This is a general article for adult mysteries worth reading.
- 1 History
- 2 Awards
- 3 Classic Authors & Immortal Sleuths
- 4 Short List of Bestselling Authors
- 5 Selected Authors by Type
- 6 Reader Favorites
Mystery novels trace their roots to Edgar Allen Poe (1809 - 1849)
1920s and 1930s: the so-called golden age of mysteries, highlighting the English aristocrat
1940s and 1950s: the rise of the hard-boiled detective and crime in the mean streets of major cities
1960s and 1970s: police procedural; sleuths with more interpersonal relationships
1980s and today: detectives any age or ethnic background associated with a particular city or country; courtroom drama and legal thrillers
The Edgars (Edgar Allan Poe Awards) presented by Mystery Writers of America in several categories: Grand Master, Best Novel, Etc.
Classic Authors & Immortal Sleuths
Edgar Allan Poe, Murders in the Rue Morgue
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes)
Dorothy L. Sayers (Lord Peter Wimsey)
- also see other authors like her.
Frederic Dannay (Ellery Queen)
Earl Derr Bigger (Charlie Chan)
Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe & Archie Goodwin)
Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlowe)
Dashiell Hammett (Sam Spade; Nick & Nora Charles)
Ross Macdonald (Lew Archer)
Short List of Bestselling Authors
Selected Authors by Type
and look for more authors in Adult Historical Mystery
- Potshot by Gerry Boyle,
- Gerry Boyle writes with deep insight while describing the backwoods towns and people of rural Maine. He should know, as he’s lived there for over 35 years. Working as a cub reporter, first in the tiny mill town of Rumford, ME, and then to the sprawling metropolis of Waterville, he obviously learned to hone his craft focusing on small details of a scene. But it is his rich dialogue and humor that engage the reader in this non-stop adventurous ride. This book is the fourth in his Jack McMorrow series, about a freelance journalist who gets deeply entwined in cases he assumed would be easy fill for the Sunday paper. In this story, Jack gets pulled into a seemingly innocuous tale covering a marijuana legalization movement in a remote area of Maine. But, while tracking down background information, things just don’t seem to add up. Suddenly, he’s becoming a target and dodging bullets of his own. It’s a fun read that grows increasingly harder to put down.
- The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill,
- A wonderfully likable coroner and his unusual staff hunt down criminals in 1970's Laos; lots of local color and an interesting analysis of the political situation.
- The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill
- The juxaposition of a psychopathic killer's diary to recognizable characters living in the British countryside structures this intense novel. A young, likable policewoman Freya Graffham becomes suspicous as village people begin to disappear. The author introduces enigmatic Chief Inspector Simon Serrallier in this first of a series of three crime novels. Author Ruth Rendell, known for her psychological mysteries writes that she loved this book.
- The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff,
- This book tells the story of two wives in different time periods. They are both the 19th wife in plural marriages.The first takes place in the 1870's and is a fictionalized account of Ann Eliza Young. This account is taken from true documents of the time. Her divorce from Brigham Young was a catalyst in bringing an end to legal plural marriages within the Mormon Church. The second story is set in present time and is a mystery. A young man returns to Utah after his mother has been arrested for killing his dad. The stories are intertwined and very well written, showing all perspectives.