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Mystery Novels

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By: G. K. Chesterton

The Club of Queer Trades by G. K. Chesterton The Club of Queer Trades

A collection of six wonderfully quirky detective stories, featuring the ‘mystic’ former judge Basil Grant. Each story reveals a practitioner of an entirely new profession, and member of the Club of Queer Trades.

Manalive by G. K. Chesterton Manalive

The flying blast struck London just where it scales the northern heights, terrace above terrace, as precipitous as Edinburgh. It was round about this place that some poet, probably drunk, looked up astonished at all those streets gone skywards, and (thinking vaguely of glaciers and roped mountaineers) gave it the name of Swiss Cottage, which it has never been able to shake off. At some stage of those heights a terrace of tall gray houses, mostly empty and almost as desolate as the Grampians, curved...

The Trees of Pride by G. K. Chesterton The Trees of Pride

Three trees, known as the Peacock trees, are blamed by the peasants for the fever that has killed many. Squire Vane scoffs at this legend as superstition. To prove them wrong, once and for all, he takes a bet to spend the night in the trees. In the morning he has vanished. Is he dead, and if so who has killed him? The poet? The lawyer? The woodsman? The trees?

By: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

The Mysterious Key and What It Opened by Louisa May Alcott The Mysterious Key and What It Opened

In this delightful short story, we discover the secrets of the Trevlyn family. 'The Mysterious Key and What it Opened' is a mystery entwined with romance (Introduction by ashleighjane)

By: Elizabeth Gaskell

The Grey Woman by Elizabeth Gaskell The Grey Woman

A “Bluebeard” story in which a young woman marries a man whom she discovers has killed his previous wives and is trying to kill her as well.

By: Gaston Leroux (1868-1927)

The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux The Mystery of the Yellow Room

One of the first locked room mysteries, The Mystery of the Yellow Room focuses on a supposedly impossible crime which has been committed within a locked room. The novel was initially published in the French periodical L’illustration, and was later published as a book in 1908. It is the first of a series of novels featuring the famous fictional reporter Joseph Rouletabille. The mystery begins when Joseph Rouletabille, a reporter and amateur sleuth is sent to investigate a crime scene at the Château du Glandier, home to renowned chemist Joseph Stangerson...

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera

A masterly mix of romance, drama, mystery, suspense, love and jealousy, The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux will haunt you long after you've turned the last page. Today the world knows it by Andrew Lloyd-Webber's long running musical on stage and its 2004 film adaptation, and earlier from Lon Chaney's screen portrayal of the dark intruder who roams the Paris Opera House. However, Gaston Leroux's novel was first released as a serial in the French magazine, La Gaulois over four months in 1909-10...

The Secret of the Night by Gaston Leroux The Secret of the Night

Gaston Leroux, perhaps best known as the author of The Phantom of the Opera in its novel form, was also the author of a popular series of mystery novels featuring a young journalist cum detective named Joseph Rouletabille. It is most likely that Leroux styled his hero after himself. Rouletabille was in the tradition of other great detectives who solved their cases by pure deductive reasoning. Much as Sherlock Holmes, who eliminated the impossible and concluded that whatever remained, however improbable must be the truth, Rouletabille included the known facts about the case and eliminated everything that was not a known fact, no matter how much it appeared to relate to the case...

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad The Secret Sharer

A young untested ship captain finds a man named Leggatt clinging to the side of his ship. The Captain makes the unusual decision to hide Leggatt in his quarters. What is he thinking? Conrad will tell us. - The Secret Sharer was first published in the August and September 1910 issues of Harper’s Magazine

By: Emma Orczy (1865-1947)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel narrates the story of a rich English baronet who rescues French aristocrats facing the guillotine. He also taunted his enemies after each rescue by leaving behind a card that has a small flower on it – the scarlet pimpernel. It is a brilliant adventure story set at the time of the French Revolution. The plot is fantastic and rarely lets the readers pause for breath as it oscillates between London society and the dark night in Coastal France. The story follows a beautiful Countess who escapes from Paris as a committee there was making arrangements to send her to the guillotine...

By: Henry James (1843-1916)

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James The Turn of the Screw

Christmas Eve. Guests round a fireside begin telling each other ghost stories. One of them relates a true incident involving the governess of his little nephew and niece. Strange events begin to take place, involving the housekeeper, a stranger who prowls round the grounds, a mysterious woman dressed in black and an unknown misdemeanor committed by the little nephew. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James was published in 1893 and it remains one of the best-known and admired works of this great American writer...

By: Anthony Trollope

The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope The Eustace Diamonds

Lizzie Greystock, a fortune-hunter who ensnares the sickly, dissipated Sir Florian Eustace, is soon left a very wealthy widow and mother. While clever and beautiful, Lizzie has several character flaws; the greatest of these is an almost pathological delight in lying, even when it cannot benefit her. Before he dies, the disillusioned Sir Florian discovers all this, but does not think to change the generous terms of his will. The diamonds of the book’s title are a necklace, a Eustace family heirloom that Sir Florian gave to Lizzie to wear...

By: Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment

A mysterious crime is being plotted in a tiny garret above a dilapidated apartment building in St Petersburg in Russia. The plotter, Rodion Raskolinikov, is a poor student who has delusions of ridding the world of “worthless vermin” and counter balancing these crimes with good deeds. He commits a murder to test his own theories and prove that crime comes naturally to the human species. Crime and Punishment is a path-breaking novel of ideas that changed the course of novel writing in the 20th century...

By: Edgar Wallace (1875-1932)

The Angel of Terror by Edgar Wallace The Angel of Terror

Conventional ideas of beauty are typically associate it with goodness and kindness. However, appearances can be deceptive. Jean Briggerland is exquisitely lovely, but few know that this ethereal, angelic facade hides an utterly immoral and cruel heart within. Her insatiable lust for power and money claim many an innocent victim till one day, a lawyer named Jack Glover is called upon to defend his best friend and cousin, James Meredith in a murder trial. Meredith is alleged to have murdered a young man in a fit of jealous rage because he objected to the man's friendship with Meredith's lovely fiancée...

The Clue of the Twisted Candle by Edgar Wallace The Clue of the Twisted Candle

This story describes a house in Cadogan Square, London, in which extensive alterations have been done by the Greek owner. One of the rooms is built like a safe. The walls floor and roof are made of almost indestructible reinforced concrete. The only door to the room can only be opened or closed by the owner. The single window is unreachable and there is a steel safe built into the outer wall which is in plain sight of the local policeman who patrols the street every night. Yet it is in this barred and shuttered room that the Greek is found brutally murdered...

The Daffodil Mystery by Edgar Wallace The Daffodil Mystery

Set in England at the turn of the 20th century, Wallace’s crime novel The Daffodil Mystery follows the mysterious circumstances under which shop owner Lyne has been murdered. Accordingly, it is up to detective Jack Tarling and his trusted Chinese assistant to solve the case and reach an appropriate and just resolution. Moreover, the happenings within the novel are intensified by the colorful set of characters, which are marked by their plausible façade and contribute to the novel’s appeal...

The Secret House by Edgar Wallace The Secret House

A stranger and foreigner arrives at the offices of a small publication in London only to be faced by the “editor” whose face is completely swathed in a veil. Nothing is as it seems, and it quickly becomes evident that both are bent on more than lively gossip about the elite. Blackmail and opportunism is the order of the day. When two men are found shot to death outside the door of Mr. Farrington the millionaire who just happens to live a few doors from T. B. Smith, the head of the secret police, the connections to blackmail are not long in coming. Were these men shot by the blackmailer? Who is actually what he seems to be?

The Green Rust by Edgar Wallace The Green Rust

Edgar Wallace, perhaps best known for creating King Kong, wrote dozens of novels. The Green Rust, his twelfth crime novel, is one of three books he published in 1919. It begins at the English home of the severely ill American millionaire, John Millinborn. With him are his best friend, Kitson, and a local doctor, the Dutch (or is he?) van Heerden. He is murdered in the first chapter, having just left his fortune to his niece, Oliva, whom he has never met. Before he dies, he asks Kitson to find and watch over Oliva. (Introduction by Kirsten Wever)

By: Julian Hawthorne, editor

Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories by Julian Hawthorne, editor Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories

The Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories is a six-volume edition, which contains one hundred and one tales written by authors as diverse and separated by history as Pliny the Younger (first century AD), Voltaire (17th century) and Guy de Maupassant (19th century) and also from different parts of the world. This volume which is the first, contains twenty interesting stories, and an introduction by the editor. The fascinating aspect of mystery stories is that sometimes the author allows the puzzle to solve itself without expert detective aid, while in other cases, a sleuth bends his or her deductive powers to the mystery...

By: George Eliot (1819-1880)

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot The Lifted Veil

George Eliot’s 1859 novella, The Lifted Veil, departs radically from the grounded realism of her longer and better known works, such as Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. Its tone calls to mind the works of middlebrow Sensationists, like Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone), and of some of the better known authors of Victorian era horror writings, such as Bram Stoker (Dracula) and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein.Eliot here explores mystical themes, considering the world of phenomena which are felt but not seen...

By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)

The Middle Temple Murder by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Middle Temple Murder

Midnight. A lonely courtyard. The dead body of a stranger—a prosperous looking, well dressed, elderly man is found in Middle Temple Lane, London. This is one of England's ancient Inns of Court where barristers were traditionally apprenticed and carried on their work. Middle Temple is just a few minutes walk away from busy Fleet Street and the Thames Embankment. In the dead man's pocket is a piece of paper with the name and address of a young barrister. One of the first people to reach the crime scene is the investigative reporter, Frank Spargo, who writes for a leading London newspaper, The Watchman...

Dead Men's Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher Dead Men's Money

A naïve but sincere young lawyer's assistant who only dreams of marrying his childhood sweetheart and yearns to have a home and family with her. His sharp witted boss keeps the firm going by dint of shrewd business sense and legal talent. When the assistant accidentally stumbles into a murder case, the scene is set for events that change all their lives. Dead Men's Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher was published in 1920, the era considered to be the Golden Age of detective fiction. Writers like Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L...

The Middle of Things by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Middle of Things

If you're in the mood for a cracking good classic murder mystery, The Middle of Things by JS Fletcher will certainly come up to expectations! Richard Viner is your average man on the street who stumbles upon a dead body in a dimly lit alley while taking his usual nightly stroll. When the police arrive, they conclude that this is a case of a robbery gone wrong, as the dead man's valuables are missing. However, as the case progresses, Viner discovers to his consternation, that the prime accused in the case is an old school-mate who is caught pawning items of jewelry belonging to the dead man...

The Paradise Mystery by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Paradise Mystery

A quiet cathedral town in England, full of gossips and people who are not quite who they seem to be, is the setting for this murder mystery.

The Chestermarke Instinct by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Chestermarke Instinct

Bank manager John Hornbury is missing, as are securities and jewels from the bank’s vault. Gabriel Chestermarke and his nephew Joseph have unaccountably refused to call in the police to investigate the theft from their bank. When Betty Fosdyke shows up to visit her Uncle John, she finds it past belief that he would simply disappear – let alone that he would commit larceny. Unable to simply sit by and wait while a detective from Scotland Yard investigates, Betty elicits the help of the chief clerk at Chestermarke’s bank and launches into the middle of the mystery.

By: H. Beam Piper

Murder in the Gunroom by H. Beam Piper Murder in the Gunroom

The Lane Fleming collection of early pistols and revolvers was one of the best in the country. When Fleming was found dead on the floor of his locked gunroom, a Confederate-made Colt-type percussion .36 revolver in his hand, the coroner’s verdict was “death by accident.” But Gladys Fleming had her doubts. Enough at any rate to engage Colonel Jefferson Davis Rand—better known just as Jeff—private detective and a pistol-collector himself, to catalogue, appraise, and negotiate the sale of her late husband’s collection.

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins The Moonstone

A young woman who inherits a beautiful diamond known as The Moonstone on her eighteenth birthday becomes the center of this mystery story. The diamond is a gift from an uncle who once served as an army officer in British India. She proudly wears the jewel on her dress at her birthday party that night. The precious stone has a dark and sinister history, which will have a terrible impact on her life and the lives of those around her. You're about to read what's been termed the very first real detective story in the English language...

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White tells the story of two half-sisters, Laura Fairlie and Marian Halcombe who were embroiled in the sinister plot of Sir Percival Glyde and Count Fosco to take over their family’s wealth. It’s considered to be one of the first “sensation novels” to be published. Like most novels that fall into this category, the protagonists here are pushed to their limits by the villains before they finally got the justice they deserved. The story begins with Walter Hartright helping a woman dressed in white who turned out to have escaped from a mental asylum...

Book cover The Haunted Hotel, A Mystery of Modern Venice

A kind, good-hearted genteel young woman jilted, a suspicious death or two that only a few think could be murder, strange apparitions appearing in an hotel all combine to create a horrifying conundrum. Who was the culprit and will finding out finally put an end to the mystery?

Armadale by Wilkie Collins Armadale

The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home, runs away from his mother and stepfather, and takes up a wandering life under the assumed name of Ozias Midwinter.”

The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins The Black Robe

The church has lost out on a valuable piece of land through wars and transfers. Father Benwell is determined to reclaim that property by the conversion of the owner, Lewis Romayne. Enter beautiful Stella, who captures the heart of Romayne. Should Stella capture the love and devotion of Romayne, Father Benwell's scheme would fail, and that is something that he can not allow. Complicating things is the fact that both Romayne and Stella are hiding their own terrible secrets.The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book centers around the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias

No Name by Wilkie Collins No Name

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world...


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