There are some crimes that the police just can’t (or won’t!) take on, and then who’re you going to call? A private investigator, of course. These detective novels feature all sorts of private investigators who skillfully get at the heart of a crime better than the police. From cozy mysteries to historical PI’s to hard-hitting contemporary mystery novels, there’s a PI for everyone on this list.
Kendra Michaels is like a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. She was blind for the first twenty years of her life until a revolutionary new surgery gave her sight. Now, she uses her powerful talent for observation to assist police and investigators and consult on especially difficult cases. And nothing is more difficult than the case of Delilah Winter, a pop star who goes missing...right in the middle of an extremely busy sold-out show.
Emma Djan once dreamed of becoming a well-respected and high-ranking police officer, but when her career dreams are dashed, she becomes a private investigator instead. It's through her work as a PI that she encounters the strange case of Gordon Tilson, an American man who connected with a widow from Ghana online. Against the advice of his family, he sent her money and even traveled to Ghana to visit, only to disappear. Now, Tilson's son has come to Ghana and he turns to Emma to help him find his missing father.
Roxane Weary is an experienced PI and daughter of a cop, so when a young woman approaches her claiming that she suspects her mom's accidental death is no accident, Roxane is willing to listen. The woman in question, Rebecca Newsome, was married to a well-connected cop, so Roxane knows she must tread carefully. But when she uncovers a series of puzzling trips and bizarre facts that don't add up, does it mean Rebecca's ex is a killer?
Charlie Parker is John Connolly's famous PI, and in The Dirty South readers finally get to read about the case that gave him his start as a private detective! It's 1997 and Charlie Parker is a former NYPD detective sitting in a jail cell, mourning the loss of his family and thirsting for revenge. When other young women in this small Southern town are murdered, Charlie's life and these crimes collide in a fateful way.
Agatha Raisin is a private detective who isn't above sleuthing for personal reasons. When a former lover is set to marry a mysterious woman, Agatha does a little digging...but comes up empty-handed. Curious, she crashes the wedding. Unfortunately, that only leads to heartbreak and awkwardness, at least until the following morning when the bride is murdered and the groom asks Agatha to take on the case.
Hap and Leonard are an unlikely pair–Hap, a self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard–a tough-as-nails Black, gay, Vietnam vet and Republican–but they’re the closest friend either of them has in the world.
What to Read Next