25 Best Mystery Books For Teens To Read

Mystery Books For Teens

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Reading is one of those good habits that can never fade out. If your child has loved reading books in the past, chances are he would love reading in his teens too. There is a plethora of amazing books out there that will be just perfect for him.

Teens love to read about things that have a certain mystery, adventure or thrill in them. Keeping the same in mind, we thought it would be great to come up with some interesting book titles that are from the mystery genre and are aimed for the teen reader. If you would like to share some mystery books for teens, do have a look at our recommendation list below.

Top 25 Mystery Books For Teens

Here is our list of 25 of the best mystery books that are aimed at teen readers and that are sure to give your teen some very interesting reading time:

1. Paper Towns By John Green:

  • John Green is one of those authors who have given a new definition to teen and young adult (YA) books.
  • Paper Towns by John Green was first published in the year 2008.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 345 pages.
  • The book was awarded the 2009 Edgar Award for the best young adult novel and the movie adaptation of the novel came out in the year 2015.
  • The story revolves around the protagonist Quentin Q Jacobsen, who is seen searching for his neighbor and childhood love interest, Margo Roth Spiegelman. It is a coming of age novel through which the youngsters discover a lot more about the Margo that they thought they knew about.
  • While they were young, Quentin and Margo had accidentally discovered the corpse of a divorced man. One night, Margo arrives at Quentin’s home in the middle of the night and informs him that she has planned to get revenge on those who have hurt her through her school years.
  • The plot moves through Margo’s mission for revenge and comes with a sudden twist later, where readers discover a lot more to Margo’s personality than meets the eye. This book is one of the best teen mystery books.

[ Read: Best Adventure Books For Teens ]

2. Need By Joelle Charbonneu:

  • Need by Joelle Charbonneu was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 352 pages.
  • The story is set in the town of Nottawa, Wisconsin, where all the teens are suddenly joining a new networking site which seems to be all the rage. All they have to do is answer just one simple question – What do you really need?
  • It could be anything from a brand new phone to passes to a popular concert or just about anything. In exchange for that need, the teens will just have to perform one small task that the NEED site asks them to do.
  • Protagonist Kaylee Dunham is in need for a donor kidney that will save her brother, and feels that joining the site would do no harm. Even though she does not really believe the NEED site can help her, she still decides to go ahead and take a chance.
  • Once she does reveal her need, she realizes that the price she will have to pay for it may not be as easy as she thought. In her quest to find out what’s going on, she discovers a chilling mystery, but is not sure if time is running out for her.
  • Liars Inc by Paula Stokes was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 362 pages.
  • The story follows the main protagonist Max, who believes that playing around with a few harmless lies here and there can never do any real harm. He soon starts selling forged permission slips and cover stories to students in his school, in return for which he makes some extra money during his senior year.
  • Once the scheme gets popular, he begins a group called Liars Inc along with two of his friends, Preston and Parvati.
  • One day, Max helps Preston with some lies of his own when the latter wants to hook up with a girl he met online. But things take a turn when Preston never returns.
  • Soon the cops discover his body, and as the clues start surfacing, the clear suspect turns out to be Max, who is desperate to find out what really happened, and to see whether he can find the real killer before he is sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit.

3. Liars Inc. By Paula Stokes:

  • Liars Inc by Paula Stokes was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 362 pages.
  • The story follows the main protagonist Max, who believes that playing around with a few harmless lies here and there can never do any real harm. He soon starts selling forged permission slips and cover stories to students in his school, in return for which he makes some extra money during his senior year.
  • Once the scheme gets popular, he begins a group called Liars Inc along with two of his friends, Preston and Parvati.
  • One day, Max helps Preston with some lies of his own when the latter wants to hook up with a girl he met online. But things take a turn when Preston never returns.
  • Soon the cops discover his body, and as the clues start surfacing, the clear suspect turns out to be Max, who is desperate to find out what really happened, and to see whether he can find the real killer before he is sentenced for a crime he didn’t commit.

4. The Cellar By Natasha Preston:

  • The Cellar by Natasha Preston was first published in the year 2014.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 396 pages.
  • The story begins with the mysterious disappearance of sixteen year old Summer Robinson, which leaves her family, her boyfriend and her friends in shock. Summer lives in a small town where nothing big ever happens, so this sudden disappearance rocks the entire town.
  • The police launch a massive search operation along with the locals, but there is no trace of the young girl.
  • On the other hand is 30 year old Colin Brown, who has lived through a traumatic and abusive childhood and has no moral sense of right or wrong. In his quest to create the perfect family for himself, Colin is ready to go to any lengths to get what he wants, or who he wants.

5. The Silence Of Murder By Dandi Daley Mackall:

  • The Silence Of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall was first published in the year 2011.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 336 pages.
  • The book won the 2012 Edgar Award for the best young adult book.
  • The story revolves around the 17 year old protagonist Hope Long, who has always ordered her brother Jeremy around. She is aghast when Jeremy is accused of killing the baseball coach of the town.
  • While all clues point towards Jeremy as the killer, he has not spoken at all in the last nine years, and is not able to defend himself against the accusations. Their lawyer suggests it better to convince the jury that Jeremy is insane, but Hope knows her brother is not insane, he is only different from others, and maybe even better.
  • She sets out on a mission to prove her brother innocent. In the process comes across some chilling clues which tell her that her brother is not the killer, but which make her scared of finally finding out who the real killer is. This book is one of the interesting murder mystery books for teens with strong motives, and great clues.

6. Shelter By Harlan Coben:

  • Shelter by Harlan Coben was first published in the year 2011.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 288 pages.
  • The story revolves around the protagonist Mickey, who was a witness to his father’s death and saw his mother being sent to rehab. Now he is trying to start a new life by getting to a new place and a new school.
  • Here he meets a girl named Ashley and develops a love interest, but things take a turn when she suddenly disappears.
  • Even as Mickey begins to look for her, he finds out that Ashley is not the person she claims she was, and that there is much more to the truth than what Mickey was expecting to unravel.

[ Read: Fiction Books For Teens ]

7. We Were Liars By E. Lockhart:

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart was first published in the year 2014.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 242 pages.
  • The story revolves around a distinguished family, around a brilliant but damaged girl, around a passionate and political boy, an accident, a secret, a private island, and a group of four friends who call themselves the LIARS.
  • As the lies begin, there never is an end. This is one of the best mystery books for teens to enjoy over the holidays.

8. Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher:

  • Thirteen Reasons Why By Jay Asher was first published in the year 2012.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 288 pages.
  • The story revolves around protagonist Clay Jensen who finds a mysterious box on his porch. Inside, there are thirteen cassette tapes that are recorded by Hannah Baker, his crush and classmate who had committed suicide two weeks before.
  • Hannah says that there are thirteen reasons that led her to commit suicide and that each person who is on the list will receive the package. The listener has to listen to the tapes and find out their role in the suicide, and then pass it on to another person who is on the accused list.

9. I Was Here By Gayle Forman:

  • I Was Here by Gayle Forman was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 270 pages.
  • The story revolves around a young girl named Cody, whose best friend Meg commits suicide in a motel room. The two girls had shared everything with each other about their lives, so Cody is understandably shocked.
  • When she decides to delve deeper behind the reason why Meg took her life, she finds out that there are a lot of things that she never really knew about her best friend.

10. Kill You Last By Todd Strasser:

  • Kill You Last by Todd Strasser was first published in the year 2011.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 240 pages.
  • The story revolves around the protagonist Shelby, a young girl whose father is a famous photographer and shoots young teen girls who are desperate to break it in the modeling industry.
  • Soon Shelby stumbles upon news reports of teen girls who are disappearing around town, and all three of the girls happen to be her father’s clients. As the investigation begins, Shelby starts getting threatening emails herself.
  • She is desperate to clear her father of the accusations, but what if she herself doesn’t know what is true?

11. The Name Of The Star By Maureen Johnson:

  • The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson was first published in the year 2011.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 372 pages.
  • The story revolves around the protagonist Rory who starts a new life in London in a boarding school. But the same day that she attends the school, a series of mass brutal murders begin, which the police starts to investigate but is clueless about.
  • There are no witnesses to be found, except Rory, who thinks she knows for sure who the murderer is. But even as she is puzzled about how it could escape the notice of others, it seems she may just be on the murderer’s next list of victims herself.

12. Code Name Verity By Elizabeth Wein:

  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein was first published in the year 2012.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 441 pages.
  • The story is set in the year 1943 and revolves around the trail of war. It follows the protagonist who has landed in Nazi-occupied France, and has to tell all that she can to the forces who now know of her existence.
  • But what she cannot tell them is who she truly is, if she really wants to stay alive.It is one of the good mystery books for teens where they have narrated the story very beautifully.

13. Bone Gap By Laura Ruby:

  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 373 pages.
  • The story is set in the town called Bone Gap, where people keep on disappearing but nothing feels out of the ordinary. But when a young girl named Roza disappears, Finn is determined to find her by any means. He knows that she did not just disappear or run away. He is sure that she was kidnapped by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember now.
  • Searches are carried on but nothing comes up, but readers will find out more about the past and present of the town’s residents that will add a chilling twist to the tale.

14. The Lie Tree By Frances Hardinge:

  • The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 413 pages.
  • The book revolves around the protagonist Faith, a young girl whose father is found dead without any proper clues. While Faith searches through her father’s belongings, she finds out about a strange tree which is said to feed on lies and bears fruits that tell about hidden secrets. The condition is that the lies have to be really big, so that more people believe it and more truths can be uncovered.
  • Faith realizes she can be good at lying, and so, to find out about how her father died, she starts spreading lies as much as she can.
  • Soon her lies get out of control and she is at the verge of having all truths shattered.

15. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs:

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was first published in the year 2011.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 352 pages.
  • The story features a mysterious island, an abandoned orphanage and a very strange collection of mysterious photographs.
  • The protagonist, sixteen year old Jacob, has to leave the life he knows after a horrific tragedy strikes his family. While on the run, he reaches the ruins of a place known as Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
  • Jacob goes looking through the abandoned and empty bedrooms and places, and soon realizes that the children who lived there were anything but normal. Each child seems to be extremely peculiar, nothing like he has ever experienced before.
  • Soon he starts to come up with possible reasons about why these kids had been kept in this island. Maybe they were dangerous to society. Maybe they had committed some unexplainable atrocities. Maybe they were suffering from some mysterious disease and had been quarantined. But it was all so long ago that Jacob feels there is no way for him to find out anymore. And even as impossible as it seems, he has a feeling that the children are still alive, and may even be as young as they seem in the pictures.

[ Read: Vampire Books For Teens ]

16. I Am The Messenger By Markus Zusak:

  • I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak was first published in the year 2006.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 360 pages.
  • The protagonist, Ed, is an underage cabbie who leads a very simple and uneventful life. All that changes when he ends up stopping a bank robbery without really thinking about it.
  • Soon the first ace reaches his doorstep, a beginning that will see him turn messenger for someone he has no idea about.
  • The messages make him help or hurt, depending upon the sender’s mood. But who is the sender?

17. Blood Brothers By S. A. Harazin:

  • Blood Brothers by S. A. Harazin was first published in the year 2007.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 240 pages.
  • The protagonist is seventeen year old Clay, who works at a hospital as he is not financially sound. His best friend is Joey, a rich young teenager who seems to have the perfect life.
  • But one day the perfect life of his best friend is shattered, when he is brought to the hospital on a drug overdose from a party. Clay is determined to find out exactly what happened at the party that brought his best friend to this condition.

18. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time By Mark Haddon:

  • The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon was first published in the year 2004.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 226 pages.
  • The story revolves around fifteen year old Christopher, who has the brain of a genius and can talk about anything – from all the countries in the world and their capitals to all the prime numbers till 7057. He absolutely loves and connects with animal but cannot tolerate human company.
  • Christopher hates the color yellow, just as much as he hates being touched by anyone.
  • One day, his neighbor’s dog gets killed and the sudden change in routine brings his life to a crashing halt.
  • Christopher resolves to find out just what happened, and without knowing what he is about to uncover, the readers are taken on an amazing tale of genius and mystery.

19. Vanishing Girls By Lauren Oliver:

  • Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 357 pages.
  • The story revolves around two sisters, Dara and Nick, who are inseparable. But when an accident scars Dara’s face, things change and the sisters drift apart. Nick vanishes on Dara’s birthday, and Dara is convinced she is just doing this to have some fun.
  • But another young girl vanishes too, and soon Dara believes that the two disappearances are somehow linked.

20. The Art Of Secrets By James Klise:

  • The Art Of Secrets by James Klise was first published in the year 2014.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 272 pages.
  • The story revolves around Saba Khan, a young girl whose apartment gets burnt down after a mysterious fire, which is seen as a possible hate crime.
  • With a lot of support from her school, she moves into a luxury apartment with her family and suddenly becomes popular on social media, even secretly dating a very popular guy.
  • Even as help for the family keeps pouring in, a mysterious donor donates a painting which is worth a fortune. Suddenly, there is mystery, jealousy and confusion in Saba’s life, as she tries to make sense of everything that is going on.

[ Read: Best Novels For Teens ]

21. Divergent By Veronica Roth:

  • Divergent by Veronica Roth was first published in the year 2012.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 487 pages.
  • The movie adaptation came out in the year 2014.
  • The story is set in the future in a dystopian society, where the protagonist, Beatrice, is ready to be initiated into one of the five factions that rule her society – Candor (honest), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful) and Erudite (intelligent).
  • Each year on an appointed date, all the sixteen year olds of the society have to select one of the five factions where they will spend the rest of their lives, giving up on their family forever.
  • The competitions and the need to fight for survival will keep the readers on edge till the end, with twists and turns coming up on almost each page. Divergent by Veronica Broth is one of the top mystery books for teens.

22. Behind The Curtains By Peter Abrahams:

  • Behind The Curtains by Peter Abrahams was first published in the year 2007.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 400 pages.
  • The story revolves around Ingrid, a young girl who finds her perfect family life suddenly changing swiftly.
  • Her father is in danger of losing his job, while her brother suddenly starts showing a crazy amount of aggression.
  • Even as she tries to investigate what’s going on, she is kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a car. One thing she knows for sure, is that even if she does escape, no one will believe what she has to say now. It can be one of the interesting and popular teen mystery books.

[ Read: Fantasy Books For Teens ]

23. Don’t Turn Around By Michelle Gagnon:

  • Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon was first published in the year 2012.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 309 pages.
  • The protagonist is Nora, a young sixteen year old girl who loses her parents and ends up being a victim of the system. She soon makes use of her hacking skills to manage life on her own.
  • One day, she wakes up in a warehouse, lying on a table, with IV in her arm and no memory about what happened or how she reached there.

24. There Will Be Lies By Nick Lake:

  • There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake was first published in the year 2015.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 464 pages.
  • The story follows Shelby and her mother as they seem to run away from the life they have known.
  • In four hours, she will be hit by a car. After that, they will get out of the hospital and start a journey without any apparent end in sight.
  • Shelby soon starts to question all that she has known about her life till now or the people in it, and realizes there is no one really that she can trust ever again.

25. Complicit By Stephanie Kuehn:

  • Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn was first published in the year 2014.
  • It belongs to the mystery genre and has 256 pages.
  • The protagonist is sixteen year old Jamie, who is relieved when his older sister is sent to juvenile detention after she was convicted of arson. Cate was a normal girl till she suddenly started getting aggressive, got into drugs and drinking, violence, and even playing mind games.
  • But now that Cate is being released, Jamie finds his world ready to turn upside down. She has to tell him the truth about their past, the truth that she was meant to guard as a secret but now wants to share.

Do try and let your teen read as many of the mystery books mentioned above as possible. And remember that even though most of these are labelled as YA, adults will love the gripping stories too.

Moms, if you have read any of the above teenage mystery books, do share your review here.

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