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University Libraries

Mystery and Crime Fiction

All of the sources listed can be found in the University at Buffalo's Arts & Sciences Libraries or on the World Wide Web.

Finding Books in the Libraries Catalog

Search the Libraries Catalog to locate books on your topic:

Keywords (use the Boolean operator "AND" to connect key terms)
Sample search: Hammett AND history and criticism

Title (omit initial articles such as ‘the' and ‘a')
Sample search: Maltese Falcon

Subject  (use Library of Congress subject headings)
Sample searches:

Detective and mystery stories
Detective and mystery stories--History and criticism
Detective and mystery stories, English--History and criticism
Crime in literature
Detective and mystery films
Pulp fiction
Film noir
English fiction--19th century--History and criticism
English fiction--20th century--History and criticism
American Fiction--19th century--History and criticism
American Fiction--20th century--History and criticism
Author's name (e.g. hammett, dashiell)

Author (last name first)
Sample search: Christie, Agatha

For more help searching the Catalog, click on the Help section of the Catalog or Contact a Librarian for assistance.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

The Encyclopedia of Murder and Mystery
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3448 .D4 M87 1999

The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3448.D4 E5

The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing
LOCKWOOD Book Collection PN3448 .D4 O94 1999


American Hard-boiled Crime Writers (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 226)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.226

American Mystery and Detective Writers (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 306)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.306

British Mystery Writers, 1860-1919 (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 70.)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.70

British Mystery Writers, 1920-1939 (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 77.)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.77

British Mystery and Thriller Writers since 1940, First Series (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 87)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.87

British Mystery and Thriller Writers Since 1960 (Dictionary of Literary Biography; v. 276)
LOCKWOOD Reference PS128 .D5 v.276

Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary
LOCKWOOD Reference PR830.D4 G74 1994


Academe in Mystery and Detective Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography
LOCKWOOD Book Collection Z1231 .F4 K73 2000

American Mystery and Detective Novels: A Reference Guide
LOCKWOOD Book Collection PS374 .D4 L34 1999

A Catalogue of Crime
LOCKWOOD Book Collection PN3448 .D4 B37 1989

Crime, Detective, Espionage, Mystery, and Thriller Fiction & Film: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Critical Writing through 1979
LOCKWOOD Reference Z5917.D5 S55

Crime Fiction Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography
LOCKWOOD Reference Z2014.F4 J63

Crime Fiction II: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749-1990
LOCKWOOD Reference Z2014.F4 H83 1994

Magill's Critical Survey of Mystery and Detective Fiction
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3448.D4 C75 1988

Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography
LOCKWOOD Reference Z5917.D5 C69 1989

Murder-- by Category: A Subject Guide to Mystery Fiction
LOCKWOOD Reference Z2014.F4 M34 1991

Mystery Index: Subjects, Settings, and Sleuths of 10,000 Titles
LOCKWOOD Reference PR830 .D4 O43 1987

Mystery and Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage
LOCKWOOD Reference PR830 .D4 M97 1998

Reference and Research Guide to Mystery and Detective Fiction
LOCKWOOD Book Collection PN3448 .D4 B59 2004

Sleuths, Sidekicks and Stooges: An Annotated Bibliography of Detectives, Their Assistants and Their Rivals in Crime, Mystery and Adventure Fiction, 1795-1995
LOCKWOOD Reference Z5917 .D5 G74 1997

The Subject is Murder: A Selective Subject Guide to Mystery Fiction
LOCKWOOD Book Collection Z1231.D47 M46 1986

Criticism (Print Resources)

British Women Mystery Writers: Authors of Detective Fiction with Female Sleuths LOCKWOOD Book Collection: PR888 .D4 H33 2002

Detecting Men: Masculinity and the Hollywood Detective Film
LOCKWOOD Book Collection: PN1995.9 .D4 G38 2006

The Devil Himself: Villainy in Detective Fiction and Film
LOCKWOOD Book Collection: PR830 .D4 D45 2002

Modern Mystery, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Writers
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3503 .M526 1993

Nineteenth-century Literature Criticism
LOCKWOOD Reference PN761 .N5 100

Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3448 .D4 A16 2001

Trouble is their business: Private Eyes in Fiction, Film, and Television, 1927-1988 LOCKWOOD Book Collection P96 .D4 C66 1990

Twentieth-century Crime and Mystery Writers
LOCKWOOD Reference PN3448.D4 T88 1991

Twentieth-century Literary Criticism
LOCKWOOD Reference PN771 .G27

Criticism (Online Databases)

ABELL - the MHRA's (Modern Humanities Research Association) Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature - contains over 750,000 records covering monographs, periodical articles, critical editions of literary works, book reviews, collections of essays and doctoral dissertations published anywhere in the world from 1920 onwards. ABELL also includes links to the full text of over 60 journals from 1998 to the present

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Leads to citations with bibliographical references for articles from over 1,100 journals, as well as links to the full-text of articles if available. The database contains searchable, full-length, English-language author abstracts.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
Indexes over 11 million biographical sketches in current and important retrospective reference sources. Included are biographical dictionaries, "who's whos," subject encyclopedias and indexes that cover individuals, both dead and living, from every field, geographic area, and time period. BGMI does not index periodical articles or book-length biographies on individuals.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB)
Provides full-text access to over 9,000 critical and biographical essays on British and American authors from all eras and genres. Also provides lists of additional readings about the authors, such as published interviews and biographies.
Note: DLB can be searched in conjunction with Contemporary Authors and Contemporary Literary Criticism. Select "Search all Literature Databases" on main DLB search page.

Academic Search Complete
Provides coverage of articles from thousands of scholarly, trade, and general-interest periodicals, including full text for more than 3,600 peer-reviewed publications. Subject coverage includes literary topics.

Literature Resource Center
A Complete Literature reference database designed for undergraduate students. Much of the Information is full-text. Electronic version of biographical, bibliographical and contextual information on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism).

MLA International Bibliography
The MLA International Bibliography, which is compiled by the
Modern Language Association of America contains citations to books, journal articles and dissertations published on literature, modern languages, linguistics, and folklore.

Periodicals Index Online (PIO)
Formerly PCI - Periodicals Content Index,  indexes over 5,000 academic and popular periodicals published from as early as the late 17th century through 1995 (or last date of publication) in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. 

Research & Writing Tips

Research Tips

Writer's Handbook

Additional Library Guides

  • The George Kelley Paperback and Pulp Fiction Collection
    Comprised of over 25,000 pulp fiction books and magazines. Currently the collection is housed in Special Collections at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
  • Ancient Egypt in Mysteries and Thrillers
    Lists mysteries and thrillers that feature significant elements drawn from ancient, and most especially pharaonic, Egypt.

  • Crime Thru Time
    Web site dedicated to Historical Mysteries.
  • The Detective and the Toga
    Guide to Ancient Roman mysteries
  • Mystery Short Fiction  
    A work in progress. The goal is to list all mystery short fiction published in English since 1990. 
  • Mystery Writers of America (MWA)
    “MWA the premier organization for mystery and crime writers, professionals allied to the crime writing field, aspiring crime writers, and folks who just love to read crime fiction.”