12 must-read Canadian mysteries, thrillers and books about crime

If you're looking for a good crime read this summer, we have 12 great recommendations for you.

If you're looking for a good crime read this summer, look no further. Here are 12 great Canadian reads to check out this summer.

Cold Skies by Thomas King

Thomas King is the author of several books, including the mystery novel Cold Skies. (Trina Koster, HarperCollins Canada)

Thomas King returns to mysteries with Cold Skies, the third DreadfulWater mystery. Thumps DreadfulWater is finally retired and living a quiet life in a small town. But when a body turns up, the sheriff department turns to DreafulWater for help, and even though he'd rather stay out of it, he finds himself immersed in something bigger than he could have ever imagined. 

Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley

Nathan Ripley is the author of the thriller Find You in the Dark. (Simon & Schuster)

This thriller by Naben Ruthnum, under his pen name of Nathan Ripley, delivers this tale of a family man obsessed with digging up the undiscovered remains of a serial killer's victims, catching the attention of a murderer on the streets of Seattle.

Human Remains by Melissa Yi

Melissa Yi is the author of the Hope Sze medical mystery series . (Melissa Yi/Windtree Press)

When Dr. Hope Sze decided to spend a month doing research at a stem cell lab in Ottawa, she expected to have a quiet and productive month. But that all changes when she discovers a dead body in the snow. And this man's death is just the first of many. Hope must figure out what is happening and who is responsible, before it's too late. 

Hysteria by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the author of thriller novel Hysteria. (Ayelet Tsabari/HarperCollins Canada)

Hysteria, a psychological thriller by Elisabeth de Mariaffi, follows a young German woman, Heike Lerner, who escapes Dresden and the perils of the Second World War and finds herself in the 1950s living in Upstate New York with a husband and four-year-old son. But the eeriness of her idyllic life becomes hard to ignore when a mysterious little girl appears one afternoon at the pond and vanishes just as quickly — and things take a turn for the worse when her son disappears.

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal

The Lost Ones is Sheena Kamal's debut novel. (HarperCollins/Malcolm Tweedy)

When Nora Watts receives a phone call informing her that the daughter she put up for adoption has gone missing, she decides to go and search for the teen girl. As Nora embarks on a harrowing journey of deception and violence, she will face her most terrifying demon, all to save a girl she wishes had never been born.

The Party by Robyn Harding

Robyn Harding is the author of the thriller The Party. (Tallulah Photography/HarperCollins Canada)

A low-key sweet 16 party for a teenage girl trying to improve her social standing in high school goes catastrophically wrong and causes the unravelling of a wealthy San Francisco family. Aptly titled The Party, the domestic thriller examines how one event can drastically change the course of your life.

The Rule of Stephens by Timothy Taylor

Timothy Taylor is a Giller Prize-nominated author of several books. His most recent is the novel The Rule of Stephens. (Doubleday Canada/Dave Middleton)

The Rule of Stephens follows a woman, Catherine, who believes that the world is rational, and that even the weirdest coincidences can usually be explained. After she survives a terrifying plane clash, some strange things start happening to her. A doppelgänger — a woman who looks just like her — shows up, and Catherine struggles to find a rational explanation. 

Run, Hide, Repeat by Pauline Dakin

Former CBC journalist Pauline Dakin tells a gripping story of a childhood spent on the run with incredible twists in her memoir, Run, Hide, Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood. (Viking)

Pauline Dakin spent her childhood living on the run with no explanation. Twice, without any notice, her mother moved her and her brother across the country, wrenching them from their daily lives. One day, Dakin finally learned why: they were running from the Mafia and had been since Dakin was little. But years later, Dakin learned another startling secret: that wasn't true at all and her entire childhood was built on a lie. Dakin chronicles this unbelievable story in her memoir Run, Hide, Repeat.

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Sister of Mine is a thriller by Laurie Petrou. (Kat Keenan Photography/HarperCollins Canada)

In Laurie Petrou's debut thriller, two sisters have a lot of secrets. Terrible ones. And these secrets keep them together even as they drive them apart. But what happens when their bond begins to crack, and one sister takes things too far? The manuscript for Sister of Mine won the inaugural Half the World Global Literati Award, a $50,000 U.S. ($64,575 CDN) literary prize that honours unpublished work featuring women as lead characters.

Still Water by Amy Stuart

Still Water is Amy Stuart's second novel. (Simon & Schuster/Paige Lindsey)

In Amy Stuart's latest thriller, Still Water, Clare is dispatched to a mysterious town called High River where women run to escape their pasts. Clare poses as a long-lost friend to resident Sally Proulx, who has gone missing along with her son. While investigating their disappearance, Clare learns that virtually everyone in High River has their secrets, including Malcolm, the man who hired her.

The Whisky King by Trevor Cole

Trevor Cole is the author of Whisky King. (Fehn Foss/HarperCollins Canada)

The Whisky King tells the remarkable true story one of Canada's most notorious organized crime figures, Rocco Perri. Perri was on of Canada's leading mobsters, and was famous across the country. But then one day, in 1944, Perri disappeared — and to this day, no one knows what happened. 

The White Angel by John MacLachlan Gray

John MacLachlan Gray's novel The White Angel is set in 1924 Vancouver and is inspired by the cold case of Janet Smith and the mystery surrounding her death. (Brian K. Smith Photo/Douglas & McIntyre)

The White Angel follows the unsolved death of a Scottish nanny living in Vancouver. Set in the years following the First World War and at the height of Canada's anti-immigration campaign, Gray put his spin on a real-life cold case. 


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