The Greatest Mayan, South African "Mystery" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Mystery

The Mystery genre is a category of books that typically involves a crime, puzzle, or enigma that needs to be solved by the protagonist or a group of characters. These books often feature suspenseful and thrilling plotlines, with unexpected twists and turns that keep readers engaged and guessing until the very end. Mystery novels can range from cozy mysteries, which are lighter and more lighthearted, to hard-boiled detective stories, which are darker and more gritty. Overall, the Mystery genre is a popular and diverse category of books that appeals to readers who enjoy solving puzzles and uncovering secrets.

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Mayan

South African

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  1. 1. The Steam Pig by James McClure

    In this gripping crime novel, a tenacious detective navigates the complex social and racial landscape of 1970s South Africa to solve a perplexing murder case. The story begins when a body is discovered inside a clay pig sculpture, leading the detective on a trail through the seedy underbelly of the city. As he delves deeper into the investigation, he encounters a diverse cast of characters and uncovers a web of deceit and corruption. The detective's sharp instincts and unwavering commitment to justice drive him to unravel the mystery, despite the challenges posed by the apartheid-era setting.

    The 4678th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. 13 Hours by Deon Meyer

    This book is a gripping thriller set in South Africa, revolving around a harrowing day in the life of a private security consultant, Benny Griessel. Tasked with solving the murder of an American backpacker while another foreign girl is on the run for her life, Griessel's investigation unfolds over thirteen intense hours. As the clock ticks, the narrative weaves through the complexities of post-apartheid South Africa, touching on issues of race, politics, and the personal demons that the protagonist battles. The story is a fast-paced, action-packed journey through the streets of Cape Town, filled with suspense, twists, and a deep dive into the heart of its characters.

    The 9377th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Zoo City by Lauren Beukes, Philibert-Caillat Laurent Beukes Lauren

    "Zoo City" by Lauren Beukes is a gripping urban fantasy novel set in a gritty Johannesburg where people who have committed a crime are magically bonded with an animal familiar. The story follows Zinzi December, a former journalist with a sloth on her back, as she becomes embroiled in a dangerous mystery involving a missing pop star and a dark conspiracy that threatens her newfound stability. With its unique blend of crime, magic, and social commentary, "Zoo City" explores themes of redemption, identity, and the consequences of our actions in a captivating and thought-provoking way.

    The 9811th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

    This novel is a gripping thriller that intertwines the lives of a time-traveling serial killer and one of his survivors, who is determined to bring him to justice. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Chicago, the narrative follows the killer as he uses a mysterious house to travel through time and target young women with bright futures—his "shining girls." After one victim survives a brutal attack, she embarks on a relentless quest to find her assailant, uncovering a trail of similar murders stretching across decades. The story masterfully blends elements of crime, horror, and science fiction, creating a chilling and suspenseful tale of resilience and retribution.

    The 11063rd Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download