Mystery fiction reading guide

Mystery fiction reading guide

Heroes and villains. Puzzles and tests. Thrillers and killers. Who doesn't love a good mystery?

Mystery is a broad term that covers stories in a lot of different styles, and settings from the grand to the gritty.

From historical whodunnits, to the golden age of crime writing, cosy and quirky amateur sleuths like Poirot and Father Brown, to the war-torn and world-weary Jack Reacher. We’ve got detectives and psychopaths, accidental heroes, unwitting victims, and vigilante justice –  there’s something for everyone in this popular genre, and this page is your doorway into a world of intrigue!

Happy sleuthing…

If you like reading about crimes that actually happened check out our True crime reading guide.

Mystery fiction reading lists

Mystery - eBooks & eAudiobooks

Cosy crime, contemporary thriller, historical – whatever your poison, there's something to keep you entertained and guessing 'whodunnit?'.

Mystery fiction sub-genre lists

Literary Mystery

Expect sharp social commentary, elaborate plotting, delightfully complex characters, and mysteries with thought-provoking narratives.

Domestic Suspense

What really goes on behind closed doors? Can you trust the person you share your life with? Are some secrets best left buried?

Mystery - Dark Academia

Expect unreliable narrators, secret societies, toxic relationships and plenty of twists and turns in these gripping dark academia novels.

Mystery - Locked Room

There's been a crime, the room locked from the inside - who did it? Or maybe it's a snowed-in lodge, a lighthouse, or distant planet...

Mystery - Graphic Novels

Captivating mystery stories about crime, the investigation and discovery of who did it with atmospheric artwork to match.

Psychological Thrillers

Tense and suspenseful, expect to be held in their sway as the mysteries are untangled, and psychological intricacies revealed.

Mystery - Police Procedural and Forensic Thriller

Police procedurals and forensic thrillers follow the protocols and scientific methods used by police forces to try and solve crimes.

Mystery - The Golden Age

Fans of lighter mysteries who are after something a bit more serious, and who appreciate great stories and character may like this genre.

Victorian Mysteries

Victorian mysteries are setting-heavy crime stories that will appeal to those who like historical fiction, as well as a gripping crime story

Mystery - If you like... Lee Child

Jack Reacher is tough and resourceful with a strong sense of justice. This list of readalikes has similarly driven, independent characters.

Mystery - Contemporary

Realistic plot-lines, characters, and experiences - these stories are real page-turners full of intrigue and suspense.

Mystery - Cosy Crime

Soft, easy-read crime stories that are great to curl up and relax with. No gore and violence, but lighter, sometimes funny mysteries.

Mystery - Legal and political thrillers

Stories with intricate plotting, suspense, and with many moving parts. One thing is for sure - don't trust anyone!

Mystery - Hardboiled

Mystery fiction that's gritty, depressing, violent, cynical and seedy - in the style pioneered by Dalshiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.

Short Stories - Mystery/Thriller/Adventure

Suspense, intrigue, action, adventure, and suspicion - all wrapped up in the short story format, so readable at one sitting.

Historical Mysteries (of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds)

Fictional tales of murder and intrigue, set in the Ancient and Medieval eras of Rome, Greece, Britain, Egypt, and more.

Mystery by country

Lists of crime novels grouped by country

Mystery - UK and Irish Crime

UK and Irish mystery fiction tends to focus on the shadows, with the protagonists flaws as much of the tale as the antagonists’ crimes.

Mystery - Korean and Japanese Crime

Korean and Japanese crime fiction blends hard-boiled noir and golden age mystery with twisting plots and cultural contexts and histories.

Mystery - Scandinavian Crime Noir

If you loved Stieg Larsson's blockbuster Millennium series, then check out this list of dark, gritty and confronting titles from Scandinavia

Mystery - Australian Crime

Titles layered with Australian larrikin culture, dark humour, and some seriously ingenious twists and reveals.

New Zealand crime fiction

Blood-soaked, intricately plotted stories, detectives, seedy urban settings, and often dark humour - explore the darker side of Kiwi fiction

Find Mystery fiction in the catalogue

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