15 Gripping Thriller and Mystery Books for Book Clubs

gripping thriller and mysteries for book clubs

Book tastes may differ wildly, but good mysteries appeal widely. And you can count on them to add momentum to your book club discussions any day. Mysteries and puzzle-driven thrillers give your group a chance to talk about both the twists and turns of the reading experience and any issues and concepts addressed by the book, providing the opportunity for layered, captivating conversation. So in this blog post, we bring you a list of some of the very best mystery books for book clubs that have been published in recent years.

These books encompass a variety of settings, from the Australian outback to an Ojibwe reservation to suburban New Jersey. They also cast a light on many different areas of society and social issues, from modern-day racism to cult psychology to the history of women in medicine. And of course, they all come highly recommended. Not only have all of these books been rated 5-stars on BookBrowse, but you'll find multiple BookBrowse award winners among them.


Interview: Ukrainian Publisher Vivat Perseveres During Russian Invasion

Vivat is Ukraine's second largest publisher, established in 2013 following the merger of two former publishing houses. Its head office is in Kharkiv, Ukraine's largest city after Kyiv, in the northeast near the border with Russia.

Vivat currently has 3,000 books in print and, in a normal year, would release about 400 new titles covering nonfiction, fiction, children's and young adult literature. Its slogan "read, dream, act" exemplifies its mission to popularize reading and promote Ukrainian authors.

In this interview, Vivat CEO Julia Orlova talks about the company's efforts to continue operations during the Russian invasion, the increased international demand for Ukrainian books, and its authors fighting on the front lines.

When you went to bed on the night of February 23rd, did you believe Putin would attack? Had Vivat made preparations in case there was an invasion?

Julia Orlova, Vivat CEOAt four in the morning of February 24th, I was awake texting on Facebook. I posted that it seemed that half of Kharkiv must be awake, as there was already public information about a possible Russian invasion. After that I tried to sleep. Then, around five, I heard the explosions. It was such an incomparable feeling of absolute horror and panic. However, I had to pull myself together as difficult decisions had to be made for the future of the whole company.

I did not want to believe in a full-scale war until the last moment, as most Ukrainians did not. As a matter of fact, I did not believe that such a thing was possible at all in the 21st century. Vivat worked as usual until the day of the invasion. We were preparing new books, not war plans; but just the day before there had been discussions with colleagues about so-called "anxiety suitcases" as some had already packed them. But essentially all the decisions and actions made to save the business have been made after the war began.


The Most Popular Book Club Books of 2021

The most popular book club books of 2021

We recently asked BookBrowse subscribers to tell us about the books they most enjoyed discussing with their book group in 2021. This is what they told us:


Kalani Pickhart Interview: Debut Author Talks Ukraine

Kalani Pickhart, I Will Die in a Foreign LandKalani Pickhart's debut novel I Will Die in a Foreign Land follows four central characters through the tumultuous days of Ukraine's Euromaidan protests that took place between November 2013 and February 2014. The protests are so named because they were centered on Kyiv's Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) and were triggered by then President Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign an agreement with the European Union that had been overwhelmingly approved by Ukraine's parliament. The protesters also opposed the overt and widespread corruption of Yanukovych and his ministers. As a result of the protests, an agreement was signed in late February 2014 by Yanukovych that called for the creation of an interim government, constitutional reforms and early elections. Shortly after, Yanukovych and his ministers fled to Russia, and Russia annexed Crimea and the Donbas region.


Elevate Your Mood! 16 Uplifting Books for Book Clubs

16 uplifting books for book clubs

Could your book club use some uplifting books for a change? Many book groups make a point of choosing reading that will lead to serious discussions of important issues, but it's also important to foster the sense of joy and well-being that books can bring into our lives.

Plus, "uplifting" doesn't have to mean insubstantial. Plenty of books that address unpleasant realities still land on a hopeful note and leave room to feel positive about the future. Books that focus on social and political problems can do so through a lens of human closeness and community, and those that include sadness and grief can also offer plenty of humor and heart.

Whether you're looking for a cozy mystery, a travel adventure, a societal critique with a funny and optimistic bent, or a story that celebrates the strong ties between people maintained over years or generations, we have something for you. The list below includes all types of uplifting books from recent years that come highly recommended from our reviewers or from BookBrowse members participating in our First Impressions early reader program.


26 Short Books for Book Clubs

26 discussion-friendly short books for book clubs (under 250 pages)

Looking for short books for your book club? As fulfilling as participating in a book group can be, keeping up with the reading is no easy feat. If your group is on the lookout for short reads that still pack a punch, look no further. We've put together a wide variety of intriguing novels, memoirs and short story collections that all clock in at less than 250 pages.

All of these books are viewable on BookBrowse, and for the vast majority we've included excerpts below from our own reviews. Many also have reading guides accessible through our website to help generate discussion. These short books range from National Book Award and Pulitzer winners to lesser-known works deserving of attention.

In general, we've veered towards newer selections with this list, in order to provide you and your book club with a fresh crop of books recommended by BookBrowse reviewers in recent years, but we've also thrown in a handful of beloved older works that remain relevant. Happy reading!


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Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
Interview with Vivat, Ukrainian publisher based in Kharkiv