5 Fun Summer Mystery Novels (for both ESL and non-ESL readers)

While some of us (me) can’t believe that we’re halfway through June, believe it or not, we are. Looking for the perfect new book to devour this summer? Check out my list of top mysteries you can download right now (all read and approved by me)! Bonus: This list has titles that both intermediate-advanced ESL readers and non-ESL readers can enjoy 😊

  1. The Murder at Sissingham Hall by Clara Benson

I decided to try out one of Clara Benson’s Angela Marchmont mysteries after they showed up in my recommended titles on the Kobo website, and this is the first in the series (bonus points: it’s free on Kobo!). This novel is super easy to read, yet tightly woven, making it ideal for ESL readers. The author mentions on her website that her goal was to write a novel that felt like it was written in the time period it’s set in (1920s), rather than a historical novel, and this certainly felt that way—sometimes, I even forgot it was written in 2013, not 1920.

  • The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth

This is something I’m currently reading, so I don’t know the end yet, but so far, it’s looking very promising! Although I’ve read a few of Patricia Wentworth’s Christie-like mysteries before, this one feels much easier to follow and well-structured. Besides the structure, the family-secrets-that-erupt-at-a-family-gathering plot is both delicious and addictive.

  • Murder on the Moor by C.S. Challinor

I read this one several years back, but it still sticks in my head as being such an addictive and humorous cozy mystery. Early-stage ESL learners might find it a bit more challenging due to several Scottish idioms throughout, but overall, it’s a fun and delightful murder mystery, set on a gloriously chilling moor.

  • A Time for Murder by Jon Land & Jessica Fletcher

Although I’ve read several Murder She Wrote novels over the years, this one is one of my favourites. With an intriguing past-present storyline and a surprise twist at the end, this is the perfect read for rainy summer nights.

  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

I had to include an Agatha in this list, because she’s the queen (of mysteries, that is)! Although I’d recommend pretty much all of her books, this novel is the perfect treat for anyone mourning a summer holiday abroad this year.


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