Crime Fiction – For Lovers of Who-Dunnits, Legal Thrillers, Suspense and Mystery

The only writers who survive the ages are those who understand the need for action in a novel

Dean Koontz

The history of crime novels

crime fiction books

The earliest author of crime fiction is Thomas Skinner Sturr. The first fiction he wrote was titled Richmond and Stories in the Life of a Bow Street Officer. Both of which appeared in 1827. the earliest example of a full-length short crime story is The Rector of Veilbye which was written by a Danish author, Steen Steensen Blicher, in 1829.

The author who is most recognized for early crime fiction is Edgar Allan Poe. But the fiction he is well known for didn’t appear until a few years later. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, for example, wasn’t published until 1841. it is widely considered that Arthur Conan Doyle and his popular Sherlock Holmes mysteries is the author responsible for the huge popularity of this type of novel.

But before he arrived on the scene an author named Paul Feval was writing a series of novels called Les Habits Noirs. Published in 1862-67, they featured Scotland Yard detectives and criminal conspiracies.

The way to write a thriller is to ask a question at the beginning and answer it at the end

Lee Child

Different types of crime fiction

  • Detective fiction – no explanation needed
  • Cozy mystery – crime stories told with humor
  • Whodunnit – features a complex, plot-driven story providing readers with clues to help them identify the perpetrator
  • Historical whodunnit – a story that is set in the past or has some historical significance
  • Locked room mystery – features a crime committed in what at first appear to be impossible circumstances
  • Hardboiled – usually features a detective forced to confront dangerous and violent crimes
  • Forensic – story follows the work of a medical examiner or pathologist
  • Police procedural – usually depicts the activities of a police force very accurately
  • Legal thriller – main characters are lawyers and those connected with a case
  • Caper story – told from the point of view of the criminal
  • Spy novel – features spies as the main characters
  • Psychological thriller

Life is about working out who the bad guy is

Sophie Hannah