6 Underrated Black Mystery and Thriller Novels You’ll Absolutely Love

Black History Month or otherwise, any time is a great time to read these killer thriller and mystery novels written by black authors!

Author's Corner Black Voices Diverse Voices Recommendations Thriller & Mystery
Black detective with a flashlight standing in front of a car

Since it is Black History Month, I’m going to let you guys in on some mystery/thrillers that were written by black authors.

Along with Romance, the Mystery and Thriller genres are probably contenders for the most popular book genres. Between the murderous schemes, long-buried secrets, and cleverly planned plot twists, what’s not to like? 

But the novels that make these genres popular are usually clogged with white authors telling stories from their limited perspectives and experiences. Don’t get me wrong. These authors’ compelling voices are what make them so freakin’ famous, after all. But, hearing the same voice over and over gets boring pretty quickly.

So, for this article, I’m going to recommend six mystery and thriller novels that African-American authors wrote. Let’s dive right in!

Someone Had to Do It by Amber & Danielle Brown

Book cover of Someone Had To Do It by Amber & Danielle Brown featuring a headshot of a woman modelling as the protagonist model and influencer Taylor Van Doren.


Brandi Maxwell is a young woman trying her best to make her mark at her fashion internship. But having come from a rough background and being the only black girl in the program, getting her colleagues and supervisors to take her seriously is an uphill battle. So, when she is invited to a luxurious party hosted by It Girl Taylor Van Doren, Brandi is sure that this is her shot. That is until Brandi overhears Taylor plotting to kill her father in cold blood. And if Brandi isn’t careful, she might end up taking the fall. 

Like a Sister by Kellye Garrett



Lena Scott is on the subway when she finds out that her estranged sister, Desiree, is dead. At first, Lena suspects that her sister’s drug addiction killed her. But the more she learns, the less convinced she becomes that Desiree’s death was an accident. Though Desiree’s wild lifestyle is what drove the sisters apart, Lena will have to delve into her late sister’s cutthroat world if she wants to learn the truth.

The Wife Before by Shanora Williams



When Samira Wilder meets the wealthy pro-golfer, Roland Graham, it seems that her lackluster life is finally turning around. Although their relationship is still new, it’s not long before the two get married. With a beautiful mansion in the countryside, more money than she could’ve possibly dreamed of, and a loving and sexy husband, Samira should be happy. And she would be, if not for the constant reminder of Roland’s first wife, Melanie, who was brutally murdered, possibly by Roland. When Samira stumbles across Melanie’s diaries, she is given an intimate account of Melanie’s last days leading up to her demise. The more Samira keeps reading, she is left to contemplate whether or not she fell in love with a monster. 

These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall



Mickie Lambert makes a living piecing together her client’s memories in a digital scrapbook. A practice that ensures that Mickie’s clients’ memories will never be forgotten or misplaced. When Mickie’s latest client, Nadia Denham, suddenly dies, Mickie feels obligated to honor her client’s last wish and continue to put together the scrapbook. But it’s not long before Mickie starts to receive threatening messages telling her to stop digging into Nadia’s past. The threats only make Mickie even more determined to discover the mystery of Nadia’s past life. But little does she know that her curiosity might make her the target of a serial killer.

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole



Sydney Green is forced to watch as her childhood neighborhood seems to be turning more gentrified every day. “For Sale” signs are popping up everywhere, and her neighbors are disappearing without a trace. At first glance, these new changes may be the symptoms of gentrification. But it’s not long before Sydney suspects that there might be more sinister motives at work. But as Sydney continues to learn more chilling facts about this gentrification, her greatest might end up coming to life. 

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson



The world is shocked when legendary R&B singer Korey Fields is found stabbed to death in his own home. And the number 1 suspect is Enchanted Jones, his eighteen-year-old lover. When Enchanted first met Korey, she never suspected that her dreams of becoming a singer would lead her to endure the worst kind of pain. How did it get to this point? Did Enchanted really kill him? Or did Korey’s demons spawn other suspects?

If you enjoyed reading about these amazing authors, be sure to check out this article about The First Black Author Published at HarperCollins.