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Science Fiction and Fantasy Murder Mysteries

Science Fiction and Fantasy Murder Mysteries

It is actually somewhat rare for literary works to successfully straddle two popular genres. In the early- and mid-20th century, a lot of writers who had been successfully writing pulp western stories expanded their writing in the mystery field, and frequently ended up with westerns that featured a strong murder mystery plot. The “romantic suspense” subgenre often successfully crosses  the traditions of the romance novel with the traditions of the mystery field. In more recent years, there have been many writers of “speculative fiction” — science fiction and fantasy — who have introduced serious “murder mystery” plot elements into their futuristic and/or fantasy settings. Back in 1953, famed science fiction author Isaac Asimov wrote the first of several SF murder mystery novels that featured the pairing of a down-and-dirty human detective (Elijah Baley) with a nuts-and-bolts robotic detective (R. Daneel Olivaw). In the past 20-30 years, the number of these cross-genre hybrids has seen a marked increase.

For the purposes of this booklist on BookGuide, we include both series and stand-alone novels. In the case of a series, we will list all the novels in that series-to-date, but may mention which specific novels feature true “murder mystery” plots. Not all of these cross-genre novels feature murders — some may feature SF or fantasy sleuths solving other types of crimes, but the majority of them will be that staple of mystery fiction — the “murder mystery”. The writing styles of the authors of the many novels in this list differ dramatically. Some of these novels are going to be gritty, hard-boiled tales of violence and treachery. While others will be lighter, humorous, character studies. Read the jacket blurbs and/or sample a few pages of any of these titles to get an idea whether each one is going to be your cup of tea.

Also included in this list will be several titles and/or series that are not currently in the Lincoln City Libraries collection, either in physical or digital formats. These non-hotlinked titles are included in this extended list because they are significant entries in this field of cross-genre publications. You may wish to consider using our InterLibrary Loan service to borrow these from another library, through us.

We wish you good luck in  finding a title or series that strikes your fancy. Happy reading!

The Rivers of London series, starting with Midnight Riot (2011-present)
by Ben Aaronovitch (Aaronovitch)

Rivers of London (a.k.a. Midnight Riot) (2011)
Moon Over Soho (2011)
Whispers Under Ground (2012)
Broken Homes (2013)
Foxglove Summer (2014)
The Hanging Tree (2016)
Lies Sleeping (2018)
False Value (2020)
Amongst Our Weapons (2022)
plus various tie-in novellas and graphic novels

A unique and specialized British police department focused on the paranormal and magical, investigates a variety of different crimes in the U.K., frequently including murder.

The Dirk Gently series (1987)
by Douglas Adams (Adams)

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987)
The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul (1988)
The Salmon of Doubt (1995) (includes a segment from a previously unpublished Dirk Gently novel, never otherwise completed)

Though not murder mysteries, these private eye stories deal with science fiction, the paranormal and unexplained, and the fate of the universe.

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (2009)
by John Joseph Adams (ed.) (E-book only)

Anthology of Sherlock Holmes stories with a science fiction or fantasy twist.

We’ll Always Have Parrots (2004)
by Donna Andrews (Andrews)

Murder at a fantasy convention. Part of very long series but the only one with a vague genre connection.

The Turing Hopper series, four volumes starting with You’ve Got Murder (2002-2005)
by Donna Andrews (Andrews)

You’ve Got Murder (2002)
Click Here For Murder (2003)
Access Denied (2004)
Delete All Suspects (2005)

An artificial intelligence — which goes by the name Turing Hopper — makes allies in the physical world to help in investigate the disappearance of the computer programmer who created it.

The Black Widowers short story collections (1974-2003)
by Isaac Asimov (Asimov)

Tales of the Black Widowers (1974) (not in libraries’ collection)
More Tales of the Black Widowers (1976)
The Casebook of the Black Widowers (1981) (not in libraries’ collection)
Banquets of the Black Widowers (1984)
Puzzles of the Black Widowers (1989)
Return of the Black Widowers (2003) (not in libraries’ collection)

Mystery short stories, often with a SF/F twist.

The R. Daneel Olivaw series, starting with The Caves of Steel (1953)
by Isaac Asimov (Asimov)

The Caves of Steel (1953)
The Naked Sun (1956)
The Robots of Dawn (1983)
Robots and Empire (1985)

Futuristic human detective is reluctantly saddled with a robot partner.

The Stars Like Dust (1951)
by Isaac Asimov (not in libraries’ collection)

The 13 Crimes of Science Fiction (1979)
edited by Isaac Asimov (not in libraries’ collection)

An anthology in which each of the classic categories of crime fiction is represented by a science fiction tale.

Queen of Angels (1990) and / (a.k.a. Slant) (1997)
by Greg Bear (Bear)

Two books in the Queen of Angels quartet with strong mystery plots; the other two are more straight SF.

Vitals (2002)
by Greg Bear (Bear)

City of Stairs (2014)
by Robert Jackson Bennett (Bennett)

The Demolished Man (1952)
by Alfred Bester (E-audiobook only)

One of the earliest and still most-effective explorations of the power of telepathy, especially with regards to crime-solving and prevent.

All the Colors of Darkness (1963)
by Lloyd Biggle Jr. (E-book only)

All the Colors of Darkness (1963)
Watchers of the Dark (1966)
This Darkening Universe (1975)
Silence is Deadly (1977)
The Whirligig of Time (1979)

Futuristic private eye Jan Darzek gets pulled into cases with galaxy-spanning consequences.

Seven of Infinities (2020)
by Aliette de Bodard (not in libraries’ collection)

The Tea Master and the Detective (2018)
by Aliette de Bodard (E-audiobook only)

Both of the Bodard titles listed here are in her Xuya series, which features several more stories, but these are the only two with mystery/murder investigations.

Rocket to the Morgue (1942)
by Anthony Boucher, as by H.H. Holmes (E-book only)

Murder in San Francisco’s pre-WWII science fiction community.

Kiln People (2002)
by David Brin (Brin)

Sundiver (1980)
by David Brin (E-audiobook only)

First book in Brin’s long-running Uplift saga, but the only one to feature a direct “mystery” plot.

Places in the Darkness (2017)
by Chris Brookmyre (E-audiobook only)

Daymare (short story in collection The Second Fredric Brown Megapack)
by Fredrich Brown (E-book only)

Memory (1996)
by Lois McMaster Bujold (Bujold)

Entry in Bujold’s long-running Miles Vorkosigan series.

Prime Directive
by Davis Bunn (Bunn)

The Dresden Files series, starting with Storm Front (2000-present)
by Jim Butcher (Butcher)

Storm Front (2000)
Fool Moon (2001)
Grave Peril (2001)
Summer Knight (2002)
Death Masks (2003)
Blood Rites (2004)
Dead Beat (2005)
Proven Guilty (2006)
White Night (2007)
Small Favor (2008)
Turn Coat (2009)
Changes (2010)
Ghost Story (2011)
Cold Days (2012)
Skin Game (2014)
Peace Talks (2020)
Battle Ground (2020)

Chicago-based Wizard/Private Eye Harry Dresden’s cases may emphasize his magical abilities, but at heart he’s a private investigator and often deals with murder investigations.

Tea From an Empty Cup
by Pat Cadigan (not in libraries’ collection)

“How can you drink tea from an empty cup?”

That ancient Zen riddle holds the key to a baffling mystery: a young man found with his throat slashed while locked alone in a virtual reality parlor.

The Andrea Cort series, starting with Emissaries From the Dead (2008-2017)
by Adam-Troy Castro (E-books only)

Emissaries From the Dead (2008)
The Third Claw of God (2009)
War of the Marionettes (2012)
With Unclean Hands (2014)
The Coward’s Option (2017)
Unseen Demons (2017)

The Yiddish Policeman’s Union
by Michael Chabon (Chabon)

Nebula-award winning alternate history with strong elements of police procedural.

The Ray Electromatic Mystery series (2015-2018)
by Adam Christopher (Christopher)

Made to Kill (2015)
Killing is My Business (2017)
I Only Killed Him Once (2018)
also several novellas and short stories

The world’s last robot runs the noir-ish Electromatic Detective Agency.

Needle (in collection Trio for Slide Rule and Typewriter)
by Hal Clement (Clement)

The Garrett, P.I. series, starting with Sweet Silver Blues (1987-2013)
by Glen Cook (Cook)

Sweet Silver Blues (1987)
Bitter Gold Hearts (1988)
Cold Copper Tears (1988)
Old Tin Sorrows (1989)
Dread Brass Shadows (1990)
Red Iron Nights (1991)
Deadly Quicksilver Lies (1994)
Petty Pewter Gods (1995)
Faded Steel Heat (1999)
Angry Lead Skies (2002)
Whispering Nickel Idols (2005)
Cruel Zinc Melodies (2008)
Gilded Latten Bones (2010)
Wicked Bronze Ambition (2013)

Gritty noirish P.I. stories set in a fantasy setting.

Leviathan Awakes
by James S.A. Corey (Corey)

First in the nine-volume series known as The Expanse. The entire series has occasional “mystery-themed” threads running through it, but a mystery plot is strongest in this first entry.

The Arabesk series (2001-2003)
by Jon Courtenay-Grimwood (not in libraries’ collection)

Pashazade (2001)
Effendi (2002)
Fellaheen (2003)

Trilogy of books about ex-pat American Ashraf Bey, who becomes a detective in an alternate history 21st century Middle Eastern setting.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
by Philip K. Dick (Dick)

A Maze of Death (1970)
by Philip K. Dick (Dick)

Minority Report (1991)
by Philip K. Dick (Dick)

A Scanner Darkly (1977)
by Philip K. Dick (Dick)

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (2003)
by Cory Doctorow (Doctorow)

Isaac Asimov’s Detectives (1998)
edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams (not in libraries’ collection)

An anthology of SF-themed mystery stories that originally appear in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine.

The Marid Audran series (1987-1991)
by George Alex Effinger (E-book only)

When Gravity Fails (1987)
A Fire in the Sun (1989)
The Exile Kiss (1991)

In an alternate history Arab Ghetto, Marid Audran is pulled into organized crime, corrupt cops, and murder investigations.

The Man in the Empty Suit (2013)
by Sean Ferrell (E-book only)

The Last Hot Time (2000)
by John M. Ford (Ford)

Magic for Liars (2019)
by Sarah Gailey (Gailey)

The Lord Darcy series (short stories in the 1960s, three novels in 1966-1981, continued by Michael Kurland 1988-1989)
by Randall Garrett (E-book only)

Murder and Magic (1981)
Too Many Magicians (1966)
Lord Darcy Investigates (1981)
Ten Little Wizards (1988) by Michael Kurland
A Study in Sorcery (1989) by Michael Kurland

Pattern Recognition
by William Gibson (Gibson)

The Greg Mandel trilogy (1993-1995)
by Peter F. Hamilton (not in libraries’ collection)

Mindstar Rising (1993)
A Quantum Murder (1994)
The Nano Flower (1995)

Great North Road (2012)
by Peter F. Hamilton (E-book and E-audiobook only)

The KOP series (2007-2012)
by Warren Hammond (not in libraries’ collection)

Kop (2007)
Ex-Kop (2008)
Kop Killer (2012)

Fatherland (1992)
by Robert Harris (Harris)

The Stainless Steel Rat series (1961-2010)
by Harry Harrison (Harrison)

The Stainless Steel Rat (1961)
The Stainless Steel Rat’s Revenge (1970)
The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World (1971)
The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You! (1978)
The Stainless Steel Rat for President (1982)
A Stainless Steel Rat is Born (1985)
The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted (1987)
The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues (1994)
Stainless Steel Visions (1993)
The Stainless Steel Rat Goes to Hell (1996)
The Stainless Steel Rat Joins the Circus (1999)
The Stainless Steel Rat and the Misplaced Battleship (2008) novella
The Stainless Steel Rat Returns (2010)

Make Room, Make Room (1966)
by Harry Harrison (E-book only)

The Paradox Hotel (2022)
by Rob Hart (Hart)

A locked-room murder mystery set at a hotel for time travelers — in which a detective must solve an impossible crime before her own grip on reality crumbles.

Hadrian’s Wall (2018)
by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, Rod Reis and Troy Peteri (Hoopla E-comic book only)

Johannes Cabal the Detective (2010)
by Jonathan L. Howard (E-book and E-audiobook only)

Part of a lengthy series of Johannes Cabal novels, but the only one with a murder mystery plot.

The Victoria Nelson “Blood” series, starting with Blood Price (1991-2008)
by Tanya Huff (Huff)

Blood Price (1991)
Blood Trail (1992)
Blood Lines (1993)
Blood Pact (1993)
Blood Debt (1997)
Blood Bank (2008) (also released as Blood Banked)

The Vacuum of Space (2018)
by Julia Huni (E-audiobook only)

The Case of the Colonist’s Corpse (2003)
by Bob Ingersoll and Tony Isabella (E-book only)

A “classic” Star Trek novel, but also an homage to the Erle Stanley Gardner “Perry Mason” mysteries, featuring investigating lawyer Sam Cogley (from the 1967 Star Trek episode “Court Martial”).

Buyout (2009)
by Alexander Irvine (not in libraries’ collection)

Tropical Punch (2021)
by S.C. Jensen (not in libraries’ collection)

Noir (1998)
by K.W. Jeter (not in libraries’ collection)

A Philosophical Investigation (1992)
by Philip Kerr (not in libraries’ collection)

A Werewolf Among Us (1973)
by Dean R. Koontz (not in libraries’ collection)

The Spare Man (2022)
by Mary Robinette Kowal (Kowal)

In a loving homage to the “Thin Man” novels of Dashiell Hammett, a brilliant inventor/heiress traveling aboard an interstellar cruise ship on her honeymoon must become a murder investigator when her new husband is suspected of murder aboard the ship. Banter, martinis, and a cute dog abound, as Tesla Crane works to clear her husband’s name so they can return to snuggling.

The Legacy of Lehr (1998)
by Katherine Kurtz (E-book only)

Sacred Ground (1994)
by Mercedes Lackey (Lackey)

Six Wakes
by Mur Lafferty (E-book only)

A deep space sleeper ship crewed only by six clones (who can download their previous body’s memories into their new bodies), is in chaos when all six clones awake to discover that all of their previous bodies were brutally murdered, there are major gaps in all their memories, and one or more of the six of them had to have been the killer(s).

Station Eternity
by Mur Lafferty (Lafferty)

First in what is intended to be a new series. A contemporary young woman who seems to be cursed to have murders happen in her vicinity (which she then has the eerie knack of being able to solve), tries to escape to a a distant space station peopled only by aliens. But the murders follow her…

by Ann Leckie (Leckie)

Gun, With Occasional Music (1994)
by Jonathan Lethem (Lethem)

Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems-there’s a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. Mixing elements of sci-fi, noir, and mystery, this clever first novel from the author of Motherless Brooklyn is a wry, funny, and satiric look at all that the future may hold.

The Dr. Phil D’Amato series (1999-2003)
by Paul Levinson (E-audiobook only)

The Silk Code (1999)
The Consciousness Plague (2002)
The Pixel Eye (2003)

The Vulcan Academy Murders (1984)
by Jean Lorrah (not in libraries’ collection)

A “classic” Star Trek novel.

The Sleepless (2022)
by Victor Manibo (not in libraries’ collection)

SciFi (1981)
by William Marshall (not in libraries’ collection)

Murder at a science fiction convention.

A Memory Called Empire (2019)
by Arkady Martine (Martine)

First in a two part-story, followed by A Desolation Called Peace (2021), both of which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

The Automatic Detective (2008)
by A. Lee Martinez (not in libraries’ collection)

The Psychology of Time Travel (2018)
by Kate Mascarenhas (E-book and E-audiobook only)

Bimbos of the Death Sun (1987)
by Sharyn McCrumb (E-book only)

Murder at a science fiction convention.

Zombies of the Gene Pool (1992)
by Sharyn McCrumb (McCrumb)

Murder at a science fiction club’s reunion.

The Alex Benedict series, including Polaris (2004) and A Talent for War (1989)
by Jack McDevitt (McDevitt)

A Talent for War (1989)
Polaris (2004)
Seeker (2005)
The Devil’s Eye (2008)
Echo (2010)
Firebird (2011)
Coming Home (2014)
Octavia Gone (2019)
Village in the Sky (2023)

While the plots of many of the Alex Benedict series are traditional action/adventure scifi, there are a number of mystery investigations running throughout the novels.

The October Daye series, starting with Rosemary and Rue (2009-present)
by Seanan McGuire (McGuire)

Rosemary and Rue (2009)
A Local Habitation (2010)
An Artificial Night (2010)
Late Eclipses (2011)
One Salt Sea (2011)
Ashes of Honor (2012)
Chimes at Midnight (2013)
The Winter Long (2014)
A Red-Rose Chain (2015)
Once Broken Faith (2016)
The Brightest Fell (2017)
Night and Silence (2018)
The Unkindest Tide (2019)
A Killing Frost (2020)
When Sorrows Come (2021)
Be the Serpent (2022)

October ‘Toby’ Daye, a changeling who is half human and half fae, has been an outsider from birth. After getting burned by both sides of her heritage, Toby has denied the Faerie world, retreating to a ‘normal’ life. Unfortunately for her, the Faerie world has other ideas. In this series, Toby gets called upon to investigate numerous crimes, including murder, in the Fae world.

The Body Scout (2021)
by Lincoln Michel (Michel)

Kobo has some problems. His cybernetics are a decade out of date, he’s got a pair of twin sister loan sharks knocking on his door, and his work scouting for a baseball league run by pharmaceutical companies is about to go belly-up. Things couldn’t get much worse. Then his childhood best friend–Monsanto Mets slugger J.J. Zunz–is murdered at home plate. Determined to find the killer, Kobo plunges into the dark corners and glittering cloud condos of a world ravaged by climate change and repeat pandemics, and where genetic editing and advanced drugs mean you can have any body you want–as long as you can afford it.

The City and the City (2009)
by China Mieville (Mieville)

When the body of a murdered woman is found in the extraordinary, decaying city of Beszel, somewhere at the edge of Europe, it looks like a routine case for Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad. But as he probes, the evidence begins to point to conspiracies far stranger, and more deadly, than anything he could have imagined. Soon his work puts him and those he cares for in danger.

The Elysium Commission (2007)
by L.E. Modesitt (Modesitt)

The Frank Kitteridge series
by S.J. Morden (E-audiobooks only)

One Way (2018)
No Way (2019)

Altered Carbon (2002)
by Richard K. Morgan (Morgan)

Spin State (2003)
by Chris Moriarty (E-book)

Spin State (2003)
Spin Control (2006)
Ghost Spin (2013)

High concept distant future sci-fi. Each novel has a mystery, often a murder or mysterious death, at its core.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985)
by Haruki Murakami (E-book only)

After Atlas (2016)
by Emma Newman (E-audiobook)

Planetfall (2015)
After Atlas (2016)
Before Mars (2018)
Atlas Alone (2019)

Although all four books in the Planetfall series are intriguing, only the 2nd and 4th entries feature murder mysteries.

The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton (1976)
by Larry Niven (not in libraries’ collection)

Dream Park (1981)
The Barsoom Project (1989)
The California Voodoo Game (1991)
The Moon Maze Game (2011)

All four of the Dream Park novels are set in high-tech environments where virtual reality mixes with costumed role-playing games and world-building. The original first novel features a death during a case of industrial espionage, and the fourth novel features a terrorist attack/kidnapping subplot.

The Janet Watson Chronicles (2018-2019)
by Claire O’Dell (E-book and E-audiobook only)

A Study in Honor (2018)
The Hound of Justice (2019)

Futuristic alternate history re-imagining of the Sherlock Holmes stories, set in a dystopian near-future Washington D.C.

Neverworld Wake (2018)
by Marisha Pessl (YA Pessl)

And Then There Were (N-One) (2017)
by Sarah Pinsker (see online) (available online at Uncanny Magazine‘s website)

The Anubis Gates (1983)
by Tim Powers (not in libraries’ collection)

The Quantum Thief (2011)
by Hannu Rajaniemi (Rajaniemi)

Michael Resnick-edited anthologies
edited by Mike Resnick (none in libraries’ collection)

Whatdunits (1992)
More Whatdunits (1993)
Down These Dark Spaceways (2005) (includes a story by Lincoln’s own Hugo-winning science fiction author Robert Reed!)
Alien Crimes (2007)

The Revelation Space series (2000-present)
by Alistair Reynolds (Reynolds)

Revelation Space (2000)
Chasm City (2001)
Diamond Dogs (2001) (short story)
Redemption Ark (2002)
Absolution Gap (2003)
Galactic North (2006)
Inhibitor Phase (2021)

Reynolds far-future space opera series of interconnected novels under the umbrella title Revelation Space features several — Chasm City, Diamond Dogs and Galactic North — with murder mystery subplots.

Century Rain (2004)
by Alistair Reynolds (E-audiobook only)

The In Death/Eve Dallas series (1995-present)

Fifty-five entries, starting with Naked in Death, as of 2022, with more coming soon, in this “near future” series that has a little romance (author J.D. Robb is actually Nora Roberts), a little mystery, and some just-beyond-tomorrow high tech. Set in the 2050s and beyond. Focuses on New York City homicide detective Eve Dallas, and (eventually) her ultra-rich husband Roarke.

Jack Glass: The Story of a Murderer (2012)
by Adam Roberts (not in libraries’ collection)

The Real-Town Murder series (2017-2018)
by Adam Roberts

The Real-Town Murders (2017) (not in libraries’ collection)
By the Pricking of Her Thumb (2018) (not in libraries’ collection)

The Retrieval Artist series (2002-2016)
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (not in libraries’ collection)

The Disappeared (2002)
Extremes (2003)
Consequences (2004)
Buried Deep (2005)
Paloma (2006)
Recovery Man (2007)
Duplicate Effort (2009)
plus as many as 8 novellas between 2002 and 2016
Also: Retrieval Artist Universe: Anniversary Day Saga (8 novels 2011-2015)

Killer Advice (2012)
by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (as by Chris DeLake) (not in libraries’ collection)

The Lt. Frank Carlucci trilogy (1992-1997)
by Richard Paul Russo (E-books and E-audiobooks only)

Destroying Angel (1992)
Carlucci’s Edge (1995)
Carlucci’s Heart (1997)

Golden Fleece (1990)
by Robert J. Sawyer (Sawyer)

The unexpected death of a crew member of the spaceship Argo during a ten-year voyage to a newly discovered, potentially habitable planet plunges the space-weary crew into a nightmare of suspicion as one man attempts to expose a murderer. Sawyer’s first novel expertly combines mystery and sf in a fast-moving thriller.

Illegal Alien (1997)
by Robert J. Sawyer (not in libraries’ collection)

Red Planet Blues (2013)
by Robert J. Sawyer (Sawyer)

Robert J. Sawyer presents a noir mystery expanded from his Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated novella “Identity Theft” and his Aurora Award-winning short story “Biding Time,” and set on a lawless Mars in a future where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper … Alex Lomax is the one and only private eye working the mean streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up forty years ago after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet.

Lock In series (2014-present)
by John Scalzi (Scalzi)

Lock In (2014)
Head On (2018)

Wrapt in Crystal (1999)
by Sharon Shinn (not in libraries’ collection)

Hyperion (1989)
by Dan Simmons (Simmons)

The Spademan series (2014-2015)
by Adam Sternbergh (Sternbergh)

Shovel Ready (2014)
Near Enemy (2015)

A futuristic hardboiled noir series about a garbage man turned killer-for-hire.

The Blinds (2018)
by Adam Sternbergh (E-book and E-audiobook only)

Not part of the Spademan series. The Blinds is a dusty town in rural Texas populated by criminals – people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. But as memories start to resurface, and violence erupts, the small-town sheriff (who has secrets of their own) tries to keep an uneasy peace.

Redshift Rendezvous (1990)
by John E. Stith (E-audiobook only)

Station (2014) (graphic novel)
by Johanna Stokes and Leno Carvalho (Hoopla E-comic book)

The Halting State series (2007-2011)
by Charles Stross (Stross)

Halting State (2007)
Rule 34 (2011)

A pair of connected novels featuring a special investigator with the Edinburgh police department focused on crimes in the virtual realm, which may have an impact on the “real world”.

The Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel (a.k.a. The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn) (1970)
by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (E-audiobook only)

From the Russian masters of sci-fi comes The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn, a hilarious spoof on the classic country-house murder mystery.

The Moreau series (1989-1999)
by S. Andrew Swann (not in libraries’ collection)

Forests of the Night (1989)
Emperors of the Twilight (1994)
Specters of the Dawn (1994)
Fearful Symmetries (1999)

Follows a series of protagonists in a future 100 years from now, all of whom are genetically modified from animal DNA. The first and last entries feature Nohar Rajasthan, a descendant of genetically-altered tiger warriors, who is a homicide investigator.

 width=The Gone World (2018)
by Tom Sweterlitsch (Sweterlitsch)

Involves a mentally damaged time traveler who may have become a murderer, and who may have also triggered the end of everything.

Far From the Light of Heaven (2021)
by Tade Thompson (Thompson)

The Ark (2015)
by Patrick S. Tomlinson (not in libraries’ collection)

First in a trilogy of novels, but the only one to feature a traditional mystery plot.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (2018)
by Stuart Turton (Turton)

The Moon Moth (in Science Fiction Hall of Fame 2B) (1975)
by Jack Vance (E-audiobook only)

The Phantom of Kansas (1976)
by John Varley (E-book and E-audiobook only)

(short story in The John Varley Reader)

The Metal Trilogy series (1992-present)
by John Varley (Varley)

Steel Beach (1992)
The Golden Globe (1998)
a concluding volume has not been released

Bannerless (2017)
by Carrie Vaughn (Vaughn)

Marooned in Realtime (1986)
by Vernor Vinge (Vinge)

Sequel to The Peace War (1984), and set 50 million years in the future. Only Marooned in Realtime has a murder mystery plotline.

Contamination (1991)
by John Vornholt (not in libraries’ collection)

A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel.

The Small Change trilogy (2006-2008)
by Jo Walton (Walton)

Farthing (2006)
Ha’penny (2007)
Half a Crown (2008)

Set in an alternate history 1949 and 1960 England, where the events of World War II went a completely different way. First novel features a murder-mystery plot, while the second involves a terrorist attack plot.

The Nightside City series (1989-2010)
by Lawrence Watt-Evans

Nightside City (1989) (not in libraries’ collection)
Realms of Light (2010) (not in libraries’ collection)

Dark Heart (1998)
by Margaret Weis and David Baldwin (E-book only)

The Murderbot Diaries series, especially Fugitive Telemetry (2017-present)
by Martha Wells (Wells)

All Systems Red (2017)
Artificial Conditions (2018)
Rogue Protocol (2018)
Exit Strategy (2018)
Network Effect (2020)
Fugitive Telemetry (2021)
Home (2021) (novella) (not in libraries’ collection)

Far future high-tech sci-fi, told from the point of view of a self-aware killing machine, that would really rather not kill…it would rather watch its backlog of soap operas and be left alone. But the humans it has befriended keep needing its help. Fugitive Telemetry, the sixth story in the series, features a murder-mystery as its central storyline, but you need to have read the preceding volumes to figure out the story.

The Resurrected Man (2005)
by Sean Williams (E-book only)

Days of Atonement (1992)
by Walter Jon Williams (not in libraries’ collection)

This Is Not a Game (2009)
by Walter Jon Williams (E-audiobook only)

To Say Nothing Of the Dog (1997)
by Connie Willis (Willis)

Golden State (2019)
by Ben H. Winters (E-book and E-audiobook only)

The Last Policeman trilogy (2012-2014)
by Ben H. Winters (Winters)

The Last Policeman (2012)
Countdown City (2013)
World of Trouble (2014)

The Icarus Hunt (1999)
by Timothy Zahn (Zahn)

The Quadrail series, particularly Odd Girl Out (2005-2012)
by Timothy Zahn (E-books)
Night Trail to Rigel (2005)
The Third Lynx (2007)
Odd Girl Out (2008)
The Domino Pattern (2010)
Judgment at Proteus (2012)

The Nuclear Bombshell series, starting with The Plutonium Blonde (2001-2015) (also known as the Zack and HARV series)
by John Zakour, early volumes with Lawrence Ganem (all E-book format only)

The Peach-Blonde Bomber (2018 prequel novella) (with Ganem)
The Plutonium Blonde (2001) (with Ganem)
The Doomsday Brunette (2004) (with Ganem)
The Radioactive Redhead (2005) (with Ganem)
The Frost-Haired Vixen (2006)
The Blue-Haired Bombshell (2007)
The Flaxen Femme Fatale (2008)
The Sapphire Sirens (2009)
The Bionic Bikini (2020 ?)
The Raven-Haired Rogue (2015)

A parody of both science fiction and hard-boiled detectives, but also an homage to the pulp fiction of days gone by. Zachary Nixon Johnson is the last private eye on earth, with HARV, an annoying super-computer implanted in his brain.

Originally posted to BookGuide in December 2022 – sdc | last updated January 2023 – sdc