Is there anything more autumnal than curling up in your favorite cozy spot and enjoying a good mystery? Aside from a pumpkin spice latte, probably not. With fall leaves and temperatures finally here, I’ve been voraciously reading some top-tier autumnal mysteries that should definitely be added to your reading list. If you love the supernatural and a mystery that’s uplifting and not grisly, these books are for you. For an even cozier reading experience, I’ve included the perfect fall beverage pairings with each book.
Our heroine Leda Foley is a lot of things: a great friend, struggling travel agent, and psychic with unreliable powers. It’s just another day when Leda impulsively rebooks Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight…only for his original plane to blow up before departure. Realizing Leda’s role in his good fortune, Grady decides her psychic abilities might be the key to cracking an unsolved mystery. With her honed clairvoyance and surprisingly helpful karaoke skills, Grady and Leda might just catch a killer that haunts them both.
Pairs well with loose leaf tea (to try your hand at seeing the future) and the second book in the series, Flight Risk, already in your shopping cart.
A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective try to solve a murder in this “ebullient tap dance of a mystery” (Christopher Moore, New York Times bestselling author)—perfect for fans of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan series.
Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. Impulsively re-booking Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, she has no idea that her life is about to change in ways she could have never foretold.
When his original plane blows up on the runway, Grady begins to suspect that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack. Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees to join the investigation for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved.
Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help that sad case, but she’s been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights, where she performs her klairvoyant karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a ragtag group of bar patrons and pals, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.
Samuel Johnson doesn’t mess around when it comes to Halloween. This year he’s determined to start the festivities three days early and goes trick-or-treating with his dachshund, Boswell. His early Halloween excursion takes him to 666 Crowley Road, and Samuel notices some strange things in the home of the Abernathys that have nothing to do with candy. A night of childhood fun quickly turns into the battle of good versus evil when the gates of hell appear in the Abernathys’ basement and out comes Satan himself. The fate of the world now lies in Samuel’s ability to harness the power of science, faith, and love.
Pairs well with cinnamon hot chocolate to ward off any demons in your life.
Bursting with imagination and impossible to put down, this “wholly original” (People) and “refreshing” (San Francisco Chronicle) novel from New York Times bestselling author John Connolly is about the pull between good and evil, physics and fantasy—and a quirky boy, who is impossible not to love, and the unlikely cast of characters who give him the strength to stand up to a demonic power.
Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween, which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe, a gap through which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out...
Can one small boy defeat evil? Can he harness the power of science, faith, and love to save the world as we know it?
Tuesday Mooney is a loner, and she likes it that way—thank you very much. Her evenings are better spent watching Twin Peaks or X-Files DVDs…that is until an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving behind an Edgar Allan Poe–inspired treasure hunt to earn a share in his riches. Unable to resist a good puzzle, Tuesday joins an unlikely group of prize hunters and together they unravel the mysterious clues. But Tuesday soon realizes this isn’t just any treasure hunt—she, along with the other searchers, will have to face ghosts from their pasts and the inner workings of their hearts.
Pairs well with Amontillado sherry for the full eccentric billionaire experience.
After a tragic childhood, Maud Drennan masks her pain behind a sunny disposition and a career as a caregiver. Other than an agoraphobic neighbor, Maud keeps mostly to herself and focuses on her work. Her quiet life goes through a sudden upheaval when Cathal Flood needs her help. Mr. Flood’s son is determined to kick his father out of his Gothic mansion and into an old-age home. Even though Mr. Flood’s past caretaker ran away from the menacing old man, Maud knows she’s his last chance and agrees to help. Together, they work to get the house in order, finding they have more in common than one might expect.
Pairs well with hot apple cider to counteract the Gothic mansion vibes.
When Hazel’s adoptive grandfather dies in a suspected suicide, she’s surprised to receive a letter revealing a secret organization trying to steal his final bombshell equation. After all, Hazel’s grandfather is none other than the world-renowned mathematician, Isaac Severy. Tasked with locating the equation and taking it to Isaac’s trusted colleague, Hazel’s journey turns fraught when she realizes others are searching for this equation that could mean disaster for the whole Severy family. Hazel unravels clue after clue, but eventually she must seek help from some questionable sources. While there's not much of a supernatural element in this book, it's still a perfect mystery for fall!
Pairs well with a hazelnut latte as an ode to our heroine and eccentric family.
*Wall Street Journal’s “Mysteries: Best of 2018”
*Book of the Month Club Selection
*Edgar Award Nominee: Best First Novel by an American Author
A “hugely entertaining” (Wall Street Journal) mystery starring “a Royal Tenenbaums-esque clan of geniuses” (Martha Stewart Living)—perfect for fans of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.
In this “riveting…brilliant” (Booklist) debut, Hazel Severy, the owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from her adoptive grandfather—mathematician Isaac Severy—days after he dies in a suspected suicide. In his puzzling letter, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.
While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch.
As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son—a theoretical physicist—and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of confounding clues hidden inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.
“A novel that is anything but clueless, filled with consideration and compassion” (The Washington Post), The Last Equation of Isaac Severy proves that, like Hazel, you don’t have to love math to fall under the Severy spell.
Sixty-year-old Vera Wong loves two things: sipping a good cup of tea and doing a little internet sleuthing. How else is she supposed to know if her son is dating anyone yet? When a dead man is found in the middle of her tea shop, Vera is determined to put her detective skills to good use. After all, a suspicious Chinese mother with time on her hands is always going to sniff out wrongdoing better than the police. With the tea motif and a creepy whodunnit threaded throughout, this is another great fall mystery.
Pairs well with chai anything…just be careful—your tea might get spilled.
Photo credit: iStock / Ekaterina Naumenko