Quite a few classic novels, as you will have seen in our recent post, are available to download to your Kindle completely free of charge.
However, if you’re looking for a bit more choice, you don’t need to break the bank. For less than the price of a pint of beer, you can indulge in a very good read indeed.
Take crime thrillers: you might be surprised to learn that you can own every single Sherlock Holmes mystery (all 60 of them) for less than 80p. Which roughly equates to two mouthfuls of Peroni.
We’ve compiled a list of 15 books below that includes works by Agatha Christie, Charles Dickens and John Grisham. It turns out that your £2 (or less) can get a bit of everything, from serial killers to giant white slug overlords…
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes stories were so in demand in the late Victorian era that the author got fed up with writing them. When his attempt to kill Holmes in 1893’s The Final Problem (by throwing him over the Reichenbach Falls) provoked public dismay, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was forced to revive the character. The Holmes novel that followed, 1902’s The Hound Of The Baskervilles, remains one of the all-time classics of the genre. This book offers all 60 Holmes mysteries (four novels and 56 short stories) for just 77p.
Clouds Of Witness
By Dorothy L. Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers’ aristocratic sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey is the ultimate British gent. A fine cricketer and gifted academic (he got a First at Oxford), he divides his time equally between whizzing about the countryside in fancy Daimlers and solving cryptic murder cases. Basically, he’s got the glitz of Gatsby crossed with the swashbuckle of Lord Flashheart, with the grey cells of Poirot dolloped on top. A hero, for only £0.76p.
By Harlan Coben
Harlan Coben published his first novel, Play Dead, in 1990. Since then he has gone on to write 27 thrillers, including the Myron Bolitar series, where the central character is an ex-Basketball star and sports agent turned sleuth. 2007’s The Woods, which is currently available for free on Amazon, picks up the case of four teenagers who dared to go for a walk in the woods one night…
The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
By Charles Dickens
The Mystery Of Edwin Drood remains a mystery in itself. Dickens’ final novel, it was only half completed when he died in September 1870, leaving the author’s intended ending and the identity of the murderer tantalisingly open-ended.
The Woman In White
By Wilkie Collins
A friend of Charles Dickens, Collins was a playwright and novelist who caused a stir with this, his fifth novel, in 1859. Widely cited as one of the first examples of detective fiction, The Woman In White still shocks and excites as much as it did 150 years ago.
By James Herbert
The horror novels of the late James Herbert blend sci-fi and the supernatural into terrifying (and brilliantly silly) tales. This book, from 1979, is the sequel to his debut novel The Rats. It follows the story of mutated rodents who forage for human flesh to feed to their white slug overlord. All for 99p!
By Peter Straub
When four Vietnam Vets meet up to reminisce over old times, talk soon turns to a mysterious series of unsolved murders. Are they linked? And has the serial killer lost the taste for blood? Before they know it, the four friends are embroiled in a race against time…
By Stella Rimington
If you want an authentic espionage thriller to get your teeth into, you want it to be written by someone who knows a thing or two about spying. Handily, Stella Rimington does. She was director general of MI5 from 1992-1996. The Geneva Trap is one of eight novels featuring MI5 agent Liz Carlyle, a sharply observed and believable heroine.
by Peter James
No stranger to the subject of crime thrillers, James gives Dead Simple a chilling edge by basing his character Detective Superintendent Roy Grace on a man he once met. Accomplished at solving crimes that happen to others, he's unable to explain the mystery of his wife who vanished into thin air nine years ago. Twisting, turning and all the more gut wrenching when you consider this isn't a million miles away from being a true story.
By C. J. Sansom
An historical slant on a detective novel. Henry VIII has proclaimed himself 'Supreme Head of the Church' and the country is waking up to savage new laws, rigged trials and the greatest network of informers ever seen. Dr Matthew Shardlake, lawyer and long-time supporter of Reform, has been sent by Cromwell into an atmosphere of treachery and death in an effort to catch the killer of Commissioner Robin Singleton. An historical who dunnit, so to speak.
Because The Night
By James Ellroy
James Ellroy is the master of LA noir. His novels move at a rattling pace with prose that’s as quickfire and on-edge as the characters he portrays. Because The Night is the second in his Det Sgt Lloyd Hopkins trilogy, where the hero discovers that two apparently unconnected murders are linked via a deranged psychiatrist…
By James Patterson & Marshall Karp
A celebrity-obsessed killer is on the loose in New York. With such high-profile victims, comes high-pressure. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald must act quickly to catch this psychopath with a flair for theatre.
By Jo Nesbo
Norwegian Nesbo is best known for his novels starring Detective Harry Hole of the Oslo Crime Squad. A hard-drinker, a heavy-smoker and a loner, Hole is nevertheless a brilliant detective – the Rebus of the fjords, if you will. This, the most recent Hole novel, finds him tracking a serial cop-killer…
By MJ Arlidge
Endorsed by those heavyweight thinkers of modern Britain, Richard and Judy Finnegan, but still actually quite good, Eeny Meeny is a chilling murder tale. A serial killer is abducting pairs of victims and only letting one of them live. DI Helen Grace is on the case…
By Eva Hudson
Run Girl is a novella that tells the backstory of Ingrid Skyberg, an FBI agent posted to the US Embassy in London. Though young, she’s resourceful and determined – skills she’ll need when up against a sinister group of extremists. A gripping prequel to Hudson’s two full Skyberg novels…