Summer Reading List: 7 Mysteries Based in Texas

This summer brings another crop of Texas mystery novels, filled with industrious sheriffs, viperish housewives, and the occasional kidnapped orphan.
Wed July 17, 2013 9:15 am

The state of Texas has long been a hotbed for crime fiction, as evidenced by the enduring reputations of two the greatest noir novelists of the twentieth century. Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth in 1921 and set much of her debut novel, Strangers on a Train (1950), in the state; Jim Thompson spent his high school years in Fort Worth in the 1920s and explored the rotting underbelly of small-town Texas in books like Pop. 1280 (1964) and The Killer Inside Me (1952).

In recent decades, the likes of James Lee Burke, David Lindsey and Rick Riordan (who wrote a number of mysteries set in San Antonio before creating his popular young adult Percy Jackson books) have carried forth the tradition, conjuring twisty tales of sin and corruption set against an unforgiving Texas backdrop.

Texans, as any bookseller in the state can attest,

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