Crime Fiction Books – Free & Bargain Priced!

There’s something for everyone in the Crime Fiction genre. Whether you enjoy the cozy escapism of an English country village, puzzling over a locked room mystery, or the dirt and grime of a hard-boiled detective going about their work. And there’s plenty in between. It’s impossible for us to have a category for every sub-genre, so here at Bookzio we decided on 3 — our Cozy Mysteries category is home to everything ‘cozy’, it’s a safe space for those who like their mysteries clean and polite. Then there’s our Mysteries category, where you’ll find some ‘real life’ and the edge of your seat. Then there’s our Crime Fiction section: this is where you’ll find hard-boiled dirt and grime, police procedurals, and borderline of the all out thriller. Enjoy…

What will I find in a ‘Crime Fiction’ Book?

Whilst the term ‘Crime Fiction’ is often used to describe the entire mystery and detective genre, it’s more descriptive of the later, gritty, ‘hard-boiled’ creations in the US, rather than the more cerebral ponderings of the UK creations.

There’s a distinction between a traditional UK mystery novel and a US crime fiction book: in a mystery, the story begins with a baffling murder, or crime of some kind, and the story tracks the evidence towards a solution, and a culprit. Mystery novels are often criticized for having little or no character development — or simply 2 dimensional characters. By contrast, crime fiction is less focused on the puzzle, and more on the characters involved. It’s not out of place, in a crime fiction novel, to know who the criminals are from the outset. The purpose of the story is less about puzzling and more about society, morality and the psychology of criminals and crime fighters. Mystery stories are escapist, in that they avoid much of the ‘blood and guts’ of true crime, and focus simply upon the puzzling aspect — crime fiction is deep in the gutter of real life.

Leaving the cozies and the Miss Marples to the Cozy and Mystery sections, our Crime Fiction category has a very American leaning. U.S. writers redefined the British mystery genre, in the days of ‘pulp fiction’ and brought much needed realism to the topic at hand.

Popular U.S. crime magazines, such as ‘Black Mask Magazine’ were filled by professional writers who relied upon their pay cheques and would use all means necessary to hook a reader in and keep them coming back for more — tactics included the addition of forbidden sex with gangsters’ molls and femmes fatales, along with brave and often violent sleuths dealing their trade in the shady mean streets.

Authors such as Norbert Davis, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Raoul Whitfield and Erle Stanley Gardner all graduated through this ‘blood and guts’ school of writing; which changed forever the mystery novel, when this ‘hard-boiled’ style eventually cross-pollinated with its cozy British cousin.

Both forms matured as a result of the new ‘soup’ they’d become. In the US, Chandler and Hammett took off, alongside authors such as Ross MacDonald, Cornell Woolrich, and James Cain. In Britain, there were Nicholas Blake, Michael Innes, Julian Symons and Edmund Crispin.

With the 1950’s came the police procedural genre in the US, with Ed McBain followed by Joseph Wambaugh. And the psychological mystery began developing, with writers such as Patricia Highsmith, whose characters were deep and mysterious, themselves. But still the two streams, whilst learning from each other, continued to mine their own veins: in the UK writers such as PD James, HRF Keating, Peter Lovesey and Ruth Rendell continued the traditional route, while realists in the US such as Jim Thompson, John D. McDonald, David Goodis and James M. Cain added psychological depth to the hard-boiled genre.

And it continues to develop, as its popularity continues to increase — crime and mystery fiction is as popular than ever. it was.

Science Fiction Books - Dune by Frank Herbert

Classic Crime Fiction Novel Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Science Fiction Books - Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Another classic Crime Fiction Book American Tabloid by James Ellory

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Crime Fiction Seminar at the British Library

This may appear a little ‘dusty’ as it’s over 5 years old and a ‘British Library’ production but it’s a great discussion about Crime Fiction and its history — for those interested.

Hosted by Mark Lawson (a regular arts and culture journalist for the BBC), he discusses the Crime Fiction novel genre with crime fiction writers PD James, Henry Sutton and Jason Webster including the history of the genre, their favourite classics and their own work. Well worth a watch or a listen if you have the time and the inclination!

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Want to browse all 32 categories? Visit our Daily Deals and Book Bargain page for the full list!

The Past Awakens

Just when CSI Madison Corman thinks settling into her new job is going to give her the advantages she needs, a new case comes along that proves too good to be true. Together with Warren, she’ll right old wrongs and prove that the past is sometimes better left...

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Clean Kill

Lies run thicker than blood. When Blake Salinger went to work that day, everything seemed normal. His life was structured and routine. All he wanted was a little excitement -- he just never expected to be arrested for his own father's murder. Caught between the lies...

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Smokescreen

Dick Francis, the bestselling master of mystery and suspense, takes you into the thrilling world of horse racing.Edward Lincoln may be a worldwide superstar who plays daring detectives on the big screen, but in reality he’s just an ordinary man.Unfortunately,...

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A Drink Before the War

The mesmerizing, darkly original novel that heralded the arrival of now New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane, the master of the new noir—and introduced Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, his smart and tough private investigators weaned on the...

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No Good Deeds

New York Times BestsellerAward-winning and New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan—first introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues—becomes involved in a complicated investigation that will force her to question her...

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The Coroner

Summoned to take up her estranged father’s post as a medical examiner, surgeon Emily Hartford discovers home is where the bodies are buried in this “intense, riveting mystery” debut (Library Journal) Recently engaged and deeply ensconced in her...

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The Deep Blue Good-by

From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Deep Blue Good-by is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat. Travis McGee is a self-described beach bum who won his houseboat in a card game. He's also a...

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Unholy Island

★★★★★ The first of the Anglesey Murders novels. One of the best series you will read..If you like gripping and violent, then Conrad Jones will enthrall you. ★★★★★ Outstanding!...

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Dare Game

One dead body, one ace of spades… Is the playing card an oversight—or a trademark? Detective John O’Sullivan needs to find out if the murder was a one-off, or if the killer plans to work his way through a whole deck of cards. The plot thickens as...

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The Silent Suspect

A FIRE. A MURDER. A SILENT SUSPECT…On a quiet street, one house is burning to the ground…By the time sign language interpreter Paige Northwood arrives, flames have engulfed her client’s home. Though Lukas is safe, his wife is still inside. But she...

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The Marco Effect

A teenaged boy on the run propels Detective Carl Mørck into Department Q’s most sinister case yet in the fifth novel in Jussi Adler-Olsen's New York Times bestselling series.   Fifteen-year-old Marco Jameson longs to become a Danish citizen and...

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The Riverman

Fans of atmospheric police procedurals will love watching Glasgow vividly come to life with the shocking twists and turns that have made Alex Gray an international bestsellerWhen a dead body is fished out of Glasgow’s River Clyde the morning after an office...

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The Second Deadly Sin

A police detective must find out who murdered a world-famous artist in a thriller by the #1 New York Times–bestselling “master of suspense” (The Washington Post). A month ago, world-renowned artist Victor Maitland was found dead in his Mott Street...

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Misery Bay

“Misery Bay” is more than just a fitting name for this outwardly innocent fishing village. Misery Bay is a picturesque fishing village on the Eastern shore of Nova Scotia, a seemingly idyllic location. But the islands and hidden coves hide something more...

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A Caribbean Mystery

As Jane Marple sat basking in the tropical sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened. Then a question was put to her by a stranger: 'Would you like to see a picture of a...

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A Killer’s Daughter

‘Wow!! This book!!! Where do I begin?... Completely and utterly impossible to put down… literally had me on the edge of my seat. I devoured this book in just one sitting… gripping, engaging and a superb read. A definite five stars.’ Little...

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Long Time No See

New York Times bestseller: The heroine of Compromising Positions returns in this “hilarious” suburban murder mystery (People).   Where did Courtney Logan go? The former investment banker turned suburban dilettante had not lived in Shorehaven for...

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Wildflower Graves

“I was so hooked!!… Gripping… It had me on the edge of the seat and I read it in one go!… Will keep you awake at night… Completely worth five stars!” Tropical Girl Reads Books, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The...

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The Long Cold Winter

A thirty-year old case. A body discovered in the snow. For one grieving detective, it's going to be a long, cold winter. After the passing of his wife, Major Crimes Detective Dallas Nash is handed a cold case to ease him back into the job. Three decades prior, a...

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Hush Now Baby

USA Today Best Selling Book "This book had me turning pages way past my bedtime." - Sharyn Bradford Lunn, bestselling fiction author On a crisp, fall night, Serena Westwood wakes to the faint stirs of her crying baby. Bottle in hand, she tiptoes to the other...

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Million Dollar Staircase

A VERY GOOD FRIEND… WOULD HELP YOU HIDE A BODY This irresistible Florida mystery opens with a bang and never stops: “Start the boat! We’ve got to get rid of this body.” That’s Will Harper speaking, ex-journalist, budding detective,...

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Last Word

Someone is sending a message to Congressman Grant Copeland and bodies are turning up with striking similarities. A single shot to the head. A single word written on a piece of fabric left in the victims’ mouths. The BAU team at FBI’s Washington Field...

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Heartbreak Bay

An Amazon Charts and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling series.They’re hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists.A car submerged in a remote pond. The bodies of two girls strapped into their seats. The...

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Trial by Blood

If you like Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell, you'll love this edgy and engrossing forensic thriller by bestselling author John Macken. "A terrific forensic thriller, which real flesh and blood characters and a plot that never lets...

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Booked to Die

Booked to Die, the first book in John Dunning's bestselling, award-winning Cliff Janeway series, is "a joy to read for its wealth of inside knowledge about the antiquarian book business and its eccentric traders" (The New York Times Book Review). Denver homicide...

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Deeper Than the Dead

A serial killer terrorizes a small California town in this gripping thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag. California, 1985—Four children and young teacher Anne Navarre make a gruesome discovery: a partially buried female body, her eyes...

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Mean High Tide

Beneath the still blue waters off Key Largo a woman dives into a dazzling array of color. But behind the shimmering schools of fish, somewhere in the shadows of the reef, a death trap awaits. In minutes one life will be expertly, brutally taken, and another plunged...

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Lost Souls

‘Absolutely brilliant. The most twisted story I’ve ever read.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 StarsA MISSING GIRL. A RACE AGAINST TIME.Ten-year-old Elodie Fry vanishes overnight, along with a rucksack filled with her meagre belongings. Detectove Gaby Darin...

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Whiteout

THE FOURTH INSTALMENT IN THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING DARK ICELAND SERIES OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD When the body of a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted Icelandic village of KÁlfshamarvÍk, police officer Ari ThÓr Arason...

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Iron Lake

The first in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series follows Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor as he delves into the dark side of small-town Minnesota while investigating a tangled web of corruption and danger. “A...

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Nothing as It Seems

Protecting the innocent comes at a cost, and what seems to be a sleepy, quiet town is anything but. “A compelling story that touches on powerful social issues” Bookbub Reviewer NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Lorhainne Eckhart brings you the...

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The Silent One

How far would you go to hide the truth? A student murdered.A professor arrested.A teenager with a secret… In the halls of residence of an East London university campus, eighteen-year-old Paige Arland wakes to a bed full of blood and no memory of how it got...

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Serena McKay Crime Novels (Books 1-2)

Born into a misogynistic, dystopian world, where anything can be bought, Serena has suffered appalling abuse both personally and professionally. She paid her dues, fought her battles, and came out a winner. Once a detective, now a private eye, she takes on the cases...

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Heartbreak Bay

An Amazon Charts and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling series. They're hunting a killer so silent, so invisible, that his unspeakable crimes are the only proof he exists. A car submerged in a remote pond. The bodies of two girls strapped into their seats. The mystery...

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A Killing at the Track

THE LURE OF THE TRACK, A RIDE ON THE WILD SIDE, AND DANGER AT EVERY TURN…"This little gem of a mystery centers around murder, mayhem and race-fixing at a fictional racetrack ... Dawson, a longtime racing fan, has really done her homework well... "...

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The Sasha McCandless Series

Now available in one volume, the first three full-length novels in the USA TODAY bestselling Sasha McCandless legal thriller series. IRREPARABLE HARM Skillful plotting, surprising twists, and a cracking pace keep readers turning the pages in this gripping legal...

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