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Mystery Novels

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By: Horatio Alger, Jr. (1832-1899)

Book cover Timothy Crump's Ward

A poor family is surprised with an infant on their doorstep on New Year’s Eve with a note and monetary support requesting them to raise the child. Eight years later, the child is stolen and the family is put into more trouble trying to find her. This is a story of how love and good morals are reward with a fairy tale “happily ever after” ending.

By: Hutchins Hapgood (1869-1944)

Book cover Autobiography of a Thief

I met the ex-pickpocket and burglar whose autobiography follows soon after his release from a third term in the penitentiary. For several weeks I was not particularly interested in him. He was full of a desire to publish in the newspapers an exposé of conditions obtaining in two of our state institutions, his motive seeming partly revenge and partly a very genuine feeling that he had come in contact with a systematic crime against humanity. But as I continued to see more of him, and learned much...

By: Israel Zangwill (1864-1926)

The Big Bow Mystery by Israel Zangwill The Big Bow Mystery

Regarded as the first full-length locked room mystery, the novel focuses on a murder that has occurred inside a locked room, with no clear indication as to the weapon used, the perpetrator of the horrendous crime, or a possible escape route. Needless to say, The Big Bow Mystery has all the elements necessary to engage its audience and encourage them to look between the lines in an attempt to unravel the complex murder. Set in Bow, east London, the novel opens when Mrs. Drabdump, a widow who rents out rooms, panics when one of her lodgers does not respond to her fervent attempts to wake him...

By: Jack Boyle (1881-1928)

Book cover Boston Blackie

Boston Blackie is the novelization of a group of pulp short stories by Jack Boyle (1881-1928). Blackie, an ex-con with a college education, is a jewel thief based in San Francisco, who outwits the cops with the help of his wife Mary. The character was altered for a later series of popular films and radio shows to become a “reformed” jewel thief turned private eye.

By: James Hay (1881-1936)

No Clue!  A Mystery Story by James Hay No Clue! A Mystery Story

“No Clue! A Mystery Story” finds detective Jefferson Hastings at the home of wealthy but eccentric Arthur Sloane one hot summer night, when two other guests at Sloanehurst stumble across the body of young Mildred Brace lying dead on the lawn. Sloane’s daughter Lucille asks Hastings to help solve the crime, but Hastings gets surprisingly little help from anybody he interviews, including Mr. Sloane himself and even the mother of the victim. With few clues to aid him and nobody beyond suspicion,...

By: James Oliver Curwood (1878-1927)

The Flaming Forest by James Oliver Curwood The Flaming Forest

A tale of mystery, romance, and honor, as David Carrigan must choose between his duty as an officer of the law and a girl who holds him captive; a girl who Carrigan thinks he may have fallen in love with no less! Who is this strange girl Jean-Marie, and why won’t she give him his freedom? And who are the people that she surrounds herself with along the great Canadian rivers and wilderness barrens and forests of the northwest?

Flower of the North by James Oliver Curwood Flower of the North

Flower of the North finds Philip Whittemore on an adventure which takes him up the Churchill River of northern Canada to a land which he thought he knew. However, tucked in among the rocks and hills lies an unfamiliar outpost which he’s been told is called Fort o’ God whose inhabitants and history are shrouded in mystery. It is Jeanne D’Arcambal and her protector Pierre who have told him of this place, but there is so much which they haven’t told him, including who they really are, where they come from, and their clouded past.

God's Country—And the Woman by James Oliver Curwood God's Country—And the Woman

James Curwood wrote many adventures of the far north. By 1909 he had saved enough money to travel to the Canadian northwest, a trip that provided the inspiration for his wilderness adventure stories. The success of his novels afforded him the opportunity to return to the Yukon and Alaska for several months each year that allowed him to write more than thirty such books. The Canadian North is often referred to as “God’s Country” God’s Country is a tale of adventure, mystery and romance!

The Valley of Silent Men by James Oliver Curwood The Valley of Silent Men

Subtitled: A Story of the Three River Country. James Kent has learned that he is terminally ill with perhaps only days to live, and so decides to confess to a murder and thus save an innocent man. Nobody believes his confession, particularly Marette, a mysterious girl who had shown up at Athabasca Landing only weeks before. Kent’s illness takes a turn and his death is postponed, and he sets about to find out more about the girl, who he ends up falling in love with, although she’ll not reveal her past to him, nor what she knows about the murder...

The Wolf Hunters by James Oliver Curwood The Wolf Hunters

Follow Roderick and his friends Wabi and Mukoki on their adventures in the pristine North. They fight voracious wolves, hostile natives, and the vicious elements of nature, while on the hunt. Getting more than they bargained for, they discover a mysterious cabin, and stumble upon a secret that has lain hidden for half a century. Full of twists and turns, danger and suspense, The Wolf Hunters, the prequal to The Gold Hunters, is an excellent read. (Introduction by Brian Adey)

By: Jaques Futrelle (1875-1912)

The Diamond Master by Jaques Futrelle The Diamond Master

A perfect diamond worth millions is mailed, in a plain package, to a diamond dealer. Then he finds that identical diamonds were delivered to other diamond dealers. Where did the gems come from? Who sent them? And why? (Introduction by Dawn)

By: Jean Webster

The Four-Pools Mystery by Jean Webster The Four-Pools Mystery

In The Four Pools Mystery the tyrannical plantation owner is deemed responsible for his own murder because of his mistreatment of the former slaves who continued in his employment after the war. Jean Webster (pseudonym for Alice Jane Chandler Webster) was born July 24, 1876 and died June 11, 1916. She was an American writer and author of many books including Daddy-Long-Legs and Dear Enemy. (Wiki)

By: John Buchan (1875-1940)

The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan The Thirty-nine Steps

The typical action hero with a stiff upper lip whose actions speak louder than his words, a mysterious American who lives in dread of being killed, an anarchist plot to destabilize Greece, a deadly German spy network, a notebook entirely written in code, and all this set in the weeks preceding the outbreak of World War I. The Thirty-nine Steps, by John Buchan is a spy classic entirely worthy of its genre and will delight modern day readers with its complicated plot. It is also notable for being the literary progenitor of the spook novel that typically features the secret operative on the run, determined to unravel a world domination plot...

Greenmantle by John Buchan Greenmantle

Greenmantle is the second of five Richard Hannay novels by John Buchan, first published in 1916 by Hodder & Stoughton, London. It is one of two Hannay novels set during the First World War, the other being Mr Standfast (1919); Hannay’s first and best-known adventure, The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915), is set in the period immediately before the war started. – Hannay is called in to investigate rumours of an uprising in the Muslim world, and undertakes a perilous journey through enemy territory to meet up with his friend Sandy in Constantinople. Once there, he and his friends must thwart the Germans’ plans to use religion to help them win the war, climaxing at the battle of Erzurum.

Huntingtower by John Buchan Huntingtower

Dickson McCunn, a respectable, newly retired grocer, plans a walking holiday in the hills of south-west Scotland. He meets a young English poet and finds himself in the thick of a plot involving the kidnapping of a Russian princess, who is held prisoner in the rambling mansion, Huntingtower. This modern fairy-tale is also a gripping adventure story.

By: John Charles Dent (1841-1888)

The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales by John Charles Dent The Gerrard Street Mystery and Other Weird Tales

John Charles Dent, the author of the following remarkable stories, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, England, in 1841. His parents emigrated to Canada shortly after that event, bringing with them, of course, the youth who was afterwards to become the Canadian author and historian. Mr. Dent received his primary education in Canadian schools, and afterwards studied law, becoming in due course a member of the Upper Canada Bar. He only practised for a few years, then returned to England to pursue a literary career, writing mostly for periodicals...

By: John D MacDonald (1916-1986)

Book cover Bullet for Cinderella

HER VENEER WAS BIG CITY ... But one look and you knew that Toni Raselle's instincts were straight out of the river shack she came from. I watched her as she toyed with the man, laughing, her tumbled hair like raw blue-black silk, her brown shoulders bare. Eyes deep-set, a girl with a gypsy look. So this was the girl I had risked my life to find. This was the girl who was going to lead me to a buried fortune in stolen loot.

By: John Kendrick Bangs (1862-1922)

Book cover R. Holmes and Co.

Raffles Holmes is introduced in these stories as the son of the great Sherlock Holmes. He is also revealed to be the grandson of A.J. Raffles, a gentleman thief pursued by Sherlock Holmes many years earlier. This apparently contradictory family background sets the stage for his colorful and amusing adventures.

Book cover Mrs. Raffles

Mrs. Raffles, widow of the now deceased A. J. Raffles (who was the gentleman thief pursued at one time by Sherlock Holmes), continues the family legacy of crime—but this time in America. These stories are narrated by her cohort, Harry “Bunny” Manders, previously the devoted friend and sidekick of A.J. Raffles before his death.

Book cover Mrs. Raffles

Mrs. Raffles, widow of the now deceased A. J. Raffles (who was the gentleman thief pursued at one time by Sherlock Holmes), continues the family legacy of crime—but this time in America. These stories are narrated by her cohort, Harry “Bunny” Manders, previously the devoted friend and sidekick of A.J. Raffles before his death.

By: John Meade Falkner (1858-1932)

The Lost Stradivarius by John Meade Falkner The Lost Stradivarius

The Lost Stradivarius (1895), by J. Meade Falkner, is a short novel of ghosts and the evil that can be invested in an object, in this case an extremely fine Stradivarius violin. After finding the violin of the title in a hidden compartment in his college rooms, the protagonist, a wealthy young heir, becomes increasingly secretive as well as obsessed by a particular piece of music, which seems to have the power to call up the ghost of its previous owner. Roaming from England to Italy, the story involves family love, lordly depravity, and the tragedy of obsession

By: John R. Watson

The Hampstead Mystery by John R. Watson The Hampstead Mystery

A Murder Whodunit!Location: Hampstead, England.Victim: Sir Horace Fewbanks, a distinguished High Court judge. Cause of death: gun shot wound.Investigator: Private Detective Crewe, a wealthy bachelor who has taken up crime detection as a hobby, because it provides intellectual challenges more satisfying even than playing twelve simultaneous boards against Russian chess champion Turgieff.His sidekick: Joe is a fourteen year old Cockney boy, whom Crewe saved from a life of crime by hiring him as a messenger-boy and shadower.Other whodunit elements: clues galore, suspects in abundance, an inquest, a trial, and an elegant resolution.

By: John Thomas McIntyre (1871-1951)

Ashton-Kirk, Investigator by John Thomas McIntyre Ashton-Kirk, Investigator

Ashton-Kirk, who has solved so many mysteries, is himself something of a problem even to those who know him best. Although young, wealthy, and of high social position, he is nevertheless an indefatigable worker in his chosen field. He smiles when men call him a detective. "No; only an investigator," he says.He has never courted notoriety; indeed, his life has been more or less secluded. However, let a man do remarkable work in any line and, as Emerson has observed, "the world will make a beaten path to his door...

Book cover Ashton-Kirk, Secret Agent

Those who have read "Ashton-Kirk, Investigator" will recall references to several affairs in which the United States government found the investigator's unusual powers of inestimable service. In such matters, tremendous interests often stand dangerously balanced, and the most delicate touch is required if they are not to be sent toppling. As Ashton-Kirk has said: "When a crisis arises between two of the giant modern nations, with their vast armies, their swift fleets, their dreadful engines of war, the hands which control their affairs must be steady, secret, and sure...

Book cover Ashton-Kirk, Secret Agent

Those who have read "Ashton-Kirk, Investigator" will recall references to several affairs in which the United States government found the investigator's unusual powers of inestimable service. In such matters, tremendous interests often stand dangerously balanced, and the most delicate touch is required if they are not to be sent toppling. As Ashton-Kirk has said: "When a crisis arises between two of the giant modern nations, with their vast armies, their swift fleets, their dreadful engines of war, the hands which control their affairs must be steady, secret, and sure...

By: Johnston McCulley (1883-1958)

The Black Star by Johnston McCulley The Black Star

The Black Star was a master criminal who took great care to never be identifiable, always wore a mask so nobody knew what he looked like, rarely spoke to keep his voice from being recognized, and the only mark left at the scenes of the crimes which he and his gang committed were small black stars which were tacked as a sign of their presence, and an occasional sarcastic note to signify his presence and responsibility. Even those who worked for him knew nothing of him, all of which were making his crimes virtually unsolvable...

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: Joseph Hocking (1860-1937)

Book cover Weapons of Mystery

Justin Blake receives an invitation from his old school-fellow Tom Temple to join him and his family for the Christmas holidays in Yorkshire. Having no other plans, he decides to go. Though he is normally much the opposite of what would be called a lady's man, he falls instantly in love with Miss Forrest, one of the guests, who had already shared his train compartment on the way. When he meets the mysterious Herod Voltaire and finds that he must protect the girl from him and his weapons of mystery, the adventure begins.

By: Joseph Sheridan LeFanu

Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Uncle Silas

Uncle Silas is a Victorian Gothic mystery/thriller novel by the Anglo-Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. It is notable as one of the earliest examples of the locked room mystery subgenre. It is not a novel of the supernatural (despite a few creepily ambiguous touches), but does show a strong interest in the occult and in the ideas of Swedenborg.

Wylder's Hand by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu Wylder's Hand

The marriage of Mark Wylder and Dorkas Brenden is supposed to end a history of arguments between the two families. However, both people involved do not seem to like the idea. Before the wedding, Mark disappears. But to where? And how will the people around him react to his disappearance?

The Evil Guest by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu The Evil Guest

Le Fanu’s inimitable style continues with The Evil Guest, a murder mystery fraught with dark imagery and mysterious characters. An unwanted guest visiting a dreary and isolated home is murdered; the thriller leads the reader down countless ‘dead’ ends before revealing the identity of the guilty party. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

The Room in the Dragon Volant by Joseph Sheridan LeFanu The Room in the Dragon Volant

J. Sheridan LeFanu's Gothic mystery novel is narrated by Richard Beckett, a young Englishman abroad in Napoleonic-era France. He falls instantly in love with a mysterious and imperiled Countess, whom he glimpses momentarily behind her black veil. In order to be near her, he takes a room in the Dragon Volant (the Flying Dragon), a haunted inn that has been the site of mysterious disappearances.


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