Very few of us would actually kill someone, but we all love to solve puzzles, especially those centering around a murder. We can't all be homicide detectives, since our skills lie in sales, networking or marketing new products to large companies, but we can all partake of an investigation and use our brains a little by downloading a murder mystery novel onto our e-book readers. There are many subsets of murder mystery and many authors who write in this genre. This guide should help you get started finding books you like.

Many mystery authors like to concentrate on a single investigator and use this character for all of their books. The character may be a police detective, such as Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley, or simply someone who repeatedly finds themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, such as Donald's Bain's Jessica Fletcher from the Murder She Wrote series.

Some people who like to read mystery novels prefer to have a love story woven into the mystery. Often these are called "romantic suspense" novels, and they are very popular, especially with women. Harlequin Intrigue publishes several new mysteries each month, and many authors, such as Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Garwood, and Nancy Bush publish series books featuring different characters from the same group, such as a wealthy family or detectives from the same police department.

One of the newest trends in mystery novels these days is to center the series around a gimmick. Donna Andrews' stories, for example, all involve birds, while Rita Mae Brown has a series involving investigative cats. You may enjoy Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson books, which all include recipes. Scrapbooking enthusiasts will enjoy Laura Childs' books, which feature murders connected to scrapbooking.

Murder mystery is a genre that has been around for almost as long as publishing, so if you'd like to read something with a more formal tone, you might try one of the classics, such as Edgar Allen Poe's Murders in the Rue Morge, Oedipus Rex, the Ellery Queen novels, or one of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Many of these books will be in the public domain and therefore are free to download on sites like Google Books or through your e-book's home store.

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