The 8 Best Mystery Subscription Boxes to Keep You Entertained This October

·11 min read
mystery subscription boxes
mystery subscription boxes

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Best Murder Mysteries

realsimple - 25 Available at Hunt A Killer

Best Adventure Mysteries

realsimple - 25 Available at Cratejoy

Best Mysteries to Gift

realsimple - 25 Available at Cratejoy

Best Detective Mysteries

realsimple - 15 Available at Cratejoy

Best Historical Mysteries

realsimple - 28 Available at Cratejoy

Best Escape Room Mysteries

realsimple - 27 Available at Cratejoy

Best Episodic Mysteries

realsimple - 33 Available at Cratejoy

Best Cold Case Mysteries

realsimple - 37 Available at Cratejoy

Spooky season is upon us, and that means it's time for chills, thrills, and things that go bump in the night. For all my fellow crime junkies, if you're itching to dive into a world of ciphers, evidence, and deeply engaging mysteries, then you're in the right place. Mystery subscription boxes have risen in popularity over the years, likely in tandem with heightened interest in true crime podcasts, documentaries, and other media. If you grew up reading Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, you've no doubt had the desire to unlock a few mysteries yourself.

Mystery subscription boxes like The Deadbolt Mystery Society and Sleuth Kings allow you to pour over witness statements, autopsy reports, codes, and more, and basically live out your dream of being a detective. Most of these subscriptions offer a different mystery to crack in each box, but some have in-depth cold cases that will take you several boxes to unravel with new clues arriving at your door each month. Let the investigations begin!

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Best Mystery Box Subscriptions for Amateur Sleuths:

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With these eight mystery subscription boxes, you can sort through evidence, unravel fascinating storylines, and solve cases that have stumped others who came before you. Grab your friends and family (and your detective badge) to get started.

Best Murder Mysteries: Hunt A Killer

In Hunt A Killer, you become the ultimate private investigator, working to solve a murder through six "episodes"—each mystery box is an episode. Examples of the mystery plots include "Curtain Call," where you reopen a cold case and hunt down the 1930s killer of actress Viola Vane, and "Mallory Rock," in which you help the sister of a deceased woman prove that her death wasn't an accident after her body washes up on shore.

There are three plan options to choose from: monthly, full season, and double season. The monthly plan is pay-as-you-go, costing $30 per box. Because each mystery is spread out over six episodes, a six-month subscription is referred to as a full season. This subscription costs $165 upfront, but lowers the box cost to $27.50 each. The double season plan is an annual subscription featuring two different mysteries, so you pay $300 upfront ($25 per box) and essentially get three boxes for free. Shipping is free for the full and double season plans, and each comes with a cocktail recipe book and two detective drinking glasses. Subscriptions automatically renew, but you can manage your account on the website. As a new customer, you'll get 20 percent off your first box by using the code FLASH20.

Reviews: With an average 4.7 stars out of 5 from 4,500 reviews, amateur investigators across the country say this mystery subscription box is "engaging," has "authentic and cryptic codes," and creates an intriguing experience for friends, family, partners, and solo crime junkies looking for a little thrill.

Best Adventure Mysteries: Finders Seekers

In this adventure mystery game, you're helping Lucy Calder and The Society of Seekers in a National Treasure-style investigation. Finders Seekers provides monthly mysteries to solve with the whole family. Though designed with adults in mind, there is no murder or violence in these mysteries, so the boxes are appropriate for children 10 years and older. Finders Seekers works best with one to eight players, but more can play if needed. Each box contains the clues you need to solve a single mystery. Internet access is required because you submit your answers online before moving on to the next stage.

If you'd prefer to pay on a monthly basis, the monthly plan costs $30 per box. The three-, six-, and 12-month pre-pay plans allow you to pay the total cost upfront—$87, $162, and $300, respectively—lowering the per-box cost each time (For example, 12-month subscriptions come out to $25 per box). All subscriptions automatically renew, but you can cancel at any time through your account. Each plan comes with free shipping in the U.S., and new customers get 25 percent off their first box.

Reviews: Customers say the boxes offer a variety of puzzles, including word puzzles, visual puzzles, anagrams, and more, and that it's "worth the price for some quality family time!"

Best Mysteries to Gift: The Deadbolt Mystery Society

The Deadbolt Mystery Society subscription box offers an engaging experience for a date night or game night among friends. Each month provides a unique standalone mystery that you'll have to put on your detective cap to solve. Delve into rich storylines with dramatic characters and captivating scenarios in order to find the answers. There are four plan options: monthly, and prepaid three-month, six-month, and annual subscriptions (costing $25, $70, $135, and $260, respectively). All pricing excludes shipping and taxes. These mystery subscription boxes are only available to ship within the U.S. and all subscriptions are recurring, but you can skip a month or cancel at any time.

Need more convincing? Purchase a singular box from the archives if you want to try out a mystery prior to committing to the subscription. All Deadbolt Mystery Society cases require Internet access.

Reviews: This box has an impressive 4.9 out of 5-star rating based on more than 1,110 reviews. One reviewer wrote, "We ordered Sanitarium as a trial and we are for sure going to be monthly subscribers. Thanks for the fun!"

Best Detective Mysteries: Sleuth Kings

Every month, you'll receive a new case file through this enthralling mystery subscription service. Sleuth Kings has an interactive element in the form of Detective Sullivan King, the lead investigator, who can be contacted via email throughout the case. Once you think you've solved the mystery, submit your investigation to Detective Sullivan to see if you're correct. There are two types of cases within Sleuth Kings—Rookie Detective and Master Detective. The Rookie Detective mystery ($15 per box) takes about an hour to complete and includes an epilogue letter that ties up loose ends. Master Detective ($30 per box) is meant for more experienced puzzlers and can take anywhere from two to three hours to solve. Those who figure it out receive an award.

If you're new to mystery boxes, Sleuth Kings offers one free sample mystery involving a curse, a lawn gnome, and a postcard. For even more fun, dive into the archives to shop individual mysteries that can be purchased between your monthly subscription arrivals. Shipping is free for all subscriptions, but only available within the U.S.

Reviews: One reviewer wrote, "Sleuth Kings is our absolute favorite subscription box. We look forward to long brunches where we forget all about the food and work to solve a case. It's creative, challenging, and engaging. We appreciate that when we struggle, help from Sullivan is just an email away."

Best Historical Mysteries: Madmen & Heroes

If you love history, folklore, and everything in between, Madmen & Heroes is the mystery subscription box you need to try. With two extensive mystery plans to choose from, amatuer sleuths can either lean into The Resystance or The CRAAAFT, solving ciphers and puzzles to work through either historical or mythical mysteries. Past boxes have centered around the suffragettes, Tibetan ghosts, Gandhi, revolutionary war spies, and a speakeasy. Because every month offers a standalone mystery, you don't need to solve them in any particular order and you can start a subscription at any time.

For both plans, there are three subscription options: monthly for $30, prepaid three-month for $86 ($29 per box), and prepaid six-month for $165 ($28 per box), not including shipping. These subscriptions automatically renew, but can be paused or suspended through your personal account. Internet access is required to play, not only to complete accompanying activities, but also to read up on the real-life inspiration surrounding many of these cases.

Reviews: Reviewers love how authentic the stories are since they're often linked to moments in history and storied folklore. One happy customer wrote, "Lovely box with lots of detail, and the real-life history tie-in made it so very interesting. The authentic-looking collectibles make this box one of the more well-made ones that's worth the price."

Best Escape Room Mysteries: Escape the Crate

Escape the Crate packages the thrill of Escape Rooms into a game you can play in your own home. The box actually acts as a game board itself, hiding clues internally as well as in envelopes and puzzles that lead to other clues. Written letters, ciphers, and small props act as tools to help you in the mission of your choosing. Every box contains one standalone mystery, but some boxes are designed with multiple chapters and missions, so you can split the adventure up between several nights.

Boxes are shipped every other month, and the base plan costs $30. Four-month, six-month, and yearly prepaid subscriptions are priced at $58, $84, and $159, respectively. You can also buy individual boxes from the retired collection for $40 a piece. Boxes take a few weeks to ship, so you'll want to place your order sooner rather than later. Use the code ROSWELL for 15 percent off your first subscription order.

Reviews: Customers have praised Escape the Crate for its creative and engaging missions that keep people on their toes for hours at a time. One reviewer wrote, "[My husband and I] love going to escape rooms and this crate gave us the same experience as [one] of those physical ones. Can't wait for the next one! Highly recommended!"

Best Episodic Mysteries: A Killing Affair

Like a grownup game of Clue, A Killing Affair is the ultimate murder mystery game. Bring your friends and family together to solve a murder by eliminating suspects, determining motives, and working through clues and evidence along the way. The company operates like a television series with a particular mystery unfolding across a "season," which spans five episodes (or boxes).

In each box, you'll have access to crime scene drawings, police reports, newspaper articles, interviews, and more, so you can get into the nitty gritty of what's really going on. There's also an online component to this mystery subscription box, so Internet access is needed. While your monthly subscription does automatically renew, you can always manage your account to pause or cancel at any time. Seasons one, two, and three take place in the fictional city of Lovely, Florida. The story lines follow an Independence Day killer, an arsonist, and an elusive figure responsible for the disappearance of residents across town. Subscription options include a monthly plan for $35, and prepaid plans for three months ($100), six months ($199), and 12 months ($390).

Reviews: Customers love the "immersive stories," "top-quality evidence," and the ability to engage in detective work while solving a mystery. One reviewer wrote, "I have or have had a subscription to pretty much every single mystery solving and escape room-type of game available, and A Killing Affair is my all-time favorite!"

Best Cold Case Mysteries: CosyKiller

Sometimes you can't rush an investigation, and with CosyKiller, patience is a virtue. Unlike other mystery subscription boxes that do standalone mysteries each month, CosyKiller lets you pick a chilling cold case to unravel all year long. Currently, there are four plot lines to choose from. In one case, you explore an Egyptian tomb and the strange deaths that occurred there through the field diary of an archeologist. In another, you journey back to the 1930s through a recently discovered journal to figure out what happened to a young English woman who vanished while staying with her aunt in India.

The base monthly subscription is $40, with prepaid three-month, six-month, and 12-month subscriptions that each reduce the monthly cost (as low as $37 per box). These boxes come with many physical artifacts and documents, and internet access is not required to participate. The company is based in the U.K., so international shipping rates apply when ordering from the U.S. and delivery can take anywhere from two to three weeks.

Reviews: The armchair sleuths have spoken, and they love how authentic the characters come across and how the plot lines are interwoven. One reviewer wrote, "My sister and I love, love, love Cosy Killer! We've tried four different mystery boxes and this one is by far the most engrossing and entertaining!"

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