What is a good mystery novel without a thrilling crime to solve and a dogged detective with a penchant for logical deduction? Whether it is kidnapping, theft or murder, a good detective novel draws readers in and keeps them hooked with new clues and startling revelations. It’s not always hardboiled sleuths that are called upon to crack the cases either. Sometimes ordinary people find themselves caught up in extraordinary circumstances where they are forced to pit their wits against some villains. The following five free detective novels feature plenty of mystery as well as enough thrills to keep you turning the pages until the case is solved and the culprit apprehended.
A Thrilling Detective Story by Frederic Arnold Kummer
The Blue Lights by Frederic Arnold Kummer promises a thrilling detective story and definitely delivers. When a six year old boy is kidnapped in board daylight from a field in Paris, it causes quite a stir. The father of the boy, an American millionaire, is desperate to get his son back and enlists the aid of Detective Richard Duvall.
by J.S. Fletcher
The Charring Cross Mystery opens with a retired police officer dying aboard a train under mysterious circumstances. Only two men witness the event, but when one of them dashes off immediately afterwards to go find help and then never return, the other suspects foul play. It is up to the remaining witness, with the aid of some allies, to uncover what really happened on that fateful evening at Charing Cross Station.
by H.C. Bailey
The star of this collection by H.C. Bailey is a young doctor named Reginald Fortune. However, as good as Reggie is as a doctor, he is an even better detective. His brilliance at solving crimes are highlighted in this book, which consists of a collection of cases ranging from “The Archduke’s Tea” to “The Efficient Assassin” and much more. Call Mr. Fortune serves as a nice introduction to the character and is a good starting point for those who want to read more about Reggie Fortune.
by Anna Katharine Green
Not a lot of women wrote detective fiction during the time of author Anna Katherine Green Rohlfs, which makes her books even more remarkable. It also earned her the nickname “Mother of the Detective Novel” so you know you are in for a treat if you are a fan of the genre. The Chief Legatee is a mystery about a couple getting married, but on their wedding day en route to their honeymoon, the wife vanishes without a trace. When digging deeper into this mystery her husband uncovers a series of puzzling clues that he must unravel to discover the truth.
by Edgar Wallace
Edgar Wallace might be best known for creating King Kong, but he also wrote more than 170 other novels, including this gripping detective thriller. The story is about a writer of detective fiction who finds himself incarcerated for the murder of a money lender. Fortunately, he has a friend in Scotland yard, investigator T. X Meredith, who is convinced of his innocence. Unfortunately, for the investigator, not only does the writer get broken out of prison, but another murder occurs. With the only clue being two twisted candles, it is up to the investigator to figure out how the murder occurred in an impenetrable room and if his friend was the culprit.