fact that Lynch is in the closet and has some connection to a murder that takes place. He can’t report his involvement without outing himself.

He’s a fascinating character. Interwoven with a complex mystery, is the path Lynch takes to gain acceptance and respect.

6. The Dry by Jane Harper

This book is wonderful, as are her two subsequent books. If you read nothing else on this list, read this one.

A murder suicide committed by a boyhood friend brings Federal Agent Aaron Falk back to the town where he grew up for the funeral. This event, and confronting old friends and enemies, sets the main character on a journey of both self-discovery and solving the mystery of what happened.

Set in the Australian outback, it’s both a complex and satisfying mystery and a study of how an isolated setting affects people.

7. The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan

Set in Ireland this mystery/police procedural is complicated and satisfying. Detective Cormac Reilly investigates a drowning the police attribute to suicide, but which his sister is convinced is murder.

While he’s doing that he begins reinvestigating the overdose of his mother that left him and his sister orphans.

Lots of complex family issues and secrets.

8. The Woods by Harlan Coban

Coban always explores the effects of decisions and situations on people. His mysteries are always engaging and suspenseful.

This one centers around the disappearance of County Prosecutor Paul Copeland’s sister and boyfriend twenty years ago. Trying a murder case with evidence that connects to the boyfriend’s disappearance and that of his sister’s raises questions about whether his sister is dead or alive and if so where is she?

It’s a compelling mystery. 

9. Lucky’s Lady by Tami Hoag

Lucky’s Lady is romantic suspense set in the Louisiana Bayou.

Psychologist Serena Sheridan has moved to Charleston to escape her twin sister and family intergenerational drama. Recalled to help find their grandfather so decisions about selling the family home can be made, she reluctantly enlists the help of Lucky Doucet a man with a dangerous reputation.

His knowledge of the bayou and his reluctance to help her find her grandfather before her twin can find a way to sell the property out from under Serena and her grandfather, keep things moving at a fast pace.

10. Ricochet by Sandra Brown

Detective Duncan Hatcher’s mouth has gotten him sentenced to jail for two days for contempt of court when the judge lets a criminal go.

Released and forced to accompany his partner to an awards ceremony, he fixates on the woman married to the judge who sent him to jail. He’s taken by surprise when he and his partner show up at the judge’s house to discover his wife has shot an intruder.

The plot is complex and suspenseful. Hatcher struggles between what he should do and what he wants to do and can’t decide if Elise Laird is a victim of an attempt to murder her and needs his help or lying about what happened and is a killer.

11. The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

This is the first in the Walt Longmire series. Walt is hoping to finish out his tenure as sheriff when a boy accused of raping a local Cheyenne girl turns up dead.

He has to figure out who’s seeking revenge for what happened and try to prevent the deaths of the other three boys involved in the assault.

This series is an interesting take on a complicated, educated, and spiritual (in the Native American sense) main character working as a sheriff in Wyoming with a great supporting cast of characters.

The series is great reading.

So that’s my list. These books are not to be missed if you like mystery or romantic suspense. I’ve realized it’s very hard to pick favorites. I run into a few books I don’t care for, but more often I have a long list of ones I love.  When I spent time reviewing the books I’ve read in 2020 I realized just how wonderful they are as escape and entertainment. That’s always been important, but it’s especially so this year.

I’ve also discovered that I read a lot of series. I like characters I can get emotionally involved with and I almost never want that to be a one-book experience.  In looking at this list, I think I need to find more male authors to read. 

Helen Starbuck

Helen Starbuck

Colorado native and former OR nurse, Helen Starbuck—no relation to the coffee bunch— draws on her years of OR nursing experience for her award-winning Annie Collins Mystery Series and her love of suspense and romance to create standalone romantic suspense novels and characters she would treasure as friends. She enjoys books about strong women and interesting men.

Check out Helen's website:

Helen Starbuck

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Mysteries and romances are my two favorite genres. An excellent romance can sweep me away from the existential drudgery of everyday life. A good mystery can keep me guessing and engaged with awesome characters. But only mystery romance novels can engage my mind and emotions.

There are basically two kinds of mystery romance novels: romances with mystery subplots, and mysteries with romantic subplots. But whichever one you prefer, the BEST type of mystery romances are the ones where both elements are perfectly balanced to tell an incredible story.

The following are just a few of my favorite mystery romances, but I know there are a ton more out there, so hit me up with your recommendations! And if you want more mystery OR romance, check out our mystery channel, our romance channel, and our podcasts.

Mystery Romance Novels |


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Romances with awesome mystery plots


Non-Stop Till Tokyo by KJ CharlesNon-Stop Till Tokyo by K.J. Charles

The mystery is more of a thriller, but! The hero is an ex-sumo wrestler, and the heroine works in a hostess bar. Plus the descriptions of Tokyo are awesome.

Into the Fire by Anne Stuart

If romantic suspense is your jam, Anne Stuart should be on your go-to list. Into the Fire is one of my favorites by her, but if you want more recommendations, check out my post on where to start reading Anne Stuart.

Spellbound in His Arms by Angel Sefer

The most popular mystery romance novel on Goodreads. An investigative reporter and a Special Forces Officer meet on the Greek island of Corfu. I haven’t read it, but I took a gander at a sample and it’s very fast-paced.

Fatal Affair by Marie Force

You can’t talk about romantic suspense without mentioning Marie Force! Washington, D.C., police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland meets Chief of Staff Nick Cappuano after his boss, Senator John O’Connor, is murdered in bed. The twist? She had a one-night-stand with Cappuano years earlier.

A Brother's Honor by Brenda JacksonA Brother’s Honor by Brenda Jackson

The first in Jackson’s popular Grangers series about a group of brothers who return to their family to face “a legacy of secrets.”

Treacherous Intent by Camy Tang

Tang has a whole series of Love Inspired Suspense novels set in California, like this one where two people team up to save a woman and escape a drug gang.

Hard As Ice by Raven Scott

The first in a series about a group of devastatingly handsome former government agents who protect the rich and famous. Evan de Costa has to investigate the theft of stolen jewels and becomes entangled, so to speak, with his number one suspect.

Black Hat HackerBlack Hat Hacker by Soraya Naomi

Most mystery romance heroes fall into the detective/spy/government agent category, which is why I’m excited to read this NA book, whose hero is a crime syndicate hacker with a Dark Secret. I love me some books about geeks.

Contracted Defense by Piper J. Drake

Buttoned-up security agent Victoria Ash meets easygoing new guy Adam in the third Safeguard novel, where a supposedly cake assignment takes a turn for the FUBAR when Adam realizes there’s a traitor at the company.

Forged in Desire by Brenda Jackson

An ex-con is hired protect a woman who served on a jury that sent a dangerous gangster to prison in this latest romantic suspense novel from Brenda Jackson. The book was a finalist for the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards.


The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer AshleyThe Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The murder mystery in this historical romance is very well done and kept me guessing until the very end, but that’s not the only mystery in the book. Ashley does an excellent job of stringing the reader along with questions like, “What is up with these Mackenzie brothers, why are they all so crazy?” and then throwing in twists and turns at just the right moment. An awesome story with unusual characters that I wish I’d read as soon as it came out!

Think of England by K.J. Charles

An Edwardian-era country house mystery that harkens back to the style of writers like E. Phillips Oppenheim and H. Rider Haggard, with a m/m romance thrown in for good measure. Bonus: one of the male characters, Daniel, is obviously modeled off of Oscar Wilde and I love it. The perfect novel for those of us who are book nerds and history nerds.

Spectred Isle by K.J. Charles

If KJ Charles had written the script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it would probably have been a lot like this book (and, I daresay, a better movie). Even though it’s a story of two men whose lives have been utterly destroyed by the First World War, this is a super fun romp of a book with a little magic thrown in.

Charmed and Dangerous Jane AshfordCharmed and Dangerous by Jane Ashford

A sweeping story of espionage set during the Napoleonic Wars that travels from remote Mediterranean islands to glittering ballrooms in Vienna. Anyone who’s a sucker for books set in Vienna [insert hand raise emoji here] will want to read this asap.

The Scarletti Curse by Christine Feehan

Generally I’m not that into Christine Feehan’s novels, but the gothic setting for this one really brought out the best in her writing. It’s a classic young woman/old house gothic mystery where the heroine must figure out the deep dark secret her hubby is hiding from her.

The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin

Aristocratic playboy Bai Huang and street-smart maidservant to courtesans, Yue-ying, must team up to solve a murder. An intriguing twist on the uptown girl/downtown guy romance set in Imperial China.

Dinner Most Deadly by Sheri Cobb SouthJohn Pickett Mysteries by Sheri Cobb South

And speaking of uptown girl/downtown guy romances, I give you the John Pickett Mysteries! Absolutely delightful series set in Regency England featuring young Bow Street Runner John Pickett and the older and wealthier woman of his dreams, Lady Julia Fieldhurst. These two are so adorable together I can’t even.

Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig

Combine spies, adventure, historical romance, academic mystery, and a modern-day love story, and you have this series. Each book focuses on a different spy working to save England from Napoleon á laThe Scarlet Pimpernel. Tying the whole series together is an overarching narrative set in the present day, where scholar Eloise slowly pieces together what happened in the past. Normally books that go back and forth between different time periods don’t work for me, but each timeline in these novels is so compelling it’s impossible to put the books down.

Captives of the Night by Loretta ChaseCaptives of the Night by Loretta Chase

One of my favorite romances of all time! Leila Beaumont, an artist living in 19th century Paris, is married to Francis, who has the hots for a mysterious and dashing man named the Comte d’Esmond, who in turn is secretly in love with Leila. What a tangled web we weave. Leila doesn’t want to have anything to do with either her hubby or the Comte, however, until Francis is killed and she has to team up with the Comte to solve his murder and clear her own name. Not only is the romance in this book completely swoon-worthy and Leila a total badass, the mystery is perfectly done. I had no idea who the killer was until Leila and the Comte figured it out, and once they did I couldn’t believe I hadn’t solved it sooner.

No True Gentleman by Liz Carlyle

Just skirting the balance between proper mystery and historical romance, what I enjoy most about this fantastic book is the chemistry between the hero, Maximilian de Rohan (how’s that for a name!) and Lady Catherine Wodeway. They have a Bogey and Bacall vibe going on that’s irresistible. This is a very layered, well thought-out book that’s perfectly paced, where even the secondary characters are memorable. Definitely one of Carlyle’s best novels.

Mysteries with swoon-worthy romances


Murder in Volume by DR MeredithMegan Clark series by D.R. Meredith

D.R. Meredith gets mystery romances done right. This series is solidly bookish (the main characters belong to a cozy mystery book club), with a May-December romance between a young archaeologist, Megan Clark, and her BFF Ryan who’s secretly in love with her but doesn’t want her to know BECAUSE REASONS. A little frustrating because Meredith never finished the series, and therefore the romance was never resolved, but nonetheless one of the most memorable mystery romances I’ve come across.

Vicky Bliss series by Elizabeth Peters

An art thief falls in love with an art historian and they travel the world together solving art crime—when he’s not on the run from the law, that is. Question: why can’t this be my life???

The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata MasseyThe Salaryman’s Wife by Sujata Massey

Rei Shimura is a half-Japanese, half-American twenty-something struggling to make it in the big city of Tokyo. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she spends a few days holidaying in a mountain ryokan, where she meets an incorrigible Scotsman and discovers the dead body of a salaryman’s wife. I loved the peek into Japanese culture and life in Tokyo this book provided. The ending is an improbable delight, and the Scotsman in question is just the right combination of infuriating and attractive.

Charlotte Holmes series by Brittany Cavallaro

The descendants of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson go to boarding school together. It’s inevitable that they become besties, but will they ever be more than just friends? A clever and amusing twist on the classic duo with plenty of Easter eggs for Sherlockians.

Naked in Death series by J.D. Robb

A wildly popular mystery romance series penned by the wildly successful Nora Roberts. Not my cup of tea, but plenty of other people disagree.

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

The first in another best-selling series that blends mystery with romance and comedy. If you haven’t started reading the Stephanie Plum books by now, maybe you should.

Fatal Shadows by Josh LanyonThe Adrien English series by Josh Lanyon

Josh Lanyon is one of my favorite m/m romance authors, not least because her books frequently have mystery plots. The Adrien English series is closer to a traditional mystery series than romance, with a bookseller (the eponymous Adrien) who occasionally helps out a way-deep-in-the-closet detective. With mysteries and other things. The books get better as the series goes on!

Sex, Murder, and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis

Mystery writer solving crimes alert! Thriller scribe Sophie Katz thinks she’s being stalked by a crazy fan who is sneaking into her apartment to reenact scenes from her books. Is her mysterious new love interest, Anatoly Darinsky, her number one suspect or her number one savior? This series has a fun, chick-lit vibe.

The Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie LovettThe Lost Book of the Grail by Charlie Lovett

This academic mystery is a bibliophile’s delight. About half of it takes place in a library filled with medieval manuscripts, and the other half is the protagonist WISHING he was in a library. Plus, can you ever go wrong with Grail mysteries? NO YOU CANNOT.

A Desperate Fortune by Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley writes old-school romantic suspense, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you spend your time rereading Mary Stewart novels, thinking they don’t write books like that anymore, well, Kearsley does! This novel takes place in Paris, with an amateur codebreaker hired to crack an 18th-century journal full of Jacobean intrigue.



still life with murder pb ryanNell Sweeney Mysteries by P.B. Ryan

My favorite mystery romance series of all time! Nell Sweeney works as a governess for a Boston Brahmin family with Issues, not the least of which is their estranged eldest son, William, scarred physically and emotionally by his experiences during the Civil War. These books have it all: fascinating characters, intensely memorable scenes, well-researched history, and slow-burn forbidden romance.

Patriot’s Dream by Barbara Michaels

Barbara Michaels (also known as Elizabeth Peters) is a go-to author for mystery romance novels. Patriot’s Dream is one of my mom’s favorites, but if you want more recs check out my Best of Michaels/Peters/Mertz reading list.

Silent in the Grave Deanna ReybournSilent in the Grave by Deanna RAYBOURN

If Robert Downey Jr is your favorite Sherlock, you’re sure to develop a crush on Nicholas Brisbane, the “private inquiry agent” who helps Lady Julia Grey solve the murder of her husband. Also: talking ravens.

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

This book is super spooky, with a surprisingly sexy romantic subplot. In 1920s England, Sarah Piper joins paranormal investigator Alistair Gellis on a ghost hunt. Think The Haunting of Hill House, but with an actual ghost, sexytimes, and a much better ending.

A Spy in the House a Mary Quinn MysteryA Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

Imagine The Kingsmen, except set in the Victorian Era and all women, and you have a pretty good idea of the set-up for this novel. I have to admit the love interest annoyed me because I thought he was a jerk. But hey, some people like jerky heroes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

Not released yet, but I’m looking forward to it! The setting and protagonist are like nothing I’ve encountered in a mystery before: 1920s Bombay and one of India’s first female lawyers, who’s “devoted to championing and protecting women’s rights.” (Soho Press, January 9th)

A Study in Scarlet Women a Charlotte Holmes NovelA Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

Another Sherlock adaptation, this one with a more adult tone. Charlotte Holmes adopts the nom de guerre of Sherlock and hits the mean streets of London in order to stop a killer and restore her family name.

What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris

There are three things you need to know about Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin: he has freakishly good eyesight, his OTL (one true love) broke his heart, and he has enemies. Which is probably why someone’s framed him for murder. There’s a lot of walking and talking in this book (has anyone else noticed how much fictional detectives love to walk and talk?), but the characters make it worth it.

A Lady in the Smoke by Karen OddenA Lady In the Smoke by Karen Odden

One of my favorite reads from last year. It has all that I could ask for in a novel: trains, aristocratic ladies hiding their true identity and sneaking out of the house, family secrets, scrappy pickpockets, crusading journalists. Not to mention one of those Victorian romances where hand touching is akin to getting to third base. Odden’s a terrific storyteller and definitely a writer to watch.

O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King

Why did I pick this book out of all the books in the Mary Russell series for this list? I personally think it’s the most romantic, given what we know happens between Russell and Sherlock Holmes later on (chronologically speaking, not in order of publication). But you’ll want to read the previous books in the series first to decide for yourself.



The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Mary Roberts Rinehart is often called the American Agatha Christie, but The Man in Lower Ten has more of a Hitchcock vibe to me. There’s a train accident, a female journalist who may or may not be a femme fatale, cocktails, someone whose legit hobby is amateur detecting, “like in books” (his exact words), and a loveable but occasionally hapless hero. It’s a surprisingly modern novel for something published in the Edwardian era.

[Note this book contains a few instances of what modern readers would consider racist language.]

Rebecca by Daphne du MaurierRebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The quintessential gothic mystery romance! To be honest I’ve never been able to get through this book, but it would be criminal not to include it on a list like this.

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

I used to spend my summers reading and rereading my mom’s Mary Stewart books, and it’s because of her that I developed a taste for mystery romance novels. Nine Coaches Waiting is perfect for those of you who love Jane Eyre: a young woman travels to France to work as a governess in a chateau filled with secrets and family drama. It’s a Cinderella story with a gothic edge.

Want even more Stewart reading recommendations? Check out my Mary Stewart Reading Pathways list!

Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Lord Peter Wimsey series is a must-read classic mystery series even without the romance between Peter and his better half, Harriet Vane. But let’s be honest, the relationship between Peter and Harriet is 90% of why we love it.

What are your favorite mystery romance novels? 


9 Romances To Read If You Love Mystery Novels

For every kind of reader there is, in fact, a romance novel out there for them. For lit lovers, there is contemporary romance, for sci-fi junkies, there are sexy paranormal romances, and, if your taste is on the side of thrillers and suspense, there are plenty of romance novels to read if you love mysteries. In the book world, you really can have it all.

All romance novels have two things in common — a love story at the book's center, and a happy ending — but that doesn't mean every book is the same. Within the romance genre, there's a vast world of stories from historical fiction to science fiction, erotica to Christian romance, and so much more. Just because steamy space sex and Victorian love stories aren't your thing doesn't mean romance books aren't your thing, either. If you prefer your sappy love stories with a side of intriguing mysteries , your second chance romances with fast-paced, page turning thrills, and your historical fiction with a bit of nail-biting suspense to historical fiction, there's an entire romance genre just waiting for you: romantic suspense.

Romantic suspense has everything you know and love about both genres: a heart-thumping love story, an intriguing plot, and incredible, ass-kicking female characters you love rooting for, both in their relationships and in their mystery solving. Can't wait to give one a try? Good, because here is a round up of nine romance novels to read if you love mysteries, thrillers, and suspense.

1. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

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Everyone has dreamed about their own Mr. Perfect — but no one ever imagined it would get this dangerous. When Jaine and her girlfriends make a checklist about what makes up the ideal man, they don't expect it to move beyond their group. But suddenly everyone is talking about the tongue-in-cheek checklist — their co-workers, local newspapers, TV anchors, everyone. Suddenly, their harmless joke has turned... violent. And one of the list's writers has lost her life. Now Janie must solve the murder before the deadly stalker claims another life. Luckily for her, undercover cop Sam Donovan — her sexy neighbor — is there to lend a helping hand. Will it be enough to save her life? Find out for yourself in this edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense perfect for any true mystery lover.

2. Known by Kendra Elliot

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When Chris finds Gianna and her 16-year-old daughter hiding from the burned wreckage of their vacation house, he doesn't let the ghosts of his past paralyze him into inaction — instead, he is determined to keep them safe and protected. When a blizzard forces the strangers to seek shelter together in Chris's cabin, Gianna finds that she and her knight-in-shining-armor may have more in common than she thought, including dark secrets that could get them all killed. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to get in the way of their instant connection. But there's still a threat lingering out there in the snow, and before Chris and Gianna can get their happy ending, they have to find a way to stay alive.

3. Under the Wire by HelenKay Dimon

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In the fourth installment of HelenKay Dimon's Bad Boys Undercover series, things are getting hotter and even more dangerous than ever before. Reid, a Bad Boy of the Alliance, a secret military security agency, just wants to relax on his well-deserved vacation, but when he gets news that his former fiancé Cara has gone missing on a science expedition, he trades in his sunscreen for his gun and heads out to find his old flame. The danger and fear of a murder lurking in the darkness isn't even enough to cool the reignited spark between the pair of former lovers, and Reid finds himself wondering how he will be able to choose between the woman he loves and his job — a decision he's already made once before. A hot and steamy romance with plenty of action and intrigue to keep mystery readers entertained, Under the Wire will have you sweating for more than one reason.

4. The Shark by Mary Burton

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There's nothing like a grisly murder to reignite sparks between two old flames, or so seems to be the case with Virginia state trooper Riley Tatum and former FBI agent Clay Bowman. The once-couple must reunite to solve the murder of a little girl — but all the clues seem to indicate that the murderer is a serial killer. And both Riley and Clay have experience with this dangerous villain. Can these two former lovers put their feelings aside and finally catch the killer who has been tormenting both of their lives, or will Riley be the next victim? The Shark will have you on the edge of your seat, waiting to find out.

5. Deep Dark by Laura Griffin

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When Laney Knox agreed to help the Austin PD investigate the recent murder of a young girl, she isn't quite sure about their choice of partner: detective Reed Novak. One thing is immediately certain, however: these two complete opposites are attracted to each other. But the deeper Laney and Reed dig into the crime, the more obvious it becomes that Laney may be more than just the cyber investigator on the case — she was also an attempted victim of the killer and even a potential future target. Can the pair put their individual expertise to good use to protect one another, or is their love as doomed as the next murder victim? With witty banter and plenty of hot, sexual tension, this pair will have you rapidly turning the pages to find out.

6.Flawless by Heather Graham

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Kieran just wanted to keep her youngest brother out of trouble when she decided to "unsteal" the precious gem he took from a jewelry store in New York's diamond district. But when she returns to the scene of the crime, she finds herself in the middle of another heist along with FBI agent Craig Frasier. By sheer coincidence, the unlikely pair are thrown together to investigate the string of thefts perpetrated two different gangs of diamond thieves, and the more they work together, the harder it becomes to ignore their undeniable attraction to one another. But what will Craig think when he finds out why Kieran was really at the jewelry store that day? It's a problem she'll have to worry about after they get to the bottom of these crimes.

7.In the Waning Light by Loreth Anne White

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For Meg, writing about true crime comes as second nature, as long as it isn't her own true crime she has to write about. A bestselling author with fame, money, and a wealthy fiancé all her own, Meg's life is perfect, and her sister's grisly attack and murder is buried in her past. But then a reporter prods her into writing about the tragedy that happened over two decades ago. Finally ready to face her deepest, darkest secret, Meg travels to her hometown of Shelter Bay to search for clues about her family's history and her sister's murder. But when she arrives, she finds more than she could have ever imagined. Her family's secrets are darker than she imagined, her sister's past more complicated than she knew, and to top it all off, her high-school sweetheart is more handsome than ever before. Meg can't ignore the sparks between them anymore than she can ignore the warning signs that someone is out there willing to do anything to keep her quiet. A dramatic, heart-thumping read, the only thing more tense than the suspense is the unspoken attraction between these two smart, sexy characters.

8. Forgotten Secrets by Robin Perini

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After Riley Lambert watcher her sister get abducted from her bedroom as a child, she swore she'd never be that helpless again. Now, 15 years later, she uses the painful experience of her past to motivate her to be the best FBI profiler in the game. And she uses her new career's resources to secretly search for her sister. That is, until an old flame from her past — the seductive Navy SEAL Thayne Blackwood — reaches out to her for help after his own sister has been kidnapped. But how closely connected is Thayne's current nightmare to Riley's dark past? As the lines get blurrier and blurrier, the pair must race against the clock (and against their feelings for each other) to try and save the people they care about most in this sexy, action-packed, nail-biting thriller that will keep your heart racing until the very last page.

9. Repressed by Elisabeth Naughton

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When Samantha Parker returns to her hometown of Hidden Falls, she finds everything is exactly the way she left it after her brother's shocking murder nearly 20 years ago. Temporarily working as a teacher in town while she takes care of her mother's estate, Sam finds herself the center of gossip — that is, until Dr. Ethan McClane shows up, and all eyes are on him. A former resident of the town himself, Ethan is thrilled no one recognizes him as the troubled teen he used to be, and even more thrilled when he teams up with Sam to help a young teen in town. The two begin a tantalizing relationship, only to find out that their dark pasts may be more interconnected than they had ever thought. Will their secrets tear them apart, or is their love strong enough to survive — that is, if they can stay alive long enough to find out.

Images: Jacob Rank/Unsplash


Books mystery romance

8 Heart-Racing Mystery Romance Books

Feel the adrenaline course through your veins with these gripping reads that marry romance and mystery.

Promoted by Swoon Reads | By MacKenzie Stuart | Published Apr 16, 2019

mystery romance books

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6 dark romance book recommendations

He dumps a huge cock out of his panties. The head is a few centimeters from my face. I don't know, maybe it was all planned, or it was at that moment that the thought of taking advantage of the.

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Nowhere. And that's all. She couldn't believe it. Their sex lasted several hours, and A.

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