10 Best Time-Travel Mystery Books Where Time-Travel Holds the Key
Shifting through the gears of time has always been a fancy for most of us. What if you could glimpse the outcomes of your decisions before making them? What if you could play detective across the bounds of time itself? Sounds intriguing, right? Well, that's precisely what happens in our recommended collection of the ten best time-travel mystery books, where unraveling mysteries linked across timelines hold the key!
These books not only whisk you away into magnificent worlds where time knows no boundaries but also let you join the protagonists in their thrilling quests for truth. Whether it's a historian trying to solve an ancient riddle, a detective duo working to crack a cold case handed down through centuries, or an average Joe placed in extraordinary circumstances, these books truly test the bounds of time while pulling readers into an engrossing mystery.
So go ahead, wormhole your way through these captivating adventures where time is both the culprit and the greatest ally. Navigate through the plot twists and turns, as the protagonists manipulate time to uncover the truth in these unique mystery thrillers. So turn off that bedside lamp late, folks. We bet you won't be able to put these books down!
One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it. It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
|Publisher||Simon and Schuster|
|Release Date||Nov 08, 2011|
『Life After Life』
The award-winning author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum follows the experiences of a woman who after being born on a snowy night in 1910 repeated dies and reincarnates into the same life to correct missteps and ultimately save the world. 75,000 first printing.
|Publisher||Reagan Arthur Books|
|Release Date||Apr 02, 2013|
『The Eyre Affair』
Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend Jasper Fforde’s beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England—from the author of The Constant Rabbit Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it’s a bibliophile’s dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection. But when someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature and plucks Jane Eyre from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday is faced with the challenge of her career. Fforde's ingenious fantasy—enhanced by a Web site that re-creates the world of the novel—unites intrigue with English literature in a delightfully witty mix.
|Release Date||Feb 25, 2003|
Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another... In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon—when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an "outlander"—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
|Release Date||Dec 22, 2010|
『The Shining Girls』
Soon to be an Apple TV+ series starring Elisabeth Moss: the girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist in this "expertly chilling" twist on the serial killer novel from the award-winning author Lauren Beukes (San Francisco Chronicle). Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future. Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times. At the urging of the House, Harper inserts himself into the lives of these shining girls, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He's the ultimate hunter, vanishing without a trace into another time after each murder -- until one of his victims survives. Determined to bring her would-be killer to justice, Kirby joins the Chicago Sun-Times to work with the reporter, Dan Velasquez, who covered her case. Soon Kirby finds herself closing in on an impossible truth . . . “Utterly original, beautifully written, and I must say, it creeped the holy bejasus out of me. This is something special.” —Tana French
|Release Date||Jun 04, 2013|
『The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August』
Wildly original, funny and moving, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is an extraordinary story of a life lived again and again from World Fantasy Award-winning author Claire North. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.
|Release Date||Apr 08, 2014|
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film. “Gloriously twisting . . . a heady campfire tale of a novel.”—The New York Times Book Review NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • NPR • BookRiot Reality is broken. At first, it looks like a disease. An epidemic that spreads through no known means, driving its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. But the force that’s sweeping the world is no pathogen. It’s just the first shock wave, unleashed by a stunning discovery—and what’s in jeopardy is not our minds but the very fabric of time itself. In New York City, Detective Barry Sutton is closing in on the truth—and in a remote laboratory, neuroscientist Helena Smith is unaware that she alone holds the key to this mystery . . . and the tools for fighting back. Together, Barry and Helena will have to confront their enemy—before they, and the world, are trapped in a loop of ever-growing chaos. Praise for Recursion “An action-packed, brilliantly unique ride that had me up late and shirking responsibilities until I had devoured the last page . . . a fantastic read.”—Andy Weir, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian “Another profound science-fiction thriller. Crouch masterfully blends science and intrigue into the experience of what it means to be deeply human.”—Newsweek “Definitely not one to forget when you’re packing for vacation . . . [Crouch] breathes fresh life into matters with a mix of heart, intelligence, and philosophical musings.”—Entertainment Weekly “A trippy journey down memory lane . . . [Crouch’s] intelligence is an able match for the challenge he’s set of overcoming the structure of time itself.”—Time “Wildly entertaining . . . another winning novel from an author at the top of his game.”—AV Club
|Release Date||Mar 10, 2020|
『A Murder in Time』
When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life—200 years before she was even born. Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates. While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place - Aldrich Castle - but in a different time: 1815, to be exact. Mistaken for a lady's maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there's some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.
|Publisher||Simon and Schuster|
|Release Date||Apr 15, 2016|
『The Psychology of Time Travel』
"A fascinating meditation on the many ways traveling through time can change a person."—HelloGiggles "This genre-bending, time-bending debut will appeal to fans of Doctor Who, dystopian fiction, and life's great joy: friend groups."—Refinery29 An “astonishing” time-travel debut about science and friendship, perfect for fans of The Power and Hidden Figures (The New York Times) In 1967, four female scientists worked together to build the world’s first time machine. But just as they are about to debut their creation, one of them suffers a breakdown, putting the whole project—and future of time travel—in jeopardy. To protect their invention, one member is exiled from the team—erasing her contributions from history. 50 years later, time travel is a big business. 20-something Ruby Rebello knows her beloved grandmother, Granny Bee, was one of the pioneers, though no one will tell her more. But when Bee receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of an unidentified woman, Ruby becomes obsessed: could it be Bee? Who would want her dead? And most importantly of all: can her murder be stopped? Traversing the decades and told from alternating perspectives, The Psychology of Time Travel introduces a fabulous new voice in fiction and a new must-read for fans of speculative fiction and women’s fiction alike.
|Publisher||Crooked Lane Books|
|Release Date||Feb 12, 2019|
『The Jane Austen Project』
“The most brilliant Austen-adjacent book on the market. . . . Flynn’s style makes this a quick, fun read, and since the story is Jane-related there’s even a romantic subplot.” — Vulture “What lover of literature hasn’t dreamed of going back in time to meet Jane Austen? . . . . Kathleen A. Flynn brings this dream to life, creating a vivid portrait of Regency England in all its glory and squalor.” —Lauren Belfer, author of After the Fire and A Fierce Radiance Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this engrossing novel offers an unusual twist on the legacy of one of the world's most celebrated and beloved authors: two researchers from the future are sent back in time to meet Jane and recover a suspected unpublished novel. London, 1815: Two travelers—Rachel Katzman and Liam Finucane—arrive in a field in rural England, disheveled and weighed down with hidden money. Turned away at a nearby inn, they are forced to travel by coach all night to London. They are not what they seem, but rather colleagues who have come back in time from a technologically advanced future, posing as wealthy West Indies planters—a doctor and his spinster sister. While Rachel and Liam aren’t the first team from the future to “go back,” their mission is by far the most audacious: meet, befriend, and steal from Jane Austen herself. Carefully selected and rigorously trained by The Royal Institute for Special Topics in Physics, disaster-relief doctor Rachel and actor-turned-scholar Liam have little in common besides the extraordinary circumstances they find themselves in. Circumstances that call for Rachel to stifle her independent nature and let Liam take the lead as they infiltrate Austen’s circle via her favorite brother, Henry. But diagnosing Jane’s fatal illness and obtaining an unpublished novel hinted at in her letters pose enough of a challenge without the continuous convolutions of living a lie. While her friendship with Jane deepens and her relationship with Liam grows complicated, Rachel fights to reconcile the woman she is with the proper lady nineteenth-century society expects her to be. As their portal to the future prepares to close, Rachel and Liam struggle with their directive to leave history intact and exactly as they found it. . . however heartbreaking that may prove.
|Author||Kathleen A. Flynn|
|Release Date||May 02, 2017|
And there we have it, folks! Ten mind-bending, page-turning, nerve-wracking time-travel mysteries that will leave you on the edge of your seat. These novels and comics, each with its unique story and approach to time travel, beautifully blend the elements of both the science fiction and mystery genres. The cleverly constructed narratives keep you guessing while simultaneously making you question reality - and even your perception of time! It's incredible how time-travel, a concept we usually find in sci-fi works, can become an essential tool for solving crimes and unfolding mysteries. These stories are certainly not a one-size-fits-all. They cater to those who love to delve deep into complex plots, adore a good whodunit, or even those just appreciating the simple thrill of jumping to a different timeline. So, buckle up for a thrilling ride across time and brace yourself for unexpected turns cause every second counts in these exceptional narratives. After all, isn't it about time we embraced the sheer mystery and wonder of time travel?
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