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Hundreds of International Mystery and Thriller Books Are Waiting to Whisk You Away

Travel the world with these incredible books by authors beyond America's borders.

international mystery and thriller books
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Mystery is a wonderful genre that takes readers into the minds of detectives, victims, and killers alike. But what if these stories could take you even farther? What if, from the comfort of your couch, you could travel to the beautiful emerald landscapes of Ireland or the exciting streets of Japan?

We at Murder & Mayhem have combed through all of our content to bring you the most riveting international works of mystery. With hundreds of books from authors around the world—from as close as Canada and as far as New Zealand—you'll never be bored again.

Mystery Books from Around the World

The Borrowed

The Borrowed

By Chan Ho-Kei

Kwan Chun-dok has been a detective in Hong Kong for 50 years. Starting with the Leftist Riot of 1967 and Kwan’s investigation of a massive bomb threat, The Borrowed traces both Kwan’s career and the fraught history of Hong Kong in the modern age. In the present day, as he takes on his last case of a murdered billionaire, Kwan will be forced to reckon with the ways the past can repeat itself.

Must-Read Mysteries and Detective Books from Across the Pond

mystery and thriller books by international authors

The Friend

By Joakim Zander

Swedish author Joakim Zander thrilled readers the world over with The Swimmer, his blockbuster espionage debut hailed by Kirkus as a “compulsively readable page-turner with unexpected heart.” Now, he’s set to deliver another intricate tale to stateside readers with The Friend. Jacob Seger arrives in Beirut to begin his internship at the Swedish embassy and launch what he hopes will be a successful career in international politics. He soon meets and falls for the handsome and beguiling Yassim, who claims he's a war photographer but may have secrets to hide.

Meanwhile, Klara Walldeen, the tough heroine from Zander's previous novels, returns to the Stockholm archipelago to bury her grandfather. But when her friend Gabi is arrested under suspicion of terrorist activity, Walldeen fights to clear Gabi's name. Her search for the truth exposes a web of deception that stretches from Lebanon to Sweden and a looming terrorist attack that must be stopped. Masterfully crafted, readers won’t be able to put down this "compelling, timely, and character-centered thriller" (Booklist). 

Heart-Pounding Foreign Thrillers in Translation

best foreign thrillers

The Televangelist

By Ibrahim Essa

Haten el-Shenawi is Egypt’s most respected television preacher. There’s no denying he has friends in high places and is beloved by all. But when he is told a secret that threatens to unravel Egypt’s very foundation, he is dragged into a realm of dangerous political maneuvering with those at the center of a corrupt government system. All he has to rely on are his fame and fortune to prevent him from falling victim to scandal. 

Global Thrills and Chills Await You in Europa’s World Noir Mysteries

Total Chaos

Total Chaos

By Jean-Claude Izzo

“Izzo’s Marseilles is ravishing,” the Globe and Mail says of the first book in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseilles Trilogy. “Every street, café, and house has its own character.” Total Chaos follows the lives of three friends—once inseparable—who begin to lose their way in the criminal underworld of the French city. When two of the friends turn up dead, it is left to the last surviving member of the trio to seek justice. For more in Izzo's riveting Marseilles Trilogy, check out Chourmo, the explosive follow-up to Total Chaos

Mystery and Thriller Novels by African Writers

books by african writers

My Sister, the Serial Killer

By Oyinkan Braithwaite

In this Lagos-set debut, we witness an event that explores the extent to which love and family loyalty can make us revolt against our fundamental morality. Korede, an anti-social nurse, receives a now-familiar request from her gorgeous sister, Ayoola: Can she help cover up the murder of Ayoola’s boyfriend, the third victim of her violent rage? When Ayoola shows up at Korede's workplace one day and a doctor falls in love with her, the phrase “family always comes first” is tested.

This novel isn't exactly a murder mystery, since we already know who, what, when, and where—if not why. But it occupies the same dark places as murder mysteries do: family; the burden of loyalty; a psychotic killer. This novel won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2019 and was shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction.

South African Thrillers That Will Leave You Reeling

south african thrillers

Like Clockwork

By Margie Orford

In the first Clare Hart novel, a young woman is found dead on Cape Town’s Seapoint promenade. Police profiler Clare Hart is tasked with finding the killer, becoming more desperate with each new victim. As bodies keep showing up, Dr. Hart becomes more and more deeply ensnared in the case, as it forces her to revisit a traumatizing time in her past. Like Clockwork delves into the crime rings and underbelly of the city.

Pulse-Pounding Books by South African Author Deon Meyer

The Dark Flood

The Dark Flood

By Deon Meyer

Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido are assigned to investigate the disappearances of a university student and a computer programmer, but they quickly hit a dead end. Soon though, a series of alarming events alert them to the absence of certain police weapons—a potentially devastating loss. Woven in with Griessel and Cupido's search are the struggles of real estate agent Sandra Steenberg. Due to corruption at the state level, the real estate market has crashed—escalating her family's financial duress. As the book hurtles toward its heart-pounding solution, the ramifications of corruption and greed become impossible to escape.

Classic Australian Crime Reads


Cocaine Blues

By Kerry Greenwood

Published elsewhere as Death by Misadventure (USA) or Miss Phryne Fisher Investigates (UK), Kerry Greenwood’s classic series opener introduced the world to Phryne Fisher, an aristocrat, private investigator, and bonne vivante making the most of life in 1920s Melbourne. The character has gone on to feature in dozens of books, a popular TV series (currently available on Netflix), and a feature film: 2020’s Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears.

The book that started it all, Cocaine Blues sets the template for what’s to come—vivid depictions of early 20th-century luxury, provocative examinations of gender roles and social norms, and above all, riveting adventure propelled by twists and turns aplenty.

Thrilling Australian Crime Book Releases

The River Mouth by Karen Herbert

The River Mouth

By Karen Herbert

Anyone who has lived in a small town will find elements of Karen Herbert’s debut offering distressingly familiar. While this tale is set amongst fishing boats and former football players on the rugged Western Australian coast, it deals in universals such as gossip, long memories, and tension in the wake of tragedy. 

A decade after the unsolved murder of her 15-year-old son, Darren, Sandra Davies suffers another loss as her best friend is found dead on a remote outback road. In an unthinkable turn, her friend’s DNA is found to match samples that were recovered from under Darren’s fingernails all those years ago. The narrative alternates between the present and the events leading up to Darren’s killing, each timeline knotting and twisting, exploring issues as diverse as family dynamics, racism, and intellectual disability on the journey to an inevitable yet unexpected conclusion.

Pushing the Boundaries of Mysteries with Australian Author Sulari Gentill

Book cover of jazz age mystery book A Few Right Men by Sulari

A Few Right Thinking Men

By Sulari Gentill

It’s the Jazz Age—but from the world down under. Rowland Sinclair may be an artist but he’s also the younger son of a wealthy landowning family in Australia. He lives with his artistic friends in the family home in the city and they attend all the wild parties and other events. His family is less than pleased with his lifestyle. It’s also a time of social tension with the increasing misery of the Depression, the rise in fascism, and fears about socialism—both abroad and at home. When Sinclair’s uncle is brutally murdered in what appears to be a botched home invasion, Sinclair decides he has to find out the murderer without further besmirching the family name. It’s the first of 10 books in the Rowland Sinclair series.

A Powerful Mystery Set Under the Australian Sun

the lost man hype piece

The Lost Man

By Jane Harper

Under the blazing sun of the Australian Outback, it only takes a few hours for an unprepared traveler to succumb to the elements. In The Lost Man, Jane Harper's latest mystery thriller, two brothers find their third sibling dead of dehydration under these harsh conditions. Yet the circumstances surrounding his death are perplexing, prompting suspicions of foul play—and the desolate wilderness of the Outback drastically narrows the pool of suspects.

Classic British Mystery Books Everyone Should Read

Gaudy Night

Gaudy Night

By Dorothy L. Sayers

The fear of the reputational damage that will be done to a posh Oxford College by an outbreak of vandalism, obscene messages and poison-pen letters lies at the heart of this tightly-knotted 1935 mystery from one of Britain’s Queens of Crime. The Dean calls in former-student Harriet Vane to investigate. She’s soon joined by her on-off boyfriend Lord Peter Wimsey. Working together the pair foil a plot to drive a vulnerable student to suicide before pouncing on the perpetrator. Sayers is at her best here, gleefully pointing up the sort virulent class snobbery that can drive a person to mad fury.

5 Must-Read Dark English Crime Fiction Books

get carter

Get Carter

By Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis’ taut 1970 novel is set in the grim Lincolnshire steel town of Scunthorpe, the sort of rough blue-collar place where men have fistfights simply to fill the time before the pubs open. The formidably hard Jack Carter works as an enforcer for a London mobster. He returns home to investigate the violent death of his niece, and he quickly uncovers a pornography and prostitution ring run by the local crime boss—with the help of corrupt public officials. Violence ensues.

The Manchester-born Lewis was a terrific writer with a knack for penetrating the criminal psyche. He wrote a handful of powerful books including the bloody and disturbing GBH, before drinking himself to death at 42. Mike Hodges’ excellent 1971 adaption starring Michael Caine moves the action north to Newcastle upon Tyne, but captures the dirty, darkness of the original nicely. The less said about the 2000 Sylvester Stallone version, the better.

Underrated British Mystery Books

The Religious Body

The Religious Body

By Catherine Aird

Despite publishing over 20 mystery novels, Catherine Aird is sadly underrepresented among classic mystery authors. Her C.D. Sloan series, as well as her many short stories, rank her among some of the best in the game. Born in 1930, and still writing more novels, Aird is definitely one to check out if you’re a fan of Martha Grimes and the like.

British Mystery Books That Even the Most Dedicated Sleuths Haven’t Read


Miss Benson's Beetle

By Rachel Joyce

This adventure follows Margery Benson in 1950 in London, where she works as a schoolteacher who has lost the joy and sense of wonder in her existence. Instead of giving up or continuing to sluggishly move through life, she decides she will fulfill a childhood goal—travel to New Caledonia to find the golden beetle that may not even exist.

To aid in her travels, she enlists a woman named Enid Pretty, a travel companion completely different from Margery in every way possible, all the way down to her pom-pom sandals. But Enid’s fun-loving attitude may be just what Margery needs to accomplish her quest. A story that celebrates friendship and demonstrates how two women reclaim their self-worth will make you miss them once you read the final page—as if you're being forced to say goodbye to an old friend. 

Where to Start with British Author Lisa Jewell

The Family Remains

The Family Remains

By Lisa Jewell

DCI Samuel Owusu is summoned to the scene of a horrific finding dawn one morning on the Thames coast. When Owusu submits the data for testing, he finds that the bones are related to a cold case that took place thirty years ago and left three individuals dead on the floor of a Chelsea mansion.

The news that Rachel Rimmer's husband, Michael, was discovered murdered in the basement of his French home likewise came as a shock to her. The French police urgently require her to arrive to provide information on Michael and his past despite her strong reluctance to do so because all indications point to an intruder.

British Author Rob Sinclair's thrilling James Ryker Series

The Red Cobra

The Red Cobra

By Rob Sinclair

Nearly two decades of Carl Logan's life were devoted to the Joint Intelligence Agency. He is now residing in secrecy as James Ryker, and all he wants is anonymity so that he can begin a new life free from turmoil, brutality, devastation, and deception.

But before long, Ryker's fleeting idyll is over when his former JIA boss, Peter Winter, finds him and ends it. One of Ryker's previous enemies, the notorious female killer known as the Red Cobra—whose fingerprints match Kim Walker's—was murdered in Spain. Winter brings knowledge of this crime with him.

Inside the Classic Works of British Author G.K. Chesterton

The Innocence of Father Brown

The Innocence of Father Brown

By G. K. Chesterton

Flambeau was once an underworld legend, but the master thief has finally found his match. In pursuit of a priceless cross, an ordinary priest named Father Brown foils him. But with his keen insight into the criminal mind, is Brown really so ordinary after all? Wielding logic and good humor, this clergyman sets out to reform one of England's most notorious criminals.

Must-Read Mysteries by British Author Mark Billingham

The Murder Book

The Murder Book

By Mark Billingham

Tom Thorne may finally have it all, but everything is about to go south.

He has incredible friends: Nicola Tanner and Phil Hendricks. A budding romantic relationship and a fulfilling job. Unfortunately, the more you have, the more there is to lose.

When he sets off after a woman who has brutally killed several people, he doesn't realize this will be a turning point. What follows will be an unfathomable nightmare—one from which Thorne may never escape. In addition to hunting a killer, a hideous secret from his past threatens to be revealed.

In order to preserve the life he's worked so hard to build, he'll have to do the unthinkable...

Prolific British Crime Author John Creasey

The Death Miser

The Death Miser

By John Creasey

In the opening salvo in this blockbuster series, the Hon. James Quinion—aka special agent Jimmy Quinion—is visiting his aunt in the English countryside when he receives orders to surveil a nearby farmhouse. From this unlikely location, an international criminal syndicate is planning to kill millions of innocent people. To stop them, Quinion will have to defeat a drug-addled mastermind known as the “Death Miser.”

Exciting Reads from British Author Joseph Knox

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox

True Crime Story

By Joseph Knox

Blurring the line of fiction and nonfiction, Evelyn Mitchell, a writer, corresponds with character/author Joseph Knox about her non-fiction work on the disappearance of Zoe Nolan from her dorm at University of Manchester. Told through interviews with Zoe’s family—including her twin sister Kimberly—and friends as well, as emails between Knox and Evelyn, the true story of what happened to Zoe is revealed. But Evelyn’s story becomes intertwined with the one she’s writing. The book features so many new starts. Evelyn wants to publish her second book after a devastating bout with cancer. Twin sisters Kimberly and Zoe wanted to restart their own lives in college. For Zoe, that meant figuring out life after not getting into her music school of her dreams, while Kimberly did not want to be defined by her talented twin sister.

British Thriller Writer Geoffrey Household

The Last Two Weeks of Georges Rivac

The Last Two Weeks of Georges Rivac

By Geoffrey Household

The Last Two Weeks of Georges Rivac draws on Household’s time in the world of business. The novel follows Rivac, a European businessman, as a favor for a potential new client puts him on the run from an unknown assailant and in the midst of an international conspiracy.

The Queen of Crime: 10 Best Books by British Author Agatha Christie

best agatha christie books

Death Comes as the End

By Agatha Christie

Death may come as the end, but it’s a staple of the beginnings of Agatha Christie novels. This time, though, her novel opens with a reappearance: An Egyptian father returns to his family, albeit with a new concubine in tow. That concubine part makes a bit more sense when you consider that this novel is set in ancient Egypt. That’s an unusual choice for Christie, as is the fact that there are no European characters in this book. All of this makes for a refreshingly unique take on Christie’s trademark mystery format.

Dorothy Simpson: Where to Begin with the Award-Winning British Author

The Night She Died

The Night She Died

By Dorothy Simpson

Inspector Thanet's debut is an impressive one. This novel focuses on the death of a young woman, but it's about much more than just the titular "night she died." In fact, The Night She Died dives fearlessly into the past, unearthing decades-old secrets and weaving a mystery tale worthy of kicking off Inspector Thanet's legendary literary career.

Thrilling Books by British Author John Lawton

Sweet Sunday

Sweet Sunday

By John Lawton

In Sweet Sunday, Lawton takes readers back to the pivotal summer of 1969. The tumultuous twilight of the 1960s is the backdrop for the story of Turner Raines, a ne'er-do-well who, after failing his way through various aborted careers, has finally found his calling as a private investigator who specializes in dragging draft dodgers back from Canada. When Turner's journalist friend is murdered on one of his sojourns to our neighbor in the north, Turner embarks on an investigation that is a quite bit more thrilling than his usual peacenik-retrieval routine.

Gripping Crime Novels by British Author Belinda Bauer

books about strange disappearances


By Belinda Bauer

Many of the biggest names in crime fiction have one thing in common: a superb debut novel. Belinda Bauer is certainly no exception. Published in 2009, Blacklands is the award-winning, smash-hit novel that launched Bauer's career. Years later, it still packs an emotional punch. the novel centers on the mysterious disappearance of Billy Peters. Eighteen years ago, Billy vanished from his small English village. Locals presumed the boy fell victim to Arnold Avery, a serial killer who later admitted to murdering multiple children and burying them in the nearby moor.

Billy's mother, however, holds out hope that her son is still alive. Now, twelve-year-old Steven, the grandson in the Peters family, decides he's going to solve the mystery. His plan? Write to Arnold Avery, the presumed killer who's currently behind bars, in hopes of untangling the mystery of Billy's disappearance. But serial murderers make pretty dangerous pen pals.

Where to Start with British Author Dorothy L. Sayers

Whose Body?

Whose Body?

By Dorothy L. Sayers

Sayers wrote the first Lord Peter Wimsey mystery while working as a copywriter at Bensons, a prominent London advertising firm. A British aristocrat who suffers from what today we would call PTSD in the wake of the Great War, Lord Peter becomes involved in the baffling case of an unidentified body that shows up in the bathtub of an architect, naked except for a pince-nez. It’s the first time that audiences are invited along on a mystery with Lord Peter Wimsey, but it will be far from the last…

Gritty Mysteries By British Author Reginald Hill

A Clubbable Woman

A Clubbable Woman

By Reginald Hill

Hill was best known for his Dalziel and Pascoe series, which featured the case-cracking odd couple of Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe. The sprawling series can be read in any order, but this is the book that started it all. As you follow Dalziel and Pascoe’s intriguing investigation into the murder of a local rugby club member, you’ll understand why this series took off with readers.

Riveting Political Thrillers by British Author Jack Higgins

The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed

By Jack Higgins

IRA operative Liam Devlin wants to see England suffer, even if it means teaming up with the Nazis. So when a German military intelligence officer hatches a plot to kidnap Winston Churchill, Devlin agrees to be the inside man. Leading the mission is elite paratrooper Kurt Steiner, whose sense of honor has run him afoul of SS commanders in the past. But now he has a chance to redeem himself—or die trying. As Steiner and Devlin launch their raid, only a company of U.S. Army Rangers training on the English coast can prevent a devastating blow to the Allied cause. 

Pulse-Racing Mysteries by British Author Ruth Rendell

The Tree of Hands

The Tree of Hands

By Ruth Rendell

Twice-adapted for the screen (once, in 1989 and then in 2001 as Alias Betty), The Tree of Hands introduces Rendell’s brand of psychological whodunits. Distraught over the death of her two-year-old son, single mom Benet Archdale receives consolation from the worst person possible: her mentally unstable mother, Mopsa. As if her arrival isn’t enough, a local child suddenly goes missing—drawing both mother and daughter into a deadly web of secrets, violence, and insanity that opens wounds best left untouched. 

Ministry of Fear: Books by British Author Graham Greene

Our Man in Havana

Our Man in Havana

By Graham Greene

A remarkable number of Greene’s narratives were adapted for the silver screen, yielding noirs and thrillers (such as The Third Man) now considered classics of the genre. This Cold War tale, hailed as one of the 20 best spy novels of all time by Telegraph, inspired the 1959 British spy games comedy of the same name starring Alec Guinness. James Wormold is a lowly vacuum salesman in Havana, Cuba, struggling to turn a profit. So when MI6 offers Wormold the opportunity to work for British intelligence, he leaps at the chance. The only problem? He has very little intel to deliver. To keep Her Majesty happy and his wallet fat, Wormold concocts phony reports and diagrams based on vacuum cleaner parts. The scam works, at first—until Wormold’s false narratives put him in the crosshairs of a real-life assassination plot. Greene would revisit themes of espionage, MI6, and Cold War paranoia in 1978's The Human Factor.  

Enchanting Books by British Mystery Author Ellis Peters

A Morbid Taste for Bones

A Morbid Taste for Bones

By Ellis Peters

In the first entry of the Cadfael Chronicles, Brother Cadfael is tasked with traveling to the town of Gwytherin to collect the holy remains of Saint Winifred and transport them back to the Shrewsbury Abbey. Unsurprisingly, a number of Gwytherin’s residents prefer that the saint’s remains remain undisturbed. When a vocal opponent named Rhisiart is found dead in the woods with an arrow in his chest, some see it as a grim kind of divine intervention. Cadfael suspects a mere mortal did the deed, and sets about finding the culprit. Peters’ introduction to the vivid world of Brother Cadfael now stands as a classic, with The Wall Street Journal ranking it as one of their five best historical novels. 

Books by British Author Mo Hayder That Will Get Under Your Skin



By Mo Hayder

This is the acclaimed first novel that introduced us to Hayder's vision. Detective Inspector Jack Caffery, a man haunted by past traumas, is now a lead investigator of London’s murder squad. His first assignment? Investigate the slaying of a woman whose body is found near London's Millennium Dome. Caffery quickly realizes this is no ordinary case. Soon, additional bodies surface, each baring the killer's grisly mark. Now Caffery is in a race to stop the culprit before he strikes again.

British Author Daphne du Maurier's Best Mysteries

gothic horror novels rebecca


By Daphne Du Maurier

Considered by most to be Daphne du Maurier’s masterpiece, Rebecca was deeply influenced by Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Both novels feature narrators who believe they are the victims of a supernatural haunting. Yet the truth is far darker. The nameless narrator of this novel finds that though her husband’s first wife Rebecca is dead, her memory very much lives on in his palatial estate and in the heart of her dedicated housekeeper Mrs. Danvers. Can the second Mrs. de Winter discover what happened to the first–and prevent the same from happening to her?

An Introduction to British Crime Writer Patricia Wentworth

The Miss Silver Mysteries Volume One

The Miss Silver Mysteries Volume One

By Patricia Wentworth

Thanks to her cover as a retired governess and knitting enthusiast, Miss Silver seamlessly weaves her way through Britain's upper-crust to discover villains hiding in plain sight. In this three-book collection, she gets to the bottom of a bizarre conspiracy, a miscarriage of justice, and threatening letters sent by an anonymous sender. One thing is for sure: Maud's unassuming front conceals a sharp, perceptive mind that can crack whatever cases are thrown her way.

Thrillers by British-Canadian Author Arthur Hailey



By Arthur Hailey

Arguably Hailey's first great novel, the plot of Hotel may sound like isn’t conducive to thrills, but the constrained time period keeps tensions at a fever pitch. Over the course of a single workweek, intertwining narratives tell the story of an independent hotel’s struggle for financial survival. With the growing success of a competitor hotel chain, the management team must prevent their enemy’s takeover—in addition to fighting their own failings and ambitions, and the shocking shenanigans of their wealthy clientele.

Must-Read Books by British Novelist P.D. James

pd james books

Unnatural Causes

By P.D. James

Unnatural Causes puts the fox in the coop. Dalgliesh, long awaiting a vacation, finally gets the chance to join his aunt Jane in a quaint English seaside village. Although Dalgliesh expects a relaxing time, he arrives to discover that a number of writers have also taken up residence in Aunt Jane’s house, including a detective novelist. When that novelist shows up dead, Dalgliesh finds himself sucked into the investigation.

British Author Margery Allingham's Mystery Novels Still Hook Us Today

The Case of the Late Pig

The Case of the Late Pig

By Margery Allingham

Private detective Albert Campion receives a summons to the village of Kepesake, where an exceptionally distasteful death has occurred. The lifeless body belongs to Pig Peters, eerily killed just five months after his own funeral. As additional corpses emerge and Peters's body mysteriously vanishes, Campion's astute detective skills are put to the test in unraveling the intricate crime. What sets The Case of the Late Pig apart is its unique narration by Campion himself. Margery Allingham effortlessly blends high drama with pitch-perfect black comedy, creating a captivating blend of murder, romance, and Campion's own unglamorous past. 

British Historical Mystery Author Anne Perry

The Cater Street Hangman

The Cater Street Hangman

By Anne Perry

A serial killer has come to Victorian London. The weapon of choice? A cheese wire. The latest victim? A maid employed at the posh Ellison household. While most of the surviving residents are left shaking in their petticoats, young Charlotte remains as unflappable as ever. The most rambunctious and curious of the Ellison brood, she butts heads with Thomas Pitt, the inspector on the case, when he insists she minds her own business. But as the plot thickens, the pair's connection deepens—and soon, they become a sleuthing duo no criminal can outrun. 

Though originally written as a standalone novel, The Cater Street Hangman became the first in Anne Perry’s 32-book mystery series

Gritty Crime Fiction by British Novelist Neil Cross



By Neil Cross

One of Cross’ best, Captured follows Kenny Drummond, a terminal cancer patient whose death sits on the not-so-distant horizon. Determined to go to the grave with a clean conscience, Kenny aims to make amends with everyone he’s wronged—including his former classmate, Callie Barton. The reconciliation is thwarted, however, by Callie's disappearance and its unsettling connections to her allegedly abusive husband. Just as Hard Sun’s Charlie and Elaine strive to outpace humanity’s extinction, Kenny races against his own mortality to search for Callie. Once again, Cross blends suspense with subtle horror, creating a psychological thrill ride that creeps slowly under the skin.

Essential Books by Canadian Author Louise Penny

louise penny books

Still Life

By Louise Penny

Still Life, Penny’s debut novel, was the winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards and is the first book in the long-standing and beloved mystery series following Inspector Gamache. 

Gamache and his team are called to investigate the death of a beloved and longtime resident of Three Pines, a rural town in Montreal. The victim is Jane Neal. The retired schoolteacher’s body is found near the local hunting grounds, and at first glance, it appears as nothing more than a tragic hunting accident. Upon further examination, Gamache suspects there may be foul play.

Now, he finds himself integrating with the townspeople, forging alliances and making enemies, as he tries to uncover the truth behind the death of Ms. Neal. You can also watch the Three Pines movie, made for CBC in 2013.

Czech for Clues: The Engrossing Detective Novels of Josef Skvorecky

the mournful demeanor of liutenant boruvka

The Mournful Demeanour of Lieutenant Boruvka

By Josef Svorecky

The second “Czech” collection of Burovka stories, Sins of Father Knox, was published in English for the first time that same year. The title is a playful reference to the English mystery writer of the Golden Age of Detective fiction Father Ronald Knox. The Catholic priest had codified his Ten Rules of Detective Fiction in 1929. In one of the ten tales in this collection Skvorecky broke one of Knox’ rules—but in which story and which rule is it?

French Mystery and Thriller Novels

The Confessions of Arsene Lupin

The Confessions of Arsene Lupin

By Maurice Leblanc

Arsène Lupin is the world's most cunning thief—and a gentleman, to boot. His brilliant criminal mind can nab riches from even the stickiest of situations, and he's not above the occasional good deed, so long as there's reward money on the table. Baroness Repstein has vanished from Paris, and her husband's jewels have gone with her. French detectives have been left in her dust all over Europe, but Lupin has the skill to outwit both the police and criminals.

German Mystery and Thriller Novels

the trap

The Trap

By Melanie Raabe

Linda Conrads is well-known for her bestselling books—but she's just a notorious for the more than 11 years she's lived as a recluse. Cruel and bizarre rumors buzz around the shut-in, but nothing can compare to the truth. 12 years ago, Linda found her younger sister dead in a pool of blood, and while murder remains unsolved, the face of the killer still haunts her to this day.

Locking herself away in her own home is the only way Linda can manage her panic attacks. But her last safe haven is shattered when she sees the face of the man who killed her sister on TV. With no other way to reach out to the outside world, Linda uses the only tool she can: her writing. She weaves a brilliant new novel that doubles as an irresistible trap for this brutal killer. But as memories come rushing back, Linda begins to doubt her own sanity.

Did this man really take her sisters life, or is she hunting an unsuspecting victim?

Classic Detective Novels from Holland and Belgium

Outsider in Amsterdam

Outsider in Amsterdam

By Janwillem Van De Wetering

In the 1970s Amsterdam was generally regarded as the San Francisco of Europe—a magnate for hippies, flower children, and the counter-culture. The mood of the city at that time fills the work of Janwillem van de Wetering, a Zen Buddhist who spent a chunk of his life living in a commune in Maine.

Born in Rotterdam, van de Wetering wrote in English about two mismatched cops Detective Henk Gijpstra (middle-aged, happily married with a passion for gin and jazz) and Sergeant Rinus de Gier (younger, better looking with a passion for denim suits and women) who work for the Amsterdam Murder Brigade. They make their debut in this quirky, off-kilter escapade from 1975 which sees the pair investigating a death amongst the long-haired followers of an Eastern cult.

Gripping Mysteries from Indonesian Author Jesse Q. Sutanto


Vera Wong's Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

By Jesse Q. Sutanto

Vera Wong is a widower running a dilapidated teahouse who doesn’t understand why her son just can’t settle down and why he doesn’t see his mother more often. One morning her daily routine gets interrupted when she finds a man lying dead in the middle of her tea shop. Even more curious, four different people show up at the shop, trying to hide their connection to the man. While some business owners would leave the whole affair to the police, Wong decides she’s going to solve his murder, interrogating the four individuals who claim they didn’t even know the deceased. But Wong will get the truth out…and maybe they’ll listen to her advice.

Irish Mystery Writers Who Capture the Spirit of Ireland

irish crime novels

The Wrong Kind of Blood

By Declan Hughes

A clever play on words in an homage to Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon, the loy in Ed Loy—Hughes’ longest mystery series—refers to the traditional Irish spade. Hughes began as a playwright, co-founding the Rough Magic Theater Company in 1984. Over the years, he has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Abbey Theater and an Irish Writer Fellow at Trinity College. Through the lens of a private investigator returning to Dublin after years in America Hughes transports readers into the darker underbelly of the city with deft storytelling and a steady hand. His novels are raw, intimate, and extremely satisfying.

Crime Novels from the Emerald Isle

irish crime novels

The Ghosts of Belfast

By Stuart Neville

During the dark days of Ireland's Troubles, Gerry Fegan was a ruthless killer for the IRA. While peace has come to the Emerald Isle, Fegan remains a deeply troubled individual. Haunted by the ghosts of 12 victims, including a mother and her baby, a schoolboy, and a local butcher, Fegan realizes the only way to soothe his soul is to execute those men who first ordered him to kill. In Neville's searing debut, Gerry Fegan strives to atone for his sins before the ghosts of Belfast consume him.

The Best Crime Fiction Books by Irish Author Ken Bruen



By Ken Bruen

After an alcohol-infused bender, a young American woman struggling with substance abuse wakes up to a surprising letter. Her 79-year-old aunt has died, leaving Kate her cottage on the coast of Galway, Ireland. This could be the fresh start Kate is hoping for. She leaves her Brooklyn apartment behind and travels to see the cottage with her brothers, but once they arrive, they learn some startling news. Their Aunt Mary didn’t die of natural causes; she was murdered.

As Kate and her brothers sift through the clues, they discover a shocking mystery involving a drug cartel, an opera singer, and an obsessive killer. A standalone thriller from an “original, grimly hilarious” author, Callous is a gripping choice for new and longtime Ken Bruen fans alike (The Washington Post).

Where to Start with the First Lady of Irish Crime, Tana French

authors like louise penny

In the Woods

By Tana French

Can’t get enough of Helen Mirren’s Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect or Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson in The Fall? You’ll want to head straight for Tana French’s Cassie Maddox. Like all great detectives, Maddox’s past is inextricably linked to why she became a cop, and her relationship with her partner Rob Ryan only complicates things. 

Irish Author Freeman Wills Crofts is the Godfather of the Police Procedural

inspector french's greatest case

Inspector French’s Greatest Case

By Freeman Wills Crofts

Crofts introduced Inspector Joseph French to the world in Inspector French’s Greatest Case. Inspector French is a Scotland Yard detective. Happily married and entirely conventional, French battles no demons, conceals no dark personal secrets, and writes no poetry. 

In his debut, the ordinary Inspector French tackles a diamond robbery in London’s Hatton Garden, though the investigation sees him roaring across Europe from Amsterdam to Switzerland to Barcelona and Portugal (all by train, naturally).

Italian Mystery and Thriller Novels

Book cover of mystery book The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose

By Umberto Eco

In 1327, Benedictines in a well-off Italian abbey are accused of heresy. Brother Willian of Baskerville takes on the delicate investigation, but seven strange deaths soon take precedence. As a detective, Brother William's best tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon. Armed with his insatiable curiosity, Brother William sets out to gather evidence and untangle dangerous secrets.

Andrea Camilleri: Where to Begin with the Legendary Italian Mystery Author

andrea camileri books

The Terra-Cotta Dog

By Andrea Camilleri

Detective Inspector Salvo Montalbano first appeared in The Shape of Water in 1994, but it was 1996's Il cane di terracotta (The Terra-Cotta Dog) that cemented him as one of mystery fiction's most beloved characters. Though Camilleri originally planned on moving on to other characters, critics adored this book, and fans tore it from bookstore shelves. The verdict was in, and Camilleri gave the people what they wanted: more Montalbano.

In The Terra-Cotta Dog, Montalbano is investigating a Mafia crime when he stumbles across a strange cave. Inside are the decades-old bodies of two lovers along with symbolic artifacts, the titular terra-cotta dog among them. It's a bizarre find with echoes of Christian mythology, and it's the perfect puzzle to build a Montalbano mystery around.

Japanese Mystery and Thriller Novels

the tokyo zodiac murders

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

By Soji Shimada

Kiyoshi Mitarai is an astrologer, fortune teller, and amateur detective. Now the brilliant mind has just one week to solve a case that has stumped the entirety of Japan for the past 40 years. It was a gruesome three-part crime: the murder of the artist Umezawa, the rape and murder of his daughter, and the dismemberment of six others to create the "perfect woman." This puzzle is one of the bloodiest yet.

Underrated Books from New Zealand Author Ngaio Marsh

Enter a Murderer

Enter a Murderer

By Ngaio Marsh

Enter a Murderer is the second Roderick Alleyn mystery, but the first to be set in a theatre, Marsh’s favorite setting for her stories. When Alleyn is invited to the opening night of a play at London’s Unicorn Theatre, he assumes any violence he witnesses will be part of the show. But when a prop gun fires a bullet instead of a blank, the death on stage is all too real.

Alleyn’s investigation reveals that the victim, an up-and-coming actor, was far from innocent. His attempts to bribe and blackmail his way into stardom won him a lot of enemies in the cast and crew. But who among them hated him enough to resort to murder? It’s up to Inspector Alleyn to find out. 

Thrilling Nordic Noir Novels

best nordic noir novels

Murder in the Dark

By Dan Turèll

Murder in the Dark is a noir masterpiece from classic Danish author Dan Turèll. The Murder Series, which began in 1981 with this novel, takes us on an exhilarating stroll through Copenhagen and tells a compelling crime story. In each book of the series, a nameless reporter for the newspaper Bladet (literally, The Paper) is thrust into a mysterious murder. Turèll’s love for his city of Copenhagen—one of the few optimistic elements—is made clear in the saga.

The Best Books by Norwegian Author Jo Nesbø

The Redbreast

The Redbreast

By Jo Nesbo

Norway’s dark history as a haven for Nazi collaborators propels this ingenious crime novel as it moves between WWII-era battlefields and modern-day Oslo. On the trail of a vicious neo-Nazi, Harry stumbles across a plot to assassinate Norway’s Crown Prince. Meanwhile, back in the trenches of the Eastern Front, a corpse’s sudden reappearance baffles a group of Norwegian soldiers who volunteered to fight against the Allies. The separate storylines collide in a pulse-pounding climax that finds Harry unlocking the book’s many mysteries—including the meaning of its mysterious title—just as disaster strikes. 

Where to Begin with Russian Mystery Author Boris Akunin

She Lover of Death

She Lover of Death

By Boris Akunin

Published in Russian in 2001, She Lover of Death is Akunin’s eighth Erast Fandorin mystery, and the latest to get the ebook treatment. This adventure requires the dashing detective to investigate a decadent society of subversive poets known as the Lovers of Death, who “conduct nightly seances to determine who shall be Death’s next lover.”

The resulting rash of suicides shakes 19th-century Moscow and draws the attention of Fandorin, who must go undercover among their number in order to try to prevent the next death. In its native Russian, this novel was followed by the Dickensian mystery He Lover of Death, which takes place contemporaneously with She Lover of Death and follows Fandorin’s investigations into a series of murders in the slums of Moscow.

Scotland’s Finest: Explore the Thrilling World of Tartan Noir



By William McIlvanney

Often called the “father of Tartan noir”, McIlvanney’s legendary status makes him as good a writer as any to ignite your journey into the crime fiction genre. McIlvanney wasn’t just a crime writer–he also wrote philosophical and literary novels. But McIlvanney's Jack Laidlaw crime trilogy ushered in a new era of noir and crime fiction in Scotland. Laidlaw is the first in the series, and introduces readers to the hard-drinking philosopher detective. 

The Crime Fiction Books of Scottish Author Alan Parks

Bloody January

Bloody January

By Alan Parks

It’s 1973 in Glasgow, and the divisions between the haves and the have-nots have never been more stark. Into this moral morass plunges Detective Harry McCoy, whose investigation into a daylight murder committed by an eighteen-year-old assailant who then takes his own life leads him to the inner circle of one of the city’s wealthiest families. The Dunlops seem to be untouchable, and their appetites come at the expense of the city’s most vulnerable. McCoy isn’t about to stand for that, though. “Parks’ debut novel has an in-your-face immediacy that matches its protagonist,” writes Kirkus Reviews, while readers are sure to see why Parks has been compared to legendary Tartan noir author William McIlvanney, who the author has admitted to looking up to and emulating.

Denise Mina: Where to Begin with the Award-Winning Scottish Crime Author

Every Seven Years

Every Seven Years

By Denise Mina

This novella is a great example of how a skilled writer can pack a lot of story into just a chunk of pages. Part of a bibliomysteries series, Every Seven Years is set on a remote Scottish Island that the main character, Else, returns to after the death of her mother. Sick with grief, and haunted by painful memories of her past, she comes head to head with the local bullies that caused her to flee the island seven years earlier.

Gripping Books by Scottish Author Val McDermid

A Place of Execution Psychological Thriller Books

A Place of Execution

By Val McDermid

At first glance, the disappearance of 13-year-old Alison Carter from her remote Derbyshire village appears to be the gruesome handiwork of John Brady and Myra Hindley, the Moors murderers. But newly arrived District Inspector George Bennett reaches a dead end at every turn in his investigation. Decades later, Alison’s body still hasn’t been found, and Bennett is ready to help journalist Catherine Heathcote with her book about the case. But stirring up the past brings back painful memories—and fresh dangers. McDermid’s ingeniously crafted novel blends true crime tropes with the tautness of a psychological thriller. 

A Mystery Lover's Guide to Scottish Author Josephine Tey

literary mysteries

The Daughter of Time

By Josephine Tey

The fifth of Tey’s Alan Grant series, The Daughter of Time was selected by the British Crime Writers Association as the best crime novel of all time in 1990. Laid up in the hospital with a broken leg, Grant resolves to solve one of the UK’s greatest mysteries: Who killed the young princes Edward and Richard? The man who eventually became Richard III was sworn to protect them, and yet, they disappeared into the Tower of London and he became king in 1483. Grant believes Richard III has long been vilified by history and sets out to prove his innocence. 

Camilla Läckberg: Where to Begin with Sweden’s Queen of Crime

the stranger

The Stranger

By Camilla Läckberg

When people start dropping like flies in a normally tranquil Swedish village, Detective Patrik Hedstrom is tasked with tracking down an elusive murderer and restoring the peace that was lost, in whatever way he can. 

While chaos and fear are taking over the village, the local media seem to be eating it up, and news ratings have never been higher. Detective Hedstrom has to do his best to sniff out the truth for himself, without letting the influence of the press sway him with their own agenda.

Thrilling Books by Swedish Author Henning Mankell

Faceless Killers

Faceless Killers

By Henning Mankell

With Sweden in the grip of anti-immigrant resentment, police inspector Kurt Wallander hopes to solve the brutal murders of an elderly farming couple before news of the dying woman’s last word—“foreign”—gets out. Wallander has another, non-racial angle he wants to investigate, and his ex-wife, recalcitrant daughter, and nightly opera-and-whiskey habit keep him plenty busy as it is. A press leak causes the situation to spiral out of control, however, and the misanthropic detective must draw on every ounce of his resolve to identify the “faceless killers” before his community explodes into violence. 

Welsh Author Dr. Neil Bradbury Talks Poisons

a taste for poison by dr. neil bradbury

A Taste for Poison

By Dr. Neil Bradbury

In Dr. Neil Bradbury’s A Taste for Poison, he explores the history and science of 11 poisonous substances. Dr. Bradbury, professor, scientist, and writer, tells true crime stories of each poison as well as how the poison disrupts the normal functions of the body. It’s a delightful and informative read for anyone who is fascinated by the world of poisons—and this includes virtually anyone who is a murder mystery or true crime aficionado. 

Feature: Rey Seven/Unsplash