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Fantasy mystery is the ultimate escapist sub-genre and an absolute delight. What could beat a whodunnit where the killer could easily be “an actual vampire” or “a wizard gone mad?” If you ask me, it doesn’t get better than that.
If you’re looking for your next fantasy mystery read, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re interested in cozies or noir, YA or adult fiction, you’re sure to find a magical mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
9 Fantasy Mystery Books
Murder in G Major (Gethsemane Brown #1) by Alexia Gordon
If you love cozy mysteries, the Gethsemane Brown series is an excellent choice. After accepting a music teaching position at an Irish boarding school, violinist Gethsemane moves into a supposedly haunted cottage. But when she finds herself pursued by a dangerous murderer, her only hope of surviving and bringing the killer to justice may be teaming up with the cottage’s ghostly inhabitants.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
In an alternate Great Britain, futuristic technologies like cloning and time travel are everyday commodities. When the conniving Acheron Hades seeks to erase Jane Eyre (yes, the Jane Eyre) from history, detective Thursday Next is assigned to the case. As she dodges time-space-sucking black holes and reckons with all sorts of anachronistic nightmares, Thursday is the literary world’s only hope of bringing justice to Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte’s poor manuscript.
The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall
Imagine Sherlock Holmes but queer and with a healthy dose of cosmic horror, and you’ve got the delightful and witty Affair of the Mysterious Letter. Captain John Wyndham needs a place to live, and 221B Martyrs Walk is as good as any — even with his temperamental new flatmate, the consulting sorceress Ms. Shaharazad Haas. But when John gets involved in Ms. Haas’s latest case, he is pulled into a world that is so much stranger than he could have imagined.
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris
This quirky paranormal mystery is best known as the inspiration behind the True Blood TV series, and it has been one of my favorite quarantine reads. Waitress Sookie Stackhouse is fascinated by vampires — even more so when one becomes her boyfriend. But a rash of murders that could only have been committed by the undead arises in her town, and Sookie finds herself sucked into the world of Southern vampire crimes.
The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen #1) by Aliette de Bodard
In the rubble of a Paris torn apart by the Great Houses War, its citizens struggle to return to normalcy. The founder of House Silverspires disappeared long ago, and in his wake a frightening figure haunts the ruins. If the house and its inhabitants are to survive, three reluctant figures must seek to redeem it in a society of mystery and political secrets. If not, they will mark the beginning of its destruction.
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Unlike her sister — the renowned magic professor Tabitha Gamble – private investigator Ivy longs for as mundane of a life as possible. But when a horrific murder at Tabitha’s academy for young mages occurs, Ivy loses herself in a world she meant to leave behind as she races to find the culprit.
Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
It would be tough to discuss the fantasy mystery genre without at least mentioning The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is Chicago’s consulting wizard. When a murder seems to have magical origins, he’s on the case. But when a gruesome double murder is committed using black magic, Harry cannot put his guard down for a second while he searches for the killer — lest he become this mysterious black mage’s next victim.
Anonymous Rex by Eric Garcia
In a world where dinosaurs walk among us in disguise, Vincent Rubio is a private investigator — and an undercover velociraptor. When his partner dies under strange circumstances, Vincent must bring his murderer to justice while attempting to deal with his complicated love life.
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
Compelled to find the truth about her father’s mysterious death, young Mary Jekyll searches for the infamous Mr. Hyde — who some say is still alive. Aided on her quest by Hyde’s daughter Diana and England’s most famous consulting detective, Mary delves deep into an underbelly of mad scientists and so-called monsters who are ready to seek revenge.
6 YA Fantasy Mystery Books
Sorcery & Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
Young wizards Cecelia and Kate never expected to find themselves targets of a murder plot but to them, it’s delightfully exciting. As they get to the bottom of these strange goings-on, the two must rely on each other through written correspondence for moral support and a healthy dose of humor.
Missing, Presumed Dead by Emma Berquist
Lexi possesses a dangerous gift: she can see how a person will die just by touching them. After she foresees the horrific death of a young woman named Jane, Lexi is later confronted by Jane’s ghost to help her track down the murderer. But as the two work together to avenge Jane’s death, Lexi can’t help but grow closer to her — and all the while reckon with the guilt of having been unable to save Jane from her fate.
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas
In 19th century England, reluctant socialite Evelyn travels to London to find her missing sister. There Evelyn encounters the supposedly insane Sebastian Braddock, who claims both sisters possess healing magic. But when Evelyn discovers that there’s more to his claims than meets the eye, she must hurry to save her sister from certain danger.
Yu Yu Hakusho, Vol 1 by Yoshihiro Togashi
When delinquent Yusuke Urameshi dies saving a child from being hit by a car, the Underworld brings him back to life as a reward for his good deed. But this time, he has a mission: to investigate supernatural and sometimes demonic mysteries using his martial arts skills.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
One year after graduating from Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley is drawn back to Wincroft among old friends — a seaside estate that she hopes holds answers to her boyfriend Jim’s sudden death. But a knock at the door reveals a mysterious figure who informs then that time has stopped. The only way to move forward is to make an impossible choice — one which may, however, lead to answers about what really happened to Jim.
Jackaby by William Ritter
In search of a job, Abigail Rook finds herself at the doorstep of supernatural investigator R.F. Jackaby. Abigail’s eye for detail complements Jackaby’s ability to see otherworldly figures well, and together they pursue a horrific creature responsible for a string of murders in 19th century New England.
Looking for more speculative mysteries with plenty of twists? Check out these paranormal cozies that are sure to cast a spell on you.