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Senior Sleuths


A very popular sub-genre of Mystery Fiction in recent years is stories featuring “Senior Sleuths” — men or women who have retired from their life’s regular lines of work only to take up crime solving. For the most part, the crimes tend to be murders, and the first case the Senior Sleuth must solve is usually the death of someone close to them — a relative, a friend or a co-worker/former co-worker. Often, the sleuth’s former profession leads them logically into their pursuits — they are an ex-cop, a retired lawyer, a former investigative reporter or a mystery writer (think Jessica Fletcher on tv’s Murder, She Wrote). However, just as often, their former career may have had nothing to do with the field of crime and/or criminal investigation. Many “Senior Sleuth” books could easily be classified as “Cozies” — mystery novels with minimal violence (the killings all occur “off-stage”), often with quite a bit of humorous dialogue and solutions that challenge the reader to solve the crime along with the sleuth.

The hotlinks in the list below will mostly connect you to only the “series” books by the listed authors. However, a few of the links will connect to an author’s entire body of work (or at least those owned by Lincoln City Libraries). Please keep this in mind, and double-check individual titles to make sure they are part of the series you are interested in. Finally, Lincoln City Libraries owns several non-series Senior Sleuth mysteries. You can see these, mixed in with dozens of “series” volumes, if you do a subject search under Mysteries — Senior Sleuths in our on-line catalog.


Peter Abresch — The Elderhostel series
Irene Allen — Elizabeth Allen
Margot Arnold — Penny Spring & Sir Toby Glendower
Marian Babson — Trixie Dolan & Evangeline Sinclair
Donald Bain — Jessica Fletcher [Murder, She Wrote] [other volumes by James Anderson] Richard Barth — Margaret Binton
M.C. Beaton — Agatha Raisin
Nancy Bell — Biggie Weatherford
D.B. Borton — Cat Caliban
Eleanor Boylan — Clara Gamadge
Simon Brett — Mrs. Pargeter
Emily Brightwell — Mrs. Jeffries
Rita Mae Brown — Jane Arnold
Dorothy Cannell — Ellie Haskell
Heron Carvic — Miss Emily Seeton [later titles in this series by Hampton Charles or Hamilton Crane] Nora Charles — Kate Kennedy
G.K. Chesterton — Father Brown


Agatha Christie — Miss Jane MarpleHercule Poirot
Joyce Christmas — Lady Margaret Priam
V.C. Clinton-Baddeley — Dr. R.V. Davie
Barbara Comfort — Tish McWhinny
Jeanne M. Dams — Dorothy Martin
Stephen Dobyns — Charlie Bradshaw
Hildegard Dolson — Lucy Ramsdale
E.X. Ferrars — Andrew Basnett
Christopher Fowler — Arthur Bryant and John May
Paul Gallico — Mrs. Ada Harris
Erle Stanley Gardner — Bertha Cool


Anne George — The Southern Sisters Series
Dorothy Gilman — Mrs. Emily Pollifax
Arthur Goldstein — Max Guttman
Ron Goulart — Groucho Marx, P.I.
Gallagher Gray — T.S. Hubbert & Auntie Lil
Edith Pinero Green — Dearborn V. Pinch
John Greenwood — Mr. Mosley
Annie Griffin — Hannah Malloy & Kiki Goldstein
Jane Haddam — Gregor Demarkian
Mary Bowen Hall — Emma Chizzit


Parnell Hall — Cora Felton, the Puzzle Lady
Carolyn G. Hart — Henrietta “Henrie O” O’Dwyer Collins
Robin Hathaway — Dr. Andrew Fenimore
Sue Henry — Maxie McNabb
Michael T. Hinkemeyer — Emil Whippletree
Fred Hunter — Jeremy Ransom & Emily Charters
R.T. Jordan — Polly Pepper
Stuart Kaminsky — Abe Lieberman
Rita Lakin — Gladdy Gold
Graham Landrum — The Garden Club series
Emma Lathen — John Putnam Thatcher
Nancy Livingston — Mr. G.D.H. Pringle
Dagmar Lowe — Molly Miller
Charlotte MacLeod — Sarah Kelling & Max BittersohnProfessor Peter Shandy


Stefanie Matteson — Charlotte Graham
Lorena McCourtney — Ivy Malone
Susanna Hoffman McShea — The Hometown Heroes series
Camille Minichino — Gloria Lamerino
Gladys Mitchell — Dame Beatrice Lestrange Bradley
Gwen Moffat — Miss Melinda Pink
Haughton Murphy — Reuben Frost
Sister Carol Anne O’Marie — Sister Mary Helen
Frank Orenstein — Hugh Morrison
Stuart Palmer & Fletcher Flora — Hildegarde Withers
Hugh Pentecost — Uncle George Crowder
Monica Quill [a.k.a. Ralph McInerny] — Sister Mary Teresa
Cynthia Riggs — Victoria Trumball


Corrine Holt Sawyer — Angela Benbow & Caledonia Wingate
Margaret Scherf — Dr. Grace Severance
John Sherwood — Celia Grant
Evelyn Smith — Miss Melville
J.C.S. Smith — Quentin Jacoby
Gretchen Sprague — Martha Patterson
Patricia Sprinkle — MacLaren Yarbrough
Gene Thompson — Dade Cooley
Ronald Tierney — Deets Shanahan
Kathy Hogan Trocheck — Truman Kicklighter


Patricia Wentworth — Miss Maud Silver
Eric Wright — Mel Pickett
James Yaffe — “Mom”

see also — Isaac Asimov, Senior Sleuths: A Large Print Anthology of Mysteries and Puzzlers, 813.08 Asi


Based on the concept of an original print booklist published in 1998 gb/bwc/mg | Updated and expanded for the web Mar 2004 sdc / Last updated November 2016 sdc