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My Top 3 YA Mystery Novels for Winter Days

Winter. Some people love it, some people hate it. Personally, when winter rolls around, I find myself in the mood for delving into some good (YA, of course) mystery novels! From modern retellings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous stories to completely original who-done-its, I absolutely devour mystery novels in the blustery months. In the spirit of the season, here are three of my favorite YA mystery novels to sink your teeth into when the weather is frightful and curling up in your dorm is the best idea in the world (which always is, but still). Nothing is better than an evening filled with fuzzy socks, hot chocolate and a good book.  

1.  A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

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Okay, before I talk about this book, I have a confession to make: I haven’t read this one yet! So, everything I’ve heard about this book has been based on its summary and trusted reviewers I read all the time. But, that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for the wintry season! A modern retelling of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, the story follows Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson. Both are studying at an elite prep school called Sherringford. Jamie doesn’t exactly want to be there, but his rugby scholarship was too difficult to resist. When one of their fellow students unexpectedly dies (presumably by murder), it’s up to the unconventional duo to solve the case! I have wanted to read this one for a long time. From what I’ve heard, this book is the quintessential YA mystery for beginners or anyone searching for an easy read. It’s not too complicated to wrap your head around and it’s interesting enough to keep readers captivated. Try it!

2. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco


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One of my favorite books of 2017, Stalking Jack the Ripper is a fresh take on the story of the infamous Jack the Ripper. This book had me shocked, confused, emotional, frustrated, infatuated and everything in-between! Not to pat myself on the back or anything but, usually, I’m pretty good at figuring out who the killer is in stories like SJTR before the end of the book. Not with this one! It was refreshing to be completely and utterly surprised by the reveal of Jack the Ripper’s identity. The story follows Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her infuriating (but devilishly handsome) companion Thomas Cresswell as they study forensic science under the watchful eye of Audrey Rose’s uncle, Dr. Jonathan Wadsworth. Set in London, 1888, the entire atmosphere of the story is perfect for a chilly night! SJTR is one of the few books I can whole-heartedly recommend to anyone interested in Jack the Ripper, Victorian England, forensic science and an investigation that keeps your skin crawling at every corner. I highly recommend this book! Disclaimer: this book is filled with detailed descriptions of blood, guts and all things gore. If you have a weak stomach or hate reading gory content, I recommend you skip this one!

3.​ The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

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Like Stalking Jack the Ripper, The Name of the Star is centered around Jack the Ripper. TNS takes place in modern-day London and follows Rory Deveaux as she enrolls in a new school, moving far away from her home in Louisiana. As stated in the summary, “The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him.” Interesting, right? For a short novel, it’s a very intricate story! I haven’t read this book in a few years, yet I still remember certain aspects of it that I enjoyed. Maureen Johnson, typically a contemporary romance author, takes a leap into supernatural mystery with this explosive novel! To say much more would be delving into spoiler territory, so I guess I’ll have to leave it at that!

Happy reading, girls!

Thumbnail Image Source: Isabella Valadas

Isabella Valadas is a former Siena College student.
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