Mystery Month Cover Trend: Yellow Sans Serif Fonts

For Booklist‘s tenth annual Mystery Month, which begins today, I’ve rounded up the suspense, crime, thriller, and mystery cover trend of 2018 and 2019: the yellow sans serif title. We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but that doesn’t mean covers aren’t important communicative tools. And for the last two years, designers have used this title treatment to telegraph chilling twists and unforeseen turns to those browsing the library and internet for their next spine-tingling read. Let’s take a look at some examples of sans serif (and serif) appearances from this two-year window, listed in order of their popularity.

1. Yellow Sans Serif Title + Blue-Green Tones

Before She Knew Him, by Peter Swanson

The Better Sister, by Alafair Burke

Find Me Gone, by Sarah Meuleman

I Know My Name, by C. J. Cooke

The Last House Guest, by Megan Miranda

The Late Show, by Michael Connelly

Lies, by T. M. Logan

The Moroccan Girl, by Charles Cumming

My Lovely Wife, by Samantha Downing

The Plea, by Steve Cavanagh

The Secretary, by Renée Knight

The Temp, by Michelle Frances

Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell

The Wife between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

2. Yellow Sans Serif Title + Black-Grey Backdrop

The Bad Daughter, by Joy Fielding

Best Friends Forever, by Margot Hunt

Bring Me Back, by B. A. Paris

The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James

Broken Ground, by Val McDermid

Lies You Never Told Me, by Jennifer Donaldson

Our Little Secret, by Roz Nay

The Shadow Killer, by Arnaldur Indridason and translated by Victoria Cribb

The Visitors, by Catherine Burns

The Wife, by Alafair Burke

3. Title Treatment + Full-Color Cover


An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Fade to Black, by David Rosenfelt

The Girlfriend, by Sarah J. Naughton

Open Your Eyes, by Paula Daly

4. Yellow Serif

Leave No Trace, by Mindy Mejia

Let Me Lie, by Clare Mackintosh

Our House, by Louise Candlish

Sunburn, by Laura Lippman

The Woman in the Window, by A. J. Finn

5. Not Quite Yellow Sans Serif

The Echo Killing, by Christi Daugherty

The Girl I Used to Be, by Mary Torjussen

Light It Up, by Nick Petrie

Pieces of Her, by Karin Slaughter

Reaper: Ghost Target, by Nicholas Irving and A. J. Tata

6. Yellow Sans Serif Authors

The Bad Daughter, by Joy Fielding (redux!)

The Burglar, by Thomas Perry

Day of the Dead, by Nicci French

How It Happened, by Michael Koryta

Night Moves, by Jonathan Kellerman

Past Tense, by Lee Child

The Suspect, by Fiona Barton

An Unwanted Guest, by Shari Lapena

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About the Author:

A former Booklist intern and current Booklist reviewer, Ellie is a reader and writer based in Chicago. She holds a BA in writing from Wheaton College (IL) and is the assistant to the president at Browne & Miller Literary Associates.

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