Mystery books are perfect for when you want to get your adrenaline running or your brain ticking. Spanning diverse settings, scenarios, and styles, there is always something to be figured out, and you'll be dying to find out what really happened. Whether it's grisly murder mystery books, lighthearted romantic whodunits, whimsical children's mysteries, or countryside detective tales, this genre appeals to many. These stories of trust and deceit, love and loss, clever investigators, and amazing revelations may make your heart thump with suspense, while others make you split your sides over the characters' goofy antics.

The earliest modern mystery books were authored in the 19th century by writers that included Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, and Wilkie Collins. One of the first detective mysteries was Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Near the turn of the century came Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with his famous protagonist, Sherlock Holmes.

The genre became very popular in the 1920s, particularly books in the cozy mystery format; these vintage mystery books are much in demand today. These stories have a relaxed style that features a small community, an amateur protagonist, and only the mildest descriptions of violence and sex. Agatha Christie became the most famous author of the cozy mystery style, with the lovable pair of sleuths Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. In the following decades, the mystery genre expanded and became incredibly diverse in contrast to its more formulaic early days. The world witnessed the emergence of gritty urban thrillers, methodical police novels, international whodunits, and historical, fantasy, and science fiction mysteries of all kinds.

Search AbeBooks' seller listings for the latest hits to read or timeless classics for your library. These tales of dark disappearances, perplexing puzzles, shocking twists, and page-turning suspense are part of a vast and ever-growing genre. Buy mystery books for a truly exciting read.