The Ozarks is a region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and a bit of southeastern Kansas. It’s a great place to set a crime novel, with tons of forest, some of the oldest rocks in America, and two mountain ranges to hide in.
Much of the attention brought to the Ozarks these days comes from the popular Netflix show Ozark (season 3 released March 27), about a financial advisor who relocates his family to a small resort community in Missouri after a money-laundering scheme for a Mexican drug cartel goes wrong. In order to keep his family safe, the Byrdes must make amends by setting up a bigger laundering operation in the Lake of the Ozarks region and here they become entangled with local criminals, among other troubles.
If you have enjoyed the show (like I did) and can’t get enough, here are 9 great mysteries all available as ebooks on Overdrive, set in the Ozarks .
Dry County by Jake Hinkson
Richard Weatherford is a successful small-town preacher in the Arkansas Ozarks. He’s a proud husband and father of five, and has worked hard to grow his loyal flock with strong sermons and smart community outreach. But while Weatherford is a man of influence and power—including a big force in local politics—he’s also a man with secrets,
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Ozarks play a part in one of the biggest mysteries of the century when a down-on-their-luck couple moves to his hometown in Missouri. Nick and Amy appear to have it all, but when she disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, is it possible that Nick is responsible?
Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
Boady Sanden is a high school freshman longing to leave the Ozarks for bright lights and big cities. His life changes when an African American family moves in across the street and he befriends the son, Thomas. Boady begins to gain a deeper understanding of the world, and all its injustices and sorrows. And as he grows to see his surroundings in a different light, he realizes that he may know more about a missing factory worker than he first thought.
A Small Town: A Novel of Crime by Thomas Perry
A small-town cop, Leah, seeks vengeance on twelve escaped inmates in this novel of “jaw-dropping twists.” Her mission takes her from Florida to New York and from the beaches of California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks.
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see. An urgent look at the dark side of a bucolic landscape beyond the arm of the law, where a person can easily disappear without a trace
Winter’s Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly is searching for her father in their small, poverty-stricken town after he skipped bail. Ree’s family is going to lose their house if he doesn’t reappear, but she gets the sense something bad has happened when she runs up against the town’s most dangerous criminal element. But she’s determined to find him, dead or alive, to save their home.
The Witness by Nora Roberts
Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth Fitch finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive.
Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. The mystery of Abigail Lowery and her sharp mind, secretive nature and unromantic viewpoint intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and professional level.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian