Posted by: nancycurteman | January 5, 2013

9 Uncommon Settings for Your Mystery Novel

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As the title of my blog, “Global Mysteries”, suggests, I seek to set my mystery novels in locations “less travelled”—Outback, Australia; Khayelitsha Township, South Africa.  Uncommon settings add story interest. Often I make a decision about setting by searching out and reading a novel by an author who has set her mystery in an uncommon location. Here are novels located in 9 uncommon settings:


Rosie Thomas novel, “Sun at Midnight,” features a scientist’s visit to Antarctica and the relationships she forms with diverse people she meets at a research station.

Zoë Ferraris novel “The Night of the Mi’raj” features sleuth Nayir, a desert guide, employed to find the missing daughter of a rich Saudi family, only to find her murdered.


MongoliaMichael Walters novel, “The Adversary” starts off in the Mongolian capital, Ulan Bator, where a British geologist has been found murdered, but it soon heads out to the desert.


PolandWroclaw, Poland
Marek Krajewski’s books feature Inspector Eberhard Mock and start before the Second World War in the German town of Breslau – which, in 1945, became Wroclaw in Poland. “Death in Breslau” is the first of his quartet.

Kerstin Ekman’s Constable Torsson, tracks his killers on skis through Lapland in “Blackwater.”

Shetland Islands
Ann Cleeves’ “Raven Black,” is set in a bleak landscape and close-knit community on the Shetland Islands. Detective Jimmy Perez has to cope with a very closed culture.

Shetland Islands


Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s sleuth Thora Gudmundsdottir, is a villain-chasing lawyer in “My Soul to Take.”

In Deborah Moggach’s “Stolen” two young English children are stolen by their Pakistani father and taken against their will to Pakistan.

Eliot Pattison’s mystery, “Mandarin Gate” takes us inside Tibet where we follow the investigations of Shan Tao Yun.

Reading novels in uncommon settings always inspires me to step outside the box and try something new.If you’ve read such a novel, I’d love it if you’d share it with us.

All book titles are linked to Amazon for quick access.

More tips:

Write Excellent Mystery Novels by Reading Excellent Mystery Novels

Great Settings Make Great Mysteries


  1. So many places to go… so little time…. ))


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