Classic mysteries from the golden age of crime

The British Library's Crime Classics series reprints vintage detective stories.

The British Library's Crime Classics is a series of detective stories from the golden age of crime writing. Most of the titles were first printed between the 1920s and 1950s. There are more than 100 books in the series. The stories are set in British surroundings with occasional trips to mainland Europe. World War II is sometimes in the background. Readers visit British country estates, railway stations, churches, peaceful rivers, and dark alleys.

These modern reprints feature several writers of note. There are five novels from John Dickson Carr, a highly-regarded American writer. Carr was a master of the locked-room mystery, where the crime seems impossible. There are also six novels by John Bude, which was the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore. Bude's main character is Inspector William Meredith who tours the country solving crimes. His debut novel, The Cornish Coast Murder, appeared in 1935.

E.C.R Lorac is also on the British Library's list with eight books. E.C.R Lorac was one of the pseudonyms used by Edith Caroline Rivett (1894-1958). Her main character is Chief Inspector Robert Macdonald who loves country walks.

Find Crime Classics

Selected books from the British Library Crime Classics series

By John Bude
A detective novel from the 1930s about a disappearance.
By Martin Edwards
A collection of 15 railway-themed mysteries.
By Michael Gilbert
A World War II-themed mystery.
By Miles Burton
A man is shot dead in the darkness.
By George Bellairs
Miss Tither, the village busybody, is killed.
By Christopher Sprigg
A first-rate pilot dies in a suspicious crash.
By Mavis Doriel Hay
A body is found in a canoe.
By John Bude
A counterfeit currency racket comes to light on the French Riviera.
By E.C.R. Lorac
A fire as World War II draws to a close.
By E.C.R. Lorac
1945. A murder in Regent's Park.
By E.C.R. Lorac
A village refuses to betray its dark secrets.
By Anthony Wynne
This 1931 novel is a cunningly concocted locked-room mystery.
By J. Jefferson Farjeon
A man is shot dead while sleeping in an armchair.
An arrow to the head, shot through an open window at no. 6.
By John Bude
A book-loving vicar investigates.
By John Bude
A body is found at an isolated garage.
By Margot Bennett
An old flame calls and Hugh Everton is powerless to resist.
By Michael Gilbert
A highly respected legal firm discovers a corpse.
By Anthony Berkeley
Sir Eustace is a cad, but who'd want to kill him with chocolate?
By John G. Brandon
During a World War II blackout, a piercing scream is heard.
By Martin Edwards
A collection of mysteries set in mainland Europe.
By J. Jefferson Farjeon
A painting is damaged and a man is strangled.
By John Rowland
An impossible crime occurs in a peaceful seaside town.
By Margot Bennett
A private plane crashes but one passenger never boarded.


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