Cool temperatures, dark evenings, and crunchy leaves make for great mystery-reading. We're always on the lookout for the new and promising, so we've gathered up some of the most exciting British mysteries set to hit the market this autumn. Publication dates vary by country, with many UK titles hitting the UK before the US – so be aware that depending on when you read this, some titles may still be in pre-order status.
9 New British Mysteries for Autumn 2021
The Dark Remains
Author: William McIlvanney & Ian Rankin
Known as the father of tartan noir, Scottish author William McIlvanney passed away in 2015, leaving behind a set of notes for an unfinished novel. Quite appropriately, Rebus author Ian Rankin took over the task of finishing it. The book represents the first ever case of famed Glasgow detective DC Jack Laidlaw.
We're in 1970s Glasgow, and lawyer Bobby Carter has been found dead in an alley behind a pub protected by a local crime boss. We learn that Carter often worked for the wrong sort of people, and his death creates imbalance in the local criminal world. Though Laidlaw's boss chalks it up to run-of-the-mill gang violence, he's not sure it's that simple.
A Line to Kill
Author: Anthony Horowitz
A Line to Kill is the third novel in Foyle's War creator Anthony Horowitz's Hawthorne detective series, and this one finds Hawthorne and Horowitz at a literary festival on the island of Alderney off the south coast of England. Given the idyllic setting, the last thing they expect is to find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. However, that's exactly what happens when a local grandee is found dead under mysterious circumstances.
The Heron's Cry
Author: Ann Cleeves
The Heron's Cry is the follow-up to The Long Call, which will soon be a British TV series. In this outing, Detective Venn is called out to a home for artists where a doctor has been killed in an elaborately staged murder involving one of his glassblowing daughter's vases. Soon after, there's another equally elaborate murder – and Venn will have to find the killer before it grows into a full-blown panic.
The Man Who Died Twice
Author: Richard Osman
This book is the follow-up to the enormously successful book The Thursday Murder Club, and it checks back in with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ron, and Ibrahim as they're preparing to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, an old friend of Elizabeth's shows up asking for help because he's been accused of diamond theft.
Bad men are after him, and the bodies start piling up almost immediately. Can the daring septuagenarians solve another murder?
London Bridge is Falling Down
Author: Christopher Fowler
Long believed to be the final outing for Fowler's aging detectives, he's recently hinted that it might not actually be the last in the series. Either way, we're looking forward to the release.
When 91-year-old Amelia Hoffman dies alone in her London flat, many consider it a failing of the system – a woman who'd fallen through the cracks in the social safety net. Bryant and May have their doubts. Once upon a time, Mrs. Hoffman was a government security expert, and a link soon emerges between her and a fleeing diplomat.
Bryant begins to believe other women might be at risk – and strangely, all of them own models of London Bridge.
The Lighthouse Witches
Author: C.J. Cooke
Twenty years ago, two sisters went missing on a remote Scottish island. Now, one has been found – but she hasn't aged a day.
Could the mysterious events be related to a nearby cave that once served as a prison for witches? Is there reason to be wary of the newly-discovered girl?
Author: Val McDermid
With 1979, celebrated Scottish author Val McDermid begins an intriguing new series. This time, we're in the world of Allie Burns, a young investigative journalist in 1970s Glasgow. McDermid herself was initially a journalist after completing her studies at Oxford, so one wonders if this one will contain a bit more of the author herself.
Burns is a woman in a man's world, desperate to make her mark and get away from all the “womens's stories” her bosses assign her. She pairs up with Danny Sullivan, an aspiring investigative journalist, and the two begin pursuing the kind of stories that create enemies. When Danny is found murdered, everything changes.
Left You Dead
Author: Peter James
Niall and Eden Paternoster always spend their Sundays the same way. They take a long drive, visit a country house, then stop by a local supermarket on the way home. This time, however, Niall waits in the car park and his wife never returns. No one has heard from her. She's gone without a trace.
Soon, Niall is arrested on suspicion of Eden's murder – but it doesn't take DS Roy Grace long to figure out it's not what it seems.
A Change of Circumstance
Author: Susan Hill
This book is the 11th installment in Hill's DCS Serrailler series, and it finds him embroiled in an elaborate drugs investigation after the body of a 22-year-old addict is found in the nearby town of Starley. Though he's long regarded Lafferton drug ops as a waste of time, he finds himself reconsidering that opinion after seeing vulnerable local kids pulled into drug running.
What British Mystery Novels are You Reading this Autumn?
With so many wonderful books in the world (including many great indies, which don't usually make it into the press announcements we get), we're surely missing a few great ones. What are you reading this autumn?