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The Third World Mystery Genre

What is a Third World Mystery?

It's a big, big world out there, yet most of the readers in America tend to just read books set in America and England. This leaves a great deal of the world where crime thrives, yet no one reads about it. These mysteries can be anything from cozy to hard-boiled, but they all have a unique culture and diverse characters. Reading about these places is the best way to travel without a passport.

Third World Mystery Characteristics

  • Level of Characterization

    the books are heavy on characterization because most readers are familiar with people who have these customs and beliefs. So the author has to flesh out these characters to make the readers understand them.

  • Level of Plot

    Most of these novels have strong plots where the clues and action stem from the differences in the cultures.

  • Level of Mystery

    Most of these books have a strong mystery. There are elements of clues and typically a murder that must be solved.

  • Level of Suspense

    These books can be suspenseful, since many of these countries are more politically unstable than first world countries. Therefore the stakes can be quite high.

  • Level of Thriller

    There can be strong elements of a thriller. Politics in these countries may not be backed by democracy so police and the government can make for a formidable opponent in getting to the truth.

  • Level of Strangeness

    There's a high level of strangeness because the typical reader is not familiar with the people and customs of third world countries.

  • Level of Violence

    The books may have violence; this in large part depends on how the author has approached the subject matter.

  • Level of Action

    There may be action, depending on the type of crime novel being written.

  • Degree of Thriller, Suspense, Crime, or Mystery in this the Third World Mysteries Subgenre

    This subgenre falls mainly in the mystery genre. It's likely to have a puzzle at the middle of the story; however, there can be strong suspense elements in saving the village, region or country from harm and may have thriller elements if the crimes are political. There may be crime elements as well if the book looks at the impact of crime on the people and region.

Related MYSTERY Subgenres



  • None.

Third World Mystery isn't for you IF...

like to read about familiar surroundings, don't like travel

Popular Third World Mystery Books