15 Murder Mystery Books for Teens

Have a teen hooked on reading mysteries? We’ve collected together fifteen great murder mystery books for teens, including a spotlight on the popular titles by award winning YA author, Karen M. McManus.

Murder Mystery Books for Teens

Murder Mystery Books for Teens

As with all of the lists in our Best Chapter Books for Kids collection, each title in this list links to an Amazon page (these are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you) where you can find more information and reviews for titles you might not be personally familiar with.

For more book suggestions for your teenage bookworm check out our collections of YA Medical Fiction for Teens, YA Books for Social Emotional Learning and Teen Books Made Into Movies.

Five Little Liars by Amanda K. Morgan Five Little Liars
Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret . . . especially when that secret is a dead teacher.
 Now five students with very different backgrounds must figure out how to trust each other. There’s Ivy, whose fallen from grace but has the chance to be Queen Bee again… if the rest of the group can actually keep quiet.
 Tyler who has always been a bad boy – he’s no stranger to breaking the law, who may just be out of second chances. Kinley is perfect but perfection comes at a price and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her record perfect.
 Mattie isn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely isn’t looking to be involved in a murder, but the only way to avoid his crushing guilt is to turn them all in.
 Cade couldn’t care less about the others, he knows that the only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.
 With the police hot on the case, the five soon discover that this might be the very least of their problems, as the truth is about to revealed. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao Mystery novels for teens
Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top ranked junior at the elite Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. As rumours spread, soon Nancy and her friends, Krystal, Akil, and Alexander, are the prime suspects, thanks to “The Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.
 They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow The Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow (book 1 of the series) by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch The Magpie Society: Mystery books for kids
When the body of a student is discovered at Illumen Hall’s exclusive summer party cracks begin to show in the seemingly perfect, elite boarding school.
 New girl, Audrey, running from her own secrets back home, finds herself thrown into solving the case as despite her best efforts to avoid any drama, her new roommate, Ivy, is desperate to find answers. The two girls can’t stand each other, but as they are drawn deeper into the mystery of this strange and terrible murder, they learn that in order to find the truth they must work together. Something dangerous is most definitely at work in the heart of their superficially perfect school – and it’s called The Magpie Society. Age 12+ years.
Available: Amazon
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (book 1 in a trilogy) by Holly Jackson A Good Girls Guide to Murder
The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. But Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden, secrets someone would kill for. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth? Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
Continue reading the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy;

Jackaby (book 1 in the series) by William Ritter Jackaby murder mystery book
1892. A serial killer is on the loose in New Fiddleham. Newly arrived in town, Abigail Rook finds work as an assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in thrown directly into the case to find the killer. Is the killer an ordinary villain or a supernatural creature the police refuse to believe in. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
The Agathas by Kathleen Glasglow & Liz Lawson The Agathas
The residents of Castle Cove were shook last summer when Alice Ogilive disappeared for five days after her boyfriend Steve dumped her. Perhaps the greatest mystery is that when she returned she refused to talk about what happened. Now another one Steve’s girlfriends has disappeared. Alice and her tutor, Iris, team up to uncover an unforgettable mystery thriller they are determined to solve with the acclaimed Agatha Christie series as their guide.
Available: Amazon

List continues below.

How to Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine How to Survive Your Murder
With old school slasher references and red herrings galore, this awesome title reads as part murder mystery, part horror thriller. Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial. And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart.Now, on the first day of the trial, Alice is knocked out and when she wakes up finds herself again in the Halloween night a year ago, forced to watch her sister’s murder play out again,…but this time she can intervene. Age 14+ years.
Available: Amazon
The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas The Cheerleaders
Five years ago, five cheerleaders were found dead over the span of a just few months. One of them was Jenn, Monica’s older sister. Monica has never believed that her sister’s death was a suicide and when she finds her sisters phone she becomes determined to find out what really happened to the Sunnybrook High cheerleaders.. Age 15+ years.
Available: Amazon
Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro Confessions of a Murder Suspect
On the night her parents were murdered in their home it was secure. Locked tight. With Tandy and her three siblings the only other people inside. And now they are the police’s main suspects. We learn that Tandy and her brothers were test lab guinea pigs for their parents’ pharmaceutical company. They are all capable of the murders and must work to gather to find the killer, but there are still so many family secrets to be uncovered. And Tandy needs someone to confide in – and that someone is the reader. But are her confessions entirely truthful? Age 12+ years.
Available: Amazon
Truly, Devious (book 1 of the trilogy) by Maureen Johnson Truly Devious: Murder Mystery Books for Teens
True crime enthusiast and aspiring detective, Stevie, has one plan for her first term at the mysterious private school, Ellingham Academy – to solve a real life cold case – the disappearance of the wife and daughter of the school’s founder, Albert Ellingham.
Available: Amazon

Karen M. McManus Books in Order

#1 New York Times and international bestselling author, Karen M. McManus has made a splash in the world of young adult murder mystery! She’s best known for her first novel, One of Us is Lying, with the title spending more than 130 weeks on the NYT best-seller list and is now a popular TV series. While most of her titles are standalones and the books can be read in any order, I’ve listed them in order of publication below.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus One of Us is Lying
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
 Bronwyn, Yale-bound, never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the picture perfect homecoming princess with the perfect boyfriend and the perfect image. 
Nate, that kid who is always in detention. 
Cooper, the all-star baseball pitcher. 
And Simon, the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app. On Monday afternoon, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. And according to the police, his death wasn’t an accident and each of the other four students have motive for murder. Or could they in fact be the perfect pawns for a killer who’s still at large? Secrets cloud everything, until only one thing is clear, they must work together to find the killer. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
Read the entire series;

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus Two Can Keep a Secret
Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows. But before school even begins, someone’s promised to make homecoming as dangerous as it was five years ago. And then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus Murder mystery books for teens
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins but they barely know each other, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born for a reason none of them understand. So when they receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised. Their parents agree on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into their grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family’s past really is. Age 13+ years.
Available: Amazon
You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus Youll be the death of me: Murder mystery books for teens
Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Straight A student Ivy lost the student council election to the class clown. Heartthrob Mateo is exhausted – he’s been having to work two jobs ever since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up… again.
 So when Cal pulls into campus late for class and runs into Ivy and Mateo it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They decide to ditch and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Their plans are going almost as well as planned. 
Until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school and decide to follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse! Age 12+ years
Available: Amazon
Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus Nothing More to Tell
Brynn left Saint Ambrose School four years ago, following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher—a story that made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three students in the woods behind the school. The case was never solved. Now Brynn is moving home and starting an internship with a true-crime podcast and she’s determined to find out what really happened.  Told from dual points of views, the story has multiple red herrings and twists and turns that will keeps you guessing!
Available: Amazon

You may also like:

9 Growth Mindset Books for Middle Grades Star Wars YA novels

Graphic novel adaptations of classic novels Coding novels for kids