As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809–45), short-story writer. The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841).




Graphic Novels

Historical Fiction

Agatha Christie
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Eric Stanely Gardner
John Gardner
Michael Jecks

Ellis Peters
Edgar Allen Poe

Science Fiction









Barnes &  


"The butler did it!" Mysteries are often associated with that cliché and others, but unlike many other books, mysteries invite, even encourage the reader to guess the outcome. Mysteries are unique in literature, since the outcome of the protagonist is known from the onset. The only question is how they will accomplish the outcome and often, "Who did it?". Some authors have broken from this formula from time to time, but rarely in a way that the protagonist actually fails. Whether in an interrogation room tricking the evil doer into implicating themselves or in a sitting room with all the suspects gathered awaiting the investigator's revelation of the killer, mysteries follow a formula that is comfortable. This formula, linked to a memorable protagonist, lends itself well to the series with many becoming series.

Most mystery stories deal with murder. Many deal with multiple murders. This may not be realistic from today's standards, but it is fiction after all. Many of the modern writers avoid this pattern with excellent results; but, there is something about those books where the chief witness is discovered dead before they could reveal their secrets to the sleuth that draws us, the reader, into turning the next page.

No mention of Mysteries could be complete without the mention of three authors. Edgar Allen Poe for his Murder in the Rue Morgue, which  often described as the first modern mystery story. If Edgar Allen Poe invented the modern mystery story, then Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought it to the masses with his serialized adventures of the gentleman that resided at 221B Baker Street, the one and only Sherlock Holmes. The last author that must be mentioned, if only because her name is synonymous with the phrase "Mystery Writer', is the famous Agatha Christie. Agatha Christie also presented the reader with one of the most unlikely sleuths in the embodiment of Miss Marple.

The rest of the authors presented here do not necessarily represent the best in the field, only the best of those that I have read. Most Mystery Series are written in a chronological order, but those that are not offer the reader two choices of paths for reading about their favorite sleuth. The books here are presented in the chronological order of the sleuth, not necessarily the author.  If you see the name of an author you do not recognize I encourage you to find the first book in the series and curl up one stormy night to see if you can catch a killer.

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