10 Underrated British Mystery Books to Add to Your Bookshelf Now

    Looking for your next mystery obsession?

    From tales by Ronald Knox to Dorothy Simpson, these underrated British mystery books are definitely worth an investigation. Whether you’re looking for a one-off puzzler or a new series to dive into, you’re sure to find something new among these thrilling reads.

    Buy The Religious Body at Amazon

    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.

    Related: 10 Female Noir and Mystery Writers You Need to Read 

    The Religious Body

    By Catherine Aird

    Buy What Dread Hand? at Amazon

    What Dread Hand?

    By Christianna Brand

    Christianna Brand may be most well known today thanks to Nurse Matilda, which was adapted into Nanny McPhee in 2005, but she also wrote some truly cracking mysteries. For a look at her range, try Brand’s short story collection, What Dread Hand?.

    What Dread Hand?

    By Christianna Brand

    Buy Joyce Porter at Amazon

    Joyce Porter

    By Dover Two

    If you’re looking for a classic whodunit with a strong helping of humor, look no further than Joyce Porter’s Dover novels. The second, Dover Two, is where she really hits her stride. The overweight and irritable Chief Inspector Dover must figure out who tried to kill “Sleeping Beauty”—a young woman who slipped into a coma after the murder attempt.

    Joyce Porter

    By Dover Two

    Buy The Three Taps at Amazon

    The Three Taps

    By Ronald Knox

    Knox, who famously abandoned his position as an Anglican priest to become Catholic, was a member of the original Detection Club. Yet he is often overlooked by detective fiction devotees. In The Three Taps, Mr. Mottram is discovered dead in an inn. Both Police Inspector Leyland and insurance agent Miles Bredon struggle to piece together exactly what happened.

    Related: 7 Lesser-Known Michael Crichton Books That Will Get Your Heart Pounding 

    The Three Taps

    By Ronald Knox

    Buy Picture Miss Seeton at Amazon

    Picture Miss Seeton

    By Heron Carvic

    Miss Seeton is the perfect amateur sleuth for any reader who has run out of Miss Marple to consume. In Picture Miss Seeton, the prim and proper drawing teacher is pulled into a murder investigation, making her the target of a crime ring. Carvic penned just five Seeton books while alive, yet the series continued after his death–there are currently 22 Miss Seeton mysteries.

    Picture Miss Seeton

    By Heron Carvic

    Buy A Bicycle Built for Murder at Amazon

    A Bicycle Built for Murder

    By Kate Kingsbury

    Kate Kingsbury’s charming Manor House Mysteries take place during World War II at the Sitting Marsh Manor House. In A Bicycle Built for Murder (the first entry in the Manor House series), a teen girl is found dead, and the lady of the house puts on her sleuthing hat to find the killer.

    A Bicycle Built for Murder

    By Kate Kingsbury

    Buy Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy at Amazon

    Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy

    By Freeman Wills Crofts

    If you’re looking for a stiff upper-lip type of British mystery, Croft is the man for you. Freeman Wills Croft wrote during the golden age of detective fiction. His interest in railroads seeped into his many mysteries. Inspector French was one of the most workmanlike of sleuths at the time, lending a firm and practical approach to each of his cases.

    Related: 9 Mystery Books with Surprise Plot Twists 

    Inspector French and the Starvel Tragedy

    By Freeman Wills Crofts

    Buy Walk with Care at Amazon

    Walk with Care

    By Patricia Wentworth

    Wentworth’s Miss Silver mysteries are fairly well known–although perhaps not as well as they should be. But the Benbow Smith series are just as good and much less frequently mentioned. If you’ve never encountered Wentworth, try out Miss Silver. If you’re old pals with the genteel sleuth, get to know Mr. Smith.

    Walk with Care

    By Patricia Wentworth

    Buy Last Seen Alive at Amazon

    Last Seen Alive

    By Dorothy Simpson

    Dorothy Simpson’s Inspector Thanet deserved to become as iconic as Hercule Poirot or Nero Wolfe. Unfortunately, her contributions are too often overlooked. Luckily, that means armchair detectives the world over have the chance to meet Inspector Thanet for the first time. Last Seen Alive, the fifth in the series, is the most beloved.

    Last Seen Alive

    By Dorothy Simpson

    Buy Trial and Error at Amazon

    Trial and Error

    By Anthony Berkeley

    Another forgotten member of the original Detection Club, Berkeley’s most famous novel is The Poisoned Chocolates Case, the fifth in the Roger Sheringham series. The others are rather less popular, thanks in part to a disconcerting amount of anti-Semitism, even for the era. Outside of Sheringham, Trial and Error avoids the bigotry while introducing a fascinating turnabout of a classic detective tale. After Todhunter kills a blackmailer, he discovers that an innocent person has been convicted to hang for the murder. He and a group of friends must work together to find enough evidence to prove that he was the killer.

    Trial and Error

    By Anthony Berkeley



    Created on 23 Jan 2018
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