My 5 Favorite Places to Find Free Mystery Books

5 Ways to Find Free Mystery Books

I read a lot of books each year. If I bought each book I read it would put a serious dent in our budget. Luckily, if you know where to look there are a lot of options, both online and offline, to get free (or heavily discounted) quality mysteries and thrillers.

Here are my 5 favorite places to hunt down free mystery and thriller books.


1 The Library

I’m always bemused (maybe slightly horrified) that more people don’t use their local library. Though I was sslightly reassured by a recent survey that said people went to the library twice as much as the movies but that might say more about the current move going experience than the library and literacy.

And it’s not just about the physical books anymore. The library is a great place to start looking for free books for your Kindle or other ereader, and so many libraries participate in digital lending programs now. Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla are three of the most popular apps for digital downloading.


2 BookFunnel or MyBookCave

With the indie publishing revolution there has been an explosion in online communities and services where authors can publish materials for readers to find. You might need to be a little discerning (pro tip: the quality of the cover goes a long way toward tipping you off if the author is serious about his craft).

Two of my favorite places to browse, explore and download new mysteries and thrillers are BookFunnel and MyBookCave. You can browse by genre (it’s not just mysteries) and find all sorts of different promotional groups set up by authors with like-minded books.


3 Public Domain Sites

Copyright doesn’t last forever. If you enjoy the classics or golden age detective fiction, you can probably read it for free. Project Gutenberg is one of the most popular public domain collectors, and compiles books that have entered the public domain and converts them to digital books available to read for free. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Agatha Christie, there are plenty of classic free detective stories to choose from. 

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4 The Short Story Project

If you just need something quick for your commute or waiting in the doctor’s office, you might give The Short Story Project a try.This site has free stories available in just about any category. They helpfully break down stories by genre and even hashtag, so you can filter for free mystery books and even see the average time it will take to read. 

They also have free audiobooks and audio short stories available if you are looking to listen as well.


5 Podcasts

Long the home of addictive true crime reporting, there are also some great fictional podcasts you might want to check out. Mystery stories in the form of podcasts are a great way to branch out and mix up your reading to find something new in a fun, episodic format. You might check out Limetown—for fans of government cover-up and secret cities—or Deadly Manners, a closed-room Agatha Christie-style mystery/comedy that features celebrity narrators like Kristen Bell and LeVar Burton in the cast.


That should be enough ideas to help add some quality, and better yet, free, mysteries and thrillers to your TBR pile.


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