🏝️ Relax pool-side this summer with these impossible-to-put-down mystery books!

The Charley Project Map and Meaghan Good

When we think of the perfect way to spend our summer, nearly every scenario involves a book that’s impossible to put down — and we’re not going to gatekeep our magical finds for the warm weather.

We’ve gathered 10 acclaimed fictional true crime and mystery books that make the perfect pool-side companion — from popular book club picks to addicting thrillers with captivating characters. 

You’re bound to find something you love. See what we did there? Like book binding? Okay, we’ll stick to advocacy instead of comedy.

Here are the titles that are going to make your summer memories even more memorable.

The Girl Who Wants

Anyone who likes James Patterson’s books will like this one!

Shee McQueen grew up skip-tracing and hunting military criminals with her father, Mick, until someone put a bounty on her head, forcing her underground. Resurfacing years later, she returns to her family’s hotel in Jupiter Beach, FL, to find Mick in a coma, shot by an unknown sniper.

What happened to her father? And why did her lost love, retired SEAL Commander Mason Connelly, just walk into the lobby?

Shee wants answers. But someone wants her dead.

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Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

This book is comfort food for the soul. Every chapter is bursting with wisdom and heart.

Vera Wong is a lonely little old lady who lives above her tea shop in the middle of San Francisco’s Chinatown. When she goes downstairs one morning, she finds a man dead in the middle of her shop — his hand outstretched, holding a flash drive.

Even though she calls the police like any citizen would, Vera swipes the flash drive. Why? Because she is sure she would do a better job at the investigation.

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You Look Beautiful Tonight: A Thriller

A secret admirer’s devotion turns deadly in a twisting novel of psychological suspense.

Mia Anderson is an invisible woman. An unremarkable thirty-two-year-old Tennessee librarian, she’s accustomed to disappearing in a crowd, unseen and unheard. Then she receives an anonymous note: You look beautiful today.

It doesn’t stop there. The attentive stranger―a secret admirer named Adam―has plans for Mia. Slowly, she develops a confidence in herself she’s never had. But Adam has a surprise coming…and Mia finally sees him for who he is and what he’s prepared to do for her. Even kill.

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The Love of My Life: A Novel

Part thriller, part mystery, part heart-wrenching love story, this is a treasure.

Emma loves her husband Leo and their young daughter Ruby: she’d do anything for them. But almost everything she’s told them about herself is a lie.

And she might just have got away with it, if it weren’t for her husband’s job. Leo is an obituary writer; Emma, a well-known marine biologist. When she suffers a serious illness, Leo copes by doing what he knows best – researching and writing about his wife’s life.

But as he starts to unravel the truth, he discovers the woman he loves doesn’t really exist. Even her name isn’t real.

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Just Like Mother

A fierce, frightening novel that examines autonomy, motherhood, and the dark side of feminine power with savage precision.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City, where she keeps everything―and everyone―at a safe distance.

When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. Soon she’s spending more time at Andrea’s remote Catskills estate than in her own cramped apartment.

The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more it triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…

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Don’t Let Her Stay: A Psychological Thriller

An unputdownable psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist

It seemed only five minutes ago that Richard went to the station to pick up Chloe, and now they were here. I was so excited. Finally, I would meet my stepdaughter for the first time, and Chloe would meet her baby sister Evie.

Whenever we’re alone, Chloe makes it clear that she hates me. But in front of her father, she’s a perfect little angel. Richard says I’m not giving her a chance, but he doesn’t see what I see. I don’t trust Chloe, and I certainly won’t leave her alone with Evie.

Because I know something isn’t right with Chloe, and I will do everything possible to protect my family.

Before it’s too late…

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Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law

An irresistible nonfiction investigation into the unpredictable world where wildlife and humans meet.

What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? Three hundred years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, as New York Times best-selling author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are in science.

Combining little-known forensic science and animal facts, her stories create refreshing and world-expanding light reading.

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The Castaways

A secret beach, a holiday of a lifetime. Wish you were here? Think again…

You wake on a beautiful, remote island. Sparkling blue seas, golden sunsets, barely a footprint in the sand. Yet, this is no ordinary escape. Next to the wreck of a plane, a stranger paces. Another person sharpens a knife while others watch from the shadows of a campfire.

What happened here? Who is hiding secrets?

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Her Perfect Family

A gripping psychological thriller from the bestselling author of I Am Watching You.

It’s their daughter’s graduation and Rachel and Ed Hartley are expecting it to be one of their family’s happiest days. But when she stumbles and falls on stage during the ceremony, a beautiful moment turns to chaos: Gemma has been shot, and just like that, she’s fighting for her life.

PI Matthew Hill is one of the first on the scene. A cryptic message Gemma received earlier in the day suggests someone close to her was about to be exposed.

The perfect family? Or the perfect lie?

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Confident Women 

Swindlers, grifters, and shapeshifters of the feminine persuasion.

A thoroughly entertaining and darkly humorous roundup of history’s notorious but often forgotten female con artists and their bold, outrageous scams.

From Elizabeth Holmes and Anna Delvey to Frank Abagnale and Charles Ponzi, audacious scams and charismatic scammers continue to intrigue us as a culture. As Tori Telfer reveals in Confident Women, the art of the con has a long and venerable tradition, and its female practitioners are some of the best — or worst.

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