100+ Mystery Writers Re-Z

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


Mary Reed & Eric Mayer

Eunuch and chamberlain to Justinian solves crimes ca. 537

One for Sorrow

Ben Rehder

Funny mysteries with Blanco County, TX bubbas

Buck Fever

Kathy Reichs

Tempe Brennan solves Canadian crimes with forensic science

Deja Dead

Ruth Rendell

Inspector Wexford in psychological Sussex-set classics

From Doon with Death

Phyllis C. Richman

D.C. restaurant critic finds murder on the menu

The Butter Did It

Cynthia Riggs

92-year-old deputy Victoria Trumbull on Martha’s Vineyard

Deadly Nightshade

Rick Riordan

Tai chi master/P.I. Tres Navarre hunts San Antonio killers

Big Red Tequila

Ann Ripley

Host of TV garden show leads Northern Va. Mysteries


Candace Robb

Medieval Welshman Owen Archer spies for the archbishop

The Apothecary Rose

J.D. Robb

NY cop Eva Dallas in romance-tinged action circa AD 2058

Naked in Death

Gillian Roberts

Philadelphia HS teacher in character-driven cozies

Caught Dead in Philadelphia

John Maddox Roberts

Hardboiled historicals set in the Roman Republic

SPQR I: The King's Gambit

Les Roberts

Slovenian private eye on the rough streets of Cleveland

Deep Shaker

Lynda S. Robinson

Lord Meren is the chief investigator for King Tut

Murder in the Place of Anubis

Peter Robinson

Chief Inspector Banks of Yorkshire in police procedurals

Gallows View

C.F. Roe

Crimes solved by Scottish physician Jean Montrose

A Nasty Bit of Murder

Caroline Roe

Blind Jewish physician leads 14th Century Spanish intrigues

Remedy for Treason

Elliott Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt as detective in series by her son

Murder and the First Lady

David Rosenfelt

New Jersey defense attorney leads breezy series

Open and Shut

Kate Ross

English dandy and ex-pickpocket valet in 1820's shenanigans

Cut to the Quick

Laura Joh Rowland

Samurai investigates for the shogun in 17th Century Japan


S.J. Rozan

Lydia Chin and Bill Smith are odd couple P.I.s in NY's Chinatown

China Trade

Lawrence Sanders

Glossy series with playboy Florida PI Arch McNally

McNally's Secret


Police chief Edward X. Delaney investigates serial murders

The First Deadly Sin

John Sandford

Moody Minnesota cop Lucas Davenport in dark series

Rules of Prey

Walter Satterthwait

A variety of one-book mysteries with historical characters

Miss Lizzie

Beth Saulnier

Young journalist in NY State has a nose for crime

Reliable Sources

Corinne Holt Sawyer

Seventy-something widows of admirals in So. Cal. setting

The J. Alfred Prufrock Murders

Dorothy L. Sayers

Lord Peter Wimsey leads character-driven books with fun asides

Whose Body?

Steven Saylor

Gordianus the Finder is a private eye in Rome, circa 56 B.C.

Roman Blood

Sandra Scoppettone

40-something lesbian PI Lauren Laurano in NYC setting

Everything You Have is Mine

Justin Scott

CT realtor uses prep school, prison, and Wall St. skills to sleuth


Kate Sedley

A peddler looks back at career as 15th Cent. English sleuth

Death and the Chapman

Barbara Seranella

Ex-con, ex-addict single mother is mechanic and amateur sleuth

Unwanted Company

Sarah Shaber

Raleigh, NC history professor solves murders with forensics

Simon Said

John Shannon

LA PI specializes in lost children in gritty, insightful series

The Cracked Earth

Connie Shelton

New Mexico CPA and pilot is drawn into her brother's PI business

Deadly Gamble

Randall Silvis

Edgar Allan Poe partners with NY urchin to solve crimes

On Night's Shore

Georges Simenon

Inspector Maigret is a humanist and student of psychology

Maigret at the Gai-Moulin

Dorothy Simpson

Warm-hearted police procedurals set in Kent, England

The Night She Died

Robert Skinner

Night-club owner in 30's New Orleans probes murders

Skin Deep, Blood Red

Susan Slater

Moody tales set in modern New Mexico

Flash Flood

Karin Slaughter

Georgia pediatrician and coroner solves crimes


Barbara Burnett Smith

Amateur sleuth and budding writer in down-home Texas series

Writers of the Purple Sage

Frank Smith

Detective Inspector Paget in Shropshire country procedurals

Stone Dead

Julie Smith

Two connected series featuring New Orleans settings

New Orleans Mourning

Sally Spencer

Provincial English murders in 50s and 60s with eccentric detective

The Salton Killings

Julia Spencer-Fleming

Anglican priest and sheriff team in upstate New York

In the Bleak Midwinter

Mickey Spillane

Classic pulp tough guy Mike Hammer

I, the Jury

Patricia Sprinkle

Two southern series set in Georgia

But Why Shoot the Magistrate?

Dana Stabenow

PI Kate Shugak finds murder in the Alaskan outback

A Cold Day for Murder

Richard Stark

Cold-blooded thief Parker on NY's mean streets

The Hunter

Rosemary Stevens

Beau Brummell as detective in regency mysteries

Death on a Silver Tray

Rex Stout

Gourmand Nero Wolfe and legman Archie Goodwin


Andy Straka

Ex-NYPD man becomes PI and falconer in Charlottesville

A Witness Above

John Straley

Hard-living PI solves rugged crimes in rugged Alaska setting

The Curious Eat Themselves

Sarah Strohmeyer

Over-the-top beautician/reporter leads humorous series

Bubble Unbound

James Swain

Investigator specializes in catching Vegas casino cheats

Grift Sense

Denise Swanson

School psychologist toplines cozy series set in Illinois heartland

Murder of a Small-Town Honey

Virginia Swift

"Mustang" Sally is bar singer, women's studies prof, and detective

Brown-Eyed Girl

Marcia Talley

After cancer and downsizing, woman recovers with sleuth work

Sing It to Her Bones

Jon Talton

History prof turned sheriff solves past and present Phoenix crimes

Concrete Desert

William G. Tapply

Boston lawyer prefers fishing, catches criminals

Death at Charity's Point

Lou Jane Temple

Culinary and catering crimes in Kansas City

Death By Rhubarb

Josephine Tey

Inspector Grant leads some of the best golden age classics

The Man in the Queue

Graham Thomas

Det.-Chief Superintendent Powell in homage to British classics

Malice in the Highlands

Victoria Thompson

Midwife searches for murder by gaslight in turn-of-the-century NY

Murder on Astor Place

Betsy Thornton

Victim’s advocate finds violence in the Arizona desert

The Cowboy Rides Away

Aimée and David Thurlo

FBI Agent Ella Clah returns home to the Navajo reservation

Blackening Song

Elise Title

Young Boston woman runs halfway house for released convicts

Killing Time

Charles Todd

Shell-shocked WWI vet returns to duties at Scotland Yard

A Test of Wills

Rebecca Tope

Undertaker and policeman in two Brit series that combine at times

Dark Undertakings

Steven Torres

Police procedurals in a small Puerto Rican hill town

Precinct Puerto Rico

P.J. Tracy

St. Paul police work with a computer whiz with a past


Peter Tremayne

7th century Celtic sister seeks spiritual fulfillment, finds murder

Absolution by Murder

Kathy Hogan Trochek

Failed Atlanta PI finds investigative success as cleaning woman

Every Crooked Nanny

M.J. Trow

Resurrects A.C. Doyle’s Inspector Lestrade as a clever investigator

The Adventures of Inspector Lestrade

Margaret Truman

Murders set at various Washington D.C. landmarks

Murder at the Kennedy Center

Peter Turnbull

Atmospheric North Yorkshire police procedurals

Fear of Drowning

Andrew Vachss

Ex-con private detective Burke operates on both sides of the law


Janwillem Van de Wetering     

Stylish police procedurals in unusual Amsterdam setting


Judith Van Gieson

Newly divorced rare-book librarian sleuths in Southwestern setting

The Stolen Blue

Robert Van Gulik

Classic Judge Dee mysteries set in Ancient China

The Chinese Bell Murders

Elaine Viets

Fla. woman goes from lavish lifestyle to “dead”-end jobs

Shop Till You Drop

Ayelet Waldman

Public defender turned stay at home mom in L.A. mysteries

Nursery Crimes

David J. Walker

Lawyer/PI husband & wife lead Chicago with humorous edge

A Ticket to Die For

Kathryn R. Wall

Recently widowed financial consultant in Hilton Head cozies

In for a Penny

Minette Walters

Superb non-series English mysteries with strong female leads

The Sculptress

Joseph Wambaugh

Character-driven police stories by ex-cop, usually set in L.A.

The Choirboys

Betty Webb

Darkly humorous female PI series in Scottsdale, Arizona

Desert Noir

Patricia Wentworth

Miss Silver leads Miss Marple-like series of English cozies

The Chinese Shawl

Valerie Wilson Wesley

Black single mother was cop, is now Newark P.I.

When Death Comes Stealing

Donald Westlake

Dortmunder and his bumbling gang in comic crime capers

The Hot Rock

Kate White

Sassy, sexy true crime writer leads glossy series

If Looks Could Kill

Randy Wayne White

Action-filled Florida series featuring ex-spy marine biologist


John Morgan Wilson

Bandleader solves crimes in 60s era San Francisco

Blue Moon

R.D. Wingfield

Insp. Jack Frost leads irreverently humorous British procedurals

Frost at Christmas

Matt Witten

NY stay-at-home dad and screenwriter gets involved in murder

Breakfast at Madeline’s

Paula L. Woods

LA cop battles racism and sexism as well as criminals

Inner City Blues

Sara Woods

English barrister Anthony Maitland in long running series

Though I Know She Lies

Deborah Woodworth

Sister Rose solves murders in a Kentucky Shaker community

Death of a Winter Shaker

Eric Wright

Toronto police inspector Charlie Salter is on the case

The Night the Gods Smiled

Sally S. Wright

1960s university archivist in Ohio academic mysteries

Publish and Perish

Mark Richard Zubro

Gay Chicago police detective Paul Turner

Sorry Now?


Gay HS teacher and baseball pitcher  are partners in crime and life

Why Isn’t Becky Twitchell Dead?