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!

Cause and Effect

Cause and Effect: Book Four in The Lieutenant Kane Dedicated to Death Series.Editorial Review:“When two Tampa jewelry store owners are executed and their store cleaned out, Tampa PD Homicide Lieutenant Carl Kane is called to the scene. One early suspect is a store...

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Evil Games

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone...

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The Celtic Dagger

University professor Alex Wearing is found murdered in his study by the Post Graduate Co-coordinator, Vera Trenbath, a nosey interfering busybody. Assigned to the case is Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn. Fitzjohn is a detective from the old guard, whose...

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The Patient Killer

Bodies begin to pile up, the victims seemingly random. At first it seems that the only thing connecting the crimes is that each murder was meticulously planned and executed.When DCI Morton discovers that the latest victim, Primrose Kennard, was already at death’s...

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Night of the Hunted

When I receive a call from a mysterious woman seeking my help to escape her abusive husband, I can’t refuse, even though I'm supposed to meet my future in-laws in twenty-four hours. Like my hero, Humphrey Bogart, I am a sucker for a damsel in distress, but the woman...

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California Bust

Former U.S. marshal Rip Lane is called out of retirement to hunt down gunmen who killed two marshals and stole a spying device. One of the murdered marshals is Rip’s cousin. When Rip infiltrates an outlaw motorcycle club he descends into an underworld of criminal...

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February’s Files

Even small towns have secrets worth killing for... A skeleton in a makeshift stone grave is discovered on a remote bluff overlooking Labyrinth Canyon in southeast Utah. Cause of death: a bullet to the back of the head. The victim turns out to be a controversial...

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Sworn to Silence

Now the subject of the Lifetime original movie, An Amish MurderFor only $6.99: Sworn to Silence is the first in Linda Castillo's New York Times bestselling Kate Burkholder series.A KILLER IS PREYING ON SACRED GROUND.... In the sleepy rural town of Painters Mill, Ohio,...

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Ten Guilty Men

Beauty, fame, riches. She had it all. They killed her anyway.When millionairess Ellis DeLange is found floating face-down in her own swimming pool on the night of her 30th birthday party, the media assumes another celebrity overdose.Morton must pierce the veil of...

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Walking Shadow

A murder draws Boston PI Spenser into the dramatic world of theater in this New York Times bestseller in Robert B. Parker’s long-running series.In a shabby waterfront town, an actor is shot dead onstage. Granted, the script left much to be desired. But there's more...

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Hot Type

Two men on the run ... Newspaperman Dan Cameron gets a cool old typewriter for his 40th birthday. It once belonged to Ben Hecht, who used it to write the movie "Notorious." Dan uses it to write a best-seller. Then the Hecht estate says the typewriter was stolen and...

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A Shroud for Delilah

’A superbly crafted, riveting, page-turner of a read’ – BooklistKate Romilly left her old life behind when she left her unfaithful husband.Moving to the small town of Broadminster with her young son was a fresh start. Closer to her best friend, with a good job, a new...

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Death Votes Last

A Senate Leader Who Would Kill To Win With an evenly-divided United States Senate, the stakes are high for the nation's political power brokers. The leader of one party decides to change the numbers by arranging the elimination of one of the other party's senators....

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The Journey Series (Box Set, Books 1-3)

The Bestselling Journey Series, Books 1-3Includes An Eye for Death, A Desert View, and Blue Water HorizonOn the run from the mob, wanted by the law, blue-eyed Alice Trent is on her own. She is a survivor with her own way of dealing with those who threaten her and the...

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Kindness of Strangers

"A breathless thriller " -Los Angeles TimesA MADMAN, A COP OBSESSED, AND A WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE LOVE AFFAIR…Kindness of Strangers is the SIXTH book in the Edgar Award-winning Skip Langdon mystery series by Julie Smith.“ like a good Grisham: taut, fast, and thrilling....

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Kiss Miss

It's Christmas in Calcutta, 1935. The holiday is known by the servants as Burra Din - the Great Day - or more simply, Kiss Miss. This Christmas there's a skeleton for Jonathan Prosper to investigate, and then a body.

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An Unkindness of Ravens

This Edgar Award finalist from the New York Times–bestselling author is a “suspense mystery of the highest order” (The New Yorker).   For London’s Chief Inspector Reg Wexford, it wasn’t an official call. He was just being neighborly when he agreed to talk to Joy...

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Entanglement

The morning after a group psychotherapy session in a Warsaw monastery, Henry Talek is found dead, a roasting spit stuck in one eye.Public prosecutor Teodor Szacki, world-weary, suffering from bureaucratic exhaustion and marital ennui, feels that life has passed him...

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The Neighbor

A young mother, blond and pretty, vanishes from her South Boston home, leaving behind only one witness—her four-year-old daughter—and one suspect—her handsome, secretive husband.From the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses’ snug little...

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August’s Heat

Criminal investigator Larry Macklin faces a classic who-done-it when Conrad Higgins, a local antiques dealer with questionable ethics, is found shot in his own home.Larry soon realizes that half the town had reason to hate the man. Is the murderer the next door...

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Tenderloin

If you go looking for a monster, don’t be surprised if you find one. With white-collar crimes dominating Agent Abby Kane’s work schedule, chasing deranged killers is a thing of the past, until the body of a dead DEA agent pops up in Bogotá.Ordered to Colombia for...

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Blood of Others

Blood of Others received one of the world’s top literary prizes for crime fiction, the 2003 Arthur Ellis Award, given by the Crime Writers of Canada for Best Novel. In his praise of the book, James Patterson, the #1 Worldwide Bestselling Author, said Blood of Others,...

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Perilous

Perilous: Book 4 in the Cases of Lieutenant Kane Series of Police Procedural NovelsTampa homicide lieutenant Carl Kane was looking forward to his vacation—a break from psychopathic serial killers, dead bodies, and the daily grind. At least, that was the plan... When...

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Blood Orchids

Paradise has a dark side.She can’t stop thinking about a drowned girl’s face... because it reminds her of her own.Overcoming a past filled with scars, Lei makes a life for herself and her dog, Keiki, as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. When a routine...

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Places in the Dark

It is autumn 1937 when a mystery woman appears in Port Alma, a sea village nestled on the chilly coast of Maine. A fragile, green-eyed beauty, the woman arrives with little more than the clothes on her back and a wealth of unspoken secrets. Before a year goes by, she...

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The New Iberia Blues

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Named one of the best crime novels of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review. The shocking death of a young woman leads Detective Dave Robicheaux into the dark corners of Hollywood, the mafia, and the backwoods of Louisiana in this gripping...

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At Risk

Sparks fly and twists abound in this electrifying thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling crime author Patricia Cornwell.Massachusetts state investigator Win Garano is called home from Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing a course at the National Forensic...

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Nights of Awe

‘Nykänen’s twist on Nordic crime fiction may be the most inventive of the year. Ariel Kafka, a middle-aged bachelor, is a detective in Helsinki (think early Harry Hole) and, as far as he knows, the only Jew on the entire Helsinki police force, which is why he’s picked...

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No Simple Death

How can you find someone who doesn’t want to be found?When Detective Garda Sergeant Mike West is called to investigate a murder in a Dublin graveyard, suspicion immediately falls on a local woman, Edel Johnson, whose husband disappeared some months before. But then...

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Florida Son

For Julie Collins the loss was shattering. First her son was kidnapped. Then he was found dead. On the fifth anniversary of his death Julie receives a Facebook message from him: “Happy anniversary, Mommy.” Is it a hoax? Or is he still alive? Former U.S. marshal Rip...

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Committed

Committed: Book 3 in the Agent Rawlings Series of FBI ThrillersA wanted serial killer and his girlfriend are on a bloody killing spree across the United States. Agents Hank Rawlings and Beth Harper, along with the rest of their team, are on a nationwide manhunt to...

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Blood Money

An Amazon Top 30 bestseller.***Each Joe Dillard novel can be read as a standalone.**** * * NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: "Blood Money" is an extensive rewrite of a book I wrote a few years ago called "Russo's Gold." While I was satisfied with most of "Russo's Gold," there...

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Power in the Blood

A missing mom and a suspicious death force a reluctant detective out of self-imposed exile in this fast-paced mystery thriller.Detective John Jordan thought he had put murder investigation behind him for good—his own good. Leaving Atlanta, he returns to Florida in...

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The Overlook

In his first case with the Homicide Special Squad, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch must follow his instincts to stop a killer who could destroy the entire city -- even as the FBI works against him.Near Mulholland Drive, Dr. Stanley Kent is found shot twice in the back of...

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Amazing Detective

The discovery of a body on a Long Island beach leads a detective into a complex murder investigation with possible ties to drug trafficking…An entertaining mystery with an engaging hero and deftly handled plot twists.”—Kirkus Reviews Praised by the East Hampton Star...

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The Lying Room

One little secret between a married woman, her lover, and a killer.In this thrilling standalone from the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, a married woman’s affair with her boss spirals into a dangerous game of chess with the police when...

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