Beyond Literary Landscapes—Mystery Authors

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column will be underscoring and outlining various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and can serve as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This week’s column introduces readers to a wide world of mystery authors.

Since the following list of mystery writers ranges from classic mystery novelists to more contemporary authors, it is hoped that there will be something of interest for all types of readers.


Although this column usually offers several specific book recommendations for each author, this week, I have decided to take a different approach.  In particular, I have decided to focus solely on mystery authors by era.  Why, you may be asking?  Well, mystery authors are often extremely prolific writers; it would be impossible to narrow down their popular works into one or two recommendations.  In addition, the careers of many of these writers span decades.

Without more ado, some notable classic mystery authors include Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Mid-century mystery authors include Patricia Highsmith, Daphne du Maurier, and Raymond Chandler.

Examples of more contemporary mystery authors include Gillian Flynn, Stieg Larsson, and John le Carré.


These authors come from a variety of geographical locations, including the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.


Many of these works were written during the 20 and 21-centuries.


These works may be of interest to AU students who would enjoy suspenseful and intricate stories, as well as those who would like an introduction to the world of mystery writing.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to the mystery novel are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in this topic may consider enrolling in ENGL 491: Directed Studies in Literature, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “is designed for students who want to pursue a particular topic of study in literature, cultural studies, or both.”  (Please note that this course requires several prerequisites, including ENGL 211: Prose Forms and ENGL 212: Poetry and Plays, as well as two additional senior-level ENGL courses and course coordinator approval.)  Happy reading!