Around the World with Mystery

Alongside thrillers, mysteries are the most popular genre for the Kitsap community, beating all other fiction genres in terms of borrowing statistics and general interest.

The simple formula for mystery novels revolves around the investigation and resolution of a crime. These ‘whodunits’ focus on solving a crime and pursuing justice, the reader following a series of clues along with the main character. Within this straightforward formula, a tangled web is then spun. Mysteries can be page-turners or slow-burning, gentle or gritty, sparsely written or richly descriptive. For most mysteries, the setting--either the physical location or time period--plays a crucial role in how the reader enjoys the story.

A very common request we get at the Library is for mystery books that allow for armchair travel and exploring crimes in other countries from the comfort of your reading nook. There are many amazing mysteries set around the world, written by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds. Slightly more challenging to find are books in translation, mysteries written by and about countries outside of the United States translated from other languages into English. If you’re interested in expanding your mystery reading outside of the U.S., here are some suggestions, tips, and tricks to try.

How to Find More:

Try These Next:

You might be a fan of translated mysteries or armchair travel mysteries if you like these authors:

  • Fred Vargas
  • Andrea Camilleri
  • Umberto Eco
  • Deon Meyer
  • Louise Penny
  • Val McDermid
  • Donna Leon
  • Alexander McCall Smith
  • Kwei Quartey
  • Jean-Luc Bannalec
  • Sujata Massey
  • Phillip Kerr
  • Colin Cotterill