The Best Mystery Novels of 2012

This is our list of the The Best Mystery Novels of 2012. This list of The Best Mystery Novels of 2012 has been compiled using some of the internet’s most reliable sources. You may view these sources at the end of this post. We hope you find your next great read and remember to bookmark this page for future reference. This list of The Best Mystery Novels of 2012 is in no particular order.

It’s time for our mid-year list of the best new mystery books available. All of the books listed below are the best 2012 has to offer so far in mystery novels as well as several suspense and crime novels as well. Keep your eyes peeled for our final top ten list at the end of the year!


1Defending JacobDefending Jacob: A Novel, by William Landay

This exciting, dark, and heart wrenching courtroom thriller is the first book on our list of The Best Mystery Novels of 2012. Defending Jacob by former DA and author William Landay is set in a small suburban town in Massachusetts. The protagonist in the story is Andy Barber who has been an assistant DA as well as devoted husband for over 20 years. When there is a devastating murder of one of the local high school students, Andy works ferociously to uncover the mystery and bring justice to light. What he uncovers shocks Andy and his family beyond any of his wildest nightmares. His son Jacob, who attended the same school as the victim, slowly becomes the main suspect in the case as more and more evidence surfaces. Andy is torn between the love of his son who says he’s innocent, and the unthinkable…as his 20 year marriage begins to crumble right before his eyes during the trial of their lives.

2Gone GirlGone Girl: A Novel, by Gillian Flynn

Witty humor meets breathless suspense in this terrifying and suspenseful murder mystery. On the five year wedding anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne, while gifts are being wrapped and a romantic evening is being planned, Amy Dunne mysteriously disappears. During the investigation all fingers are beginning to point at Nick although he swears his innocence. Written in points of view by both Amy and Nick and simultaneously switching between the two, the reader is left with a web of lies, deceit, and a yearning for uncovering the truth…of which is much deeper than anyone could possibly expect. This book will leave you on the edge of your seat as each page and each chapter reveals something new and even more important than before. Read it carefully or read it twice as there are many small details that could easily be missed. A must have on our list of !

3Robert B. Parker's LullabyRobert B. Parker’s Lullaby, by Ace Atkins

Chosen by the Parker estate, author Ace Atkins pays homage to the late great Robert B. Parker by continuing the Spenser novels with this fantastic take on the series and Spenser’s character. A 14 year old girl named Mattie Sullivan loses her mother and is left to care for her younger siblings as well as a drunk grandmother in a poor neighborhood in South Boston. She begins looking into her mother’s murder and feels dissatisfied with what she finds as she believes the wrong man is behind bars and intends to set the record right with the help of Spenser. Spenser is not immediately convinced that the prior investigation was mishandled until more information surfaces and bringing up the past is not in favor by the local police department or the neighborhood thugs. This job becomes more dangerous than Spenser could have imagined.

4Prague FatalePrague Fatale, by Philip Kerr

Hitler’s Berlin, September 1941, a former military man named Bernie Gunther has now returned from fighting on the Eastern front to reclaim his post as a Kripo homicide detective now controlled by the vicious boss of the SS, Reinhard Heydrich, known as “The Hangman”. Bernie, amidst a homicide case of a railway worker and beginning his life at home again with a new girl, he is ordered to drop everything and spend a week at the country home of his boss. When a body is found in one of the rooms, Bernie begins the most important investigation of his career…not only because of its political standing, but also to save face and prove his skills as a detective. With over 30 nazi members staying at the castle as guests, Bernie has his work cut out for him as he now has over 30 “murderers” as suspects. Originally published in 2011 but was republished again in 2012 and is quickly becoming one of the bestselling mystery books of the year.

5The Gods of GothamThe Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsay Faye

The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye is one of our favorite books for this list of the best mystery novels of 2012. It’s 1941 in New York and the first police force has just been created. A bartender named Timothy Wilde has saved just about $400 worth of silver in hopes that this will be enough to ask the minister’s daughter to marry him, when a violent fire leaves him penniless and facially disfigured. With nowhere to turn, his brother gets him a job on the new police force where he will be, much to his dismay, be working in the notorious slums of New York. It’s one evening, when he encounters a small girl covered in blood that will change his life, his career, and the streets of New York…forever. Without wanting to abandon the girl, he brings her home where she tells him elaborate stories of bodies buried in the forest, which leads him on an investigations that risks all that he holds dear, including his own life and the life of her brother, the only family he has left.

6The Girl Next DoorThe Girl Next Door: A Mystery, by Brad Parks

Brad Parks delivers yet again with The Girl Next Door, Carter Ross Mystery Series #3. Investigative reporter Ross Carter is back again sniffing around and poking his nose in places that could get him in trouble. This time, his story is intended to be a mere tribute to a young girl, Nancy Marino, who died far too young in what seems to be a devastating hit and run. Nancy was a sweet and caring girl, the typical girl next door and an upstanding citizen. Carter visits Nancy’s wake in order to collect some more information from the family where he is surprised to find out that Nancy may have had some enemies and this simple case could be more intricate than he thought. Getting in trouble with the editors and his bosses doesn’t deter Carter. He just can’t let this story go, and is determined to get to the bottom of it.

7Catch MeCatch Me, by Lisa Gardner

Catch Me, book 6 in the Detective D.D. Warren series, is a page-turning, thrilling detective investigation surrounding the accounts of one woman. Is she to be believed and trusted or is she the reason there is a case at all? Charlie turns to detective D.D. with a chilling story of how every year on January 21st at 8:00pm one of her best friends has been murdered. She is the last one and believes she will be the next to die in 4 days time. She asks the detective to handle the investigation after the murder, and says that it will not appear as a homicide. Charlie is a tough woman, a fighter she says and this amongst other things raises suspensions in Detective D.D.’s mind as to whether Charlie is in trouble at all. Could she be hiding a lifelong secret? Could Charlie be the perpetrator? Detective D.D. is in a race against the clock to find out what happened in the other homicides, and who is to blame. What she discovers might put her own life at risk.

8Believing the LieBelieving the Lie, by Elizabeth George

Inspector Thomas Lynley is on the hunt again in Believing the Lie, the 17th book in the series. Sent undercover to investigate an “accidental drowning” of Ian Creswell of an important and wealthy family, Lynley along with two of his friends Simon and Deborah, begin investigating members of the family including Bernard Fairclough, Ian’s uncle who called on the investigation and his recovering drug-addict son Nicholas and his wife. As the trio delves deeper into the lives of the Fairclough family members, they uncover a web of lies and deceit that could lead them to the true reasons behind Ian’s death.

9Raylan: A NovelRaylan: A Novel, by Elmore Leonard

Last but certainly not least on our list of the best mystery novels of 2012 is Elmore Leonard’s Raylan: A Novel, the third part in a series of three interlacing stories. Written by one of the greatest crime authors in Ameirca, Raylan: A Novel, follows the career of U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens who stars on the tv series Justified. The coal mines have been closed and money tight in Harlan County. Marijuana has just become one the most lucrative business in town. When the drug trade isn’t enough a couple of criminal brothers discover the business of selling body parts for cash rewards. Hard hitting, fast-drawing, Marshall Raylan Givens is determined to stop them when he finds himself in a bathtub full of water with transplant nurse, Layla, standing over him prepared to take his kidneys. This fast-paced novel full of female villains is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat while rooting for Raylan as he struggles to tie all loose ends in the crime filled Harlan County.

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