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5 Good Horror/Murder Mystery Books for Middle Schoolers

1. One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying is a gripping, suspenseful novel, surrounding the death of a student in detention. Five Bayview High School students are in detention when one of the students, Simon, suddenly dies while the teacher is out of the room. After claims that this incident was no accident, the four remaining students in the detention all become suspects. Each of the four have motives. Each of the four have secrets. And they would do anything to keep them.

2. Truly Devious 

Stevie, a teen obsessed with researching crimes, is accepted into an elite Ellingham academy, an elite boarding school, where students have the opportunity to research their unique interests. Ellingham Academy also had a very famous murder/kidnapping case (called Truly Devious case) many years prior; A case with which Stevie is ambitiously trying to solve. However, as she begins her school year and investigates the case, more death strikes campus. Stevie must unravel both the truly devious murders and the most recent crime and bring justice to the school.

3. Small Spaces

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie who only finds solace in books discovers a chilling ghost story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man”–a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.
Captivated by the tale, Ollie begins to wonder if the smiling man might be real when she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about on a school trip to a nearby farm. Then, later, when her school bus breaks down on the ride home, the strange bus driver tells Ollie and her classmates: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.


4. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder

Five years ago, Andie Bell, a girl in Pippa’s village, was murdered by her boyfriend Sal Singh, but the body was never found. Pippa suspects it wasn’t an open and shut case, and chooses to make a study of it for her final year project at school.

With the help of Sal’s younger brother Ravi, Pippa is determined to find out what really happened that night. Neither of them thinks Sal was the murderer, but by trying to prove it, Pippa puts herself, her friends and her family in real danger. Someone in the village doesn’t like her delving into the past, and the murder was a little too close to home.

5. Bad Girls Don’t Die

When fifteen-year-old Lexi’s younger sister Kasey begins behaving strangely and their old Victorian house seems to take on a life of its own, Lexi investigates and discovers some frightening facts about previous occupants of the house, leading her to believe that many lives are in danger.

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    Lola Melian LafinurNov 7, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    I love all these books and I thought your summaries were very well written and descriptive! I was thinking of doing 5 great fantasy YA books as well.