Devon Whodunnits and Crime Novels

Crime novels and ‘whodunnits’ set in Devon range from the modern with Anne Cleeves, through to Sherlock Holmes, stopping off with Agatha Christie along the way.

The Long Call (Two Rivers), by Anne Cleeves

The Long Call is the captivating first novel in the Two Rivers series from Sunday Times bestseller and creator of Vera and Shetland, Ann Cleeves.

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

Evil Under the Sun (Poirot), by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie’s exotic seaside mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

It was not unusual to find the beautiful bronzed body of the sun-loving Arlena Stuart stretched out on a beach, face down. Only, on this occasion, there was no sun… she had been strangled.

Ever since Arlena’s arrival at the resort, Hercule Poirot had detected sexual tension in the seaside air. But could this apparent ‘crime of passion’ have been something more evil and premeditated altogether?

Other Agatha Christie books set in Devon include:

  • The A.B.C Murders
  • And Then There Were None

Betrayal, by Clare Francis

For businessman Hugh Wellesley, the violent waking nightmare begins with the sparse report in the morning newspaper. A woman’s body recovered from the River Dart in Devon . . . identified as that of Sylvie Mathieson . . . the corpse stabbed and bound . . .

Should he admit that she had once been his lover? Or let others discover the truth for themselves? Sylvie had always been exotic, unconventional, alluring. Now with her death comes an unexpected betrayal – as another truth emerges which will take even Hugh by surprise.

‘Nail-biting . . . the sort of suspense-charged book that has your eyes still glued to it at four in the morning . . . a gripping good read’ Daily Mail

‘Plenty of suspense and a satisfyingly black denouement’ The Times

‘Clare Francis has serious crime-writing talent’ Mail on Sunday

Available as a book and an audio CD:

The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles is Arthur Conan Doyle’s third stand alone novel with detective Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes returns from his duel with Professor Moriarty and is called to solve a death on the moors of south western England. Assisted by his partner Dr. John Watson, Sherlock must pit his famous skill of deduction against an ancient curse and a demonic hound. “Presume Nothing.”“A strong wind sang sadly as it bent the trees in front of the Hall. A half moon shone through the dark, flying clouds on to the wild and empty moor.”

Afterglow, by Bernard Knight

1192. Returning from the Holy Land at the end of the Third Crusade with Richard the Lionheart, King of England, Sir John de Wolfe, a Devon knight, finds England simmering with rebellion.

Discovering a body washed up on the shores of the River Exe, its throat cut, Sir John deduces that he was a king’s courier.

Tasked by Hubert Walter, the Chief Justiciar, to find out why the man died and who killed him, Sir John de Wolfe finds himself drawn unwillingly into affairs of state. His new career as a king’s coroner is about to begin . . .

The Documents in the Case, by Dorothy L. Sayers

Crime novel from Dorothy L Sayers, creator of the classic Lord Peter Wimsey series – a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

The bed was broken and tilted grotesquely sideways. Harrison was sprawled over in a huddle of soiled blankets. His mouth was twisted . . .

Harrison had been an expert on deadly mushrooms. How was it then that he had eaten a large quantity of death-dealing muscarine? Was it an accident? Suicide? Or murder?

The documents in the case seemed to be a simple collection of love notes and letters home. But they concealed a clue to the brilliant murderer who baffled the best minds in London.

‘She combined literary prose with powerful suspense, and it takes a rare talent to achieve that. A truly great storyteller’ Minette Walters

Murder at the Dolphin Hotel: A gripping cozy historical mystery (A Miss Underhay Mystery)

June 1933. Kitty Underhay is a modern, independent woman from the top of her shingle bob to the tip of her t-strap heels. She prides herself on the reputation of her family’s ancient hotel on the blustery English coast. But then a body is found, rooms are ransacked and rumours begin to circulate that someone is on the hunt for a valuable stolen ruby – a ruby that Kitty’s mother may have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. Before she can do more than flick a duster, Kitty finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation.

When the local police inspector shows no signs of solving the shocking crimes plaguing the hotel, Kitty steps briskly into the breach. Together with ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, her new hotel security officer, she is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the name of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Could there be a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and L.B. Hathaway will love this unputdownable whodunnit.

For classic literature and other novels set in Devon, see separate pages.

Devon in Books home page