Welcome to Pittsburgh: Mysteries and Thrillers

Tessa Staff Image

Logo shows the words "For Adults" in center surrounded by stars. The words "Staff Picks" appears in the lower right corner. A thumbs-up appears in the lower left corner and a CLP symbol appears in the upper right corner.

Reading a story set in the place where you live or have lived has a special appeal. If you grew up in the city and its environs, the story can give you a new point of view, possibly from a character whose life is different than yours.

If you are new to the area, this type of reading gives you an insight into the mythologies that have built up around the place. Or, it can provide a source of good-natured nitpicking with friends if you think the author got something wrong in their portrayal.

Since mystery, crime and suspense stories are a big and popular genre, it’s no surprise that they are also the biggest genre of Pittsburgh-based fiction. Literary crime stories, cozy mystery series, hardboiled detectives and all kinds of Mafia families are represented here.

Check out our other Pittsburgh fiction lists for Realistic and Contemporary fiction, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and Historical fiction, too!

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org.

Born of Sin

In alternating time periods, the story of Jacob Dewitt, abandoned by his stepfather and left to grow up in Pittsburgh as a drug runner and burgeoning spiritual leader, is told. 

Disquiet Heart

Edgar Allan Poe accepts an invitation to visit Pittsburgh with his young friend Augie. Once there, with Poe distracted by their wealthy benefactor, Augie begins to investigate a series of recent killings within the merchant class. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on Hoopla.

Measure Twice

Struggling with trauma and alcoholism, a Pittsburgh homicide detective decides to commit acts of redemption to break free, some of which include trying to catch a serial killer. 

Never Sorry

Leigh Koslow’s part time job at the Pittsburgh zoo was just supposed to get her some extra spending money, but instead she discovers a crime scene behind the tiger run – and realizes she knows the victim. Now she has to clear her name from suspicion by investigating the case. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Odds

Four children, abandoned by their stepmother and trying to survive by themselves on the North Side, come across a wounded man and decide to help him evade the law and an angry drug dealer. Meanwhile, two detectives investigate a suspicious death by overdose of a young boy. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception

Roxy Abruzzo wants nothing to do with her Uncle Carmine’s shady dealings and concentrates instead on her business and her teenage daughter. But when she gets caught up in the murder of the heir to a steel fortune, she needs to ask for help from that side of the family. You can also check out this title as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Throughway

John Parker’s world is his job as constable for the City of Pittsburgh, but when he is asked to capture a group of runaway slaves, he finds himself morally at odds with his work and must choose to either uphold the law or abandon it. 

To Brew or Not to Brew

Maxine “Max” O’Hara is excited to finally be opening her new brew pub in Pittsburgh, and then her assistant brewmaster is strangled in one of the brew vats. With her dad being a homicide detective, Max’s instincts kick in and she can’t help but try to find the killer and save her business. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Tonight in the Rivers of Pittsburgh

The governor’s limousine crashes through a bridge railing and into the Monongahela River, leaving him presumed dead. A newspaper editor and state police commissioner discover his family’s shocking secret and have to decide what to do with the information. 

Warning Signs

A mysterious disease is affecting the staff and patients of Angels of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. Resident Amanda Mason realizes that she must work to solve the mystery before she succumbs to the disease.