KARA TAYLOR is the author of the young adult mystery PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, available now from St. Martin’s Press. The sequel, WICKED LITTLE SECRETS, will be out March 4th, 2014. She’s also the writer and co-executive producer of THE REVENGERS, a TV show in development at the CW. You can find her curled up with her sixteen-pound Chihuahua and a mystery novel.
10. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab— This is a quiet murder mystery with complex characters, a surprising ending, and a spot-on teenage voice.
9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling— You’re probably scratching your head at this one, but I think this book has one of the most skillfully crafted mysteries of all time. I’ve read it about five times and still feel shocked when Rowling reveals who has been sabotaging the TriWizard tournament.
8. Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman— What’s not to love about a foul-mouthed 80-something protagonist hunting down a ruthless killer after treasure?
7. You by Charles Benoit— A killer first line– “You’re surprised at all the blood’– sets up a tense and thrilling mystery told in second person.
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn— Love it or hate it, the plotting and characterization in this book combine for a thrilling read.
5. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King— While not a traditional whodunnit, King skillfully and heartbreakingly reveals the suspicious circumstances behind the death of Charlie, Vera’s best friend. It’s a read that gave me goosebumps.
4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas— Part murder mystery, part thriller, this book has one of the most surprising endings of any YA mystery I’ve ever read.
3. Nightfall by Nelson Demille— This is an adult mystery surrounding the crash of TWA Flight 800. As a Long Islander, the mystery of the crash has always captivated me. Demille’s fictional rendition of the events is twice as captivating as reality.
2. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson— I’m a little partial to boarding school mysteries, obviously. This one has an eerie London setting, combined with a Jack the Ripper copycat killer and a clever paranormal element.
1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn— Disturbing. Unputdownable. I can’t think of enough adjectives to describe Flynn’s debut novel. Not for the faint of heart, but the most brilliant and lingering mystery I’ve ever read.