Crime Fiction: Introduction

Explore the genre of Crime Fiction -- its history, subgenres, and why it's such a broadly appealing form of literature.

Introduction to Crime Fiction

Crime Fiction has become an incredibly popular genre. The resources in this guide will help you explore the different subgenres, gain a better understanding of the appeal of crime fiction, and learn more about the masters of the genre. The list of subgenres in crime fiction seems to be constantly growing. While crime fiction used to be limited to detective stories and thrillers, there is now a much greater diversity. We list some of them here. (Let us know if you think of others.)

Colorful illustration of a detective by Tim Liedtke

Psychological Suspense  Legal Thrillers  

Detectives  Political/Espionage  

Noir/Hardboiled   Locked Room Mysteries  

Cozy  Mysteries  Supernatural/paranormal  

Cyberpunk Noir  Crime/Horror crossovers  

Geographical/geopolitical  Medical  Police  Forensic


Illustration by Tim Liedtke

Table of Contents


Books - PCC Library has several books available online that explore different aspects of reading, writing, and understanding crime fiction and related genres.

Articles - Find articles from popular and scholarly sources on crime, spy, mystery, and other related genres, including literary criticism, author interviews, and histories of crime fiction writing.

Websites - Comprehensive websites devoted to crime fiction, fans of the genre, writers, reviews, and history, plus scholarship.

Videos - Watch authors discuss their work, histories of crime solving and detective fiction, and scholarly criticism.

Get Help - Ways that PCC Library can help you.