Think all mystery books are the same? Think again. Thrillers, suspense, crime novels, detective fiction - whatever you call them, mystery books make for some of the most exciting literature out there. The mystery genre has been around for over two centuries, with pioneers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe and G.K. Chesterton leading the way. From real-life spies (John le Carré, Ian Fleming, and Graham Greene) to politicians and journalists, mystery authors come from all walks of life and so do their protagonists. From elderly spinster Miss Marple and hard-drinking P.I. Phillip Marlowe, to dashing spy James Bond and medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta, the mystery genre spans far and wide. Whether it's Victorian era crime you're after, or contemporary psychological thrillers are your thing, enjoy our list of essential mystery authors.

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