100+ Mystery Writers Li-Ra

The list starts with the author, then the setting, and a good starter title.


Gillian Linscott

Suffragette solves crimes in early 20th Century Britain

Sister Beneath the Sheet

Laura Lippman

Downsized reporter Tess Monaghan becomes Baltimore P.I.

Baltimore Blues

David Liss

Jewish ex-boxer works as “thief-taker” in 18th Century London

A Conspiracy of Paper

Mary Logue

Single mother is deputy sheriff in small-town Wisconsin

Blood Country

Peter Lovesey

Curmudgeonly Inspector Diamond in Bath, England

The Last Detective

John D. MacDonald

Florida’s Travis McGee in prototypical tough-guy P.I. tales

The Deep Blue Good-by

Marianne Macdonald

Antiquarian bookseller finds murder in London

Death’s Autograph

Ross Macdonald

Classic hard-boiled L.A. stories with P.I. Lew Archer

The Moving Target

Charlotte MacLeod

Educated couples investigate Massachusetts crimes

Rest You Merry

Rett MacPherson

Missouri genealogist finds skeletons in the historical closet

Family Skeletons

Barry Maitland

New detective and mentor solve murders for Scotland Yard

The Marx Sisters

Shane Maloney

Australian political aide in darkly witty mysteries


Henning Mankell

Dark police procedurals set in Sweden

The Faceless Killers

David Manuel

Brother Bartholomew investigates from Cape Cod’s Faith Abbey

A Matter of Roses

Irene Marcuse

NY social worker solves crimes among the elderly

The Death of an Amiable Child

Margaret Maron

N. Carolina Judge Deborah Knott is on the case

Bootlegger’s Daughter

Ngaio Marsh

Inspector Alleyn leads one of the classic British series

A Man Lay Dead

Evan Marshall

Widowed literary agent in kitty cozies

Missing Marlene

Edward Marston

A variety of English historical mysteries

The Queen's Head

Allana Martin

Trading post owner on Tex-Mex border in western mysteries

Death of a Healing Woman

Nancy Martin

Three sisters in comic/romantic Philadelphia society mysteries

How to Murder a Millionaire

Sujata Massey

Young antiques dealer and Eng. teacher in Tokyo mysteries

The Salaryman's Wife

Alex Matthews

Chicago psychotherapist sleuths with cat Starshine

Secret's Shadow

Archer Mayor

Vermont police procedurals with strong characterization

Open Season

Ed McBain

American police procedurals started in his 87th precinct

Cop Hater

Alexander McCall Smith

Young Botswana woman opens detective agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Lise McClendon

Strong woman P.I. in WWII-era Kansas City

One O'Clock Jump

Sharyn McCrumb

Appalachian stories and ballads woven into mysteries

If Ever I Return, Pretty Peggy-O


Forensic anthropologist doubles as amateur detective in South

Sick of Shadows

Gregory Mcdonald

Reporter Fletch in clever comic mysteries


Michael McGarrity

Santa Fe police procedurals with a homespun tone


Jill McGown

Hill and Lloyd are police partners and lovers in East Anglia

A Perfect Match

Ralph McInerny

Father Dowling solves mysteries with a moral

Her Death of Cold


Brothers, a NY P.I. and a Notre Dame philosophy prof., fight crime

On this Rockne

G.A. McKevett

Ex-cop and dessert lover becomes California P.I.

Just Desserts

Ann McMillan

A young widow and a freed slave sleuth in Civil War times

Dead March

Mardi Oakley Medawar

Kiowa healer tracks murderers in 1860s Oklahoma

Death at Rainy Mountain

Leslie Meier

Wife, mother of four, and sleuth in holiday-themed tales

Mail-Order Murder

Maan Meyers

Authors follow Dutch family in New Amsterdam/NY over 300 yrs.

The Dutchman

Larry Millett

Sherlock Holmes moves to 1890s Minnesota

Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon

Marlys Millhiser

Hollywood literary agent is also single mom and amateur sleuth

Murder at Moot Point

Denise Mina

Scotswoman fights mental illness and alcoholism while solving murders


Camille Minichino

Retired physicist is crime consultant for science community

The Hydrogen Murder

Kirk Mitchell

Native American FBI agent and Indian Affairs investigator

Cry Dance

Miriam Grace Monfredo

Plucky feminist librarian in mid-19th century Seneca Falls, NY

Seneca Falls Inheritance

Skye Kathleen Moody

Undercover Fish and Wildlife agent investigates with quirky style

Rain Dance

Deborah Morgan

Ex-FBI agent becomes antique picker but still finds crime

Death is a Cabaret

John Mortimer

Pompous, slovenly, lovable Rumpole tells of his legal career

Rumpole of the Bailey

Walter Mosley

Easy Rawlins tackles race issues and crime across L.A. decades

Devil in a Blue Dress

Marcia Muller

Sharon McCone was the first female hard-boiled private eye

Edwin of the Iron Shoes

Katy Munger

Southern-born, Northern-minded female P.I. in witty series


Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Cat learns to talk, becomes detective

Cat on the Edge

Lynne Murray

Big woman lives life large as plus-size amateur sleuth

Larger than Death

Tamar Myers

Eccentrics at an Amish inn in humorous hijinks

Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth


Quick-reading cozies in a NC antiques store

Larceny and Old Lace

Magdalen Nabb

Florence-set police stories with an emphasis on character

Death of an Englishman

Barbara Neely

Witty take on class and race in series featuring cleaning woman

Blanche on the Lam

Kris Nelscott

Unlicensed black P.I. in Memphis-set hard-boiled series

A Dangerous Road

Sharan Newman

Young, scholarly woman sleuths in 12th century Paris

Death Comes as Epiphany

Charles O’Brien

Actress and teacher of the deaf sleuths on eve of French Revolution

Mute Witness

Carol O’Connell

Complex characterization of NYPD featuring tough woman cop

Mallory’s Oracle

Carol Anne O’Marie

Retired nun in ultra-gentle cozy series

A Novena for Murder

Abigail Padgett

Social workers and psychologists as detectives

Child of Silence

Katherine Hall Page

NY woman marries minister, moves to murderous Mass.

The Body in the Belfry

Robin Paige

Freethinking Am. woman sleuths with Eng. lord in Victorian era

Death at Bishop’s Keep

William J. Palmer

Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens as detectives

The Detective and Mr. Dickens

Sara Paretsky

V.I. Warshawski, woman attorney turned tough Chicago P.I.

Indemnity Only

Barbara Parker

Corporate lawyer investigates Miami crimes

Suspicion of Innocence

Robert B. Parker

Tough guy Spenser in the classic Boston P.I. series

The Godwulf Manuscript


His other Boston P.I.—conflicted, reflective Sunny Randall

Family Honor


Small town Mass. police procedurals with Jesse Stone

Night Passage

T. Jefferson Parker

Strong stand-alone police procedurals, usually in California

The Blue Hour

P.J. Parrish

Bi-racial cop in Michigan, and later Florida, settings

Dark of the Moon

Owen Parry

Civil War historical mysteries

Faded Coat of Blue

James Patterson

Alex Cross in psychological D.C. police procedurals

Along Came a Spider


Various professionals form San Francisco’s Women’s Murder Club

1st to Die

Eliot Pattison

Former detective now solves crimes in Chinese labor camp

Skull Mantra

Rebecca Pawel

Police procedurals in post-Civil War Spain (late 1930’s)

Death of a Nationalist

Michael Pearce

Adventures of the British secret police in pre-WWI Cairo

The Mamur Zapt and the Return of

Iain Pears

English art dealer solves crime in Italian settings

The Raphael Affair

Ridley Pearson

Seattle police procedurals with Boldt & Matthews


George Pelecanos

Tough Greek-American bartender and P.I. Nick Stefanos in D.C.

A Firing Offense


Derek Strange, ex-cop African-American P.I. in D.C.

Right as Rain

Sharon Kay Penman

Bastard son of a bishop sleuths in 12th century England

The Queen’s Man

Arturo Perez-Reverte

Historical relics, gentlemen’s hobbies in literate Spanish mysteries

Club Dumas

Anne Perry

Victorian London inspector Thomas Pitt and wife Charlotte

The Cater Street Hangman


Amnesiac Victorian London Inspector William Monk

The Face of a Stranger


British intelligence officer in London just prior to WWI

No Graves as Yet

Elizabeth Peters

Victorian era Egyptologist Amelia Peabody and friends

The Crocodile on the Sandbank


American art historian Vicky Bliss solves Bavarian crimes

Borrower of the Night

Ellis Peters

Brother Cadfael, 12th century English monk as detective

A Morbid Taste for Bones

Clyde Phillips

Jane Candiotti is a San Francisco homicide detective

Fall From Grace

Nancy Pickard

Foundation director partners with policeman to solve crimes

Say No to Murder

David Pirie

Arthur Conan Doyle as medical student and investigator

The Patient’s Eyes

Bill Pronzini

Hardboiled series about the Nameless Detective

The Vanished

Robert J. Randisi

Fast-paced tales of NYPD detective Joe Keough

Alone with the Dead

Ian Rankin

Scottish noir:  dark Edinburgh procedurals with John Rebus

Knots and Crosses

Lev Raphael

Gay Mich. prof. in mysteries full of humor and pop culture

The Death of a Constant Lover