The Erotic Mystery Catalog
This probably comes as no surprise, but the field of erotic mystery writers isn’t exactly bursting at the seams. Sure, there are tons of thrillers or mysteries out there that have an element of sex to them. But when it comes to stories where the sex is just as important as–or even more important than–the rest of the plot, well, those are a little harder to find. That’s why I decided to put together this catalog.
I have described my work as that thing you never knew you wanted. But when you see actually see it, it all clicks. It’s kind of the niche of all niches. If you’re a reader and you like this peculiar blend of murder and sexual titillation, maybe you want more titles on which to slake your newly discovered thirst. The bad news is it’s a fairly small field. The good news is it’s growing, and I want to make sure it keeps growing.
That’s why I put together this list of other erotic mystery/noir authors. It’s not very big, but I hope that will change in the future. Most of the authors included are indie/self-published, but there’s a couple trad-pub folks as well. If you know of an author I missed–or you’re an erotic mystery author yourself–drop me a line in the comments or through the contact page and let me know. I’ll be happy to add you to the list.
Now let’s get into the catalog. Click on any images of the books to go to their Amazon listings.
Lawrence Block (Writing as Jill Emerson)
If you’re a student of the mystery/crime genre, you know Lawrence Block. He’s the author of over 100 books with a career spanning six decades. He’s won numerous awards over the years and was bestowed the title of “Grand Master” by the Mystery Writers of America. More than that, he got his start writing erotica in the 50s an 60s (under pseudonyms, of course). The reason he’s on this list is because of a book called “Getting Off: a Novel of Sex and Violence” that was published under his erotica pseudonym, Jill Emerson. It’s one of the titles that started me down this erotic mystery road. It involves a woman named Kit Toliver–a grifter-turned serial killer who decides to ensure her “number” is reduced zero–by killing all the men she slept with before. It’s not exactly realistic, but it is pretty entertaining.
Veronica Caldera isn’t an exclusive erotic mystery writer. Most of her work falls into the Hotwife or Hotwife-adjacent kinks. She does, however, have one of the longest-running series in the genre with her Hotwife Detective line. So far it stands at 7 titles total, but allegedly there’s a book 8 due out sometime soon. The series follows Tara and Erick Hills, a married couple who run their own private detective agency. As you might guess from the title, their marriage is an open one, and their cases segue into all sorts of sexy encounters and extramarital escapades. I haven’t read these myself, but they look quite promising.
The warning on the man’s website says, “If you’re looking for straight smut, this ain’t it. Shane Castle writes erotic fiction with real substance. Sure, the sex is as hot as the hinges of hell, but the tale will tickle your brain too.” I don’t disagree with that statement. So far he’s got just one erotic noir detective tale under his belt, but he promises many more in the Double-Detective series. And if Dirty Desires is any indication, they’ll be something to look forward to. The “hero” in this story is a libidinous private detective named Marley (who is continually confused with another “Marlowe”). He’s hired by the wife of a cheating mob boss to track down the other woman he’s been banging on the side, but she has no money to pay him herself and instead has to rely on her sultry charms as legal tender. Screwing a gangster’s wife and sticking your nose in his business–what could go wrong? Luckily for us, enough of the sexy bits go right for Mr. Marley, which makes for a very hot read.
The name is obviously a pseudonym, and there hasn’t been a book in the series published since 2019, but the Suddenly Well Endowed series deserves mention in this list on the merits of the covers alone. I mean, look at that thing! The series takes the mashup of erotic mystery and layers a modern fairytale and humor onto it as well. Private detective Rod Steele comforts a jilted wife (insert sexy-time), only to be rewarded with the granting of a single wish. He wishes for a ginormous dick, and well… things devolve from there–in the best way possible. There are 4 books in the series, all of them novelette length or there-abouts. They’re light on the mystery and heavy on the sex, but somehow I think you’ll give Mr. Gizz a pass on that.
Michael A. Hawk
Who doesn’t love a good pun in an erotic author’s pen name? Mr. Hawk is new on the publishing scene, but I definitely hope he sticks around a while. His first tile, a novella titled Into the Black Widow’s Den, features libidinous detective Danny Irons (hmm… why does that name sound familiar?) as he takes on a case for a beautiful client whose friend has started working at the eponymous strip club, The Black Widow’s Den. His new client is sparse on details, but without any other options for incoming revenue, Danny Irons takes the case. The investigation takes him into the club where he uncovers its dark secret (and engages in more than a few sexual escapades along the way).
Jordyn Kross has a lot of books out there, and the majority aren’t erotic mysteries. But she deserves a mention on this list for her Dirty Daisy series. Whereas a lot of the books on the list are more grim and brooding–as only Noir can be–Ms. Kross’s books are a bit lighter fare. Oh, there are dead bodies and mysteries to solve, but they’re wrapped in more of a cozy mystery package. The cover style tells you everything you need to know about that. The “Daisy” in the title isn’t a character, though. It’s actually the town in Texas, and the main characters are amateur sleuths Mikaela and Ryder. Mikaela is a stranded travel reporter, Ryder a recent transplant to town. But they get caught up in the mystery of a murdered stripper and helping the town’s clueless police chief to catch the killer as they… help themselves to each other.
Mikey Lee’s Sin series is a four-book quadrilogy (is that a word?) of novellas that follows SVU detective Seth Lane and his wife Zee. The author describes these books as “erotic police procedurals,” which provides yet another flavor of erotic mystery. The fourth book in the series was published in 2018, so I doubt any additional titles are forthcoming. However, they provide a fun mashup of crime, whodunnit, and sexual escapades that deserve a place on the list. These novella-length stories give just enough depth while also going down like candy.
William D. Prystauk
William Prystauk’s Kink Noir series of novels is set in modern day New York City and centers around private detective Denny Bowie. Well, maybe calling him a “detective” is a a bit generous. He’s a legwork man, the guy who knocks on doors and trolls the internet for days on end searching for leads. Denny is also a punk rocker and sadomasochist, which stacks the deck against him in his profession. It all makes for a fresh and kinky twist on the down-and-out Noir gumshoe tale. In the first of four novels in the series, Denny sets out to solve the murder of his childhood friend and fetish photographer, Tommy Heat. The investigation takes him into New York’s vibrant (and dark) S&M community, which, well… use your imagination. Or don’t and go grab a copy to see for yourself.
Special Assignment is Skylar Quinn’s first foray into erotic mystery, but it promises to be a good one. Skylar has released a number of other titles in the past, but they were more straight erotica. Her new title centers around a couple of transplants, Jake and Charlie, who wind up in California, both running from their pasts. Charlie takes up hooking to pay the bills, and life is calm until what happens inside one seemingly friendly hotel. Jake and Charlie come face-to-face with each other and their past. Will they both overcome the shadows that haunt each of them? Guess you’ll have to read it to find out.
OK, this is a weird one, but hear me out. Ms. (Mr.?) Quintain only has one book published, but it’s a doozy. It was originally published in 2012, so I highly doubt any sequels are forthcoming. However, the sheer scope and imagination of it bears mentioning here. The plot is a mashup of a Victorian mystery a la Agatha Christie, a world-within-worlds fantasy realm like Neverwhere, and extreme BDSM kink. The titular Viscountess is the primary detective of the story, and she recruits Severen as her slave/sub to help solve a most urgent case. The leader of the powerful Algophilia Society has been murdered, and it’s up to them to solve the case. The investigation takes them to historical locales that never existed including Victorian London where fox hunts take place (where no animals are involved) and a version of feudal Japan with monstrous magical dildos. It’s… well, a lot. But overall it’s well done and deserves a look if you’re into that particular kink.
You might’ve heard of “Zane,” the eponymous name of one of the pioneers of urban erotica from back in the 90s. Well, she’s got a line with Simon & Schuster called Zane Presents, and Shakir Rashaan is one of the many authors she “discovered” and helped promote. Rashaan has a shit-ton of books out there. He doesn’t specialize in only kinky mysteries, but nearly everything is sultry and dark in one way or another. His Kink P.I. series, though, is what earns him a spot on this list. His protagonist, Dominic Law, is a former Atlanta PD detective-turned-private investigator who gets sucked into all sorts of cases within the city’s kink subculture and sorts his way through them by getting up close and very personal.
I don’t know much about Raven Sisters. There’s no author page, and all her erotic mysteries were published in 5 years ago in 2018. And yet she definitely deserves a place in this list for the three erotic mystery tales she’s produced thus far. They’re not a series. All of them are standalone stories; however, each features that particular mix of sultry heat and mysterious tension. Partners in Crime features sexy suburban couple Karissa and Eric. They do crime. Blindfolded Justice tells the story of a sequestered juror who gets into a hot and sticky situation during a murder trial. Firm Pressure is all about Corporate CEO Colette Simpson who tries to figure out who is sabotaging her PR firm while trying to resist the attentions of her newest consultant. As I said, very different plots, but all with a common mysterious theme. Even though I doubt any additional titles will be forthcoming, they still deserve a look.
Hailing from Baltimore, SJ Stone is a multi-genre author who’s been at it for some 15 years. Two things earned him a spot on this list: his Medium fiction and his upcoming series, No Mystery Inc., featuring Baltimore’s sexiest and most adventurous P.I., Sesame Swallow. The Sesame Swallow books won’t be out until the end of 2023, but Mr. Stone promises a run of no less that ten (ten!) novels. I’ve seen some of the Medium posts that formed the germ of an idea that became No Mystery Inc., and believe me when I say I’m looking forward to when the first title hits shelves. Until that time, you can check out some of SJ’s medium fiction, which are dark, gritty, and sexy in their own right.
I saved the best for last (isn’t alphabetical order a bitch?). Truly, I can’t recommend Mandy Valentine enough. Her Secret Sins, Inc series is just getting off the ground, but it promises to be a fun ride. There’s already one short story to be had (for free!) and her first novella, The Simple Art of Lust, hits Amazon in July 2023. Anytime you can do an erotic riff off a Raymond Chandler title, you’ve got my attention. A second novella and a full-length novel are also in the works, so it definitely won’t be a one-and-done for Ms. Valentine. The series follows P.I. Laci Kicklighter as she investigates murders that occur at the intersection of crime and sexy. She has a spunky (and sexually liberated) assistant as well as a handsome mystery writer for a husband, which makes for a plethora of sexy hijinks. Trust me, this is one you will not want to miss. Mandy asked me to blurb her The Simple Art of Lust for her, and I couldn’t say no. It’s that good. The book, and Mandy herself, has my highest possible recommendation. Also check out her short story, The Bullet That Found Its Mark, free when you sign up for her newsletter (there’s a form about midway down the page).