Masters of Crime Fiction: The 20 Best Authors Like Edgar Wallace

Looking for new crime and mystery books that keep you on the edge of your seat (or couch)? Discover 20 bestselling and new authors like Edgar Wallace who are masters of suspense, right below!

Masters of Crime Fiction: The 20 Best Authors Like Edgar Wallace

About Edgar Wallace 

Edgar Wallace was a successful and popular British author of crime and mystery stories. Wallace wrote almost 2000 books in his lifetime. Over 160 of his stories were made into films.  He is known for The Four Just Men and the film script for King Kong

 While Wallace passed away in 1932, he is said to have invented the modern thriller genre, which is immensely popular today. Check out these great crime and mystery authors

20 Crime & Mystery Authors Like Edgar Wallace

Dan Brown

Angels & Demons: A Novel (Robert Langdon)

A Harvard symbologist is sent to analyze a mysterious symbol branded into the chest of a murdered physicist. But this is not just a murder.

It is a vendetta against the Catholic Church. If Robert Langdon doesn’t uncover the truth the Vatican will go up in flames! He is sent on a dangerous journey to a religious world he never knew existed.  Read this novel full of secrets and danger in Angels & Demons

Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Affair at Styles:: the mysterious affair at styles: the first hercule poirot mystery

Emily Inglethorp is found dead in her bedroom. The cause of death? Poison. But how did the murderer get in and out of her bedroom? The daughter of an important and wealthy family, her death will not go unsolved.  

In The Mysterious Affair at Styles: The First Hercule Poirot Mystery suspects are everywhere. Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is determined to solve Emily’s murder. This is a great read to discover Christie’s genius, suspenseful storytelling. 

Charlie Donlea

Twenty Years Later

In a captivating murder mystery, Twenty Years Later new DNA technology is changing criminal investigations. 

Victoria Ford was accused of the murder of her lover. Right before her death she calls her sister and begs Emma to help clear her name. Now, twenty years after 9/11 a victim has been identified. Will Emma finally be able to save her sister, even if she is dead? A fast-paced novel that is full of wicked deception and betrayal. 

Ken Follett

The Evening and the Morning: A Novel (Kingsbridge)

The prequel for The Pillars of the Earth, The Evening and the Morning is set in the dark ages. The year is 997 CE. A boatbuilder’s house is invaded by Vikings and he must find a new home. A noblewoman marries for love. A monk dreams of spreading education throughout his monastery. 

These three lives will be connected in a story of greed, danger, suspense, and thrilling history. Perfect for fans of Wallace. 

Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Nick Dunne has always been the golden boy. He and his wife, Amy,  have a passionate, intense courtship. After five years, they still seem to have the perfect marriage.  This quickly changes when Amy goes missing and the passages from perfect Amy’s diary aren’t helping Nick. 

He is no longer depicted in a positive light and continues to incriminate himself more and more. The town and Amy’s parents grow impatient and want answers for the disappearance of this beautiful, treasured woman. 

Is Nick a killer? Or has Amy set them all up? Gone Girl is a fast-paced mystery that will leave you wanting more. 

Mark Haddon 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher John Francis Boone is a genius. He is gifted in math and history. He hates the color yellow. He loves and understands animals but doesn’t do so well with humans. 

Christopher can’t even be touched. Suspense heats up when Christopher sets out to investigate the mysterious death of his neighbor’s dog—a poodle named Wellington.  

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a unique mystery novel that will leave you thinking for a long time. 

Josephine Hart

Damage: A Novel

A suspenseful novel infused with romance is Damage. A prestigious politician, a husband, a father, a man with a full bank account. These are the things dreams are made of. He should be happy, right? 

Bored with his passionless life, he becomes obsessed with his secret lover and will do anything to keep the flame alive. Even if it means destroying those around him. A thrilling read! 

Mick Herron 

Slow Horses (Deluxe Edition) (Slough House)

Slow Horses is the story of failed M15 spies. They are washed up and their careers are gone. Some made major mistakes. Some drank too much to cope with the stress of their job. Regardless of the reason, they are now wasting away at the Slough House in London, England. All they seek is career redemption. 

The opportunity comes when a young man is kidnapped and the abductors threaten to behead him on a live stream. In the tenth anniversary edition of this thrilling novel the “slow horses” may get an opportunity to finally change their future or be deemed losers forever. 

Anthony Horowitz

Magpie Murders

Alan Conway has a reputation for writing in an Agatha Christie-type style about mysteries solved in quiet English villages. His editor assumes his latest novel will be traditionally the same.

As Susan continues to read the manuscript she discovers it may no longer be a work of fiction but a dark true life crime about jealousy, ambition, and ultimately murder.

What is her author actually up to?  Read Magpie Murders to find out if Susan can uncover the truth about Alan Conway. 

Holly Jackson 

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

For her final year project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi wants to discover the truth about a crime that everyone else in town is determined to remain silent about. After all, it was solved. Five years ago, Andie Bell in A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was killed. 

Sal Singh was charged with murder.  Pippa doesn’t think he is to blame and is convinced the real killer is still out there. She starts playing with fire to find justice for Andie’s death. This book is a mystery roller coaster. 

Be sure to read it as well as the other books in the series, Good Girl, Bad Blood: The Sequel to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and As Good as Dead: The Finale to A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Stephen King


Holly Gibney is having a difficult year. Her mother has just died, and her partner has COVID. She isn’t even supposed to be working but when she gets a desperate call from Penny Dahl about her missing daughter—Holly just can’t say no.

Meanwhile, two respected professors are hiding a secret in their basement and it may be connected to Bonnie Dahl’s disappearance. The professors may have a community backing them, but something just isn’t right. 

Holly is going to have to give everything she has to save Bonnie and uncover the secrets that want to stay hidden. King’s latest work in Holly will chill you to your core in this unsettling mystery. Pre-order King’s gem which comes out in September today. 

Stieg Larsson

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Series)

Mikael Blomkvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is hired to investigate the truth for a crime that happened over forty years ago. In a series of complex mysteries and intense corruption, 

Blomkvist and his assistant search to discover what happened to the wealthy Harriet Vanger. This read is full of mystery, crime, violence, and family drama. 

Lisa Lutz

The Accomplice: A Novel

Owen and Luna are best friends, but incredibly different. He lives in a world of privilege and is charming to everyone he meets. Luna is practical and doesn’t trust people. After meeting in college they become inseparable. 

No one quite understands their relationship. Are they lovers? Do they secretly like each other? But the major question people keep asking is why people in Owen and Luna’s lives keep dying. 

In The Accomplice, readers examine how far someone goes to protect their past and how well we know our best friends. 

Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Book 1)

Precious Ramotswe becomes a lady detective when she is asked to find a missing husband. But Precious quickly realizes this case is about more than just a missing person. 

She puts herself in danger and will do what it takes to find a missing eleven-year-old boy. The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has elements of mystery and crime. It is not just a crime novel, but an emotional journey. 

Alex Michaelides 

The Silent Patient

Alicia Berenson is a famous photographer. Everyone assumes her life is easy. She is married to a successful fashion photographer and has an incredible home. But Alicia is not what she seems. 

In this page-turning novel, readers will be trying to figure out why Alicia shoots her husband in the face five times and why she refuses to speak ever again. Her artwork starts selling rapidly and for a ton of money as more and more people become curious about the sensationalized crime.  A criminal psychotherapist tries to uncover the truth in The Silent Patient

Louise Penny

A World of Curiosities: A Novel (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, 18)

In A World of Curiosities Chief Inspector, Armand Gamache is back. It may be spring, a time of rebirth and life, but two ghosts from the dead of winter and the past come back to the village of Three Pines. They are memories of Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir’s most tragic case. 

Things only get worse when a mysterious letter is discovered that tells the tale of an attic room where terrible things occurred.  This may be the hidden secret that exposes everything. Read about this world of evil and a past that cannot be escaped. 

Riley Sager

Survive the Night: A Novel

Charlie Jordan is eager to get home to Ohio. She decides to share the long drive with Josh, a stranger she meets on a campus ride-share board.  Charlie wants to forget about the murder of her best friend who was killed by the Campus Killer.

As the drive goes on, Josh’s story continues to change and Charlie grows suspicious that there is something strange going on. Why does Josh not want her to see in the trunk? As they drive down the twisty, midnight-dark roads Charlie can’t help wondering if Josh is the Campus Killer. 

Charlie doesn’t trust herself or Josh. Is she just paranoid? All she knows in Survive the Night is that she is trapped in a car in the middle of nowhere. Find out what happens in this spooky mystery. 

Benjamin Stevenson

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Murdery Mystery Novel

In Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone the title pretty much says it all. Considered a classic and modern witty, clever murder mystery, Ernie Cunningham’s family is beyond dysfunctional.

Literally, everyone in his family has killed someone. Some were killed intentionally. Some were killed because of emotional rage. And some were killed accidentally.  Read this unexpected gem full of lots of unexpected, hilarious twists and turns

Stuart Turton 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Costa First Novel Award Winner 2018)

A fun murder mystery for fans of Agatha Christie is The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. The story starts with a party but ends in death and confusion. The beautiful Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered during the party, but she won’t just die once. 

Aiden must solve her murder and until he does the day of the crime will repeat again and again. Each day ends with witnessing Evelyn’s demise. The only way out of this nightmare is to find the killer! 

Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs

Maisie begins working as a maid for Lady Rowan Compton at the age of thirteen. But her patron, who often works as an investigator for European society, sees that her young protegee has special talents. 

She assists Maisie in getting into college. Then war happens and Maisie trains to be a nurse on the front lines. War forever changes her and she forgets who she truly is.

Now it is ten years later and Maise is brought to a case that will force her to confront her past. A story about an intelligent, witty female investigator is Maisie Dobbs

Bonus: 20 popular crime fiction books our reader’s love

  1. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie (1939)
  2. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie (1934)
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson (2005)
  4. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (2012)
  5. The Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris (1988)
  6. The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith (2013)
  7. The Alienist, Caleb Carr (1994)
  8. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
  9. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
  10. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco (1980)
  11. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins (2015)
  12. The Godfather, Mario Puzo (1969)
  13. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler (1939)
  14. The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain (1934)
  15. The Corsican Caper, Peter Mayle (1986)
  16. The Killing Floor, Lee Child (1997)
  17. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie (1926)
  18. The Alienist, Caleb Carr (1994)
  19. The Godfather Returns, Mark Winegardner (2004)
  20. The Black Echo, Michael Connelly (1992)

Crime Fiction FAQ

Who is the best detective story writers?

Some authors known to be the best detective story writers are Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Tana French, and Walter Mosley. 

Who are the best suspense writers?

Agatha Christie would be a classic suspense writer. While a more modern suspense writer would be Stephen King. Other successful suspense writers would be Dan Brown, Tana French, and Stieg Larsson.

Who is the darkest crime writer of all time?

In a Goodreads poll, the top five darkest writers of all were: George Orwell, Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McCarthy, Anthony Burgess, and William Golding.

Who is the best thriller writer?

Lee Child, Mark Dawson, and Tom Clancy are all great thriller writers with millions of loyal fans.

What is the best crime book to read?

The top three crime books to read are Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett, and Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris.

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Lisa Schwarz