An extensive (and always growing) list of mystery novels from around the world.

  • Have you read all of these?
  • Which are on your ‘to read’ list?
  • Which are the best?
  • The worst?
  • Any we should add?

This list is frequently updated whenever we have time or read new novels. If you have any recommendations (from any country) please share in the comments!

Plus, if you liked this, don’t forget to check out our list of Movie Mysteries and TV Mysteries as well and share this list with others!

**This article contains affiliate links


Genres

2Mystery is Secondary Theme
AAnime
CCrime / Police Procedural
DPrivate Eye
EEspionage
FFramed (Innocent person is framed and must clear his/her name)
FAFalsely Accused
HHorror
JJournalist
LLGBTQ
MMedical / Autopsy / Pathology
NDNancy Drew (aka Nosy Detectives – amateurs who have gotten involved in a crime)
N/ENo Known English Translation
PSignificant Criminal Psychology
RReality TV / Documentaries
SSupernatural (Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves)
SFSci-Fi (Time Travel, Robots, Futuristic)
TTreasure Hunt (The Search for Lost Treasures, Tomb Raiding, Pirate Treasures)
TCTrue Crime
UUnaired (Coming Soon)
VVengeance / Revenge
WWuxia & Asian Fantasy (Dragons, Deities, Etc.)
YAYoung Adult
Countries: Australia, China (Mainland), Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Russia, United States

*Some works may deal with difficult / adult subjects or may be graphic. You should read online reviews and read at your own discretion.

Incorporation into this list does not reflect the views or opinions of The Suitcase Detective; it’s not a recommendation or endorsement.


Feel free to search the table according to:

  • Book Name
  • Author
  • Country Setting
  • Genre (e.g., (YA)) – use parentheses
  • Description

We have sorted works into “Fiction” and “Non-Fiction” categories, so choose your own poison!

Fiction

If there is a series involved, we only link directly to the first novel in the series. You can often find a link under “Series” to a full collection.

NovelAuthorDescriptionGenres Series

"The Devotion of Suspect X"
Keigo HigashinoWhen the body turns up and is identified, Detective Kusanagi draws the case and Yasuko comes under suspicion. Kusanagi is unable to find any obvious holes in Yasuko's manufactured alibi and yet is still sure that there's something wrong. Kusanagi brings in Dr. Manabu Yukawa, a physicist and college friend who frequently consults with the police. Yukawa, known to the police by the nickname Professor Galileo, went to college with Ishigami. After meeting up with him again, Yukawa is convinced that Ishigami had something to do with the murder. What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.(C), (D) | JapanDetective Galileo Series

Death of a Red Heroine
Qiu XiaolongA young “national model worker,” renowned for her adherence to the principles of the Communist Party, turns up dead in a Shanghai canal. As Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau struggles to trace the hidden threads of her past, he finds himself challenging the very political forces that have guided his life since birth. Chen must tiptoe around his superiors if he wants to get to the bottom of this crime, and risk his career—perhaps even his life—to see justice done.(C) | China (Mainland)Inspector Chen Investigations

Child 44
Tom Robb SmithIn a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.
Stalin's Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where "crime" doesn't exist.
(C) | RussiaChild 44 Trilogy

Cocaine Blues
Kerry GreenwoodIt's the roaring 1920s when the honorable and risque Phryne Fisher decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia. Soon she finds herself caught up in poisoned wives, cocaine smuggling rings, corrupt cops, and communism—not to mention erotic encounters with the beautiful Russian dancer, Sasha de Lisse. (D), (ND) | AustraliaPhryne Fisher Investigates

He Who Kills The Dragon
Lief GW PerssonWhen a newspaper delivery boy finds a 68 year-old alcoholic lying dead in his apartment--beaten with a saucepan lid and hammer, and then strangled--everyone expects an open-and-shut murder case, everyone that is but Hawaiian-shirt clad Detective Bäckström who's been assigned to lead the investigation team giving his irrepressible mix of luck and laziness a chance to save the day.(C) | NorwayBackstrom

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg LarssonHarriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.(D), (J) | SwedenMillennium

The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Dorothy GilmanMrs. Emily Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown, married children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. So, naturally, she became a CIA agent. Her first assignment in Mexico City doesn’t sound dangerous at first, but then, as often happens, something goes wrong. Now our dear Mrs. Pollifax finds herself embroiled in quite a hot Cold War—and her country’s enemies find themselves entangled with one unbelievably feisty lady.(C), (ND) | InternationalMrs. Pollifax
Malice: A MysteryKeigo HigashinoPolice Detective Kyoichiro Kaga recognized an old colleague, Nonoguchi, during his recent case. Hidaka and Nonoguchi were best friends and writers, but Hidaka has turned up dead. Kaga's investigation uncovers evidence that shows that the two writers' relationship was very different than the two claimed. Nonoguchi confesses to the murder, but that's only the beginning of the story.(C) | JapanKyochiro Kaga
Night Beyond a Tricornered Window Tomoko YamashitaShy bookstore clerk Kosuke Mikado has the ability to see ghosts and spirits, an ability he wishes he didn’t have, since what he sees usually terrifies him. Rihito Hiyakawa, an exorcist whose supernatural powers are as strong as his social graces are weak, doesn’t seem to fear anything, mortal or otherwise. When this odd couple gets together to solve the bizarre cases that come their way, their work methods may not be entirely safe for work!(D), (L), (S) | JapanNight Beyond a Tricornered Window (Manga)
Counterfeit ConspiraciesRitter AmesQuick wits and connections have gained Laurel Beacham a reputation as one of the world's premier art recovery experts. The police may catch the thief, but she reclaims the missing masterpieces.
The latest assignment, however, may be her undoing. Using every ounce of luck and larceny she possesses, Laurel must locate a priceless art icon and rescue a co-worker (and ex-lover) from a master criminal, all the while matching wits with a charming new nemesis. Unfortunately, he seems to know where the bodies are buried--and she prefers hers isn't next.
(D) | InternationalBodies of Art Mysteries
Organized for MurderRitter AmesWhen Kate opened her organizing business and immediately gained a rich client, she thought everything was finally stacked in their favor.
Until her client is found dead. Then the police take a hard look in her direction. Things only get worse when forensics evidence finds her fingerprints on the murder weapon--and suddenly Kate shoots to the top of the list as prime suspect.
The stopwatch is ticking for Kate to prove she had nothing to do with the murder. She must trust her methodical skills and expert eye to sort out who is trying to frame her and uncover the real killer before she's organized right into a jail cell.
(FA), (ND) | United StatesOrganized Mysteries
Frugal Lissa Finds a BodyRitter AmesLissa Eller looks for ways to save money. She never wanted to find a dead body.
Especially after she and the victim argued in public the previous evening. And she kind of threatened him (all a big misunderstanding – really). When will she learn to keep her big mouth shut?
Now, she's prime suspect in the guy’s murder. Worse, the detective in charge of the case is someone Lissa made fun of in high school—because he made fun of her—and he holds more leverage than just the threat of getting her sent to detention.
She should never have moved back home.
(FA), (ND) | United StatesFrugal Lissa Mysteries
The Case at Barton ManorEmily QueenRosemary Lillywhite only wanted to be left alone to mourn her husband in peace, but when a desperate woman knocks on the door of her dead husband’s investigative office, she’s forced to make a choice: come out of hiding or turn Grace Barton away.

Working cases with Andrew had been fulfilling, but she couldn't solve this case by herself—or could she? When Rosemary discovers that Grace is from the same village where her family lives, and that they’re all invited to a party at Barton Manor, she knows it’s a proposition she can’t refuse.

With her best friend, bright young thing Vera Blackburn at her side, Rosemary heads to the country and finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation.

The plot thickens when she’s forced to defend her brother Frederick’s good name, and is confronted with romantic feelings towards handsome CID detective and old friend Max Whittington. Will Rosemary solve the crime before the murderer strikes again?
(D) | BritainMrs. Lillywhite Investigates
Murder in Dragon CityQin MingWhen they find the extra finger, forensic scientist Qin Ming and his team are stunned. How could there be eleven fingers but only one corpse?

Though Qin Ming is no stranger to tough cases, he has never encountered one quite like this. With no answers and no leads, Qin Ming must turn his attention to the many other homicides waiting to be solved. His investigations take him to back-alley neighborhoods, the remote countryside, and even the expansive homes of the rich and elite. But now it seems that every case in Dragon City contains a misplaced body part. Is it a coincidence or a sick joke, or is the killer trying to send Qin Ming a message? As Qin Ming and the police force work to unravel each murder, a killer zeros in on him. Can Qin Ming track down the killer before he becomes the next victim?
(C), (M) | China (Mainland)Dr. Qin Medical Examiner
The Shape of WaterAndrea CamilleriSilvio Lupanello, a big-shot in Vigàta, is found dead in his car with his pants around his knees. The car happens to be parked in a part of town used by prostitutes and drug dealers, and as the news of his death spreads, the rumors begin. Enter Inspector Salvo Montalbano, Vigàta's most respected detective. With his characteristic mix of humor, cynicism, compassion, and love of good food, Montalbano battles against the powerful and corrupt who are determined to block his path to the real killer.
(C) | ItalyInspector Montalbano Mysteries
The Case of the Girl Who Took Her ShampooGreg Rucka (Author) and Matthew Southworth (Illustrator)Dex Parios, a strong, assertive and sharp-witted Army veteran has a complicated love life, gambling debt and a brother to take care of in Portland, Oregon. Her military intelligence skills make her a great private investigator, but her brash, unapologetic style puts her in a league of her own, landing her in the firing line of hardcore criminals while not quite in alliance with the rules and objectives of the local police. (D), (ND) | United StatesStumptown
The Complete Adventures of FeludaSityajit RayIn his escapades, the professional sleuth Pradosh C. Mitter (Feluda) is accompanied by his cousin Topshe and the bumbling crime writer Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu). From Jaisalmer to Simla, from the Ellora Caves to Varanasi, the trio traverse fascinating locales to unravel one devious crime after another.(D) | IndiaThe Complete Adventures of Feluda
Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries (The Rhythm of Riddles)Saradindu BandyopadhyaysFrom a murder in a boarding house with too many suspects, to a mystery with a supernatural twist, and then busting a black marketeering ring in rural Bengal, the stories in this volume take detective Byomkesh Bakshi to different locales on his quest for truth, and bring out the ingenuity and astuteness of this super sleuth.(D) | India
Allmen and the DragonfliesMartin SuterA thrilling art heist escapade infused with European high culture and luxury that doesn't shy away from the darker side of human nature. This is the first of a series of humorous, fast-paced detective novels devoted to a memorable gentleman thief who, with his trusted sidekick Carlos, creates an investigative firm to recover missing precious objects.(ND) | SwitzerlandAllmen

Death at La Fenice
Donna LeonDuring intermission at the famed La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy, a notoriously difficult and widely disliked German conductor is poisoned—and suspects abound. Guido Brunetti, a native Venetian, sets out to unravel the mystery behind the high-profile murder. To do so, he calls on his knowledge of Venice, its culture, and its dirty politics. Along the way, he finds the crime may have roots going back decades—and that revenge, corruption, and even Italian cuisine may play a role.(C) | Italy Commissario Brunetti

Unseen
Mari Jungstedt*German Author / Sweden Setting

(C) | SwedenAnders Knutas

Death in Brittany: A Mystery
Jean-Luc Bannalec*German Author / *France Setting

Commissaire Georges Dupin, a cantankerous, Parisian-born caffeine junkie recently relocated from the glamour of Paris to the remote (if picturesque) Breton coast, is dragged from his morning croissant and coffee to the scene of a curious murder. The local village of Pont-Aven—a sleepy community by the sea where everyone knows one other and nothing much seems to happen—is in shock. The legendary ninety-one-year-old hotelier Pierre-Louis Pennec, owner of the Central Hotel, has been found dead.
(C) | FranceBrittany Mystery Series

The Pursuer
Qian Yu Zhi ChengDonglin City faces an increasingly prolific serial killer leaving a trail of carved up victims in his wake. Strangely, the one similarity linking the victims is that they all possessed both male and female chromosomes simultaneously. Seeking answers, rookie policeman Ren Fei approaches a famous defense attorney and criminal psychologist Liang Yandong for answers. Liang offers his help with a price - he is sitting in jail falsely accused of raping and killing a girl. Now he wants answers. Can justice be found?(C), (N/E), (P) | China (Mainland)
Snow White Must DieNele NeuhausOn a September evening eleven years ago, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius was sentenced to ten years in prison. Police Detectives Bodenstein and Kirchhoff discover that Tobias has now returned to his home town. When another young girl disappears, the events of the past seem to be repeating themselves in a disastrous manner. The investigation turns into a race against time, because for the villagers it is soon clear who the perpetrator is ― and this time they are determined to take matters into their own hands.(C) | GermanyEin Bodenstein-Kirchhoff-Krimi (German)
English Translations


Non-Fiction & True Crime

If there is a series involved, we only link directly to the first work in the series. You can often find a link under “Series” to a full collection.

TitleAuthorDescriptionGenres Series
Gone Missing: A Guide for Those Left BehindDouglas CoopThousands of people go missing each year, exceeding the combined number of traffic fatalities, suicides and all the injuries requiring hospitalization. In addition, each person reported missing affects at least twelve others emotionally or financially; immobilizing families as there can be no closure until the fate of their loved one is resolved.

Based on decades of fieldwork, Gone Missing discusses the role of police and search agencies, how to deal with the media and the many organizations available to give support and assistance.

The book gives a detailed account of the emotional trauma and grieving suffered by those left behind, the professional help available, and explains the role of counselling. It examines why people go missing, and deals with their return or the finding of remains.
(TC)


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