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 Crossing

An Amazon Charts bestseller.In a small town full of secrets, everyone’s a suspect.When a body is discovered, bled dry on a beach, the sleepy seaside town of Weston-super-Mare wakes up to a nightmare. For Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell, recently transferred to...

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Bold Counsel

Some secrets are buried too deep for tears.Love, death and an ancient murder combine in this outstanding psychological thriller. When barrister Sarah Newby embarks on her first case in London’s Court of Criminal Appeal, she has little idea of the horror she is about...

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The Unspoken

In this new series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ian K. Smith, an ex-cop turned private investigator seeks justice on the vibrant, dangerous streets of Chicago.Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate...

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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

“The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling….A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.” —David WroblewskiA powerful and resonant novel from the critically...

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The Dying Hour

The Dying Hour introduces Jason Wade, a rookie crime reporter with The Seattle Mirror, a loner who grew up in the shadow of a brewery in one of the city's blue-collar neighborhoods. At The Seattle Mirror, he is competing for the single full-time job being offered...

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David DeLee Starter Pack (Boxed Set)

This first in series bundle contains the first book in each of David DeLee's thrilling, edge-of-your-seat series featuring bounty hunter Grace deHaviland, ex-DEA agent Nick Lafferty, and NYPD detectives Frank Flynn & Christine Levy. Join them as they deal with the...

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Trouble in Paradise

Jesse Stone returns in this New York Times bestselling novel of death and deception from Robert B. Parker.Stiles Island is a wealthy and exclusive enclave separated by a bridge from the Massachusetts coast town of Paradise. James Macklin sees the Island as the...

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Buried

In Ellison Cooper’s suspense thriller Buried, an FBI neuroscientist is on the trail of a serial killer who’s turned up the heat on a cold case…Senior Special Agent Sayer Altair studies the minds of psychopaths. But even she didn't expect to uncover a killer within the...

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The Girl in the Moss

A shallow grave exposes deadly secrets as bestselling author Loreth Anne White brings her thrilling series of romantic suspense to its shocking conclusion…Disgraced ex-cop Angie Pallorino is determined to make a new start for herself as a private investigator. But...

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Hold Back the Night

"5 out of 5 stars. One of the Best Novels of 2019!" - Wayne Stinnett 4:23 a.m. The phone rings. The officer on the other end says, “It’s a bad one, Darren. Can you come?” Darren McDaniel has worked dozens of homicides in his years as a detective. It’s a dark and...

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Chasing Ghosts

A well-known Private investigator has to solve his partner’s murder but too many obstacles are on his way. Mike moves to Harrisville’s small town for a new beginning in his detective work when his best friend and partner Harry gets killed just a day after his move. In...

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The Perfect Widow

‘Unbelievably great!!!! I loved this book.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 starsLouise Bridges has the perfect life.A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home.So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident,...

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Eileen

Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize and chosen by David Sedaris as his recommended book for his Fall 2016 tour. So here we are. My name was Eileen Dunlop. Now you know me. I was twenty-four years old then, and had a job that paid fifty-seven dollars a week as a...

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Death Saint

DEATH SAINT was selected as a Finalist for Best Mystery in the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. New clues in an old, unsolved murder case lead Deputy Sheriff Manny Rivera from Moab, Utah, to a small, remote village in the mountains of northern New Mexico. With...

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Nobody’s Child

A bloodstained note left for PI Georgia Davis reveals the shocking existence of a half-sister she never knew about. Her sister, Savannah, is pregnant and begging for Georgia’s help. Determined to track her down, Georgia finds herself heading deep into the secretive...

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Our Daughter’s Bones

When Mackenzie opened the door to the kitchen, she froze. Her father lay on his stomach, blood pooling around his head. She lurched forward to touch him, but her mother held her back. Mackenzie felt like bursting. Her twelve-year-old heart couldn’t handle the grief....

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The Watched

From the USA TODAY bestselling author. "If you like Patricia Cornwell or Kathy Reichs, you'll love this." LOVEREADING. Quantico-trained forensic investigator Reilly Steel is back in the country of her birth. Unsure about both her future and her position within the...

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The Appearance of Mystery

How do you catch a killer, when you’re just a kid?Now sixteen years old, Billy Wheatley has given up all thoughts of childish detective work in favor of his emerging scientific career. He lands a coveted place on a research ship studying great white sharks a hundred...

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Tricky Twenty-Two

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Something big is brewing in Trenton, N.J., and it could blow at any minute.   Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme...

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Dirty Little Secrets

From New York Times bestselling author Liliana Hart comes a series that will knock your socks off! A smart blend of J.D. Robb's, Eve Dallas and Bones, J.J. Graves is a character everyone can root for. J.J. Graves has seen a lot of dead bodies in her line of...

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The Girl Who Ran Away

A new missing persons case, a prime suspect and questions about an old friend challenge amateur sleuth and crime reporter Tess McClintock and FBI Special Agent Michael Carter in THE GIRL WHO RAN AWAY, the first book in The Girl Who Ran trilogy and another installment...

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The Flinck Connection

A murdered politician. An unsolved art heist. An international conspiracy.A cryptic online message leads nonverbal communications expert Doctor Genevieve Lenard to the body of a brutally murdered politician. Despite being ordered not to investigate, Genevieve and her...

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Terminally Ill

HOUDINI WHODUNITMagic? Dr. Hope Sze steers clear of magic.But when “Elvis the Escape King” chains and nails himself inside a coffin on the anniversary of Houdini's death, in Montreal’s St. Lawrence River, he can’t break free.Soon after Hope restarts his heart and...

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Desperate Creed

A TRAILBLAZER IN THE K-9 MYSTERY GENRE, Kava creates a “dynamic between Ryder and his canines that reveals a world rarely shared in fiction and perhaps nowhere presented more effectively than in this series.” —Phil Jason, Florida WeeklyAward-winning author, Alex Kava...

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The Last Amen

Is there a serial killer in the Catholic Church?When a young woman is found dead on her bed, dressed in an old-fashioned nightgown with her hands clasped in a prayer position, Detective Kate Murphy is called to investigate her murder.Before Kate and her colleagues can...

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Detective

A death row confession sparks an investigation that will tear Miami apart in this “engrossing thriller” from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author (Booklist). Detective-Sergeant Malcolm Ainslie, a former Catholic priest, is about to start his vacation when a call...

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Open Season

Lt. Joe Gunther of the Brattleboro, Vermont police force has a serious problem: in a community where a decade could pass without a single murder, the body count is suddenly mounting. Innocent citizens are being killed—and others set-up—seemingly orchestrated by a...

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Knots and Crosses

Inspector John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and...

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The Creak on the Stairs

When a woman's body is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, investigators discover shocking secrets in her past. First in the disturbing, chillingly atmospheric, addictive new Forbidden Iceland series.***Winner of the Storytel Award for Best...

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On the Count of Three

He had it planned out to perfection. She was weak and pathetic, past the point of fighting for her life. She must know she couldn’t win, and soon it would all be over…on the count of three. A woman is reported missing in Miami, Florida, and Detective Kelly Marsh...

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Tell Nobody

The boy’s body was so white it was almost transparent. But that’s not what caused the nausea to rise up her throat. He was so young. His body was unmarked, surrounded by a halo of plucked wildflowers.One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way...

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Bed of Bones

USA Today bestselling novel."Bradshaw does a wonderful job in this fast paced, modern day novel that combines the best elements of both the mystery and the thriller genres."- Stephen Campbell: Murders, Mysteries, and Mayhem Radio ShowSometimes even the deepest,...

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A Maigret Christmas

“One of the greatest writers of the twentieth century . . . Simenon was unequaled at making us look inside, though the ability was masked by his brilliance at absorbing us obsessively in his stories.” —The GuardianIn this delightful holiday-themed collection of nine...

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The Mockingbird Drive

Five people are dead at a small Las Vegas newspaper...The police and the media are running with the "official story"...But Alex Vane is after the truth.Alex Vane was once a top investigative journalist. Now he peddles celebrity gossip and clickbait listicles, watching...

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Pushed Too Far

A TOWN'S TERRIBLE SECRETTwo years ago a woman was brutally murdered, her body burned until only ash and shattered bone remained. Police Sergeant Valerie Ryker solved that case, putting psychopath Dixon Hess in prison for life, and becoming the first female police...

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Someone’s There

Jack Haynes rings his wife's missing phone, but when he remembers seeing it downstairs earlier in the kitchen, he goes to hang up, only for it to be answered by strangers who've broken into the house.The strangers are looking for something specific, something which...

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