Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigori Chkhartishvili. Born in Georgia.
Erast Fandorin is a fictional 19th century Russian detective.
The Winter Queen (1998) – is the first novel in the Erast Fandorin series.
Sister Pelagia is a crime-solving nun.
Pelagia and the White Bulldog (2000) is the first novel in the Sister Pelagia trilogy.
Margery Allingham is best known for the gentleman sleuth Albert Campion, who was supposedly created as a parody of Dorothy L. Sayers' detective Lord Peter Wimsey. Magersfontein Lugg is Albert Campion’s manservant.
The Crime at Black Dudley (1929) – first novel featuring Albert Campion.
Jackson Brodie is a detective in a series of novels which has been adapted into the BBC One series Case Histories, which was the title of the first novel in the series published in 2004.
Colin Bateman is responsible for the Martin Murphy series about an undercover policeman which was adapted for television as Murphy’s Law.
Earl Derr Biggers is best known for the fictional Chinese American detective Charlie Chan, who is based in Honolulu and appeared in six novels.
The House Without a Key (1925) – first of the Charlie Chan mysteries.
Cara Black is best known for her Aimee Leduc mystery novels featuring a female Paris-based private investigator.
Murder in the Marais (1999) – first novel featuring Aimee Leduc.
Lawrence Block is an American crime writer best known for two series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr.
Cast in Order of Disappearance (1975) – is the first novel in the Charles Paris series. Paris is an actor with a drink problem and is also an amateur detective.
A Nice Class of Corpse (1986) – is the first novel in the Mrs Pargeter series. Mrs Pargeter is a widow with a dark past who with some help from her dead husband’s friends is able to solve some complex mysteries.
The Body on the Beach (2000) – is the first novel in the Fethering series. Fethering is a fictitious village on England's south coast. It is the home of amateur sleuths Carole Seddon and Jude Nichols.
Blotto and Twinks – is a series of farcical whodunnits featuring ‘Blotto’ and his sister ‘Twinks’.
Christopher Brookmyre is a ‘Tartan Noir’ author.
Quite Ugly One Morning (1996) – debut novel. Introduces investigative journalist Jack Parlabane, who is not afraid to bend the law to get to the truth.
Other Jack Parlabane novels – Country of the Blind (1997), Boiling a Frog (2000), Be My Enemy (2004), Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (2007), Dead Girl Walking (2015), Black Widow (2016) and Want You Gone (2017).
James M(allahan) Cain is associated with the hard-boiled school of American crime fiction.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934) – is the tale of Frank Chambers, a drifter who stumbles into a job, an erotic obsession, and a murder.
Mildred Pierce (1941) – is the story of a middle-class housewife and her attempts to maintain her family's social position during the Great Depression. Filmed in 1941 with Joan Crawford winning a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Mildred.
Double Indemnity (1943) – insurance salesman Walter Neff helps Phyllis Dietrichson kill her husband for the insurance money. The term "double indemnity" refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in cases when the death is accidental. Adapted into a 1944 film noir directed by Billy Wilder and starring Fred MacMurray as Walter and Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis.
Andrea Camilleri was the author of a series of detective novels featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano, who is the chief of the police station of the fictional town of Vigata, based on Camilleri’s home town in Sicily.
The Shape of Water (1994) – is the first novel of the Inspector Montalbano series.
The Alienist (1994) – Set at the turn of the 20th century, Theodore Roosevelt, the then New York City police commissioner, tasks alienist (psychiatrist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his team with solving murders through new methods including fingerprinting and psychology.
Angel of Darkness (1997) – sequel to The Alienist.
The Italian Secretary (2005) – is an authorized Sherlock Holmes mystery.
John Dickson Carr was the master of the ‘locked room mystery’. He also collaborated with Adrian Conan Doyle, the son of Arthur Conan Doyle to produce The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes (1954) short story collection.
Dr Gideon Fell is the protagonist of 23 mystery novels.
Hag’s Nook (1933) – the first Gideon Fell novel.
The Hollow Man (1935) – a Gideon Fell mystery novel set in London which features the “locked room lecture” explaining the many ways a murder can be committed in a locked room.
Sir Henry Merrivale is a fictional amateur sleuth who appears in 22 locked room mysteries (1934-1953).
Michael Chabon – The Final Solution (2004) revolves around a retired detective, who may or may not be Sherlock Holmes.
Raymond Chandler wrote a series of hard-boiled detective novels concerning the cases of a Los Angeles private investigator named Philip Marlowe.
The Big Sleep (1939) – is the first novel featuring Philip Marlowe. General Sternwood wants Marlowe to deal with an attempt by a bookseller named Arthur Gwynn Geiger to blackmail his daughter. Adapted into a 1946 film starring Humphrey Bogart.
Farewell, My Lovely (1940) – in which Marlowe gets caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves.
The Little Sister (1949) – a young woman named Orfamay Quest from Manhattan, Kansas comes into the office and asks Marlowe to find her older brother, Orrin, who came out to California and has recently disappeared.
The Long Goodbye (1953) – concerns Terry Lennox, a down and out friend of Marlowe's who flees to Mexico with Marlowe's help. Only afterwards does Marlowe find out that Lennox’s wife has been found dead under suspicious circumstances.
James Hadley Chase is one of the pen names of Rene Lodge Brabazon Raymond. Raymond Marshall was another pen name.
No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1939) – debut novel. Provoked considerable controversy because of its explicit depiction of sexuality and violence.
Marion Chesney wrote romance novels under five different pen names, and wrote the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mystery series under the pen name M. C. Beaton.
Hamish Macbeth is a police officer in Lochdubh, in the Scottish Highlands. Subject of 34 novels, all beginning ‘Death of a ‘. Adapted into a television series starring Robert Carlyle.
Death of a Gossip (1985) – first Hamish Macbeth mystery novel.
Agatha Raisin is a PR agent who took early retirement and lives in Caresley in the Cotswolds where she ends up setting up a detective agency. Subject of 32 novels, many of which have been adapted for television with Ashley Jensen as Agatha.
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death (1992) – first Agatha Raisin mystery novel.
G(ilbert) K(eith) Chesterton
The Father Brown short stories (1910-1936) – a sleuthing priest who makes his first appearance in The Blue Cross. His ‘Moriarty’ character is the thief and master of disguise Flambeau.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Lee Child is the pen name of Jim Grant. Best known for a series of novels that follow the adventures of a former American Military Policeman named Jack Reacher who is wandering the United States
Killing Floor (1997) – debut novel featuring Jack Reacher.
The Sentinel (2020) – is the first Jack Reacher book to be co-authored by James Grant and his younger brother Andrew Grant, but published using their respective pen names of Lee Child and Andrew Child.
Agatha Christie was born Agatha Miller in Torquay in 1890. She married Colonel Archibald Christie in 1914. Her second husband was archaeologist Max Mallowan. Christie is the best-selling fiction writer of all time; her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections having sold more than two billion copies. She also wrote the play The Mousetrap, and six romantic novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott. All except five of her books were published by the Collins Crime Club.
Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective who appears in 33 novels. Captain Arthur Hastings is Poirot's lifelong friend and appears in many cases. Japp is a Scotland Yard Inspector and appears in many of the stories.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920) – debut novel featuring Hercule Poirot, who is settling in England as a refugee from World War I.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) – Poirot comes out of retirement to investigate the murder of Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy widower who is well known in his small village.
Murder on the Orient Express (1934) – the London-bound train is held up in Yugoslavia due to deep snow and Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before, with a multitude of suspects. Partly inspired by the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's son in 1932.
Death on the Nile (1937) – takes place in Egypt, mostly onboard the paddle steamer Karnak. Several murders are committed and Poirot is called upon to solve them. Poirot is approached by socialite Linnet Doyle who wants to commission him to deter her former friend Jacqueline de Bellefort from hounding and stalking her.
Five Little Pigs (1942) – Poirot is hired by Carla, the daughter of the deceased Caroline, to prove that Caroline did not kill her husband. Poirot identifies five people who had been with Caroline and her husband the day of the murder whom he dubs “the five little pigs”.
Curtain (1975) – final novel featuring Hercule Poirot.
Miss Marple appears in 12 novels. Jane Marple lives in the village of St. Mary Mead and acts as an amateur consulting detective. Miss Marple’s first published appearance was in The Royal Magazine in 1927 with the first printing of the short story The Tuesday Night Club which later became the first chapter of The Thirteen Problems (1932).
The Murder at the Vicarage (1930) – is Miss Marple’s first appearance in a full-length novel.
The Moving Finger (1942) – a brother and sister arrive in Lymstock in Devon and soon receive an anonymous letter accusing them of being lovers, not siblings. Title taken from Edward FitzGerald’s translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
4.50 from Paddington (1957) – Elspeth McGillicuddy, an old friend of Miss Marple's, witnesses a strangulation murder in a passing train through the window of her coach compartment.
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side (1962) – is set in St. Mary Mead. The title is taken from the poem The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson. The novel was dedicated “To Margaret Rutherford in admiration” – Rutherford had played Miss Marple in the first film adaptations of the novels.
Sleeping Murder (1976) – last published novel and the final novel featuring Miss Marple. Published posthumously.
Tommy and Tuppence are two fictional detectives who appear in four novels. Their full names are Thomas Beresford and Prudence Cowley. And Then There Were None (1939) – was originally published as Ten Little Niggers and in the US as Ten Little Indians. The title refers to the last line of a rhyme. The guests on an isolated island realise that the nature of the deaths occurring in their group corresponds with the respective lines of the rhyme.
For other works by this author see: Plays
Vera Stanhope novels have been dramatized in the television series Vera on ITV, starring Brenda Blethyn as detective chief inspector Vera Stanhope.
Shetland Island novels have been dramatized in the television series Shetland on BBC. The novels feature Jimmy Perez, a detective inspector working for the Scottish police.
Martina Cole is known as the ‘Queen of Crime’. Most of her novels examine London's gangster underworld.
Dangerous Lady (1992) – debut novel. Tells the story of a family of West End gangsters of Irish descent in 1960s London. Adapted into a television series on ITV.
Goodnight Lady (1994) – features the powerful, beautiful and fearless Briony Cavanagh, London's most infamous businesswoman and mistress of her own fate.
The Take (2005) – follows the activities of criminal sociopath Freddie Jackson, who has recently been released from prison, only to find that his cousin Jimmy is attempting to make a name for himself on the back of his reputation.
The Moonstone (1868) – is generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. The story concerns a young woman called Rachel Verinder who inherits a large Indian diamond, the Moonstone, on her eighteenth birthday.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller.
Patricia Cornwell is an American crime writer. She has also initiated new research into the Jack the Ripper killings, incriminating the artist Walter Sickert.
Kay Scarpetta is the protagonist of a series of novels noted for the use of recent forensic technology in Scarpetta's investigations. In the early novels Scarpetta works in Richmond as the Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She resigns after the events of The Last Precinct (2000) and moves to Florida to become a private forensic consultant.
Postmortem (1990) – debut novel. The first book of the Dr. Kay Scarpetta series.
Anthony Berkeley Cox wrote the murder mystery novel Malice Aforethought (1931), using the pen name Francis Iles. It is an example of the inverted detective story, where the murderer’s identity is revealed at the start of the novel. The story then describes the detective's attempt to solve the mystery.
John Creasey wrote more than 600 novels using 28 different pseudonyms. He created characters such as The Toff (The Honourable Richard Rollison), Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard, Inspector Roger West, The Baron (John Mannering), Doctor Emmanuel Cellini, and Doctor Stanislaus Alexander Palfrey. He also founded the Crime Writers' Association (CWA) in the United Kingdom, most notable for its Dagger awards for the best crime writing of the year.
Cecil Day-Lewis wrote a series of detective stories under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, featuring gentleman detective Nigel Strangeways, an Oxford-educated writer and nephew of an Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard. His surname is derived from the Strangeways Prison in Manchester.
A Question of Proof (1935) – first novel featuring Nigel Strangeways.
Colin Dexter is best known for his Inspector Morse series of novels.
Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour Morse is a CID officer in Oxford who drives a Jaguar Mark II, loves opera, and is assisted by Sergeant Robbie Lewis.
Last Bus to Woodstock (1975) – first novel featuring Inspector Morse.
The Remorseful Day (1999) – last novel featuring Inspector Morse.
Jeffrey Deaver is an American crime writer, best known for a series of novels featuring Lincoln Rhyme and NYPD Detective Amelia Sachs.
The Bone Collector (1997) – introduces the character of Lincoln Rhyme, a quadriplegic forensic criminalist who was the head of IRD (the NYPD's Central Investigation and Resource Division) before being involved in an accident at a crime scene where an oak beam fell on him. Adapted for the screen in 1999 starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.
Michael Dibdin was best known for inventing Aurelio Zen, the principal character in 11 crime novels set in Italy.
E(dgar) L(awrence) Doctorow - Billy Bathgate tells the story of fifteen-year-old Billy Behan who is taken under the wing of the real-life Jewish-American mobster, Dutch Schultz.
For other works by this author see: Historical Fiction
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1859. He is best known for the four novels and fifty-six short stories about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Holmes was inspired, Doyle said, by Dr. Joseph Bell, for whom Doyle had worked as a clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. His London address is 221B Baker Street and his landlady is Mrs. Hudson.
Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson’”
Holmes says "The Game is Afoot" at the beginning of The Adventure of the Abbey Grange.
Dr. John H. Watson is Holmes' best friend, assistant, and shares Holmes’ rooms in Baker Street. He is married to Mary Morstan.
Professor James Moriarty is a criminal mastermind whom Holmes describes as the ‘Napoleon of crime’. Doyle lifted the phrase from a real Scotland Yard inspector who was referring to Adam Worth, one of the real-life models of Moriarty.
Colonel Sebastian Moran was an employee of Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes described Sebastian Moran as "the second most dangerous man in London".
Mycroft Holmes is the elder brother of Sherlock Holmes
Irene Adler is a fictional character featured in the story A Scandal in Bohemia. She is one of the most notable female characters in the Sherlock Holmes series, despite appearing in only one story, and is frequently used as a romantic interest for Holmes in derivative works.
The Baker Street Irregulars are any of several different groups, all named after the original, from various Sherlock Holmes stories in which they are a gang of young street children whom Holmes often employs to aid his cases.
A Study in Scarlet (1887) – first novel. Marks the first appearance of Holmes and Watson. Holmes investigates the murder of two Americans whose deaths have some mysterious connection to sinister Socialist groups gathering power in both Britain and America. Originally published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual magazine.
The Sign of the Four (1890) – second novel. Has a complex plot involving service in India, the Indian Mutiny of 1857, a stolen treasure, and a secret pact among four convicts and two corrupt prison guards. Includes the quote by Holmes – “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”.
A Scandal in Bohemia (1891) – is the first short story featuring Sherlock Holmes.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1892) – third novel. Set largely on Dartmoor. Tells the story of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a fearsome, diabolical hound of supernatural origin. A dark curse has been plaguing the Baskerville House for centuries as a result of the actions of a vile ancestor.
The Adventure of the Final Problem (1893) – is a short story. It features Holmes and Moriarty fighting at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.
The Adventure of the Empty House (1903) – Holmes explains his victory over Professor Moriarty in their struggle at Reichenbach Falls by the use of "baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling, which has more than once been very useful to me"
The Valley of Fear (1915) – fourth and final novel. Involves the murder of a man named John Douglas at his manor house. Holmes is called in to help solve the mystery of how the murderer got away because the house was surrounded by a moat. The backstory was loosely based on the Molly Maguires. Originally serialised in the Strand Magazine
Francis Durbridge created the character Paul Temple, a crime novelist and amateur private detective. Many of the BBC Paul Temple radio serials were made into novels.
Martin Edwards created the Liverpool solicitor and detective Harry Devlin. His Lake District Mysteries series feature Detective Chief Inspector Hannah Scarlett and historian Daniel Kind.
All the Lonely People (1991) – introduces the character of Harry Devlin.
The Coffin Trail (2004) – first of the Lake District Mysteries.
James Ellroy is a crime writer whose work was influenced by the murder of his mother in 1958 when he was 10 years old.
The L.A. Quartet is a sequence of novels set in the late 1940s through the late 1950s in Los Angeles –
The Black Dahlia (1987) – follows a brutal murder in 1947. The body of Elizabeth Short (known posthumously as the Black Dahlia) was discovered in a vacant lot. Officers Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert and Leland "Lee" Blanchard, partners and local celebrities from their boxing days, aid the investigation.
The Big Nowhere (1988) – takes place in the early 1950s. Former LAPD detective Buzz Meeks, who now works as an enforcer for gangster Mickey Cohen and a pimp for Howard Hughes, gets caught up in a communist investigation that has ties to a series of homosexual murders that are being investigated by a sheriff's deputy named Danny Upshaw.
L.A. Confidential (1990) – tells the story of a group of LAPD officers in the early 1950s, and the intersection of police corruption and Hollywood celebrity. The title refers to the scandal magazine Confidential. Adapted into a 1997 film.
White Jazz (1992) – tells the story of Lieutenant David Klein, a veteran policeman in the LAPD's vice unit who moonlights as a hitman for organized crime.
Underworld USA Trilogy is the name given to three novels that tell a story of political and legal corruption in the United States between 1958 and 1973. Each novel is written from the viewpoint of three separate characters, all of whom are policemen or ex-policemen –
American Tabloid (1995) – chronicles the events surrounding three rogue American law enforcement officers from 1958 through to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
The Cold Six Thousand (2001) – is a sequel to American Tabloid and covers events from 1963 to 1968.
Blood’s a Rover (2009) – spans the years 1968 to 1973. Title taken from a poem by A. E. Housman.
Kenneth Fearing - The Big Clock (1946) is about a murderer attempting to cover-up his own crime, and has been filmed three times – The Big Clock (1948), Police Python 357 (1976) and No Way Out (1987).
Paul Féval - Jean Diable (1862) can claim to be the world's first modern novel of detective fiction. It was part of an 11-book series of crime novels known as Les Habits Noir (1844-1874).
Sharp Objects (2006) – revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned to her hometown from Chicago to cover the event.
Dark Places (2009) – is about a woman who investigates whether her incarcerated brother was truly responsible for the murder of their family in the 1980s.
Gone Girl (2012) – concerns Nick Dunne, a small-town Missouri creative writing professor whose wife, Amy, disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary. Adapted into a David Fincher film.
Antonia Fraser wrote a series of detective novels about crime-solving investigative journalist Jemima Shore.
Quiet as a Nun (1977) – first novel featuring Jemima Shore.
Nicolas Freeling was the author of the Van der Valk series of detective novels featuring Dutch detective Simon ‘Piet’ van der Valk, beginning with Love in Amsterdam (1962) (aka Death in Amsterdam. With Piet’s ‘death’ there followed two novels with his widow Arlette taking on the role of detective.
Dick Francis was a British steeplechase jockey and crime writer whose novels centre on horse racing. All his novels are narrated by the hero. Following the death of Dick Francis, his son Felix has carried on publishing novels with his father's name in the title.
Sid Halley is a former British jump racing Champion Jockey and private detective who is the central character in four novels, Odds Against (1965), Whip Hand (1979), Come to Grief (1995) and Under Orders (2006).
Dead Cert (1962) – debut novel. The title refers to the fact that the steeplechaser Admiral should have won but his jockey died.
Erle Stanley Gardner is best known for the Perry Mason series of detective stories. Mason features in 82 novels and 4 short stories, all of which involve a client being charged with murder, usually involving a preliminary hearing or jury trial. Typically, Mason establishes his client's innocence by finding the real murderer. Della Street is his secretary. Paul Drake is a private detective and right-hand man to Mason. Mason was most famously played on television by Raymond Burr.
The Case of the Velvet Claws (1933) – is the first Perry Mason mystery. All the Perry Mason novel titles begin with The Case of …
Elizabeth George is the American author of a number of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels featuring Inspector Lynley have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.
A Great Deliverance (1988) – debut novel. It introduces Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, in private life the Earl of Asherton.
Sue Grafton is best known as the author of the 'Alphabet series' featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California. Sadly she died in 2017 before the series could reach its logical conclusion.
"A" Is for Alibi (1982) – first novel in the ‘Alphabet series’.
“Y” is for Yesterday (2017) – final novel in the ‘Alphabet series’.
Caroline Graham is best known as the writer of the Chief Inspector Barnaby series, dramatised for television as Midsomer Murders.
The Killings at Badger's Drift (1987) – is the first volume in Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby series.
Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. He devoted much of his life to left-wing activism and was blacklisted in 1953.
Red Harvest (1929) – debut novel. Narrated by The Continental Op, a private investigator employed as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency's San Francisco office. Set in Personville (known as "Poisonville" to the locals), the novel is loosely based on the Anaconda Road massacre, a 1920 labour dispute that escalated after a mining company fired upon its own miners who were on strike. Described by author André Gide as "a remarkable achievement, the last word in atrocity, cynicism, and horror."
The Maltese Falcon (1930) – follows Sam Spade, a San Francisco private detective, and his dealings with three adventurers, all of whom are competing to obtain a jewel-encrusted statuette (the Maltese Falcon). Adapted into a 1941 John Huston film starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade.
The Thin Man (1934) – is set in New York in 1932. Nick Charles, a former private detective, and his wife Nora, a wealthy socialite, investigate a murder. They own a female schnauzer named Asta. The couple were played on screen in a series of successful films by William Powell and Myrna Loy.
Sophie Hannah is the author of the Hercule Poirot continuation novels The Monogram Murders (2014), Closed Casket (2016), The Mystery of Three Quarters (2018) and The Killings at Kingfisher Hill (2020).
Reginald Hill is best known for his more than 20 novels beginning with A Clubbable Woman (1970) featuring the Yorkshire detectives Andrew Dalziel (pronounced "dee-ell"), Peter Pascoe and Edgar Wield. The characters were used by the BBC in the Dalziel and Pascoe series.
Susan Hill is the author of a series of crime novels featuring detective Simon Serailler beginning with The Various Haunts of Men (2005).
Peter Hoeg – Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (1992) concerns a Greenlander, Smilla Jaspersen, who investigates the mysterious death of an Inuit boy who lived in her apartment complex in Copenhagen.
E(rnest) W(illiam) Hornung is known for writing the Raffles series of stories about a thief in late 19th century London. Hornung was the brother-in-law of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Arthur J. Raffles is a gentleman thief living in London who plays cricket and supports himself by carrying out burglaries. Harry “Bunny” Manders is the companion and chronicler of Raffles.
Raffles appears in the following four books –
The Amateur Cracksman (1899, 8 short stories)
The Black Mask (1901, 8 short stories)
A Thief in the Night (1905, 10 short stories)
Mr. Justice Raffles (1909 novel)
The House of Silk (2011) – is a Sherlock Holmes novel. It was promoted with the claim it was the first time the Conan Doyle Estate had authorised a new novel that is not a Sherlock Holmes pastiche.
Moriarty (2014) – is a follow-up, but not a sequel, to The House of Silk.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Alan Hunter is the author of 46 novels featuring Inspector George Gently beginning with Gently Does It (1955). Gently is helped by Detective Sergeant John Bacchus. Most of the novels are set in Norfolk.
Michael Innes was the pen name of Scottish novelist J(ohn) I(nnes) M(ackintosh) Stewart. The best known of Innes's detective creations is Sir John Appleby, who is introduced in Death at the President's Lodging (1936), in which he is a Detective Inspector at Scotland Yard.
Kazuo Ishiguro – When We Were Orphans (2000) tells the story of Christopher Banks, an English boy born in Shanghai who is orphaned at age nine when his parents vanish under suspicious circumstances. Sent to live in England, he grows up to become a renowned detective and, more than twenty years later, returns to Shanghai to solve the mystery of the disappearances.
P(hyllis) D(orothy) James is the author of a series of 14 detective novels featuring Adam Dalgliesh, the police commander and poet.
Cover Her Face (1962) – first novel featuring Adam Dalgliesh.
The Private Patient (2008) – last novel in the Adam Dalgliesh series.
Cordelia Gray is the protagonist of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972) and of The Skull Beneath the Skin (1982). She works as a private detective in London, having inherited the detective agency Pryde.
Death Comes to Pemberley (2011) – continues Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with a murder mystery.
For other works by this author see: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Peter James is the author of a series of novels featuring Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace starting with Dead Simple (2005).
Maureen Jennings is the author of a series of novels featuring turn of the 20th century Toronto police detective William Murdoch who seems to be at the forefront of many innovative techniques of forensic investigation. The first novel in the series is Except the Dying (1997).
Jonathan Kellerman is best known for his mystery novels featuring the character Alex Delaware, a forensic psychologist who consults for the LAPD. Kellerman also wrote a back story in which Delaware practiced as a child psychologist. Delaware helps LAPD detective Milo Sturgis in his investigations.
When the Bough Breaks (1985) – is the first novel featuring Alex Delaware.
David Lagercrantz is the author of three continuation novels in the Millennium series originated by Stieg Larsson. The novels are The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2015), The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye (2017) and The Girl Who Lived Twice (2019).
Stieg Larsson is best known for writing the Millennium trilogy of crime novels, which were published posthumously after Larsson died suddenly of a heart attack. The two primary characters in the trilogy are Lisbeth Salander, an asocial computer hacker with a photographic memory, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of a magazine called Millennium.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2005) – disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired to solve the 40-year-old murder of Harriet Vanger, member of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden. He teams up with Lisbeth Salander. The original Swedish title of the book is Men Who Hate Women.
The Girl Who Played with Fire (2006) – Blomkvist is contacted by freelance journalist Dag Svensson with regard to having Millennium publish his exposé on the sex trade in Sweden, which includes implicating government officials.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2007) – picks up where The Girl Who Played with Fire left off. Suffering from severe injuries after been shot and buried alive by her father, Lisbeth Salander is in hospital. She faces several criminal charges.
Maurice Leblanc is best known as the creator of the fictional gentleman thief and detective Arsene Lupin, often described as a French counterpart to Sherlock Holmes. One collection of short stories is titled Arsène Lupin versus Herlock Sholmès.
Donna Leon is the American author of a series of crime novels set in Venice and featuring the fictional hero Commissario Guido Brunetti starting with Death at La Fenice (1992).
Ted Lewis - Jack's Return Home (1970) – was later retitled Get Carter after the success of the film of the same name.
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of Jeffry P. Freundlich. He is best known for his novels about sociopathic vigilante Dexter Morgan.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004) – is the first book in the Dexter series. Dexter Morgan works for the Miami-Dade Police Department as a forensic blood spatter analyst. In his spare time, he is a vigilante serial killer who targets murderers, rapists, child molesters and other undesirables that he believes the legal system has failed to stop. The novel formed the basis of the Showtime television series Dexter.
Ed McBain is one of many pen names adopted by American author and screenwriter Evan Hunter.
87th Precinct is a series of police procedural novels and stories by Ed McBain. Set in the fictional city of Isola, the first novel in the series is Cop Hater (1956). The leading character is Detective Steve Carella.
Alexander McCall Smith was born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – is a series of novels set in Botswana and featuring the character Mma Precious Ramotswe. The series is named after the first novel.
For other works by this author see: Novels - British Isles
Val McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of suspense novels starring Dr. Tony Hill, a clinical psychologist who works as a profiler for the National Home Office and frequently Bradfield police. Adapted into the television series Wire in the Blood.
The Mermaids Singing (1995) – is the first novel featuring Tony Hill, who joins forces with Detective Inspector Carol Jordan.
William McIlvanney – Laidlaw (1977) features the eponymous detective and is considered the first Tartan Noir novel.
Philip MacDonald – The Rasp (1924) was the first of a series of detective novels to feature Anthony Gethryn. MacDonald also wrote the novelisation of the film Forbidden Planet as WJ Stuart.
Henning Mankell constantly highlighted social inequality issues and injustices in Sweden and abroad in his books. He is best known for a series of mystery novels starring his most noted creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander, a police inspector living in Ystad, Sweden. Before the Frost (2002) features Kurt’s daughter Linda Wallander as the protagonist.
Faceless Killers (1991) – first novel featuring Wallander.
The Troubled Man (2009) – last novel featuring Wallander.
Ngaio Marsh was born in New Zealand She is known primarily for her character Inspector Roderick Alleyn, a gentleman detective who works for the CID of the Metropolitan Police.
A Man Lay Dead (1934) – is the first novel to feature Roderick Alleyn.
Walter Mosley – writes the Easy Rawlins series about a Los Angeles private detective beginning with Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) which was adapted into a 1995 film of the same name starring Denzel Washington as Rawlins.
Jo Nesbo is best known for his crime novels featuring Inspector Harry Hole, a tough detective working for Crime Squad and later with the Kripos, a special agency of the Norwegian Police Service.
The Snowman (2007) – is a Harry Hole novel. Adapted into a 2017 Thomas Alfredson film.
Richard Osman has to date written 2 crime novels – The Thursday Murder Club (2020) and The Man Who Died Twice (2021). Set in the Kent village of Cooper's Chase and featuring a group of pensioners (Elizabeth, a former intelligence agent; Ron, a former trade unionist; Joyce, a former nurse; and Ibrahim, a former psychiatrist) who set about solving murders.
Alex Cross is a series of novels about a former FBI agent and psychologist who works in Washington, D.C.
Along Came a Spider (1993) – first novel in the Alex Cross series. Alex Cross investigates the brutal murders of two black prostitutes and an infant.
Women’s Murder Club is a series of novels following a group of women from different professions investigating crime as they work together to solve murders. Set in San Francisco. To date there have been 21 novels in the series from 1st to Die (2001) to 21st Birthday (2021).
Michael Bennett is a series of novels starting with Step on a Crack (2007) that follows an Irish American New York City detective, as he solves terrifying crimes and raises his ten adopted children.
Sara Paretsky is best known for her novels featuring V. I. Warshawski (Victoria Iphigenia, known as ‘Vic’), a fictional private investigator from Chicago. The first in the series was Indemnity Only (1982). The second book, Deadlock (1984) was adapted as the film V. I. Warshawski, with Kathleen Turner in the title role.
Robert B(rown) Parker is the author of a series of 40 novels about Spenser, a private investigator in Boston. He has also written Perchance to Dream, an authorized sequel to The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, and the Jesse Stone series about a Los Angeles police officer who moves to a small New England town.
The Godwulf Manuscript (1973) – first novel featuring Spenser.
Edgar Allan Poe wrote three short stories about the fictional detective C. Auguste Dupin. Poe referred to the stories as "tales of ratiocination".
The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841) – is widely considered the first detective fiction story. Dupin investigates the murder of a mother and daughter in Paris. They have been killed by an orang-utan.
The Mystery of Marie Roget (1842) – is the first murder mystery based on the details of a real crime. The story was based on the true story of Mary Rogers, a saleswoman at a cigar store in Manhattan whose body was found floating in the Hudson River in 1841.
The Purloined Letter (1844) – features an investigation of a letter from her lover stolen from the French queen’s boudoir.
Malcolm Pryce writes in the style of Raymond Chandler but his novels are set on the rainswept streets of an alternate universe version of Aberystwyth. The hero of his Aberystwyth noir novels is Louie Knight, the best private detective in Aberystwyth.
Mario Puzo is best known for his crime novels about the Italian-American Mafia and Sicilian Mafia.
The Godfather (1969) – tells the story of a fictional Mafia family in New York City, headed by Vito Corleone, the Godfather. Adapted into a 1972 film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo.
Thomas Pynchon – Inherent Vice (2009) is set in Los Angeles in 1970. Private investigator Doc Sportello’s ex-girlfriend shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. Themes of drug culture and counterculture are prominently featured.
Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created by American crime fiction writers Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, and is the name of their main fictional character, a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve murder cases. The fictional Ellery Queen was the hero of more than 30 novels and several short story collections. The early novels had a page near the end called “Challenge to the Reader”, giving clues so that readers might solve each case before seeing the answer.
The Roman Hat Mystery (1929) – is the first of the Ellery Queen mysteries.
Ian Rankin is best known for his Tartan Noir Inspector Rebus novels, set mainly in Edinburgh. Detective Inspector John Rebus is a world-weary, pessimistic, hardened Scottish detective.
Knots and Crosses (1987) – first Inspector Rebus novel.
The Naming of the Dead (2006) – Inspector Rebus novel set in the week of the G8 summit in Gleneagles in 2005.
Kathy Reichs is a crime writer and forensic anthropologist. She is the author of novels that constitute the Temperance Brennan series. The fictional heroine in her novels, Temperance "Tempe" Brennan, is also a forensic anthropologist. Loosely adapted for television as the series Bones starring Emily Deschanel as Tempe.
Deja Dead (1997) – first novel featuring Temperance Brennan.
Ruth Rendell is best known for creating Chief Inspector Wexford. The Wexford series of novels are set in Kingsmarkham, a fictional town in Sussex.
From Doon with Death (1964) – first novel featuring Reginald Wexford.
Rendell also wrote a series of psychological crime novels including A Judgement in Stone (1977) and A Sight for Sore Eyes (1998).
A third series of novels, published under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, includes A Fatal Inversion, that won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger in 1987
Peter Robinson is a Canadian crime writer best known for his novels set in the fictional English town of Eastvale in the Yorkshire Dales featuring Inspector Alan Banks.
Gallows View (1987) – is the first novel in the Inspector Banks series.
Sax Rohmer is the pen name of Arthur Henry Ward. He is best known for his series of novels featuring the master criminal Dr. Fu Manchu starting with The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu (1913).
JK Rowling writes crime fiction under the pen name Robert Galbraith.
The Cuckoo's Calling (2013) – is the first novel in the Cormoran Strike series of detective novels. Strike is a disabled Afghan War veteran and struggling private investigator. The other novels in the series are The Silkworm (2014), Career of Evil (2015), Lethal White (2018), and Troubled Blood (2020).
Dorothy L(eigh) Sayers is best known for her mysteries set between World War I and World War II that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. She has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Lord Peter Wimsey is a gentleman detective who solves crimes for his own amusement. He is assisted by his valet, Mervyn Butler; police detective Charles Parker; and mystery writer Harriet Vane, who becomes his wife.
Whose Body? (1923) – first novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.
Strong Poison (1930) – first novel in which Harriet Vane appears
The Nine Tailors (1934) – has been described by many critics as her finest literary achievement.
Busman’s Honeymoon (1937) – last novel featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. It was originally a stage play.
Georges Simenon was a Belgian author who wrote 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring French police detective Jules Maigret, a commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle. Maigret smokes a pipe and wears a bowler hat and a thick overcoat. Rupert Davies took the title role in a BBC adaptation Maigret (1960-1963) and Rowan Atkinson took on the role in 2016 for ITV.
The Strange Case of Peter the Lett (1931) – first novel featuring Maigret.
Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972) – final novel featuring Maigret.
Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö are the authors of a series of ten novels about the exploits of Martin Beck, a police detective in Stockholm, collectively titled The Story of a Crime.
Roseanna (1965) – is the first novel featuring Martin Beck.
Mickey Spillane wrote a series of hard-boiled detective novels featuring Mike Hammer, a private investigator fuelled by a genuine rage against violent crime. His best friend is Pat Chambers, Captain of Homicide NYPD. Velda is his secretary.
I, the Jury (1947) – debut novel. First work to feature Mike Hammer.
Martin Cruz Smith is best known for his series of novels on Russian investigator Arkady Renko.
Gorky Park (1981) – is the first novel featuring Arkady Renko, a chief investigator for the Militsiya, who is assigned to a case involving three corpses dug up in Gorky Park, an amusement park in Moscow.
Rex Stout was the author of 33 novels about the detective Nero Wolfe and his assistant Archie Goodwin. Nero Wolfe is an eccentric armchair New York detective who was born in Montenegro.
Fer-de-Lance (1934) – is the first Nero Wolfe novel.
A Family Affair (1975) – is the last Nero Wolfe novel.
Josephine Tey was the pen name of Elizabeth MacKintosh.
The Daughter of Time (1951) – is a detective work investigating the role of Richard III in the death of the Princes in the Tower. In 1990 it was named as the greatest crime novel of all time by the Crime Writers' Association.
Robert Thorogood has written novels based on his own television series Death in Paradise. Set on the fictional Caribbean island of St Marie, the novels feature D I Richard Poole and D S Camille Bourdey, who were the main characters in the first two seasons of the television series. The books are A Meditation on Murder (2015), The Killing of Polly Carter (2015), Death Knocks Twice (2017) and Murder in the Caribbean (2018). He has also written The Marlow Murder Club (2021).
Fred Vargas is the pen name of Frederique Audoin-Rouzeau, a French novelist, historian and archaeologist. Her police thrillers are set in Paris and feature the adventures of Chief Inspector Adamsberg, beginning with The Chalk Circle Man (1991).
Edgar Wallace wrote over 170 novels and is best known as the writer of the script for King Kong.
The Four Just Men (1905) – first crime novel.
The Mind of Mr. J. G. Reader (1925) – is a collection of short stories which concern a former police officer working for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Jill Paton Walsh completed Dorothy L. Sayers's unfinished Lord Peter Wimsey–Harriet Vane novel, Thrones, Dominations (1998). She has also written the Lord Peter Wimsey continuation novels A Presumption of Death (2002), The Attenbury Emeralds (2010) and The Late Scholar (2013).
The Ice House (1992) – debut novel. Tells the story of three women living in an English manor house. One of them has been accused of murdering her husband ten years ago. A body is then discovered in the ice house.
The Sculptress (1993) – concerns Olive Martin, who was imprisoned for life after police found her cradling the shattered bodies of her mother and sister, having previously dismembered them and rearranged their limbs into abstract shapes on the floor, a crime for which she was nicknamed "the Sculptress”.
The Scold’s Bridle (1994) – Mathilda Gillespie's bloody corpse is found in her bathtub, her wrists slit and the scold's bridle clamped on her head. A scold’s bridle is an instrument of torture to stop the wearer from speaking.
Joseph Wambaugh – The Choirboys (1975) is a controversial novel following LAPD officers experiencing various pressures at work who unwind at night with drunken get-togethers ("choir practice") at MacArthur Park.
Hillary Waugh – Last Seen Wearing ... (1952) is a police procedural looking at the investigation into a missing young woman.
R(odney) D(avid) Wingfield is best known for creating the character of Detective Inspector Jack Frost. Adapted into the television series A Touch of Frost starring David Jason.
Frost at Christmas (1984) – first novel featuring Jack Frost.
Cornell Woolrich wrote pulp and detective fiction. His short story It Had to be Murder (1942) was adapted by Alfred Hitchcock as Rear Window and his novel The Bride Wore Black (1940) was adapted into a 1968 film of the same name by François Truffaut.