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Fiction can be divided into genres, including mystery, as well as historical fiction, science fiction, and horror.


A subgenre is a subdivision, or smaller part, of the genre. Like genres, subgenres can overlap or have similar characteristics.

Mystery Subgenres

ANIMALS and the ENVIRONMENT: A mystery related to animals or the environment.

  • Missing Manatee by Cynthia DeFelice
  • Who Really Killed the Cock Robin by Jean Craighead George
  • Scat by Carl Hiaasen
  • Out of the Deep by Gloria  Skurzynski


CAPERS: Mysteries with humor or a humorous twist on criminal heists.

  • Science Fair by Dave Barry
  • The Worst Night Ever by Dave Barry
  • Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen
  • Zoobreak by Gordon Korman


DETECTIVE STORIES: Classic-style mysteries featuring a detective investigating a crime.

  • The World's Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson
  • Ruby Redford (series) by Lauren Child
  • Enola Holmes (series) by Nancy Springer
  • Poison is Not Polite by Robin Stevens


DISABILITY: Mysteries featuring a detective or investigator with a disablity.

  • London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  • Dovey Coe by Frances O'Roark Dowell
  • Silent to the Bone by E. L. Konigsburg
  • From Charlie's Point of View by Richard Scrimger


ESPIONAGE: International spy stories.

  • Ettiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
  • I'd Love to Tell You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
  • The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein


FURRY SLEUTH: Animals are the protagonists and solving the mysteries in these stories.

  • Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck
  • Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye


HISTORICAL: Mystery + Historical Fiction = Historical Mystery.

  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter by Beth Fantaskey
  • The Roman Mysteries (series) by Caroline Lawrence


KIDNAPPING and DISAPPEARANCES: The mystery centers around locating a missing person.

  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
  • A Hitch at the Fairmont by Jim Averbeck
  • Find Me by Romily Bernard


KID SLEUTHS: The detectives are kids or teens.

  • Echo Fall (series) by Peter Abrahams
  • The Genius Files (series) by Dan Gutman
  • Sammy Keyes (series) by Wendelin Van Draanen


MEDICAL MYSTERIES: Instead of solving a crime, the investigators must solve a mystery related to a strange illness.

  • Code Orange by Caroline Cooney
  • The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson


PARANORMAL MYSTERIES: Mystery stories with a supernatural element, including psychic detectives.

  • Gilda Joyce (series) by Jennifer Allison
  • Theodosia (series) by R. L. LaFevers
  • Jackaby (series) by William Ritter


SPORTS: A mystery related to sports.

  • Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein
  • Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery by John Feinstein
  • Rivals by Tim Green


SUSPENSE: A high-stakes mystery with action and a ticking clock; the protagonist is often the one being pursued.

  • Shadowlands by Kate Brian
  • Endangered by Lamar Giles
  • The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry


THRILLERS: A suspense mystery with a wider—often international—scope and more action.

  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Alex Rider (series) by Anthony Horowitz
  • STORM: The Infinity Code by E. L. Young
Ms. Elizabeth Gartley | Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School | 240 Ocean Street | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-799-7386