January 30, 2023

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Magical mystery books to lose

As a huge fantasy fan, I always love it when authors mix fantasy stories with other genres. Especially if you get what I call magical mystery books! This subgenre offers some of the most delightful and escapist stories you will read. Plus, they’re just plain fun with their mix of excitement, adventure, and magic. We’ve already covered a few fantasy crime books, but there are many more to choose from. So today we’re taking a look at even more magic mystery books for you to read!

Before we get into the list, I wanted to share how I chose the books we’re going to be talking about today. To me, magical mystery books (or fantasy mysteries) have two elements: they focus on a mystery or an investigation – and they have something magical about them, whether it’s a setting, a creature, a character, or actual magic. But this is where it gets interesting: Because that magical something is often paranormal, some of these stories involve ghosts and even witchcraft. These tend to be low fantasy stories, but that’s still enough to propel these books into the magical mystery subgenre.

But without further ado, let’s check out eight more amazing magical mystery books that will keep you hooked!

8 More Magical Mystery Books You Should Read

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

We begin with a historical mystery full of magic and adventure. Set in post-Civil War Philadelphia, The Conductors follows former Underground Railroad conductor Hetty and her husband Benjy. The couple is indeed magical and they often use their powers to solve the cases that the white police don’t touch. But this time the case is very personal for her. Hetty and Benjy found one of their friends dead in an alley. The clues point to Black Philadelphia’s elite families, and it’s only a matter of time before all their dark secrets are revealed.

Cover of The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Peng Shepherd cartographers

What do you get when you combine magic, science, map making, and a fun mystery? The cartographers, of course! The story follows Nell Young, who lost everything years ago over a disagreement over a gas station plan. Now her father is found dead. And in his desk, lo and behold, the same card. The card turns out to be rare and very valuable – and a collector has destroyed every copy of it and anyone who gets in his way. But why? Where does this map really lead? To find out the truth, Nell embarks on the greatest and most dangerous quest of her life.

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Cover photo for Shutter

Clasp by Ramona Emerson

Well, Shutter is a very special book because it’s actually a ghostly mystery/thriller that also borders on horror territory. But the ghosts are very important in the story, as is the investigation. Hence its place on this list! The story follows a forensic photographer named Rita. She can see ghosts, which makes her unusually good at her job because they show her the key clues to her murders. In her latest case, a woman’s ghost attacks Rita. The woman insists she was murdered and forces our protagonist to find out the truth – which could potentially kill her.

Book cover of The Helm of Midnight

The Helm of Midnight by Marina J. Lostetter

Set in a fantasy world, The Helm of Midnight is a darker mystery full of twists and turns! The story begins when a legendary serial killer’s death mask is stolen. His name was Chabron and he terrorized the city before his death. Now a team of thieves have the mask and someone is channeling Chabron’s spirit – leading to a new string of murders. Only Krona Hirvath and her group of supervisors can solve the case and stop the new killer before he takes more lives.

The Library of the Dead by TL Huchu book cover

The Library of the Dead by TL Huchu

Children keep disappearing from the streets of Edinburgh in this exciting urban fantasy! The Library of the Dead follows Ropa, a Ghostalker who can communicate with the city’s spirits. One day Ropa catches whispers from the dead – they are talking about the missing children. Someone puts a spell on them and turns them into empty shells. This is her territory, so Ropa feels honorable to investigate. Little does she know that her journey will take her to the darkest corners of Edinburgh, filled with dark magic and even an occult library!

A Master of the Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark book cover

A Master of the Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

As soon as I read A Master of Djinn I knew it belonged on that list. The story follows our beloved agent Fatma from Clark’s short stories. She is an agent of the Ministry of Alchemy, which is in charge of investigating all sorts of supernatural and magical cases in the city of Cairo. Her new case involves the murder of the entire secret brotherhood dedicated to Al-Jahiz – the man who brought magic to this world. To complicate matters further, the killer claims to be Al-Jahiz himself. Can Fatma find out the truth and uncover this imposter before the whole town falls into chaos? You have to read it to find out!

River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan book cover

River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

We’re once again venturing into horror territory with River Woman, River Demon! This magical mystery novel follows Eva Santos, a Chicana artist who practices brujería and curanderismo. She’s basically a witch, even if she’s been feeling disconnected from her magic lately. Her whole life is turned upside down when her beloved husband is arrested for murder. Eva is a potential suspect, and even she can’t trust herself thanks to the strange power outages she’s experiencing. To make matters worse, this case eerily resembles one from her childhood. Was she involved in not one but two murders? Only by confronting her past can Eva find out the truth.

Book cover of The City & The City

The City & Town of China Miéville

Last but not least, China Miéville mixes weird fiction, fantasy and a crime thriller in this epic and unique story! The whole thing takes place in two fantastic cities occupying the same space at the same time: Beszel and Ul Qoma. It all starts when a woman is found dead in Beszel and inspector Tyador Borlú is put in charge of the case. All evidence leads to the sister city of Ul Qoma, so Borlú heads there and teams up with his own detective named Qussim Dhatt. Together, the two begin to uncover the secrets of the dead woman. But the truth is far more complicated and deadly than they ever imagined.

Looking for more magical secrets? You should definitely read those wizard mystery books or those witchy mysteries/thrillers!