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The 10 Best Lesbian Mystery Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

The 10 Best Lesbian Mystery Books You Should Have Read Already By Now!

There is something alluring about a woman solving crimes. More so if she is a lesbian. It is no wonder that many authors write fiction with strong homosexual female characters playing the sleuth. This is not just a recent phenomenon. Novels with lesbian protagonists solving crimes first started coming out in the late 1970s – and since then we have been blessed with a wealth of the best lesbian mystery books!

However, the representation in some of these novels can be cringy and, well, questionable. Fast forwarding to the 90s, when a sizeable number of women entered the crime fiction genre, things started looking up for the lesbian detective. Since then, the genre has only become more popular.

With more authors, we get more delectable novels that keep you on the edge of your seat! Well, who doesn’t love that? So, we have ten of the best lesbian mystery novels for you. The list includes timeless classics to contemporary fiction. The best lesbian mystery books feature a wide range of crimes. We are sure they will tickle your mystery bone!

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One common theme in lesbian mystery novels appears to be infidelity. Why? We don’t have an answer to that, but it sure happens in some of these books as well. The protagonists in these novels are strong women (are there any other kind?) who love their jobs and will do what it takes to get to the truth. As much as they enjoy their work, they are not just their job title.

These women have pasts that haunt them, lose loved ones, have vices, and sometimes make mistakes. All the things that make them human. It is easy to relate to them and feel for them. Many of these books are part of a detective series. So, if you like the one, you are in for a treat! Whether you are a seasoned fan of the genre or just dipping your toes in it, these books will not disappoint.

Go ahead and get started on the list! Better grab a cup of coffee because these books will keep you up late into the night!

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Don't have time to read them all? Why not try listening to them? Audible is a great platform for listening to audiobooks because it offers a wide selection of books, including bestsellers and exclusive content. With Audible, you can listen to your favorite books on-the-go, whether you're commuting, working out, or doing household chores.

The Audible app also has features like adjustable narration speed, a sleep timer, and the ability to create bookmarks, making it easy to customize your listening experience. Additionally, Audible offers a membership program that gives members access to a certain number of audiobooks per month, making it a cost-effective option for avid listeners. 

A great resource for people who want to maximize their time and make the most out of their daily activities. Try a free 30-day trial from Audible today, and you'll get access to a selection of Audible Originals and audiobooks, along with a credit to purchase any title in their premium selection, regardless of price (including many of the books on this list!) 

For ebook lovers, we also recommend Scribd, basically the Netflix for Books and the best and most convenient subscription for online reading. While they have a catalog comprising over half a million books including from many bestselling authors, for some of the books on this list, you'll still have to purchase individually - either as a paperback or eBook to load on your Kindle - due to publishing house restrictions. 

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Trigger by Jessica Webb

Have you heard of human bombs? No, not people who wear bombs, but people who are bombs. No? Neither has Dr. Kate Morrison until one such man walks into her ER room. Before she can attend to him, she is stopped (fortunately) by Sergeant Andy Wyles. Andy explains that these people are set off by touch. Worse still, she suspects Kate’s patient is not the only one.

Someone is building an army of human landmines! Kate is horrified yet intrigued. She joins Andy’s investigation to get to the bottom of this. Andy is a cop who knows what she is doing and does it well. She is fiercely protective of Kate’s safety. As she is caught up in a world that is completely alien to her, Kate starts to trust the dependable sergeant.

As the investigation progresses, their relationship goes from colleagues to friends to lovers. The romance is very subtle and subdued. The protagonists are racing against time to save their city, and the romance takes a back seat. That does not mean it isn’t strong enough. It is boiling just under the surface, threatening to overflow anytime. 

The narrative is in the third person and from Kate’s point of view. She is an alien to the world of sleuthing, and it shows. We see the story unfold from her curious layman’s perspective, which adds a layer of intrigue. The novel is fast-paced and packed with action. It is set in Vancouver, but the investigation takes us up and down the US-Canada border. 

The trigger is the first of Dr. Kate Morrison’s mystery series. If you are looking for a gritty, intense novel with lesbian leads, here’s one for you! 

Trigger by Jessica Webb - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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No Good Reason by Cari Hunter

A woman runs away from her kidnapper but finds no one to help her in the dark night. When she is found hours later, she is almost dead. Detective Sanne Jensen arrives on the scene and immediately transports the victim to the hospital, where Dr. Meg Fielding treats her. Both women are pulled into the gripping chase for the kidnapper.

Sanne is a shrewd cop who will leave no stone unturned while Meg fights to keep the victim alive. The police procedures are very well described by the author, Cari Hunter. Tedious jobs like going door to door are still interesting to read. Hunter uses pace to her advantage, slowing down and speeding up in all the right places. Sanne and Meg are not a couple. They are friends who sometimes sleep together.

They have been friends for a long time and have a lot of history. They are afraid to commit to each other and take it one day at a time. They date other people as well or at least try to. They have love, friendship and respect for each other.

Hunter does not make this a typical story where in the end, the protagonists have a revelation that they want to commit to each other after all. While the “love” story of the main characters is sweet and wholesome, it does not obscure the mystery.

We have to warn you about the violence in this book. There are some gory details. But it is not used simply to shock the reader; it fits perfectly with the story. Sucker for an unconventional lesfic with much mystery? No Good Reason is for you!

No Good Reason by Cari Hunter - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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The Domme Tamer by Kat Evans

The book starts with Jillian Robishaux, a New Orleans Police Department detective, examining the scene of a woman’s murder. All signs at the crime scene point to a kink / BDSM lifestyle. The scene is strongly reminiscent of another recent murder. Just as Jillian ponders the striking similarities and the possibility of a serial killer, Angela Johnson walks in.

AJ is an FBI agent who has been sent to investigate the crime. Her motorcycle attire, dominance, and quick mind stir something in Jillian. Something she has not felt in a long time. As they embark on the investigation together, Jillian uncovers an astonishing underworld of sadomasochism.

She learns secrets that would expose high-profile members of Southern culture. The killer appears to be on a mission, but how far will she go?

The homoerotism between Jillian and AJ is delicious! AJ is a domme and loves to dominate Jillian fiercely. The author, Kat Evans, shows us what healthy BDSM looks like. Jillian is into domination just because she enjoys it, not because she is troubled or has mommy issues like the typical male dom we see in fiction. 

Evans gives us realistically well-rounded characters, not the cookie-cutter type. AJ is not a very nice person, but that is what makes her likable. It also adds to her sexiness. No wonder Jillian is smitten by her! The story is told in the third person from both Jillian’s and AJ’s points of view.

The writing is smart and witty. The dark themes are balanced with light banter and shrewd humor.

But make no mistake, The Domme Tamer is a dark thriller that will leave you gasping! Can you handle it?

The Domme Tamer by Kat Evans - Best Lesbian Mystery Books


The Killing Room by Gerri Hill

Special Victims Unit Detective Jake McCoy was involved in a shooting that killed a young boy and injured her. She has retreated to the mountains of Colorado to recover physically and mentally. While hiking, she meets the beautiful Psychologist Nicole Westbrook. One thing leads to another, and the two women share a night of unrestrained passion.

The next day, as they part ways, they know precious little about each other. When Jake returns to Denver, she is assigned a murder investigation involving a serial killer. The investigation leads her to Nicole. Serendipity? Maybe. As the investigation progresses, their physical attraction becomes unbearable.

However, Nicole is still closeted in her professional world and is terrified of the consequences of coming out. Given that the novel was written in 2006, this is a legitimate apprehension. Can the two women solve the case, find the killer, and have their happily ever after? To Jake and Nicole, this seems like a far-fetched dream.

Gerri Hill breathes life into the characters with backstories, quirks and unique personalities. Coming from different backgrounds, they are very unlike each other. This only adds to their chemistry which Hill builds up to scorching levels!

Lesbian mystery novels tend to focus on the mystery aspect of the story, with the romance simmering in the backdrop. Hill does one-up by giving equal stage time to both the romance and the investigation. If you like to watch a budding love story alongside a gory murder mystery, The Killing Room is you!

The Killing Room by Gerri Hill - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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I Left my Heart by Jaye Maiman

Travel writer and romance novelist Robin Miller gets an unexpected call that turns her life upside down. Her ex-lover and investigative writer, Mary Oswell, is dead. Robin learns that she is the sole beneficiary of Mary’s will. She arrives in Los Angeles to find that her friend’s cause of death is an allergic shock. The police tell her that this could be by accident or even suicide.

As Robin spends a few days in the city discovering shocking details about Mary’s last days, she is convinced that the death was no accident. Someone wanted Mary dead. Everyone becomes a suspect, people Mary worked with, her acquaintances and her lovers. Robin starts her own investigation to get to the truth. In her quest for truth, Robin meets the enigmatic Cathy.

Cathy is a welcome distraction for Robin, who is wracked with grief. But soon, she becomes one of the prime suspects. Will Robin let her feelings come in the way of her investigation? As she gets closer to the truth, Robin’s life is at risk too! 

Robin tells us the story in the first person. Jaye Maiman does a great job with the characters. They are coherent and remain consistent throughout the story. Robin is a real person- she has her flaws. But she is determined to find Mary’s killer.

Over the 300 pages, Maiman touches upon grief, politics, homophobic religion, love and passion. I Left my Heart was first published in 1991 by Naiad press, established in 1973 exclusively for lesbian literature. It is the first of the author’s seven books in the Robin Miller series. This is the perfect book to spice up your weekend!

I Left my Heart by Jaye Maiman - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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Good Bad Woman by Elizabeth Woodcraft

Frankie Richmond is a struggling London-based lawyer in her mid-thirties. She chose family law which allows her to help women in need. However, it is less lucrative than criminal law and hence the struggle. When Saskia Baron is arrested, Frankie is called upon to represent her. She had previously represented Saskia in minor cases; this time, it’s no different.

Or so Frankie thinks until violent things start happening around Saskia and Frankie. She knows now that something bigger is at play behind Saskia’s arrest, and she’s caught in it. As the story unfolds, she meets Margo Lattimer, a sexy singer whose voice she simply can’t resist. Clad in a red dress and with a mesmerizing voice, Margo sets Frankie’s heart and libido on fire.

Things are never so simple, are they? Margo seems to have something to do with Saskia’s arrest too. And when Frankie gets arrested for killing Margo’s ex-husband, she is shocked! She calls on her former lover to bail her out. Will Frankie get to the bottom of this, or did she bite off more than she can chew?

The interactions between all the women in this book are fascinating. The relationships that develop between them are worth the read. This novel delves into the dual system of lawyering in the UK without getting too technical. Even though the lead is a lawyer, most of the drama happens outside the courtroom.

Good Bad Woman is more literary than most mystery novels. Elizabeth Woodcraft drives the story with strong characters rather than the plot. This eliminates the need for spectacular plot twists that are not very realistic. This is a novel that offers both: good literature and mystery. What’s not to like?

Good Bad Woman by Elizabeth Woodcraft - Best Lesbian Mystery Books


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Collide-o-Scope by Andrea Bramhall

A local businesswoman is found murdered, and the newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon is assigned the case. As she embarks on the search for the truth, that is exactly what she does not find. The small fishing town has only around forty residents, all of whom seem to have something to hide. All she can get from them is a string of lies.

Even from Georgina Temple, to whom she is very attracted. Gina was an employee and a friend of the victim. She has her own secrets and reasons for lying to Kate. Their sizzling chemistry and the gravity of attraction are making it increasingly difficult for her to keep lying. The road from acquaintances to lovers seems to be a bumpy one for them. 

This book will not make your heart race or give you an adrenaline rush. It is a smoother mystery that is sure to leave dents in your heart. Andrea Bramhall spends time building the characters and the town. She starts weaving a complex web early in the novel and brings it together beautifully in the end. The town has a dark and gloomy feel to it, which complements the mystery fittingly.

The plot is unpredictable but entirely believable. The main characters are great for each other, and it’s easy to see them as a couple. Kate is a strong woman with her own flaws, while Gina is a great counterbalance for her.

Bramhall’s literary genius gives us a meticulously built mystery set in a small town in the UK.  

Collide-o-Scope by Andrea Bramhall - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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Amateur City by Katherine V Forrest

When first published in 1984, Katherine V Forrest’s Amateur City created one of the most lucrative genres in LGBT literature- lesbian mystery. So it couldn’t be excluded from any list of the best lesbian mystery books! The novel is the first of the hugely popular Detective Kate Delafield series. Set in 1984, the story follows LAPD Detective Kate Delafield as she investigates the murder of a highly placed executive.

Kate has a reputation for being an excellent investigator. We can see why in her meticulous attention to detail and relentless pursuit of the truth. Kate believes in women looking out for other women, but when it comes to the case, she will spare no one. She is a strong, intelligent, aloof character whose defenses don’t stand a chance with Ellen.

Ellen is the woman who found her coworker’s body. She is in a long-term relationship with another woman, but that does not stop her from hitting on Kate. This is one of the first novels that depict lesbian infidelity. 

The mystery itself is a good one. We can see how the clues are connected and solved. The love story runs in the background. The mystery is the hero of the story. Forrest gives us a glimpse into being queer in LA in the 80s.

She also includes instances of racism and sexism in the book, which can only reflect what was happening during the time. There is a lot of emphasis on the characters in this book. Even solving the mystery involves a character study of the suspects. 

Amateur City is the classic of the lesbian mystery genre. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

Amateur City by Katherine V Forrest - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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Death by The Riverside by J.M. Redmann

Detective Michele (Micky) Knight takes up the simple job of clicking some pictures for a client. She is hired by a rich, dying grandfather who wants to know more about his grandkids before adding them to his will. She does the job and thinks it’s done. Later she is assigned to go undercover in a drug ring case. As she investigates, she discovers clues that connect this case to the earlier plotline.

We all know drug lords do not like to be bothered. Micky becomes the target of some formidable New Orleans drug lords! She is caught in a slew of threats and needs to expose a major drug ring in order to stay alive and keep her loved ones alive. The author, J.M. Redman, does an impeccable job of creating a character that is soft on the inside but has been hardened by years of trauma.

Micky is not a very likable character. She drinks like a fish, sleeps around and is mean to her friends. She is also extremely funny, kind to strangers in need and takes her work seriously. As the story progresses, we start to see the ghosts from the past that haunt Micky.

We see how alcohol and sex are defense mechanisms that she has mastered how to use. The book also features a lot of steamy hot sex, which is not typical of a lesbian mystery. 

Redmann writes a suspenseful, action-packed story that is difficult to put down. We are sure Death By The Riverside will keep you reading well into the night!

Death by The Riverside by J.M. Redmann - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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Payback by Charlotte Mills

Detective Kate Wolfe is sent to a small town in Cheshire as a punishment for something she did in London. She is grumpy and hot-headed, as anyone who has been sent from a bustling city to a sleepy rural town would be.

Helen Taylor is her new boss, a tough veteran who had an esteemed career back in the day. They team up to solve the growing load of cases. These women have their plates full of multiple cases, their personal lives, bureaucratic issues and their growing mutual attraction! They can hardly keep their passion in check, even in the police station!

After working hours, they come together for a night of passionate lovemaking. Night after night. While the romance is great, so is the mystery. This book does not have one single huge case but many small cases. This is a welcome change from most other novels in the genre. It is also an effective way to hook the reader to the story. 

Charlotte Mills writes the characters realistically. Helen is tough yet funny. Kate is easy to anger. They make a great couple, the kind you root for. The side characters are believable, which adds to the storytelling.

Mills shares an authentic portrait of how the police work in a small town in the UK. The plot is complete with unexpected twists and turns. It’s difficult to figure this one out! Mills’ vivid description brings the setting and characters to life. It’s more like watching a movie than reading a book. It’s Payback time!

Payback by Charlotte Mills - Best Lesbian Mystery Books

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