15 Publishers of Mystery Novels That Accept Submissions Without an Agent

Written by Emily Harstone | May 2, 2016

The crime novel is the great moral literature of
our time.”
JEAN-PATRICK MANCHETTE

 

“Nobody reads a mystery to get to the middle. They
read it to get to the end. If it’s a letdown, they won’t
buy anymore. The first page sells that book. The last
page sells your next book.”
MICKEY SPILLANE

Mystery is one of those genres that over the years has managed to accumulate a huge number of sub-genres. From cozy mysteries,  literary mysteries, and crime novels to ones focused on conspiracies, now there is a mystery sub-genre for almost every reader’s taste.

Most of the following publishers focus on one or two subgenres of mystery, although other companies are much larger multigenre publishers that are open to mystery books, as well as books from other genres.

To learn more about any of the publishers click on their name in order to read the full review. All reviews include a link to the publisher’s website. Some of the publishers might be currently closed to submissions but the majority are open.

WITNESS Impulse
WITNESS Impulse is a digital first imprint of Harper Collins. They publish a wide variety of mystery novels, including digital editions by some of the most famous mystery writers of all time, including my personal favorite Agatha Christie. However, they also publish new and emerging authors. It is important to note that usually publish print editions of their books. However they always publish the digital version first.

The Poisoned Pen and The Poisoned Pencil
The Poisoned Pen Press is a publisher of mystery novels. The Poisoned Pencil Press is their imprint and it focuses on publishing young adult mystery novels. They have different open reading periods. Both require that their writers be based in the United States.

Crooked Cat
Crooked Cat is a multi-genre e-book publisher, that has six imprints focusing on a variety of subjects, covering the range from young adult to mystery. They are based in the UK and have previously published over eighty books.

Seventh Street Press
Seventh Street Press is the mystery imprint of the established non-fiction publisher Prometheus Books. They are distributed by Random House. They publish only mystery and thrillers, but are open to a variety of sub-genres, including legal thrillers.

Brash Books
Brash Books publishes psychological thrillers, murder mysteries, international espionage, and police procedurals. The publishing company is run by two best selling mystery novelists. They publish emerging and established authors.

WiDo Publishing
A small family run publisher, WiDo publishes fiction and nonfiction books. They are currently particularly interested in science fiction, fantasy, mystery/suspense, and nonfiction essay collections and memoirs.

Hard Case Crime
Hard Case Crime is a well respected and established niche publisher of hard boiled crime novels. The publisher has been featured in a number of respected publications including Time Magazine and The Stranger.

Level Best Books
They are interested the crime fiction in the following categories: mystery, thriller, suspense, historical, traditional, and contemporary.

Black & White
A large established Scottish publisher, they are open to most genres including crime fiction and non-fiction.

Endeavor Press
An e-book publisher based out of the UK, they are open to crime novels and thrillers, as well as most other genres.

BelleBooks/BelleBridge
A successful and established print and e-publisher, they are interested in publishing a wide variety of genres, including mysteries, suspense, and thrillers.

Joffe Book
They publish a number of genres but their primary interests include thrillers, mysteries, and detective stories. They are a small UK based e-publisher.

Felony & Mayhem
Felony & Mayhem, a print publisher that has been around since 2005, has established a good reputation as a publisher of literary mysteries. The work they publish tends to involve academia or international locations.

Beau Coup
Primarily an e-publisher they focus on romance and erotica but are also open to mystery novels with or without a romance element.

Henery Press
Henery Press is a small publisher that focuses on publishing mystery and chick lit. Their mysteries are generally on the cozier side. They publish print and electronic editions of their books. A number of their books have sold well on Amazon. Several have made it onto the USA Today bestseller list. Their books have been spotted in brick and mortar bookstores as well as libraries. A number of their books have won awards, particularly within the mystery genre.