Posted by: nancycurteman | November 27, 2012

Learn to Write Excellent Mystery Novels by Reading Excellent Mystery Novels

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Most mystery authors have chosen to write mysteries because they love reading novels in this genre. The good thing about this is that reading these novels improves an author’s writing skills. Hence, you can learn to write excellent mystery novels by reading excellent mystery novels. Whether you read ebooks or printed mystery books, it is sometimes a bit laborious to find that next great read.The question then becomes: How do you find excellent mystery novels? Here are a few sources:


Top Mystery

Here  you will find list of mystery books recommended by known mystery writers, organizations, and book clubs. Top mystery books are listed. There are also lists of more recent books if you are interested in trying out new writers.

Curated Mystery Books by C suggests only the best mystery books, selected by a human curator, and organized by specific mystery category. They say they “can’t be gamed and be can’t be bought.”

Agatha Awards:

These are traditional mystery novels determined by attendees of Malice Domestic, a cozy mystery conference.

Anthony Awards

The mystery novels on this site are selected by attendees of the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention.

Daphne du Maurier Awards

Here you will find mystery novels selected by committees representing the Mystery/Suspense Chapter of Romance Writers of America,

 Edgar Awards

These novels have been selected by members of Mystery Writers of America

Macavity Awards

These mystery novels have been selected by members of Mystery Readers International.

These sites are reliable sources for great mystery novels. Often you will find the same novel mentioned on more than one site. This is an even stronger indicator of a very fine novel. Find the excellent mystery novels, read them and you will indeed write excellent mystery novels.

More writing helps:

9 Popular Mystery Sub-Genres to Explore
Five Must-Read European Mystery Writers
Good Mystery Novels That Make Great Vacation Reads



  1. I agree, but would take it a step further, and say that goes for any writing. When I want to write strong characters with vibrant humanity, I read Stephen King because I don’t know of another popular writer who does that better. I believe in immersing myself in the kind of writing I’m attempting to produce.


    • I couldn’t agree more regarding immersing oneself in the kind of writing one is attempting to produce. With reference to Stephen King, I also like his setting descriptions.


  2. Reading = Research . . . very enjoyable research. 😀


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