If you crave chilling suspense with intriguing twists and turns, these stories will hook you from the very first page. This article presents a curated selection of the 15 best murder mystery short stories. Each of these stories, penned by masters of the genre, offers a unique blend of suspense, intrigue, and unforgettable characters. So, prepare to embark on a thrilling journey through the dark and mysterious world of crime and suspense!
Best 15 Murder Mystery Books
Here are the top 15 murder mystery fiction book reviews:
“An Alpine Divorce” by Robert Barr
In “An Alpine Divorce,” Robert Barr weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and murder. Set against the breathtaking Swiss Alps backdrop, this story follows a young couple whose marriage takes a deadly turn. With its vivid descriptions and unexpected twists, Barr crafts a suspenseful narrative in this murder mystery book that will leave readers guessing until the end.
“A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell
“A Jury of Her Peers” delves into the intricacies of justice and the power of female solidarity. When a farmer is found dead, his wife becomes the prime suspect. As a group of women investigates the crime scene, they uncover hidden clues that completely upturn their notions of guilt and innocence. This thought-provoking story offers a unique perspective on murder and the complexities of the human psyche.
“The Red-Headed League” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
No list of murder mysteries is complete without a mention of Sherlock Holmes. In “The Red-Headed League,” Conan Doyle presents one of the detective’s most baffling cases. A mysterious league offers a lucrative job to men with red hair, only to disappear as quickly as it appeared. With Holmes’ brilliant deductions and Watson’s unwavering loyalty, this tale showcases the duo’s unparalleled investigative skills.
“The Hanging Stranger” by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick takes readers on a mind-bending journey in “The Hanging Stranger.” In this eerie tale, a man witnesses a gruesome sight—a stranger hanging from a lamppost. As he investigates further, he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the fabric of reality itself. With its blend of science fiction and mystery, this story will leave readers questioning the nature of their own existence.
“The Pyramid” by Henning Mankel
Henning Mankell’s “The Pyramid” introduces readers to the enigmatic Inspector Wallander. When a man is found murdered in his apartment, Wallander must unravel the secrets hidden within a pyramid-shaped puzzle. Mankell’s atmospheric writing and complex characters make this Nordic noir a must-read for murder mystery enthusiasts.
“The Jealousy Man and Other Stories” by Jo Nesbo
Jo Nesbo, known for his gripping crime novels, showcases his talent for short stories in “The Jealousy Man and Other Stories.” This collection presents a series of compelling narratives, each with its own unique murder mystery. Nesbo’s masterful storytelling and intricate plotting in this murder mystery book will keep readers engrossed from start to finish.
“A Sliver of Darkness” by C.J. Tudor
C.J. Tudor’s “A Sliver of Darkness” delivers a dose of psychological suspense. In this haunting story, a man returns to his hometown and discovers a disturbing secret from his past. As he investigates further, he unearths a series of murders leading him down a bleakly twisted path. Tudor’s atmospheric writing and well-drawn characters make this a standout addition to the genre.
“Mr. Campion and Others” by Margery Allingham
Margery Allingham’s “Mr. Campion and Others” features a collection of her finest short stories featuring the beloved detective Albert Campion. From closed-room mysteries to unconventional crimes, Allingham’s witty prose and intricate plots showcase her mastery of the genre. Each story is a delightful puzzle waiting to be solved.
“The Purloined Letter” by Edgar Allan Poe
It is a classic tale that demonstrates the power of deduction. When a letter with potentially devastating consequences goes missing, Dupin, Poe’s iconic detective, must outwit a cunning adversary to solve the mystery. This story highlights Poe’s ability to create tension and intrigue in a confined space.
“The Holloway Flat Tragedy” by Ernest Bramah
Ernest Bramah’s “The Holloway Flat Tragedy” introduces readers to the charismatic detective Max Carrados. In this story, Carrados must unravel the truth behind a puzzling murder committed within a seemingly impenetrable fortress-like flat. Bramah’s intricate plotting and Carrados’ sharp intellect make this a standout entry in the murder mystery genre.
“The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans” by Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle is a pretty popular name in the world of murder mystery books. Once again, he captivates readers with Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans.” Holmes is tasked with solving the mysterious death of a government employee and the disappearance of confidential plans. With Holmes’ brilliance and Watson’s unwavering loyalty, this story showcases the iconic duo at its finest.
The Case of Oscar Brodski” by R. Austin Freeman
R. Austin Freeman’s “The Case of Oscar Brodski” introduces readers to Dr. Thorndyke, a master of scientific detection. When a renowned violinist is found dead, Dr. Thorndyke must uncover the truth behind the murder. Freeman’s meticulous attention to detail and scientific approach elevate this story to a captivating murder mystery.
“The Blue Cross” by G.K. Chesterton
G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown series features the unassuming yet brilliant detective-priest, Father Brown. In “The Blue Cross,” Father Brown becomes embroiled in a cat-and-mouse game with a notorious thief who seeks to steal a valuable artifact. Chesterton’s charming prose and clever plot twists make this story an engaging read.
“Fly Paper” by Dashiell Hammet
Dashiell Hammett, known for his hard-boiled detective fiction, presents a gripping tale in “Fly Paper.” When a man confesses to a murder, it’s up to Detective Sam Spade to uncover the truth behind the crime. Hammett’s gritty writing style and intricate characterizations make this story a standout in the genre.
“The Man Who Knew How” by Dorothy L. Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers’ “The Man Who Knew How” introduces readers to the suave and sophisticated Lord Peter Wimsey. When a prominent financier is found dead, Lord Peter must decipher a cryptic clue left at the crime scene. Sayers’ elegant prose and intricate plotting make this a must-read for fans of classic murder mysteries.
Unraveling the Enigma: Concluding Thoughts on the Best Murder Mystery Books
The world of murder mysteries is a captivating realm that continues to enthrall readers with its suspense, intrigue, and brilliant storytelling. The 15 murder mystery books mentioned above offer a diverse range of styles and perspectives, showcasing the ingenuity of their respective authors. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the genre or new to the world of murder mysteries, these stories keep you engaged and guessing until the final page. So, grab a cozy blanket, and turn off the lights.
Don’t forget to check our other fiction book reviews to find your next favorite read.