Crime Fiction Genre Preview | Forthcoming Titles for 2024

The key trends in crime fiction this year are the desire for immersive escape, a focus on genre blends, and new takes on traditional tropes.


The key trends in crime fiction this year are the desire for immersive escape, a focus on genre blends, and new takes on traditional tropes. Lena Khidritskaya Little, director of publicity at Little, Brown, makes a clear case: “Readers want pure and immersive escape, and they’re willing to sample and mix among genres like horror, noir, [and] sci-fi, as well as fresh spins on normally traditional forms like locked-room or chase or heist narratives.” To track down the clues of 2024, LJ talked with publishers about what they are noting, scanned through catalogues, and dove into the books. Here are trends and titles to note, spanning spring through fall 2024. A downloadable list of all titles mentioned can be found here.

Blends and Mixes

Blurring the lines between genres is nothing new to the world of crime fiction. Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca has long been claimed by both romance and mystery readers, while Edgar Allan Poe experimented with mixing supernatural and suspense in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. This year, horror is of particular interest. Kristin Sevick, executive editor at Tor, is “seeing more supernatural thrillers, as the unreliable narrator has a paranormal slant—or does it? There are many thrillers dancing on the horror line, and it is interesting to see where they land in terms of genre.” Examples of crime fiction that creep into horror territory include Lisa Childs’s The House by the Cemetery (Kensington), in which River Gold must determine if her father’s recent death was a murder. In Christina Henry’s The House that Horror Built (Berkley), single mother Harry Adams thinks she may have heard a cry for help while cleaning the mansion of a reclusive horror director. “Belfast Noir” crime novelist Stuart Neville edges closer to horror with Blood like Mine (Hell’s Hundred: Soho), the first in a new trilogy in which the FBI tracks a blood-draining serial killer. A dab hand at mixing things up, Stuart Turton returns with The Last Murder at the End of the World (Sourcebooks Landmark), in which a murder must be solved or the last safe haven on Earth will be destroyed.

Blends offer readers abiding pleasures. Berkley Assistant Director of Publicity Loren Jaggers points out, “Mystery/thriller readers love the element of peeling away layers of a puzzle to find out what really went down. If they can get that feeling from a novel that stretches the boundaries of what is traditionally thought of as mystery—whether through supernatural elements or horror tropes—they’re likely to walk away satisfied.”

Got Gothic?

A mini-trend within crime/horror genre-blending is a renewed interest in old-fashioned gothics. The past, the present, and the lives of two women become caught up in a Miami mansion in Chanel Cleeton’s The House on Biscayne Bay (Berkley). Kelsey James’s Secrets of Rose Briar Hall (Kensington) is being billed as a Gilded Age homage to Gaslight. A junior editor hired to transcribe the sequel to a best-selling gothic novel must determine exactly where the line is between fact and fiction in Carol Goodman’s Return to Wyldcliffe Heights (Morrow). Carmella Lowkis’s debut Spitting Gold (Atria) is set in 19th-century France, where two estranged sisters try to pull off one last spiritualist con job, with deadly results. A modern-day writer and a Harlem Renaissance artist are connected in mysterious ways in L.S. Stratton’s Do What Godmother Says (Union Square & Co.).

I’ve Got a Secret

Benjamin Franklin’s quote “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead” was never more apropos than when it comes to a plethora of suspense and thriller titles in which past secrets come back to haunt—and possibly kill. In romance novelist Sarina Bowen’s debut suspense, The Five Year Lie (Harper), Ariel receives a text from the man she loved and thought had died several years ago. Annie Shaw’s carefully cultivated life comes crashing down around her when she wakes up next to a dead body in K.T. Nguyen’s You Know What You Did (Dutton). Ryan Richardson thought he had put his past—and the night his girlfriend Ali disappeared—behind him, until her car and a note in her handwriting suddenly surface, in rising suspense star Alex Finlay’s If Something Happens to Me (Minotaur). Three siblings discover that their parents may have been involved in a murder in Jeneva Rose’s Home Is Where the Bodies Are (Blackstone).

Lifestyles of the Rich and Dead

A renewed interest in the luxe life has been having a pop culture moment, as evidenced by movies like The Menu, TV shows such as Succession and The White Lotus, and these upcoming crime fiction books in which murder intrudes into heretofore pampered and privileged lives. An elementary school for the uber-wealthy in Miami becomes a battleground as two parents duke it out to become the next PTA president in Asha Elias’s debut, Pink Glass Houses (Morrow). In Ally Condie’s The Unwedding (Grand Central), recently divorced Ellery stumbles across a body while staying at an exclusive Big Sur resort. Space Habitat Altaire, a luxury resort in low Earth orbit, is the site of a murder in Victor Manibo’s Escape Velocity (Erewhon Bks.). A family battle for corporate succession takes place during a weekend retreat at a Laguna Beach resort in Kaira Rouda’s Under the Palms (Thomas & Mercer). Carinn Jade’s debut The Astrology House (Atria) pits a group of wealthy Manhattanites against one another at a zodiac-themed retreat.

The Killer Is Coming from Inside the House

Ever since Agatha Christie wrote And Then There Were None, readers have been fascinated by the idea of a small group of people trapped in an isolated location with a killer among them. Spurred by the success of suspense novels by authors such as Lucy Foley, this plot device has become increasingly popular in the last few years, as authors find new and creative ways of keeping readers guessing as to exactly who among a small circle of suspects is the killer. Ruth Ware pays homage to Christie’s classic with One Perfect Couple (Gallery), in which five couples participating in a reality-television contest on a storm-swept tropical island are stalked by a killer. Another group of reality-show contestants are trapped at a California estate with a murderer in Heather Gudenkauf’s Everyone Is Watching (Park Row). A billionaire CEO and his employees begin disappearing one by one in an AI-enhanced private mansion on a tropical island in Madeline Ashby’s Glass Houses (Tor).

Detecting the Past

Historical mysteries are still attracting readers, reaching far beyond the ever-popular 1940s and World War II settings. Lindsey Davis’s first ancient Roman mystery featuring Marcus Didius Falco debuted in 1989. Her latest, Death on the Tiber (Minotaur), now stars Marcus’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia. The Regency era is no longer the historical playground solely of romance writers; Vanessa Riley’s new Lady Worthing mystery Murder in Berkeley Square and Catherine Lloyd’s Miss Morton and the Deadly Inheritance, both from Kensington, also employ this period to great effect. Fans of the Victorian era can look forward to Dianne Freeman’s An Art Lover’s Guide to Paris and Murder (Kensington) and Deanna Raybourn’s A Grave Robbery (Berkley). Sadly, efforts to suppress books are nothing new, as seen in Lev AC Rosen’s 1950s California-set Rough Pages (Forge).

Sleuthing Side Hustles

Employing a real historical figure as a sleuth is a long-standing trick of the crime trade. Populating the pages of 2024 picks are iconic sleuths and authors. Nicholas Meyer, whose The Seven-Per-Cent Solution is considered a crime fiction classic, brings back Conan Doyle’s iconic sleuth in Sherlock Holmes and the Telegram from Hell (Mysterious: Penzler). Jane Austen’s oeuvre inspires Claudia Gray’s latest “Mr. Darcy and Miss Tilney” mystery, The Perils of Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Vintage), as well as Vanessa Kelly’s Murder in Highbury (Kensington). What if Romeo and Juliet didn’t die but instead got married and had kids, one of whom would become an amateur sleuth? That is the premise behind Christina Dodd’s A Daughter of Fair Verona (Kensington). Gordon McAlpine draws inspiration from L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz for After Oz (Crooked Lane), in which a psychologist interviews Dorothy Gale to see if she may be connected to the death of a local spinster.

Brand Names

Sometimes, the comfort of reading a tried-and-true author, one who always delivers the goods, is just the ticket. A bounty of books by authors who are regulars on best-seller lists and library reserve lists around the country are on the horizon. James Lee Burke returns with another Dave Robicheaux story, Clete (Atlantic Monthly), and suspense master Harlan Coben brings Myron Bolitar and his pal Win back in Think Twice (Grand Central). After much anticipation (and some changing of pub dates), fans will finally be able to get their hands on Greg Iles’s Southern Man (Morrow). Rising star Jesse Q. Sutanto lets everyone know You Will Never Be Me (Berkley). Anthony Horowitz delivers another in his Hawthorne and Horowitz series with Close to Death (Harper). Two authors who have won their share of awards and acclaim return: Kellye Garrett gifts readers with Missing White Woman (Mulholland) while T. Jefferson Parker offers Desperation Reef (Forge). Finally, three authors conclude beloved series in 2024: Peter Lovesey’s sleuth Peter Diamond takes a final bow in Against the Grain (Soho Crime), Jacqueline Winspear bids farewell to Maisie Dobbs in The Comfort of Ghosts (Soho Crime), and Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope works her last case in The Last Hope (Bantam).

New Faces

The thrill of discovering an author at the beginning of their career never abates. This year offers a range of debut picks. In Blood in the Cut (Flatiron), Alejandro Nodarse introduces readers to Iggy Guerra, who tangles with poachers in the Everglades. Jewel thief Rune Sarasin must find the rubies she stole, then lost, in Mailan Doquang’s Blood Rubies (Mysterious: Penzler). Working on an Alaskan fishing boat is much more dangerous than college student Adam expected in Matt Riordan’s The North Line (Hyperion). Roz Noonan’s cozy debut Puzzle Me a Murderer (Kensington) stars librarian Alice Pepper, whose talents at figuring out people and puzzles come in handy when a murderer strikes. Deborah Benoit’s The Gardener’s Plot (Minotaur), set in a community garden in the Berkshires, is the current winner of Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America’s First Crime Novel Competition.

Classic Returns

Demonstrating the lasting appeal of the genre, reprinting classic works is another vibrant trend. In 2024, Hard Case Crime will publish Into the Night, begun decades ago by noir master Cornell Woolrich and finished by MWA Grandmaster Lawrence Block. Fans of American Golden Age mysteries are in a for a treat with Phoebe Atwood Taylor’s The Mystery of the Cape Cod Players (Norton), one of the offerings in the “American Mystery Classics” series. British Library Crime Classics reintroduces readers to several Golden Age mysteries, including Christianna Brand’s Suddenly at His Residence (Poisoned Pen). Award-winning Japanese crime fiction writer Akimitsu Takagi’s The Noh Mask Murder (Pushkin Vertigo) receives its U.S. debut after its original publication in 1950.

Cozy Corner

One trend to note in the cozy world is the shift away from mass-market and toward trade paperback and hardcovers. Another trend is the growth of culinary cozies. Appetites will be whetted by Vivien Chien’s new “Noodle Shop” mystery, Peking Duck and Cover (Minotaur), and Misha Popp’s third “Pies Before Guys” title, The Last To Pie (Crooked Lane). Cozy lovers will get schooled with Katie Siegel’s Charlotte Illes Is Not a Teacher (Kensington), in which a former kid detective goes back to school as a substitute teacher. Devoted cozy readers will notice an increasing geographic diversity in their favorite subgenre. Small-town settings still seem to be de rigueur, but cozy sleuths have been venturing out from their versions of Cabot Cove into the big wild world. Kensington Senior Communications Manager Larissa Ackerman says, “Cozy mysteries for armchair travelers—specifically contemporary cozy mysteries set in locations other than the U.S.—are getting more popular every year. I think that COVID spurred a need for books set in gorgeous locations overseas, since people could not travel during that time.” Case in point is Nicholas George’s debut, A Deadly Walk in Devon (Kensington), which takes readers to different corners of England with the series’ retired San Diego police detective. “Quozies,” or queer cozies, also continue to be popular. Two to note: Frank Anthony Polito delivers the third “Domestic Partners in Crime” book with Haunted to Death (Kensington), while CJ Connor returns to his “Board Game Shop” series with Killer Cube (Kensington).

With a Wrench, in the Library

Crime fiction has a long history with classic tropes and methods. Forthcoming titles give fans a group of genres with a fresh future, mixing in new twists, cross-pollinating with other popular types of fiction, and offering even more to enjoy.

After working in public libraries for more than 30 years, John Charles retired and now plays literary matchmaker at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale, AZ. The coauthor of four nonfiction books, including The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Mystery, Charles has been reviewing books for a number of publications, including Library Journal, ever since fax machines were the hot new thing in technology.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing