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.
A Spy in the House

Y. S. Lee
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.

Bog Child

Siobhan Dowd
Y Dowd

The 1980s Northern Ireland setting might be unfamiliar and this mystery includes many details of The Troubles and makes references to the IRA and Long Kesh political prisoners. Even with little or no knowledge of this, readers will be drawn to Fergus and his discovery of a preserved body found in a peat bog. The story of Fergus is intertwined with the story of the bog child, whom Fergus has named Mel. Both characters are entirely likeable and struggle with new romances, political implications and complicated moral choices.

Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things

Kathryn Burak
Y Burak

Claire is repeating her senior year at another school after her mother's suicide and her best friend's disappearance. Emily Dickinson and her museum-displayed dress set the literary tone for this beautifully written mystery which includes snippets of poetry.

I Hunt Killers

Barry Lyga
Y Lyga
Jasper Dent

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.

Paper Towns

John Green
Y Green

Beloved YA author John Green expertly blends a coming of age story with a heartfelt mystery. 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.


Harlan Coben
Y Coben
Mickey Bolitar

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.

The Diviners

Libba Bray
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. In true Libba Bray form, this mystery is laugh-out-loud funny, full of strange details and includes likeable characters who are full of secrets.

The Girl is Murder

Kathryn Miller Haines
Y Haines
Iris Anderson

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.

The Name of the Star

Maureen Johnson
Y Johnson
Shades of London

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.

The Silence of Murder

Dandi Daley Mackall
Y Mackall

When a beloved baseball coach is murdered, the town is convinced that Hope's brother Jeremy is guilty. Because he hasn't spoken for almost ten years, he is unable to defend himself and a lawyer is pressuring Hope to convince the jury that he is insane. Hope's gut tells her differently and in the course of her own investigation she begins to uncover surprising secrets about the town, her family and herself.