Young Adult Mysteries and Crime Fiction

Whether your interests are in solving a mystery or getting into the mind of a criminal, these titles have something for you, from missing persons to murder to a touch of the supernatual.

Compiled by:
Chris H.
Of Better Blood

Susan Moger
(Young Adult - Y Moger)

Teenage polio survivor Rowan Collier is caught in the crossfire of a secret war against "the unfit." It's 1922, and eugenics has taken hold in America. After years of being confined to hospitals, Rowan is recruited at sixteen to play a born cripple in a county fair eugenics exhibit. But gutsy, outspoken Dorchy befriends Rowan and the two escape the fair and end up at a summer camp on a desolate island run by the New England Eugenics Council. There they discover something is happening to the children. Rowan must find a way to stop the horrors on the island...if she can escape them herself.

The Blackthorn Key

Kevin Sands
(Young Adult - Y Sands)

In 1665 London, fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend, Tom, try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.

The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery

Nancy Springer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Springe)

Pursued by her much older brother, famed detective Sherlock Holmes, fourteen-year-old Enola, disguised and using false names, attempts to solve the kidnapping of a baronet's sixteen-year-old daughter in nineteenth-century London.

City of Saints and Thieves

Natalie Anderson
(Young Adult - Y Anderso)

Sixteen-year-old Tina and two friends leave Kenya and slip into the Congo, from where she and her mother fled years before, seeking revenge for her mother's murder but uncovering startling secrets.

The Cruelty

Scott Bergstrom
(Young Adult - Y Bergstr)

When seventeen-year-old Gwendolyn Bloom's father vanishes, she sets out across Europe under a new identity to bring him back alive, even if that means becoming as cruel as his captors.

The Disappearances

Emily Bain Murphy
(Young Adult - Y Murphy)

Every seven years, an important thing, like scent, disappears from the town of Sterling and Aila, sixteen, is determined to find the cause and how her recently-deceased mother was involved.

The Diviners

Libba Bray
(Young Adult - Y Bray)

17-year-old Evangeline O'Neill can divine information from objects, something that embarrasses her Midwestern parents, and is therefore promptly sent to stay with her uncle who owns a museum of folklore and the occult in 1920s Manhattan. Evie enjoys both the speakeasy nightlife and being involved in the other-worldly murders.

Echo After Echo

Amy Rose Capetta
(Young Adult - Y Capetta)

Zara Evans has come to the Aurelia Theater, home to the visionary director Leopold Henneman, to play her dream role in Echo and Ariston, the Greek tragedy that taught her everything she knows about love. When the director asks Zara to promise that she will have no outside commitments, no distractions, it’s easy to say yes. But it’s hard not to be distracted when there’s a death at the theater — and then another — especially when Zara doesn’t know if they’re accidents, or murder, or a curse that always comes in threes.

The Girl is Murder

Kathryn Miller Haines
(Young Adult - Y Haines)

When her father returns home to New York City after being injured in Pearl Harbor, Iris helps with his private eye business as finances are tight. Even though her new public school is surprising to this former private school girl, Iris is able to adjust and finds herself enjoying all sorts of new company. This noir mystery has it all – style, slang and tons of surprises. Part of the Iris Anderson series.


Gillian French
(Young Adult - Y French)

It's summer in rural Maine; when 17-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn't raking berries with her sister during the day, she's drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry at night. But the fun is what's been keeping Darcy's mind off the disturbing secret she shares with Nell; the disappearance of her ex-best friend; and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, flat on her back, and wondering how she let it get this far.

I Hunt Killers

Barry Lyga
(Young Adult - Y Lyga)

What is it like to be the son of one of the most infamous serial killers? Jasper "Jazz" Dent is the teenage son of Billy Dent, convicted of 123 grisly murders. Jazz becomes involved in some possible copycat murders because of his intimate knowledge of his father's murderous instincts. Lyga combines the dark and grisly details with Jazz's internal conflict in this psychological thriller.

The Murderer's Ape

Jacob Wegelius
(Young Adult - Y Wegeliu)

When her best friend, the sailor Henry Koskela, is falsely accused of murder, a gorilla named Sally Jones visits therun-down docks of Lisbon, embarks on a dizzying journey across the seven seas, and calls on the Maharaja of Bhapur's magnificent court--all in an attempt to clear Henry's name.

The Name of the Star

Maureen Johnson
(Young Adult - Y Johnson)

This creepy and atmospheric mystery follows Rory who leaves her Louisiana home to attend boarding school in modern-day London. Recent Jack the Ripper-like murders have been taking place and Rory gets caught up in this supernatural investigation. The author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes is adept at teen romance and turns the supernatural genre upside down and inside out.

Paper Towns

John Green
(Young Adult - Y Green)

Quentin is weeks away from graduating when his neighbor and long-time crush, Margo, appears at his window in the middle of the night. Margo has plans for a wild adventure, but ends up missing in the morning. Margo's parents don't seem concerned, so Quentin takes it upon himself to follow clues that Margo left behind. How well we know those we love is a haunting mystery indeed.

The Possible

Tara Altebrando
(Young Adult - Y Altebra)

It's been thirteen years since Kaylee's biological mother, Crystal, once infamous for her supposed telekinetic ability, got a life sentence for killing Kaylee's little brother in a fit of telekinetic rage. Today, Kaylee's living a normal life with her adoptive parents and almost never thinks of Crystal. Until a woman shows up on Kaylee's doorstep, asking to interview her for a podcast about her mother. Was the whole telekinesis thing a hoax, or does Crystal have some kind of special powers? Is it possible that Kaylee has them, too?  As the podcast begins airing, everyone in Kaylee's life--everyone in the country--is hearing this dark history and asking questions that even Kaylee has never dared ask herself. 

A Psalm for Lost Girls

Katie Bayerl
(Young Adult - Y Bayerl)

Determined to protect her sister Tess's memory, Callie da Costa sets out to prove Tess wasn't really a saint and finds herself pulled into a kidnapping investigation.

The Riverman

Aaron Starmer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Starmer)

The first book in a trilogy about a girl who claims she is visiting a parallel universe where a nefarious being called The Riverman is stealing the souls of children and the boy she asks to write her biography because she fears her soul may be next.


Harlan Coben
(Young Adult - Y Coben)

Coben writes a popular mystery series for adults featuring Myron Bolitar. In this series for teens, Coben focuses on Bolitar's nephew Mickey who has come to live with him after a tragic accident. Mickey's new girlfriend goes missing and in the course of his investigation he discovers that everything he thought he knew about her was false. This hard-boiled thriller includes an entertaining supporting cast and has a breakneck pace.

A Spy in the House

Y. S. Lee
(Young Adult - Y Lee)

This is the first book in the Agency series, and follows Mary Quinn, a pickpocket who has been rescued from the gallows to be secretly trained to be part of an all-female investigative unit. Mary is a strong character who has learned how to survive just about anything and her first assignment includes missing cargo ships. This fast-paced mystery is packed with fun dialogue, colorful characters and a gritty Victorian setting.

A Study in Charlotte

Brittany Cavallaro
(Young Adult - Y Cavalla)

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends. But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.


Pam Smy
(Young Adult - Y Smy)

Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as a girl unravels the mystery of the abandoned Thornhill Institute next door.

Truly Devious

Maureen Johnson
(Young Adult - Y Johnson)

When Stevie Bell, an amateur detective, begins her first year at a famous private school in Vermont, she sets a plan to solve the cold case involving the kidnapping of the founder's wife and daughter shortly after the school opened. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym "Truly, Devious."


Judith Rossell
(Juvenile Fiction - J Rossell)

Stella, eleven, gets her dreamed-of adventure when something she should not have seen in the damp, dull hotel where she lives with three dreadful aunts on a cliff above Withering-by-Sea sends her on the run from stage magician Professor Starke and his thugs, eluding danger, making new friends, and facing questions about herself.