8 Murder Mystery Classics From Around The World
The plot of murder mysteries may be what steals the show, but setting is equally important. The atmosphere, vibe and ambience of the murder mystery is what sets its tone and gets readers in the mood for it. If you’re looking for new and more potent atmospheric murder mysteries to sink your teeth into, you need to look no further! Here are 8 murder mystery classics from around the world. This list is compilation of some of the best murder mysteries from different regions of the world, with their distinctive auras.
8 Murder Mystery Classics From Around The World:
- The Master Key by Masako Togawa (Japan)
- A Murder on Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (India)
- In Praise of Lies by Patricia Melo (Brazil)
- Necropolis by Santiago Gamboa (Columbia)
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Italy)
- The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin (Russia)
- The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Norway)
- Red Mandarin Dress by Qui Xiaolong (China)
The Master Key by Masako Togawa (Japan)
Togawa is a sensation in Japan and this is one of her first books to be translated and published in English. The setting is postwar Tokyo, and the scene of action is a women’s apartment house. A great hypothetical technological feat of engineering is about to occur as the building is to be shifted without the residents feeling as much as a jerk. When the master key of the building gets stolen, the private lives of these eccentric, secret, mysterious residents comes to the forefront. What ensues is a chilling drama and mystery.
A Murder on Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey (India)
Perhaps one of the first Parsee female detectives in the world, Massey’s detective Parveen Mistry is a bomb. She is intelligent, humorous and full of vitality. This book unfolds during the patriarchal period of the early 1920s, and we Parveen as Mistry Law is hired for the execution of the will. But Parveen soon discovers that the will contains clauses to disinherit the widows, who, in their social exclusion, are unaware of their predicament. So Parveen takes it upon herself to save these widows, even when a murder strikes.
In Praise of Lies by Patricia Melo (Brazil)
Another glorious female led work n a world populated by male detectives and crime fiction authors, this is a masterpiece of urban fiction. Jose Guber, a lazy novelist, shamelessly plagiarizes his plots from classic novels as well as real life. So when he meets Melissa, who has a curious penchant for snakes, he wants to work that into his novel. But Melissa has other plans – she wants to use his plot to kill her husband. What ensues is a dark murder mystery full of violence and sex.
Necropolis by Santiago Gamboa (Columbia)
In this bizarre book encapsulating the Rashomon effect, a writer receives an invitation to a summit of biographers in Jerusalem. Among those present are the French bookseller Supervielle, Italian pornstar Vedovelli, Colombian businesswoman Kaplan and more. But the star of the show is Maturana, a former pastor but also an ex-convict and ex-drug addict. A few hours after the summit ends, Maturana is found murdered in his hotel room, and an inquiry into who he really was is essential to uncover the crime.
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Italy)
After a string of bizarre murders 1327 Italy, Brother William of Baskerville intervenes to resolve the issue. He has no high tech gadgets to help him – only his instinctive wit, the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas and the empiricism of Roger Bacon. He forges his own path to uncover the mystery, collecting evidence, deciphering symbols and decoding labyrinths. This book is equal parts a murder mystery and equal parts a historical encyclopedia.
The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin (Russia)
Akunin is perhaps one of the most popular Russian writers writing today, and his forte is murder mysteries. In Moscow, in 1875, a student murders himself, in front of several people in the public Alexander Gardens. Everyone thinks it’s a suicide due to boredom or stress but the detective Fandorin does not agree. He refutes that it’s an open and shut case, and believes that the suicide has connections with another recent murder. What ensues is an intelligent dive into the roots of the deaths, and a shocking end.
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (Norway)
This Nordic noir, or Scandi noir, is the seventh book in the Harry Hole series. In the month of November in Oslo, the first inklings of snow are visible with the first snowfall of the season. As the climate takes a chilling turn in Scandinavia, so do the events in the sociology of the small town. A boy wakes up to find his mother missing and her scarf around the neck of a snowman that did not exist until the previous day. As it comes to light that many women have endured the same fate on the same night, Harry takes it upon himself to get to the roots of the mystery.
Red Mandarin Dress by Qui Xiaolong (China)
The fifth book in the Inspector Ben Cao series, this masterful murder mystery unfolds in the urban locales of Shanghai. As an inspector often delegated to politically sensitive cases, he makes a run when he thinks he can get into a political scandal. But when a woman is murdered, and the only notable feature is her red mandarin dress, he senses something fishy. Soon more women are killed in the same dress, and Shanghai suspects its first sexual serial killer. And we expect the most dashing mystery from Qui yet.
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