A Bibliography of Texas-based Mystery/Detective Fiction
Be sure to check out the anthology,
Lone Star Sleuths
, published as part of the Wittliff's Southwestern Writers Collection Book Series.
Reflecting the remarkable diversity of the state, Texas-based mysteries extend from the Guadalupe Mountains in the west to the Piney Woods of East Texas. This annotated bibliography, arranged according to different regions of the state, helps map out some reading trails for mystery fans
We sought to provide a comprehensive list of mystery authors, although not every title published by each author is included. This list is not intended to provide an exhaustive listing of each book published by each author. Instead, it is intended to simply point the way towards further exploration by readers
This bibliography was originally compiled in 2004 for the exhibition
Scene of the Crime
at the Wittliff Collections. It was prepared by Steve Davis, Curator, and by Dr. Rollo K. Newsom, Professor Emeritus at Texas State. Along with Bill Cunningham, Davis and Newsom are co-editors of
Lone Star Sleuths.
This bibliography is not currently being updated, so think of it as a starting point, not a destination. Many new Texas-based mysteries have been published since then and we encourage you to check them out!
Librarian/sleuth Jordan Poteet solves murders from his home in "Mirabeau," a small town along the Colorado River halfway between Austin and Houston. Titles include:
Do Unto Others (1994)
The Only Good Yankee (1995)
Promises of Home (1996)
Albert, Susan Wittig
Hill Country herb store owner China Bayles is featured in several titles:
Thyme of Death (1992)
Witches' Bane (1993)
Hangman's Root (1994)
Rosemary Remembered (1995)
Rueful Death (1996)
Love Lies Bleeding (1997)
Chile Death (1998)
Lavender Lies (1999)
Mistletoe Man (2000)
Indigo Dying (2003)
An Unthymely Death (2003)
A Dilly of a Death (2004)
The Last Blue Kiss (1995) Set near Austin.
Christian mysteries set in Austin. Titles include:
Snare of the Trapper (1985)
A Major Deception (1988)
The following title features funeral director Blair Emerson:
Bury Her Sweetly (2002)
Cover Her With Roses (1969) Murder mystery set at UT-Austin in the 1960s.
Equestrian mysteries with Texas horsewoman Robin Vaughan. Titles include:
Death by Dressage (1993)
Groomed for Death (1995)
A Horse to Die For (1996)
Blankenship, William D.
The Time of the Wolf (1998) A private auction in Austin for Jim Bowie's knife brings murder.
Sever the Darkness (2003) Murder, romance, racial unrest, and environmental concerns along the Guadalupe River in the Texas Hill Country
Cooper, Susan Rogers
Romance writer and mother E.J. Pugh solves the murder mysteries from the Central Texas town of "Black Cat Ridge." Titles include:
Hickory Dickory Stalk (1996)
Home Again, Home Again (1997)
A Crooked Little House (1999)
The Texas Capitol Murders (1992) Murder in the state legislature.
Outrageous country musician-turned-private eye Kinky Friedman stars in these mysteries. From his home base is in Greenwich Village, Kinky's investigations often draw him back to old stomping grounds in Central Texas. Titles include:
A Case of Lone Star (1987)
Armadillos and Old Lace (1994)
Road Kill (1997)
Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (2002)
Austin City Blue (2001) Austin cop Zoe Barrow investigates police corruption and murder.
Former pro football player now writes mysteries, some with Austin settings. Titles include:
The Letter of the Law (2000)
Ruby the Rabbi's wife stars in this Austin-based series. Titles include:
Fax Me a Bagel (1998)
Never Nosh a Matso Ball (1999)
Lindsey, David L.
Animosity (2001) The chic hill country art enclave of "San Rafael" is the setting for this mystery.
Episcopalian priest solves murders from his Austin church. Titles include:
The Saints of God Murders (1995)
Blessed Are the Merciless (1996)
Beside the Still Waters (1997)
The Austin Affair (1994) Austin nightclub singer and college student becomes involved in a murder mystery.
Buck Fever: A Blanco County, Texas Novel (2002) Absurd humor in this deer-hunting mystery.
Reid, Sally Helen
Close Call (1994) Austin-based freelance journalist gets mixed up in murder.
The Devil Went Down to Austin (2001) High tech murder brings San Antonio detective Tres Navarre to Austin. Riordan has donated his literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection.
Lost in Austin: A Tony Kozol Mystery (2001) Country music mystery set in Austin.
Voices of Thunder (2001) Austin journalist becomes involved in a supernatural murder mystery.
A Twist at the End (2000) Historical mystery featuring O. Henry and serial murders in 1880s Austin.
Have You Seen Dawn (2003) Dot-com refugee and murder in the Texas Hill Country.
The Rio County Murders (1995) Author is a former hill country sheriff.
Smith, Barbara Burnett
Series featuring Jolie Wyatt, wife, mother, radio reporter, and amateur sleuth in the Hill Country town of "Purple Sage." Titles include:
Writers of the Purple Sage (1994)
Celebration in Purple Sage (1996)
Skeletons in Purple Sage (2002)
Frighten the Horses: A Rusty Coulter Mystery (2003) The chair of UT-Austin's English department is murdered.
Legendary Austin musician Jesse Sublett published this well-received mystery series that features a musican-turned-detective named Martin Fender. Jesse Sublett has donated literary and music-related archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. A
guide to the Sublett collection
is available on-line. Jesse Sublett's personal website is:
The Rock Critic Murders (1989)
Tough Baby (1990)
Boiled in Concrete (1992)
Walker, Mary Willis
Austin journalist Molly Cates writes about crime for "Lone Star Monthly" and gets mixed up in murder.
The Red Scream (1994)
Under the Beetle's Cellar (1995)
All the Dead Lie Down (1998)
The Double: An Investigation (1998) Austin computer game designer finds a dead man in his home.
Essential Saltes (1999) Austin bookseller and fireworks operator investigates his wife's murder.
Series featuring "Port Leo, Texas" Judge Whit Mosley and police detective Claudia Salazar. Titles include:
A Kiss Gone Bad (2001)
Black Jack Point (2002)
Night Calls (1986)
My Dead Brother (1990)
Lawnmower Blues (1998)
My First Murder (2002) Houston-based P.I. Mavis Davis. Author is a former District Court Judge in Galveston.
Houston advertising executive tackles murder mysteries:
Push, Meet Shove (1987)
Tart, With a Silken Finish (1988)
Biggie and her 13-year-old grandson solve crime in the East Texas town of "Job's Crossing." Titles include:
Biggie and the Mangled Mortician (1997)
Biggie and the Meddlesome Mailman (1999)
Biggie and the Quincy Ghost (2001)
Biggie and the Devil Diet: A Mystery (2002)
Restored to Death (2003) New series with Judge Jackson Crain.
Up in Flames (1998) Features Houston arson expert John Bolt.
Stand in For Murder (1994) Features Houston insurance-fraud investigator Cole January.
Unspeakable (1999) Set in fictional "Blewer County" in East Texas.
Bullard, Linda McKeever
Shades of Justice (1998) Legal thriller featuring a female African American prosecutor in Houston.
Burk, Patsy Ward
The Knife Struck Four (1997) Set in Houston and Huntsville.
Hardball Fever (2000) baseball manager of a minor-league team in East Texas becomes involved in a murder mystery.
Hardwired (1997) Astronauts are murdered at the Johnson Space Center.
High Island Blues (1996) Set along the Texas coast near Galveston.
Promises Town: A Texas Mystery (2002) Assistant District Attorney Virginia Rodriguez solves crime in "Bayou City," Texas.
Cooley, Marilyn and James Gunn
You'll Hear from Us (1989) Features Houston advertising executive Suzanne Hilbourne.
Cooper, Susan Rogers
Houston in the Rearview Mirror (1990) Oklahoma sheriff Milton Kovak travels to Texas to investigate murder.
Funny As a Dead Relative: A Kimmey Kruse Mystery (1994) Features a stand-up comic from Port Arthur.
Author of dozens of mysteries, most set along the Texas Gulf Coast. Crider's series include P.I. Truman Smith, Sheriff Dan Rhodes, and English professor Carl Burns. Titles include:
One Dead Dean (1988)
Dead on the Island (1991)
Booked for a Hanging: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery (1992)
Winning Can Be Murder: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery (1996)
The Prairie Chicken Kill: A Truman Smith Mystery (1996)
A Ghost of a Chance: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery (2000)
A Knife in the Back (2002)
Conflict of Interest (1997) Houston trial lawyer struggles against a psychopathic murderer.
Shoveling Smoke: A Clay Parker Crime Novel (2003) Houston corporate lawyer has moved to a small East Texas town, where murder is in the air.
Christian mysteries featuring a construction business owner, set in the East Texas town of "Mount Sinai."
Whom Shall I Fear? (1996)
Every Hidden Thing (1998)
Bay of Sorrows (1995) A Vietnamese is immigrant killed in Port Arthur and Deputy Sheriff Tom Poole investigates.
Houston-based courtroom dramas:
Pray to the Hustlers' God (1977)
The Lady Loved Too Well (1978)
Bad Memory (1997) a Houston computer company is infiltrated by a malevolent hacker.
The Shadow Line (1982) Big money, murder and mystery in Houston and Galveston from this literary novelist.
The Other Daughter (1999) A Boston woman is drawn to Huntsville, Texas in this serial killer mystery.
Slumming Angels (2000) Houston-based murder mystery.
Galveston boatman and tough-guy John Rodrigue is featured in this series.
Big Fish (1991)
Drowned Man's Key (1992)
Haley, James L.
Final Refuge: A Novel of Eco-Terrorism (1994) Endangered rhinos are killed at a wildlife preserve outside of Houston.
The Detective and the D. A. (2002) A romance murder mystery featuring Houston District Attorney Kelly Whalen.
Culinary mysteries starring a part-time chef. Titles include:
People in Glass Houses (1997)
A Catered Christmas (1998)
Dead Man's Broth (1999)
The Night of the Dance: A Mystery (2003) Murder in pastoral Brenham, Texas.
Trial (2003) Featuring Houston criminal lawyer Warren Blackburn.
Cruel as the Grave (2000) Houston-based Ph.D. student returns to Mississippi to solve a family murder mystery.
Series featuring Houston police officer Anson Hilderbrand.
The Devil and Lt. Hilderbrand (2000)
Graves, Worms, and Epitaphs (2001)
Kok, Marilyn R.
Heaven's Song (1997) Christian mystery based at Texas A&M University.
The Bayou Privilege (2002) Attorney and one-time forensic chemist Micki Lane investigates murder in "Liberty, Texas."
Adored to Death (2003)
Nacogdoches resident and acclaimed Horror/Fantasy writer Joe Lansdale has also created a Deep East Texas mystery series featuring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine.
has donated literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. See info at http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/archives/writers/lansdale.html Lansdale's mystery titles include:
Savage Season (1990)
Mucho Mojo (1994)
Two-Bear Mambo (1995)
Bad Chili (1997)
Rumble Tumble (1998)
Captains Outrageous (2001)
Isle of Misfortune (2003) Galveston-based psychological thriller
Lindsey, David L.
Series featuring Houston's high society homicide detective Stuart Haydon. Titles include:
A Cold Mind (1983)
Heat from Another Sun (1984)
P.I. Dan Roman sets up shop in a small town southeast of Dallas. Series titles include:
From a High Place (1985)
September Song (1991)
The Fifth Level (1992)
Mosiman, Billie Sue
Widow (1995) Houston stripper gets entangled in murder and intrigue.
Stiletto (1996) Vegas mob puts contract on the daughter of a female D.A. from "Geneva, Texas."
Gone Fishin' (1996) Famous LA detective Easy Rawlins recalls his early days growing up near Houston.
Myers, Helen R.
Romantic mysteries set in East Texas.
Dead End (2001)
Nighbert, David F.
Squeezeplay (1992) A Houston Astros star pitcher is murdered.
At Point Blank (1992) A ninety-four-year-old woman is murdered in the rustic East Texas town of "Point Blank."
Lesbian crime reporter Hollis Carpenter solves mysteries in Houston in the 1930s.
Bayou City Secrets (1991)
Houston Town (1992)
Death Dressed in White (1995) Featuring Houston P.I. Jack Thorn.
Dixie Flanagan is Houston's toughest bounty hunter. Titles include:
Bitch Factor (1998)
Rage Factor (1999)
Chill Factor (2000)
Sexton, Rodney D.
SAC Time (2000) Houston-based psychological thriller involving suicide cases among high school students.
Sissel, Barbara Taylor
The Last Innocent Hour (2000) Political thriller set in Houston and small town Texas.
Murder on the Boulevard (1996) Early 20th century mystery set in Houston featuring a female suffragist.
Smith, Mary-Ann Tirone
Love Her Madly (2002) A female FBI Agent stars in this novel drawn from the Karla Faye Tucker case.
Stuyck, Karen Hanson
The Texas Medical Center in Houston is the setting.
Cry For Help (1995)
Lethal Lessons (1997)
Sweat Death (1992) Former FBI agent settles down to teach college in Nacogdoches, but murder quickly intervenes.
Indiscretions (1996) African-American heroine Sydney Webster leaves Houston only to find murder in her hometown of "Dalston."
Houston police detective Lucas Stonecolt and police psychologist Meredyth Sanger investigate brutal, bizarre murders.
Cutting Edge (1997)
Double Edge (1998)
Cold Edge (2001)
Green River Rising (1994) East Texas penitentiary thriller written by an English psychiatrist.
Japanese-American police chief Mark Shigata solves murders from Bayport, Texas. Author Anne Wingate also writes under the pseudonyms Lee Martin and Martha G. Webb. Titles in the Shigata series include:
The Eye of Anna (1989)
The Buzzards Must Also Be Fed (1991)
Yakuza, Go Home! A Mark Shigata Mystery (1999)
Deep in the Heart (1980) Love and murder, East Texas style.
NORTH TEXAS MYSTERIES
Dallas detective Jack Kyle featured in this series. Titles include:
Dallas Drop (1990)
The Dallas Deception (1992)
Historical mysteries set in Dallas in 1947.
Texas Weather (2000)
A Well-Respected Dead Man (2003)
Sherlock Holmes in Dallas (1980) Holmes and Watson take on the Kennedy assassination.
Double Jeopardy (1996) Features Dallas cop turned defense attorney Travis Byrne.
Offbeat mysteries feature a mother/daughter sleuthing team based in "Kickapoo, Texas," a small town near Wichita Falls.
Hot Enough to Kill (1999)
Dead Man Falls (2000)
Deadly Justice (2002) Psychological thriller set in Dallas.
Duncan, W. Glenn
Dallas-based P.I. Rafferty is a working class guy who never plays by the rules.
Rafferty's Rules (1987)
Rafferty: Wrong Place, Wrong Time (1989)
The "Bino" series features a hardboiled, six-foot-six albino lawyer from Dallas. Gray also writes mysteries under the pseudonym "Sarah Gregory." Titles in the Bino series include:
Bino's Blues (1995)
Other A.W. Gray novels with North Texas settings include:
The Man Offside (1991) Ex-Dallas Cowboy has been framed.
Prime Suspect (1993) Construction business owner in Fort Worth.
Shares (1999) Dallas cop is released from prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Going Out in Style (2001) Dallas O'Connor is a Dallas-based fashion stylist who becomes a sleuth when murder intrudes into the fashion world.
Gregory, Sarah (A.W. Gray)
Series featuring Dallas lawyer Sharon Hays.
Public Trust (1987)
Capitol Scandal (1999)
Best Defense (1999)
The Smiling Dog (1995) Fort Worth-based mystery.
Where Secrets Lie (2001) Intrigue in Dallas as a woman searches for her birth parents.
Still River: A Lee Henry Oswald Mystery (2005) The unfortunately named Lee Henry Oswald is a Dallas PI who tries to stop a corrupt real estate developer bent on taking over the Trinity River.
Fast Copy (1987) Female newspaper editor in 1930s Fort Worth takes on a corrupt Texas Ranger.
Series featuring Dallas attorney Stan Turner:
Brash Endeavor (1997)
Martin, Lee (Anne Wingate)
Series featuring Fort Worth cop Deb Ralston. Titles include:
Death Warmed Over (1988)
Genealogy of Murder (1988)
The Mensa Murders (1993)
Former policewoman and suburban Dallas resident Maggie Ryan solves crimes involving schoolchildren:
And Then She Was Gone (1999)
Mills, Deanie Francis
The Jigsaw Man (1997) Wife of a Dallas cop must solve the crime when her husband is accused of murder.
Series featuring Fort Worth cop Cezanne Martin:
The Lady Godiva Murder (2002)
Constable's Run (2002)
The Fourth Steven (1998) This installment in the Honey Huckleberry series is based in Fort Worth.
Myers, Helen R.
More than you Know (1999) Dallas-based suspense novel involving murder and sex games.
Tie a Black Ribbon (2000) Skeeter Barlow is a Fort Worth cowgirl and P.I. who also works evenings as a bouncer at the Horsehead Bar and Grill.
Rage (1994) Originally published as "Agatite," this literary novel tells of a crime spree in a small town west of Wichita Falls.
Players (1997) This Dallas-based literary crime novel has been described as "Tarantino meets McMurtry." (Reynolds has donated literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. The papers are not yet processed.)
True Believers (1999) A messianic cult leader lures a U.S. Senator and his wife from Massachusetts to a Dallas fertility clinic.
Eleven Hours (1998) A nine-months pregnant woman from North Dallas is abducted from a shopping mall.
Offbeat Dallas detective Jack Flippo stars in this wry series. Titles include:
Big Town (1994)
96 Tears (1996)
House of Corrections (2000)
Series featuring Dallas police detective and alcoholic Jeb Quinlan:
Jitter Joint (1999)
Doin' Dirty (2000)
Rosenberg, Nancy Taylor
Trial By Fire (1996) Dallas D.A. Stella Cataloni is haunted by the arson that killed her parents.
Webb, Martha G. (Anne Wingate)
Series featuring Smoky O'Donnell, a narcotics officer in "Farmer's Mound," a small town outside of Dallas.
A White Male Running (1985)
Even Cop's Daughters (1986)
Deliver Me From Dallas (2001) This was originally published in 1961 as The Whip Hand by Franklin W. Sanders.
The Coyote Cried Twice (1985) Vietnam veteran takes on murder in the South Texas brush country.
The Case of the Hook-Billed Kites (1991) Birdwatchers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley are beset by murder.
Courtroom suspense novels based in San Antonio. Titles include:
Fade the Heat (1991)
Rules of Evidence (1992)
Angel of Death (1998)
Charade (1995) A San Antonio television personality becomes involved in murder and romance.
Texas Donuts (2001) Self-published mystery novel set in Corpus Christi.
The Worst Liar in Texas (2003) A Corpus Christi detective's girlfriend mysteriously disappears.
Dancing at the Shoulder of the Bull (2002) Mystery set in fictional "Katerina," modeled on Victoria, Texas.
Flynn, Robert and Dan Klepper
The Devil's Tiger (2000) Infected Siberian Tigers rampage across South Texas in this espionage thriller.
Death on the River Walk (1999) Murder brings supersleuth Henrie O. to San Antonio.
Two mystery novels set in the Lower Rio Grande Valley by the dean of Texas Chicano literature:
Partners in Crime (1985)
Ask a Policeman (1998)
La Fountaine, George
Flashpoint (1976) Two Texas border guards find a body and money and are soon involved in a conspiracy that reaches back to the Kennedy Assassination.
Langley, Glenda Stewart
Murder in Mesquite Springs (1999) A waitress in a South Texas barbecue joint is the heroine.
This noted Chicano author grew up in Gonzalez and has written two crime novels set in the area:
White Leg (1996)
Lesbian police detective Lucia Ramos from San Antonio is the heroine of this series:
Final Session (1991)
Final Rest (1993)
Nixon, Joan Lowery
The Trap (2002) Sixteen-year-old girl's summer vacation to her relatives' South Texas ranch turns dangerous as murder breaks out.
On Both Sides of the River (1996) Eagle Pass attorney tackles drug kingpins, corruption, and murder along the Texas-Mexico border.
Reid, Sally Helen
Undertow (1992) "Port Alicia," a fishing village along the Texas coast is the setting for this mystery.
Dark Horse (1998) "Cathedral Island" in far South Texas is the setting for this political thriller.
West, Nancy Glass
Nine Days to Evil (2003) Undercurrents of Shakespeare run through this San Antonio-based mystery thriller.
San Antonio P.I. Tres Navarre has a Ph.D. in medieval studies and an enchilada-eating cat. Riordan has donated his literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection.
Big Red Tequila (1998)
The Widower's Two-Step (1999)
The Last King of Texas (2001)
Cold Spring (2003)
Series stars a San Antonio-based investigative reporter with Rambo overtones. Titles include:
Blood Bath (1987)
Lethal Rage (2001)
Death Angel (2002)
Home is Where the Murder Is (2002) A San Antonio policewoman returns to her family ranch near the Mexican border, where murder breaks out.
Safe Delivery (2000) Female bail bondsman Jerri Johnson is at the heart of this literary San Antonio-based murder mystery.
The Alamodome Murders (1995) Featuring San Antonio detective Robert Slore.
Border Prey: A Rachel Porter Mystery (2000) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter investigates murder at an exotic game ranch along the Texas-Mexico border .
Series featuring a sixty-something lesbian detective in South Texas:
Murder at Red Rook Ranch (1990)
The Hallalujah Murders: A Poppy Dillworth Mystery (1991)
Track of the Cat (1993) Guadalupe Mountains National Park is the setting for this mystery.
Murder at the Spirit Cave (1999) The first-ever female Texas Ranger takes on murder in far West Texas.
The Hangman's Tree (2000) Marfa-based mystery.
Evil Hours (2001) A mystery set in the West Texas town of "Limite" by the Odessa-born author, who in recent years has taken over writing the James Bond series.
Echo Burning (2001) P.I. Jack Reacher investigates murder at a ranch near Lubbock.
One of America's most acclaimed literary crime writers, Crumley's novels play out against the vast landscape of the American West.
has donated literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. See info at http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/archives/writers/crumley.html Crumley makes use of West Texas settings in novels including:
The Mexican Tree Duck (1993)
The Final Country (2001)
Branches (2000) A novel in poetic form, narrated by a murderous sheriff in the "gnarled hide of West Texas."
Taylor Madison and her pet ferret Hazel confront murder in "Perdue," a tiny town near Lubbock:
Twice Dead (2003)
Twilight of Honor (1961) Vintage courtroom drama and murder mystery set in the Texas Panhandle.
Edson, John Thomas
Texas Teamwork (1997) A "western" mystery penned by a British author.
Series featuring El Paso Detective Devon Gray:
When Kindness Fails (1999)
Mysteries set in the Texas panhandle:
She Was Only the Sheriff's Daughter (1970)
A Deadly Kind of Lonely (1971)
Texas Tender (1997) Christian romance/mystery set at a watermelon farm in West Texas.
Nowhere is Somewhere (2002) Genealogical murders in a small West Texas town are investigated by a mother/daughter team.
Who's Susan (1998) Mystery novel by this retired El Paso schoolteacher is set in El Paso, New Mexico, and Dallas.
El Paso author's "Elena Jarvis" mysteries are set in "Los Santos," Texas. Titles include:
Acid Bath (1995)
Casanova Crimes (1999)
C.O.P. Out (2002)
Jones, Stephen Graham
All the Beautiful Sinners (2003) Native American Deputy Sheriff John Doe from "Nazareth, Texas" tracks a sociopath killer who targets Indian children. Author is a member of the Blackfeet Nation and an Assistant Professor of English at Texas Tech University.
Twister (1992) Manhattan journalist investigates murder in the struggling post-oil boom town of "Paradise."
Die in Texas (2003) A mystery set in far West Texas and New Mexico.
Maples, J.D. Trojan Steers (2000) Veterinary whodunit set in the ranch country of West Texas.
Series featuring amateur sleuth Texana Jones, who runs a trading post in the Big Bend area. Titles include:
Death of a Healing Woman (1996)
Death of a Saint Maker (1998)
Death of the Last Villista (2001)
Quarantine! A Story of Murder, Drugs, And Terrorism (1985) A sheriff in the Texas Panhandle investigates a cattle virus outbreak linked to international terrorism.
Medawar, Mardi Oakley
Witch of the Palo Duro (1997) A historical mystery set among the Kiowa Indians in Palo Duro Canyon in 1866.
Meredith, D.R. (Doris)
The Texas Panhandle is often the setting for mysteries by this former librarian. Meredith's series feature Sheriff Charles Matthews, reference librarian Megan Clark, and attorney John Lloyd Branson. Titles include:
The Sheriff and the Branding Iron Murders (1985)
The Sheriff & the Panhandle Murders (1985)
Murder by Reference (1991)
Murder Past Due (2001)
Mills, Deanie Francis
Ordeal (1997) A militaristic cult leader based in West Texas kidnaps his ex-wife and plots to blow up a government building.
Literary mysteries featuring Presidio's bi-cultural border agent Dolph Martinez
El Camino Del Rio (1998)
La Mordida (2002)
Engineering mysteries featuring El Paso detectives David Alvarez and Scott Faulkner:
Framework for Death (1998)
Affirmative Reaction (1999)
Engineered for Murder (2000)
Thieves Like Us (1937) This Depression-era Texas crime tale has inspired two films.
Happy Policeman (1994) A sci-fi post-holocaust mystery set in "Coomey, Texas."
Barrett, Neal Jr.
Acclaimed author of humorous, offbeat fantasy fiction turned to the mystery form in the 1990s.
has donated literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. See info at http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/archives/writers/barrett.html Barrett's mystery titles include:
Pink Vodka Blues (1992)
Dead Dog Blues (1994)
Skinny Annie Blues (1996)
Bad Eye Blues (1997)
Do Evil Cheerfully (1983) Early mystery novel from the acclaimed literary novelist, set in Houston and New Mexico.
has donated literary archives to the Southwestern Writers Collection. See info at: http://www.library.txstate.edu/swwc/archives/writers/bird.html
Burke, James Lee
This author, best known for his Louisiana detective Dave Robineaux, has also used Texas settings in his mysteries. Titles include:
Lay Down My Sword and Shield (1971)
Cimarron Rose (1998)
Robbers (2000) In pursuit of killers on a road trip across Texas.
Series featuring Maris Middleton, Lesbian Forensic Chemist of Texas:
Devil's Leg Crossing (1997)
Until the End (1998)
Blackburn (1993) A fugitive serial killer on the road across Texas and beyond.
Grape, Jan (editor)
Found Dead in Texas (2002) An anthology of Texas crime literature.
Shadow Vengeance (1994) Adoption mystery turns murderous.
This prolific writer known for his "Michael Shayne" series published more than 60 mystery novels from 1939 to 1976. Halliday grew up in West Texas.
This well-known author of literary mysteries such as Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley was born in Fort Worth.
Literary crime fiction that plays out across Texas:
Coming Through (1975)
Little Kingdoms (1976)
Death and Texas (2002)
Baptism by Murder (1995) A Reverend must solve a murder-or be charged with the crime.
The Lot of Her Neighbors (1953) Vintage Texas mystery fiction: a recluse returns to his tiny farm to find his wife dead.
Prisoners (1988) Criminal road trip through Texas and the Southwest.
Nelda Sees Red (1999) A Texas mystery from this Bryan-based author.
Assassin's Blood: An Alan Graham Mystery (1999) A Louisiana archaeologist gets involved in investigating the Kennedy assassination.
Skillman, Trish MacDonald
Texas banker-turned-mystery writer.
Someone to Watch Over Me (1994)
Buried Secrets (1995)
Favorite Son (1987) A liberal U.S. Senator from Texas is the target of an assassination attempt.
The major American crime novelist born in Oklahoma has set some of his 29 mysteries in Texas, including:
Texas by the Tail (1965)
South of Heaven (1967)
The Getaway (1973)
Walking Rain (1996) A woman whose family was murdered by neo-Nazis in Houston returns to her grandfather's New Mexico ranch, but the Nazis are in hot pursuit.
Webb, Martha (Anne Wingate)
Darling Corey's Dead (1984) A Postal mystery set in small town Texas.
Kiss and Kill (2000) Houston-based author writes of a Texas U.S. senator's widow who is stalked.
"Whodunit? Who Cares?" (Texas Monthly, November 2000) TM Senior Editor attacks the "once-reliable genre" for decomposing into "work that remains is too often limp, predictable, even downright stinky." The same issue features a response from Mary Willis Walker.
Places for Dead Bodies (1994) Academic study by this University of Nevada-Reno Geography professor examines how murder mysteries function in defining "a sense of place." Included in the study is a chapter on David L. Lindsey's novels.
Walker, Mary Willis
"I care, I'm a mystery writer, and I don't think Anne Dingus has a clue." (Texas Monthly, November 2000) A response to Anne Dingus' attack on the state of Texas mystery fiction.
"Blood and Grits: Texas-based mystery novels reveal more about life in the Lone Star State than just whodunit." (Dallas Morning News, June 12, 1996) Weeks describes how mystery novels provide a cutting edge portrait of evolving Texas cultures, and points out that some geography professors have begun to use detective novels in their courses.