International Detective and Mystery Stories

By Andrew Hazard

Try a mystery set in locations far and farther away.

  • The Decagon House Murders

    2015 by Ayatsuji, Yukito

    Mystery-obsessed college students gather on an island with a murderous reputation. Cut off from the outside world, they discover that someone doesn't intend for them to leave alive. In a series of flashforwards, an unlikely sleuth tries to piece together what happened. Ayatsuji riffs brilliantly on both And Then There Were None (with a twist that arguably outdoes Christie's) and Japan's honkaku tradition.

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  • Lightseekers

    2021 by Kayode, Femi

    Back in Nigeria after two decades in the U.S, forensic psychologist Philip Taiwo is hired to prepare a report on the deaths of three university students at the hands of an angry mob. While Kayode's detective story touches on many of the fault lines running through Nigerian society, the manipulation of social media by malign actors is sadly a global problem.

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  • The Dry

    2017 by Harper, Jane

    "I know you lied, and Luke too." This message brings Aaron Falk, an investigator specializing in financial crimes, back to the Queensland town of Kiewarra for the funerals of the Hader family, allegedly killed in a murder-suicide by father Luke. This is a grim story, set among the increasingly desperate inhabitants of a community in the grip of neverending drought. Call it the first great "cli-fi" detective novel; there will be others.

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  • Aunty Lee's Delights

    2013 by Yu, Ovidia

    Much depends on dinner. When a no-show at an event hosted by Rosie "Aunty" Lee's cafe is murdered, all signs point to one of the assorted locals and tourists who were there being the killer. Fortunately, the "lady of a certain age and even more certain girth" is as adept at ferreting out secrets (while never quite dropping her hapless old woman persona) as she is at preparing Singapore's traditional Peranakan dishes.

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  • The Golden Scales: A Makana Mystery

    2012 by Bilal, Parker

    A former Sudanese police inspector eking out a living as an unlicensed private eye in 1990's Egypt, Makana knows that his clients are generally trying to avoid attention from the predatory security services. The search for a missing soccer star takes him from a fast-vanishing Old Cairo to the penthouses and Red Sea villas of the superrich. Bilal* has written half a dozen books featuring his unique refugee Philip Marlowe. *The pen name of Sudanese-British author Jamal Mahjoub.

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  • A Will to Kill

    2020 by Raman, R. V.

    In a valley frequently isolated by mudslides somewhere in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu state, Greybrooke Manor has it all. The eccentric owner who's convinced someone's trying to kill him, the heirs circling like sharks, the suspicious neighbors, the not-quite-right architecture...even a ghost sighting or two. Fortunately, you've also got famed "consulting detective" Harith Athreya on hand for when the inevitable murder occurs.

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  • Nairobi Heat

    2010 by Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ

    A bizarre murder in Madison, WI, sends an African-American detective ("Call me Ishmael") 8,000 miles to the Kenyan capital ("Nairobbery," according to the local cop he partners with) in a case involving NGO corruption and the legacy of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Full of shocking violence and unexpected beauty, this book reads the like the best of classic pulp.

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  • Velvet Was the Night

    2021 by Moreno-Garcia, Silvia

    When Maite Jaramillo starts looking for her neighbor Leonora, she initially fails to connect the disappearance to the political upheaval roiling Mexico City in the summer of 1971. "Elvis," meanwhile, is also searching for Leonora under orders from his boss in "Los Halcones" (irregular enforcers for the governing party). Moreno-Garcia balances the quests of her two unlikely heroes(?) with a lot of the Mexican pop culture she loves.

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  • A Window in Copacabana: A Novel

    2005 by García-Roza, L. A.

    It says something about the state of law enforcement in Rio de Janeiro that when three police officers are murdered in rapid succession, Espinosa, brought in to run the investigation, figures he's most likely dealing with a falling out among dirty cops. But the case may hinge on an apartment with a nice view of a lot more than Copacabana Beach. It's downright Hitchcockian.

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  • Wife of the Gods: A Novel

    2009 by Quartey, Kwei J.

    The murder of an AIDS outreach worker in a rural corner of Ghana where traditional beliefs still hold sway isn't a routine case for Inspector Darko Dawson. Having built a life in big city Accra, he must visit the place where his mother went missing more than 20 years ago, and where someone--possibly a member of his extended family--knows the truth about crimes old and new..

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  • Don't Cry, Tai Lake

    2012 by Qiu, Xiaolong

    A Shanghai detective's stay at an exclusive retreat for "high-ranking party cadres" is disrupted by the murder of a factory boss whose particular contribution to China's economic miracle had the side effect of polluting a famous body of water. And as always in the Inspector Chen Cao books, there's a poetic quotation (Chinese or Western) for every occasion.

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  • Smaller and Smaller Circles

    2015 by Batacan, F. H.

    Two Jesuit priests--one a forensic anthropologist who previously worked with victims of the old Marcos regime, the other a psychologist--try to stop the murders of child trashpickers in Quezon City's Payatas slum. At every turn, they are hindered by authorities who don't much care what happens in Payatas and a church hierarchy determined to keep its own sins buried. Felisa Batacan is an award-winning journalist in the Philippines.

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  • Havana Red

    2005 by Padura, Leonardo

    Lt. Mario Conde must fight his own prejudices to solve the murder of a young man strangled while wearing a red dress. He finds an unexpected ally in Alberto Marques, a politically suspect theatrical director who knows a great deal about queer life in the shadow of Cuba's "macho-Stalinist" system. Originally published in 1997, and considered quite provocative at the time.

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  • The Saturday Morning Murder: A Psychoanalytic Case

    1993 by Gur, Batya

    Batya Gur was known as "Israel's Agatha Christie," though a better comparison might be P.D. James. Each of Gur's police procedurals explores a different subculture within her not terribly large country. This book finds Inspector Michael Ohayon and his team trying to solve a killing in the rarified confines of the Jerusalem Psychoanalytic Society.

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  • Better the Blood: A Hana Westerman Thriller

    2023 by Bennett, Michael

    Ever since a shameful episode at the start of her career, Auckland Dec. Senior Sgt. Hana Westerman has preferred to avoid the issue of her Maori heritage. But now someone is using a traditional weapon to murderously avenge a 160-year-old injustice, and Westerman and her family have a role to play in the killer's design.

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