'CORE' Best Lists
- Top 25 Best Mystery Books
- The Top 100 Mystery Books
- Best Mystery Audiobooks
- Best Mystery Books of 2016
- Best Mystery Books of 2015
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- Best Modern Mystery Books
- Best Indie Mystery Books
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'AUDIENCE' Best Lists
- Best Mystery Books for Women
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- Best Young Adult Mystery Books
- Best Mystery Books for Children
'FILM' Best Lists
'COMICS' Best Lists
The Paranormal Mystery Genre
What is a Paranormal Mystery?
Sometimes the mysterious things in a mystery just can't be explained. That's where the paranormal mystery comes into play. These books have an element of supernatural in them. This new world can include the magical side of things with witches, skeletons or ghosts, but it can also include werewolves, vampires, and other creatures.
The paranormal mystery is gaining immensely in popularity in recent years. These mysteries are overwhelmingly cozy, but there are a number of thrillers that include paranormal elements as well.
Paranormal Mystery Characteristics
- Level of Characterization
Most of the books that feature paranormal elements are series, so the main characters and the supernatural characters who are his/her friends are well-developed over the course of the series. There will be multiple life events that take place during this time that allow the reader to get to know these characters.
- Level of Plot
The plot is still paramount to a mystery, and just because there are vampires in the book does not mean that there won't be murders and mystery and clues.
- Level of Mystery
There will be still be a mystery to be solved. While the characters' powers may help them to solve the mystery in terms of providing clues to the sleuth, the mystery will not be immediately solved by the powers of the supernatural beings.
- Level of Suspense
There can be varying levels of suspense in a paranormal mystery. There is always the suspense of learning who the killer is, but there can heightened suspense if the paranormal character is threatened by the revelation of their secret identity.
- Level of Thriller
While many of the paranormal mysteries being pusblihed today are cozy mysteries, there are also some well-written thrillers on the market that fall more into the thriller genre as well.
- Level of Strangeness
The level of strangeness varies. The author can create supernatural characters who live in the "real" world, the environment we're familiar with, or they can create creatures that live in an alternative universe. These places can be as strange as the author's imagination.
- Level of Violence
Some supernatural forces only allow the paranormal characters to see or predict things. However, there are sometimes vampires and werewolves that feed on humans, so the violence can be intense at times.
- Level of Action
The level of action varies as well. The characters can engaged in dangerous activities or the group can discuss the problems and possible solutions. The level of action is developed by the author.
- Degree of Thriller, Suspense, Crime, or Mystery in this the Paranormal Mystery Subgenre
This book falls mainly in the mystery genre. The books have a plot involving a crime which must be solved, even if supernatural characters exist. There may be some suspense and the stakes may be higher for a supernatural being who may be exposed to the public. There are some very popular and well-written supernatural mystery thrillers on the market, but they are not the norm. There can be paranormal crime novels as well, where the crime is supernatural or seems to be supernatural in nature.
Related MYSTERY Subgenres
Cozy Mysteries. One of the hottest sub-subgenres at the moment, many of today's paranormal mysteries are cozies.
Furry Sleuths. It's not surprising that witches will have their familiars as cats and werewolves will also mean some wolves appearing in the stories.
Paranormal Mystery isn't for you IF...
If you like your sleuths to be human and the rationales and solutions of any crime to be grounded in reality and forensic data, then these books probably aren't for you.
By Jim Butcher. An entry into the very popular Dresden File series, featuring wizard Harry Dresden
- 2 Blackbirds
By Chuck Wendig. Miriam Black can tell you with a touch when you're going to die.
- 3 Shutter Island
By Dennis Lehane. US Marshalls go to Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a criminally insane patient
- 4 The Cypress House
By Michael Koryta. A historical mystery with a hero who can sense imminent death
- 5 Grave Sight
By Charlaine Harris. Harper Connelly can see the last few seconds of a person's life which may help the police solve crimes, or put her in danger.
- 6 Demons are a Ghoul's Best Friend
By Victoria Laurie. A boarding school has a problem with demons.
- 7 Dead Until Dark
By Charlaine Harris. The first in the Sookie Stackhouse series that introduces the reader to vampires and werewolves.
- 8 It Takes a Witch
By Heather Blake. Darcy Meriweather is a witch who can grant wishes via a spell, though it often leads to murderous consequences.
- 9 A Skeleton in the Family
By Leigh Perry. Georgia, a professor, is assisted in crime solving by Sid the family skeleton
- 10 Night of the Living Deed
By EJ Coppeman. A guesthouse is haunted and the ghosts expect the new owner to solve their murders.
- Storm Front (Jim Butcher)