In 1841, Edgar Allan Poe introduced the first fictional detective – C. Auguste Dupin, who debuted in the story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue.” From there, the crime and mystery genres evolved via authors, such as Arthur Conan Doyle, Raymond Chandler and Agatha Christie, and characters, such as Sherlock Holmes, Philip Marlow and Perry Mason. Today, the crime and mystery genres are among the most popular with readers, as well as consumers of film and TV. This guide is packed with more than 40 resources for lovers of the crime and mystery genres. In addition to general genre resources, you’ll find resources for writers, teachers and kids, and links to relevant podcasts and blogs.
Here’s What’s Inside
- General Crime and Mystery Resources
- Crime and Mystery Subgenre Resources
- Crime and Mystery Writing Resources
- Crime and Mystery Author Resources
- Notable Crime and Mystery Cases
- Crime and Mystery Games
- Crime and Mystery Teaching Resources
- Mystery Genre Resources for Kids
- Crime and Mystery Blogs
- Crime and Mystery Podcasts
General Crime and Mystery Resources
Check out the following links that will allow you to browse the resources in an online crime library, listen to a nostalgic radio program or find your next mystery or crime novel read.
MWA dedicates itself to promoting a high regard for the genre of crime writing. No matter if you’re an aspiring or accomplished mystery or crime writer, MWA has something to offer you in the form of literacy programs, scholarships, symposia and conferences.
Use this resource to find potential mystery, crime and thriller reads. You’ll find over 56,000 titles from close to 5,000 authors that you can search easily.
Discover the literary origins of the genre of detective fiction – you might be surprised.
Even though the Crime Museum is no longer in operation, this crime library serves a rich repository for exploring, researching and learning more about the fascinating – and sometimes macabre – world of crime.
If you’re into nostalgia, use this link to stream old-time detective and thriller radio programs such as Sherlock Holmes and The Whistler.
Check out this site that has plenty of commentary and audio clips about the private eyes who starred in radio series throughout much of the first half of the 20th century.
Crime and Mystery Subgenre Resources
Within the genres of crime and mystery, there exists a plethora of subgenres. Learn more about them in the following links.
From the Writer’s Digest, this is perhaps the most complete listing of Mystery/Crime subgenres.
For a bit more information about the mystery subgenre, check out this link. Here, you’ll find definitions for each subgenre and examples.
Are you interested a genre filled with tough guys, violence and racy writing? If so, hard-boiled is what you’re seeking.
This subgenre typically contains a bloodless crime and a victim who has few – if any – ties to anyone.
Procedurals serve up law and order in relation to all types of cases and mirror real-life police work in detail.
Crime and Mystery Writing Resources
If you’d like to try your hand at writing a crime or mystery story of your own, we have you covered with the following writing resources.
Learn about plotting backwards and other methods of crafting a crime or mystery story readers won’t be able to put down.
Author Ginny Wiehardt shares her top tips for mystery writing in this helpful article.
Craft a realistic murder scene with these tips from a former homicide detective and coroner.
Here’s another roundup of helpful tips for writing in the crime genre.
Notable Crime and Mystery Cases
Sadly, there’s been no shortage of gruesome crimes committed in the past centuries to serve as source material for crime and mystery writers. Discover some of the more notable ones below.
This link contains information about notorious crimes that occurred in New England, such as the famous case of Lizzie Borden.
Discover “gas-lit” murder stories that took place in American during the 19th century. Here, you’ll find plenty of revenge and obsession.
This link takes you an extensive list of some of the FBI’s most famous cases within the last century, such as Al Capone and the Unabomber.
This site could be the only one you’ll need to gather information about the infamous Jack the Ripper. Using this useful and detailed resource, you can read articles, view documentaries and photos and consider evidence.
Crime and Mystery Games
Do you have a love for online mystery and crime scene games? Brush up on your sleuthing skills with these fun links.
With a free account you can read and solve mysteries or write and submit your own mysteries. New mysteries are published twice weekly.
Read the profiles and take your best guess as to which notorious criminal each one describes. Solutions are provided.
While not an online version of a detective game, this activity is perfect for teachers who want to help their students think critically and practice their sleuthing skills. Follow this link for the full lesson plan.
Hosted by the Rice University School Mathematics Project, and funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institutes of Health, this online crime scene investigation simulation is sure to inform and entertain players.
Crime and Mystery Teaching Resources
If you’re lucky enough to be able to teach students about the intriguing topics of crime and mystery, here are a few of the best online resources we located.
This thorough lesson plan unit offers teachers activities that students will find engaging and fun, such as writing a classroom mystery, simulating the fingerprinting process, solving short mystery stories and more.
A unit designed to help struggling high school students strengthen reading skills and boost their overall interest in reading.
This 20-lesson unit is for students in grades 6-8 and engages them in directed learning activities related to the mystery genre.
Designed for 11th graders, this lesson plan tasks students with using the writing process to craft a murder mystery in short story form within teams.
This game is an example of active learning at its best. Centered on a living Clue board, it’s designed to be played after students finish reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
Mystery Genre Resources for Kids
Looking for some age-appropriate mystery material for younger readers? Check out the resources below.
From The Case of the Stinky Socks for second graders to Bullet Point for high school students, this is a comprehensive list of books sure to appeal to younger mystery readers.
Here are nine mystery books that younger readers recommend to their peers.
Kids can solve mysteries, too. Here’s a roundup of 20 of the most popular young sleuths ever.
Crime and Mystery Blogs
Keep up with the current events and happenings in the mystery and crime literature world or learn more about the classics with these links.
Check out this spirited and compelling blog by Peter Rozovsky that details what’s currently happening in the mystery literature world.
Enjoy high-quality reviews of mystery titles and interviews with important authors.
No matter what kind of crime fiction you like – cozy or hard-boiled – the two journalists who run this blog cover it with their reviews.
Get a true crime perspective from Paul Hubel, who is currently a licensed private detective, and a former policeman.
Crime and Mystery Podcasts
Give yourself some downtime and listen to one of these intriguing podcasts. Whether you’re in the mood for true crime or fictional mysteries and thrillers, this section is a great resource.
Host Phoebe Judge offers odd crime drama to listeners. Tune in for the oddities and the engrossing narrative style.
Tune in to this weekly podcast that covers unsolved mysteries or analyzes suspiciously closed cases. Cases are chosen by the listeners or the hosts.
Listen to compelling reading and dramatizations of mystery and crime tales brought to you by the world’s leading suspense writers.
Join hosts Nancie Clare and Leslie Klinger for interviews with best-selling – and not so well known – authors of mysteries and thrillers.
Hosts Charlie and Ali dive into the world of unsolved crimes and focus on missing person’s cases and mind-boggling mysteries.