You have entered a world of fictional crime and murder, where greed, avarice and selfish desire lurk in the minds of normal folks and spur them to commit heinous crimes.

It is also a world of detectives – private eyes and maverick cops – who see what mere mortals overlook, uncover hidden clues and shift through evidence to bring the guilty to justice.

  • Innocent victims caught up in a nightmare of false accusations and dangerous events beyond their control.
  • Little old ladies snooping through cupboards, peering through hedgerows and into the lives of genteel society to uncover dark secrets.
  • Daring crooks vying for one great score and the determined detectives in hot pursuit.
  • Crazed criminals, daring detectives, damsels in distress, pernicious plots, malicious murder, and tantilizing tales!

Are you prepared to delve deep into the dark underworld of literary crime & murder?


Allow me to introduce myself …

Atticus, the Murderous Crow
Who is Atticus?

I am Atticus — a.k.a. the murderous crow — the spirit of literary minds like Edgar Allen Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, G. K. Chesterton, Cleve F. Adams, Ben Benson & more!

I am your guide, Armchair Detective, into this realm of classic and out-of-print detective, murder, mystery & crime fiction.

I invite you to join me in uncovering and rediscovering these thrilling stories and authors before they are lost to time.

As you read these short stories, novellas and novels written by both the famous and the obscure, you honor and preserve the spirit of the great men and women who authored these great tales of murder, mystery & crime.

Besides, they’re just fun to read on a dark and stormy night!

The Official Guide to

Tales of Murder, for readers with time to kill!

from the pages of MURDERWIKI

Armchair Detective — /ˈärmˌCHer dəˈtektiv/ (noun)
A fan of murder mystery & crime fiction who enjoys reading and solving literary crimes.
Armchair Detectives Bureau [A.D.B.]
An exclusive club for armchair detectives who are passionate about preserving classic & out-of-print murder mystery & crime stories, and receive a weekly digest of downloadable short stories and special members-only discounts on novellas & novels!
A.D.B. CaseFiles
A free weekly email digest of new stories & more; for Armchair Detectives Bureau members only!

Here, you’ll find a complete guide to everything offered on the Tales of Murder site, from quick brain teasers [like DEATH BY GAS] to test your mettle as a literary detective to thrilling mysteries [try THE SPIDER LILY] to wile away your holiday or lazy weekend … and everything in between!

Like a You-Are-Here guide at your favorite amusement park, this section is designed to orient you to each main page on the site: including the type of content you'll find there and a few recent examples of new content.

Just review the sections and click your choice for what fits your need today!

And as always, if you get lost or need help, just click the START HERE tab on the top menu to return to this guide.

Review the entire site and out what it means to be a true Armchair Detective and maybe join the A.D.B. … if you think you're up to the challenges ahead!

Atticus Homepage

When all else fails, go HOME. There you'll find the latest novels, novellas, short stories and MurderWiki articles available on the site.

When you're looking for something new, this is the perfect place to start. You'll find all the latest and greatest at HOME so be sure to bookmark it and visit often. You really should come home more often, you know!

Plus special deals and opportunities you won't see anywhere else on the site!


A depository for the finest writing about the murder mystery & crime fiction genres, from in depth essays and articles about all facets of the mystery & crime genre from explaining the origins of the short story to detailed studies of all aspects of The Techniques of the Mystery, to definitions of obscure terms like "flivver" or "gams".

If you want to know more about this exciting genre of fiction, check out the MURDERWIKI.

A few to get you started:

  • Taxonomy of the Mystery — a complete list of sub-genres, with definitions of each and example stories. Everything from amateur vs. professional sleuths, noir vs. hardboiled, cozy, furry, you-name-it … 36 different sub-genres defined!

  • Plots: The Problem & Solution of a Detective Story, Long or Short by Carolyn Wells
    The reader who is unversed in the arts and crafts of detective fiction cannot be expected to value the skill shown in the great presentations of The Problem and its Solution.

  • The Modern Short Story by W. J. Dawson
    The point at which any true appreciation of the short story begins is the clear perception that it is a distinct form of art.


Short Stories

The SHORT STORY is a story of less than 1 hours read, or as Edgar Allen Poe, the father of the modern short story said, a short story deals with a single character, a single event, a single emotion, or the series of emotions called forth by a single situation. It is the single effect, complete and self-contained and thus has the effect of “totality” or as Poe called it, “the unity of impression.”

Running from short 5-minute reads up to about an hour, these stories are free to read online and stories longer than a 30-45 minute read are available to download as ePub or Kindle files for reading offline at your leisure.

My Favorites include:

  • The Brand of Cain by Ward Sterling, about a gypsy who can see into the minds of men and see the darkness of their deeds. Can Dwyer use the gypsie's skill to unmask the murderer of Mr. Fellows?

  • The Con is Green by Joe Archibald, a Dizzy Duo Yarn in which Snooty Piper, the Beantown crimehound sees only green but still manages to catch the killer. A fun and funny yarn!

  • The Parting Gift by Frank Ward, about when love goes wrong and turns deadly. Who’s gift will spell the end or will both get what they deserve when Fate takes a hand?



Too long or complex to be a short story, but too short to be called a novel, the NOVELLA is a story that takes the average reader 2–3 hours to complete. It may contain, like the short story the unity of expression or may expand to greater length and multiple episodes, not unlike the longer novel.

These downloadable tales run between just over an hour to an average reading time of 3–4 hours, depending on your reading speed.

Perfect for a rainy evening or a sunny afternoon!

I think you'll like these two:

  • Black Shadows by J. C. Kofoed

    Black Shadows by J. C. Kofoed
    When old man Guerney is found murdered in his locked study, then the prime suspect and a mysterious tattooed man are also found murdered, newspaperman Johnny Suggs is determined to prove Mildred Guerney's innocense and prove himself to his father.

  • The Purple Doom of Dr. Krantz A Dixon Hawke Mystery
    Will Dixon Hawke's wiley wisdom be enough to allow him to penetrate Hitler's inner sanctum and destroy the secret weapon created by Nazi scientist Dr. Krantz or will he be found out as a British Spy?



A long form of narrative that, by definition, the NOVEL cannot be read at one sitting (although with the right story, like The Spider Lily, it can be done!).

It carries the story from beyond the brief single encounter of Poe’s short story and enables both the author and the reader to explore the subject in greater depth. It often entails numerous subplots and threads that inform the primary plot.

The typical novel will require multiple sessions over the course of 5 or more hours combined. Perfect for that summer beach read!

The latest edge-of-your-seat novels:

  • And Sudden Death by Cleve F. Adams

    And Sudden Death by Cleve F. Adams
    Rex McBride, LA private detective and self-proclaimed heel, needs to forget. He needs to forget his last case. And he needs the money that Mr. Vickers offers him … ten percent of the dough that disappeared with Nordstrom after he looted the Southern Counties Buildings & Loan.

  • The Blonde in Black by Ben Benson

    The Blonde in Black by Ben Benson
    Sex was Junie's trademark, the wiggle, the tight black dress, the sultry voice. But now George Pringle, president of Micro Records, is dead … did Junie hit a sour note and kill the man who made her singing career?

  • The Spider Lily by Bruno Fischer

    The Spider Lily by by Bruno Fischer
    Alec Linn returns home after two years in the Air Force, fighting the Japs in India to find his wife, Lily, not waiting for him at the train station and his family unwilling to tell him where she is. Then Lily turns up dead and Alec is accused of her murder.