6 Popular Novelists Writing About Crime

Heists, dark alleyways, murder, deception, global conspiracies, and the intrepid gumshoes on the beat; the crime genre continues to entice audiences with macabre scenarios and time-tested archetypes. The writers listed here all significantly contribute to this literary canon, penning suspenseful novels brimming with pulse-quickening intrigue. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Prolific Crime Fiction Authors

Author Books
Michelle M. Arsenault (Mima) A Devil Named Hernandez, We're All Animals
Ace Atkins Quinn Colson series, Spenser series
Winona Kent Skywatcher, Cold Play, The Cilla Rose Affair
Meg Gardiner Jo Beckett series, UNSUB series
T.J. Brearton Titan series, Tom Lange series
Paul Doiron Mike Bowditch series

Meg Gardiner on the Mysteries of Telling a Great Story

11 Great Crime Films

If you love reading about crime, you probably enjoy the genre in film as well. Here are some movies that you should definitely watch (if you haven't already):

  1. The Godfather (1972)
  2. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
  3. Goodfellas (1990)
  4. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  5. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  6. Double Indemnity (1944)
  7. Little Caesar (1931)
  8. Le Doulos (1962)
  9. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
  10. M (1931)
  11. Fargo (1996)

The Fine Art of Murder in Maine: A Discussion With Paul Doiron

In Depth

From the hard-boiled detective stories of Raymond Chandler to the tense thrillers of Gillian Flynn, novels about people on the wrong side of the law have always fascinated readers. The world of contemporary fiction contains many talented writers producing tales of murder, conspiracy, and the search for justice. Compiled here, in no particular order, is a list of authors whose works explore humanity's dark side.

Leading off at #1 is Michelle M. Arsenault, popularly known as Mima, a Canadian author with a penchant for morally ambiguous characters and themes of power and temptation. She is the creator of the Hernandez Series, chronicling a former drug lord's struggle for control of the legal marijuana trade; the series includes titles like She Was His Angel, in which the ruthless protagonist takes on the pharmaceutical industry.

Arsenault's writing includes novels like We're All Animals, the story of a family man discovering his own darker urges, and Always Be a Wolf, a tale of elite secrets and strained loyalty. Other books, like Her Name is Mariah and The Rock Star of Vampires, invite readers into a shadowy conspiracy controlled by the undead. Arsenault also creates articles and videos offering insights into her stories.

Arsenault's writing includes novels like We're All Animals, the story of a family man discovering his own darker urges, and Always Be a Wolf, a tale of elite secrets and strained loyalty.

Next up at #2 is Ace Atkins, the bestselling author of the Quinn Colson Series, which follows an Army Ranger contending with corruption and violence in his rural Mississippi hometown. Many of these books grapple with the real-world issues facing the American South; The Forsaken relates the investigation of a decades-old lynching, while The Shameless is a drama about crime and the politics of ignorance.

Along with his Quinn Colson books, Atkins created the Nick Travers novels, blending hard-boiled detective fiction with the history of blues music. He has contributed a number of entries to Robert B. Parker's Spenser series of crime thrillers, and several standalone titles like Infamous, a historical novel about famed bank robber Machine Gun Kelly. Atkins also writes nonfiction essays about sports and Southern culture.

#3 on our list is Winona Kent, a writer of mystery and romance fiction working out of British Columbia. Her debut novel Skywatcher follows a murder investigation leading into a world of espionage, and its sequel, The Cilla Rose Affair, delves into a radio-based Cold War conspiracy underneath London.

Her debut novel Skywatcher follows a murder investigation leading into a world of espionage, and its sequel, The Cilla Rose Affair, delves into a radio-based Cold War conspiracy underneath London.

Kent's work includes several time travel stories, like In Loving Memory, a tale of two lovers searching the past for clues to the present. She has also authored a series that follows a cruise ship entertainer turned detective, featuring titles like Notes on a Missing G-String, a mystery weaving through the seedy underworld of Soho nightclubs.

For entry #4 we have Meg Gardiner, who crafts suspenseful thrillers about murder, missing persons, and the extremes of human depravity. Novels like The Liar's Lullaby and The Nightmare Thief feature a forensic psychologist attempting to piece together the motivations for heinous crimes, while her Evan Delaney series follows a California journalist uncovering shattering secrets.

Gardiner's UNSUB novels draw inspiration from historical serial killers; The Dark Corners of the Night details the hunt for a home invasion murderer based on Richard Ramirez, the so-called Night Stalker, while Into the Black Nowhere features a ritualistic slayer of young women whose modus operandi recalls the infamous Ted Bundy. Gardiner was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America organization in 2019.

Gardiner's UNSUB novels draw inspiration from historical serial killers; The Dark Corners of the Night details the hunt for a home invasion murderer based on Richard Ramirez, the so-called Night Stalker, while Into the Black Nowhere features a ritualistic slayer of young women whose modus operandi recalls the infamous Ted Bundy.

Coming in at #5 is T.J. Brearton, a novelist and screenwriter specializing in stories of crime and long-buried secrets. His works explore settings from upstate New York to Southwest Florida, and feature characters facing harrowing psychological pressures. The Husbands chronicles the search for a serial killer who torments his victims' spouses, while the protagonist of When He Vanished finds herself a suspect in her family's disappearance.

Brearton is the creator of the Titan series, which brings readers along on the investigation into a shadowy and powerful sex trafficking ring. His novels frequently explore the lines between law and justice, or between suspicion and paranoia. Brearton also writes film reviews, offering a screenwriter's perspective on contemporary Hollywood, and publishes interviews with fellow suspense authors.

Concluding our list at #6 is Paul Doiron, a prolific author of mystery fiction set in the expansive wilderness of North America. His novels follow the career of Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch, beginning with The Poacher's Son, in which the hero must track down his own fugitive father. Doiron's works have been profiled in outlets including Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus.

His novels follow the career of Maine Game Warden Mike Bowditch, beginning with The Poacher's Son, in which the hero must track down his own fugitive father.

Doiron's novel Widowmaker delves further into Warden Bowditch's troubled family legacy, while works like Almost Midnight and The Bone Orchard find the protagonist unraveling deadly secrets to protect his friends. Doiron has also written several short stories expanding the series, such as The Imposter, in which the protagonist must solve the murder of the man who stole his identity.