Detective novels are also a popular genre in Malayalam literature, with many authors contributing to these books. Some of the best detective novels in Malayalam include the works of Kottayam Pushpanath, whose gripping tales of investigation and mystery have enthralled generations of readers. His iconic character, Detective Marxin, has become a household name, and his stories often explore themes of crime, corruption, and justice in contemporary society. Another notable author in this genre is T. Padmanabhan, whose stories often feature a range of complex characters and intricate plots that keep readers guessing until the very end. Other authors like K. R. Gouri Amma and T. P. Rajeevan have also made significant contributions to the genre with their unique perspectives and imaginative storytelling. Readers are engaged and entertained from start to finish with the best detective novels in Malayalam literature.
The people who like to read will be curious to know about the list of best detective novels in Malayalam literature. There are not a lot of names to list down. But, the books given below are worth reading.
1. Francis Itty Cora
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The author of the novel Francis Itty Cora is TD Ramakrishnan. He is well known Indian novelist, translator, and also a retired chief controller in the southern railway. His three famous novels are Alpha, Francis Itty Cora, and also Sugandhi Alias Andal Devanayaki.
The story is built around a conspiracy theory about the still existent descendants of the man Francis Itty Cora. He is a person who actively performs certain strange rituals which are unknown to the outsiders of the family.
2. Manjaveyil Maranangal
This novel is a crime thriller that tries to unwind the mysteries of murder. The author of the novel is Benyamin who is one of the prominent writers in Malayalam literature. Above all the famous work of Benyamin is Adujeevitham which was a best-seller novel.
The novel is set on the small island of Diego Garcia. It narrates the life of ‘Christie Andrapper’ who witnesses the murder of an old friend. According to the author, this novel is investigative in nature and also analyses two important deaths.
3. Iruttil Oru Punyalan
Author of the story Iruttil Oru Punyalan is PF Mathews. He is a writer in Malayalam literature and a screenplay writer in the film industry. In addition, it is one of the best-selling Malayalam thriller novels. The story has a strong color of magic realism and also has got horror elements as well. The novel is brilliant for its narrative innovations.
This is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam. It is a perfect metaphor for our own times. Above all, though unveiling a turbulent mindscape, the novel forces readers to search for their own personal meaning. The publisher of the book is DC Books and is available online also.
4. Kanya Mariya
The author of the novel Kanya Mariya is Lajo Jose. He is an Indian writer of Malayalam literature. The uniqueness he poses in every crime thriller and mystery novel of him makes him famous among the readers. The notable works of Lajo Jose include Coffee house, Hydrangea, Ruthinte Lokam, and also Rest in peace.
The main character of the novel is Sister Maria who was a vice principal. She had been fired from the School and got work in another place as a supervisor of an orphanage. In other words, her life of her in that new situation and the mysteries that follow thrill every reader. The publisher of the book is DC Books. This Malayalam crime thriller novel has 174 pages in it. It is available online also and the price of the book is 180 rupees.
5. Avasanathe Penkutty
The author of the book Avasanathe Penkutty is Nadiya Muradh. It is a biographic story of the author which tells about her real-life situations. Above all, the inspiring memoir takes us from her peaceful childhood in a remote village in Iraq through loss and brutality to safety in Germany.
This is one of the best Malayalam autobiographies. The author is an Iraqi human rights activist and also a Nobel Prize Winner of the year 2018. The breathtaking life tale of Nadia Murad makes this autobiography one of the best detective novels in Malayalam.
The author of the novel Kalika is Mohanachandran. He had passed MA history with the first rank from Kerala University. Kalika is the most noted work of the author. However, it is the very first Mystical (Manthrika) novel in Malayalam literature. The novel was filmed by famous director Balachandra Menon.
This novel is unique with its crystal clear characters and patiently developed suspense in the story. The publisher of the book is Current Books, Trissur. This mysterious thriller in Malayalam has 376 pages in it. It is available online also and the price is 305 rupees.
7. Oru CBI Kadha
The author of the novel Oru CBI Kadha is David Joseph, who is an ex-intelligence officer. It is an investigative novel that goes through thrilling story content. The author tries to bring a maximum of the details of every crime story in it. The publisher of the book is Yes Press Books. The novel has 111 pages in it. It is available online also and the price of the book is 126 rupees.
8. Sooryane Aninja Oru Sthree
The author of the story Sooryane Aninja Oru Sthree is KR Meera. It is the story of Jezebel and narrates a woman’s struggle against patriarchy. Jezebel is a maligned woman from the Old Testament. In addition to resonating with biblical allusion, myth, and martyrdom it probes the idea of what crucifixion and redemption mean to women.
The third edition of the novel is available online and its price is 318 rupees. The publisher of the book is DC Books and it has almost 384 pages in it. The author KR Meera is a Malayalam writer and journalist.
9. Ettamathe Velipadu
The author of the novel Ettamathe Velipadu is Anoop Sasikumar. It is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam. Above all, the author made an attempt to write a fantasy thriller in Malayalam literature with all its spirit.
The writer brings the histories and myths of this land alive in the story. The fantasy concepts in the story will really attract readers who like to read detective novels. The concept of dragons, werewolves, vampires, Vasco De Gama, and also Kadamattathu Kathanar are all part of this novel.
10. Sherlock Holmes
How can I complete the list of best detective nooks in Malayalam without telling you about Sherlock Holmes? It is the best ever detective novel that everyone should read once in their lifetime. And most of you may be knowing about this book. The author of the book Sherlock Holmes is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Malayalam edition of the book Sherlock Holmes- Sampoorna Krithikal is available in the market and in online also. The publisher of the book is Universal Press and Publications. This book contains almost 783 pages and its rate is 450 rupees.
The author of the book “Qabar” is K.R. Meera. It is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam. The novel Qabar deftly explores religious polarization with a feminist sensibility. The author tries to tell a self-discovery story through a love story.
The book asks of the reader a little suspension of disbelief, and willingness to make sense of our increasingly harsh realities.
12. Vishada Valayangal
The author of the book is Aneesh Francis. Anish Francis writes primarily in the Malayalam language, he is from Kerala, India. This was shortlisted for the prestigious D.C books novel prize competition in 2018.
This is a psychological thriller novel that was well received by readers. It is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam and is a best seller. The author of the book Anish Francis actively writes on social media as well as in various Malayalam literary magazines.
The author of the book ‘Tomorrow’ is Jeffin joy. It is one of the best mystery thriller books in Malayalam. It is written in a screenplay format and if it was ever made into a film, it would be the best thriller in Malayalam. This is an underrated best detective novel.
14. Kariyilakkattu pole
The author of the novel Kariyilakkattu pole is P. PadmaRajan. It is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam Literature. The novel then becomes a base for the movie with the same name. The movie was also directed by Padma Rajan in 1986. It is one of the best mystery thrillers in the Malayalam language.
The novel Parinamam is written by N.P Narayanan Pillai. It is one of the best detective novels in Malayalam literature. It is a highly readable work of fiction, that tells the story of our society through the story of a dog.
The full name of the author is Malikathazhathu Pulluvazhi Narayan Pillai. He is considered one of the finest writers in Malayalam fiction. The Malayalam edition of this book is available online and offline also.
Ashish Ben Ajay is the author of the book 446054. this is the second book by the author. His first book is 307.47. It is the names of the books themselves that make them even more intriguing to readers.
In the introduction, the author himself states that he was fascinated by numbers because he was a bank clerk. If the first book, 307.47, was a very diverse book, then 446054 is one step ahead when it comes to this book.
The first book was like a travelogue. But what can be seen in this book is a narrative that, unlike the first book, retains its mysteries throughout. The horror element that was brought into the story, some of the characters from the past, slowly blended naturally into different stories, and all felt very good.